Where there is a will there is a way

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thinking about Google

I just watched a documentary about Google (BBC money program), about how it works and it's implications - the commercialization of the internet. The concept of "free" email or searching, how we are actually paying by our interests (search terms) being recorded, and people advertising to us based on that information.

The show covered the various ways that commercial interests are wresting power through the ads that appear everywhere, the concept of something being "free", and sneakier devices appearing such as recommendation functions. They were concerned that instead of the web being passively available, people are finding ways to offer you, only that which they think you want...so the freedom is being tailored.

I do think that the attempt of commercial interests to reharness control is scary, but there still is so much positive that can happen, where people can connect in new ways where they weren't able to before.

By the way, one of the way the Google-monster (search engine algorithm) works, is the more a website is linked (referenced) elsewhere, the higher it will appear on the results. SO...it's like a popularity engine, working almost socially, with some sites snowballing the hits.

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