I recently read the book Googled by Ken Auletta. I can’t go a day without Google and knowing the history of this innovative company seemed like a good read to try out my new Kindle. I became more and more of a fan of Google reading this book until I realized that they were undermining the future financial viability of the newspaper industry. Google’s ability to get to know me by the topics I search and the advertisements I click have given them the information they need to supply me with the news I want. Or so they think. Little do they know, the reason I like to read the newspaper is to find out things that I don’t even know I need or want or like or care about.
Last week, by reading the newspaper, I was able to find out that Metro Mattress is seeking charitable organizations to donate 50 beds to in the CNY region. My friend Nicole is leading a group of people to supply local refugee families with beds, furniture and winter clothing – necessities they lack when they arrive in our city. How would anyone, especially a search engine with mathematical algorithms that calculate what I want to know, know I needed to know that? (yes, I’m standing on a soap box right now)
I love Google’s ability to help me find the local time in Wellington New Zealand* or what it’s called when rabbits jump sideways for no reason**. And I love their corporate culture of giving employees the freedom to spend 20% of their time on research that encourages innovation. And I love their company slogan “Don’t be evil”. I just don’t want them to mess with my newspaper.
By the way, I did enjoy the book.
*According to Leah the formula is -6 hours + 1 calendar day (in other words EST+18 hours)
**Binking. It means they’re really happy. I hope Pizza is binking in Boston. (Pizza = Leah’s rabbit on loan to a friend while she’s in New Zealand)