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Doug's Mailbag: Rating Google

One reader shares his thoughts with the state of Google:

First, I don't think the top-level reorg at Google means much more than Larry and Sergey are grown-up enough now to take off the "training wheels" and do it themselves.

However, I don't know if they could walk into another corporation the size of Google and get those kinds of jobs -- Google is the company they founded and I'm sure Google's BOD is behind the changes.

Second, I agree that corporations that amass power and influence should be subject to scrutiny, especially if there is evidence that they are violating laws. You will recall that Microsoft was found guilty in federal court (2000) of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. The court imposed remedies on Microsoft that many people felt would not significantly alter its behavior. If Google is breaking laws then throw the book at them...just like Microsoft.

Third, if you are unhappy with Google's business model then you should not use Google's products or services. There are other search engines to use and other online services you can make use of that are not owned by Google. For example, Linux and open-source software have given many of us alternatives to Microsoft's products.

Finally, I agree that Google has proven to be a disruptive business in many ways. A lot of "fat cat" corporations in the media and ad business have been knocked off their perch by Google. Newspapers were largely headed down the pecking order before Google even got going, but lets not confuse journalism with newspaper publishing, which depends of those same advertising dollars Google is getting today.

I generally like Google and what they are doing. The Internet is not private. If you give too much information to corporations who provide you with a free service you like using, then you don't have much room to complain if they mine it, sell it or feed it back to you in search. For the truly paranoid, encrypt everything you do on your computer and send over the Internet, and don't accept cookies from anybody.

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).  

Posted by Doug Barney on 01/26/2011 at 1:18 PM


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