Welcome to WebProNews Breaking eBusiness and Search News
Advertise | Newsletter | Sitemap | News Feeds News Feed 
 WebProNews Search Part of the iEntry network iEntry inc. 

Size Matters + Slippery Slope = Trouble Ahead

Steve Rubel
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-21

WebProNews RSS Feed

This morning I listened to a raging debate between Robert Scoble and Cory Doctorow that you can find ...

here on IT Conversations. During the 46-minute program Doctorow, Scoble, trademark lawyer/blawger Marty Schwimmer debate the ethics and legality of Google's new Toolbar Autolink feature. Regular readers know I feel that Autolink violates the rights of content providers by inserting links they never intended to create.

As I listened to the podcast, two phrases kept repeating in my head: 1) "size matters" and 2) "slippery slope." These two issues underscore why Autolink is such a critical issue that could determine the future direction of online content. Let's take a closer look at each of these.

First, the reason that Google Autolink is important is because "size matters." This isn't just any company changing content. It's a Microsoftesque company with incredible reach and influence, not only on the Web, but increasingly on the desktop too. Just take a gander at the company's recent acquisitions - Keyhole and Picasa. Both are desktop apps. What's more, take a look at the array of free downloadable software applications they are launching. To me this means that Google has Microsoft in its sights. Google's influence in our daily lives will become even bigger when they launch their rumored browser and perhaps build an operating system as well. A Google calendar is already reportedly in the works.

So if you buy into the fact that Google's size gives it influence, then the next step is to consider what might happen if they get away with leaving Autolink as is. That's like letting your kid steal candy. Once they see it's kosher, they will do it again and again until one day they're stealing Chevy's, not Charleston Chews. This is the "slippery slope" that Robert and others have so eloquently written about.

Allowing Google to insert links on ISBN numbers might seem innocent - for now. But what if one day they use a Gbrowser to say to users "Hey, we'll change all your links back to us since you clearly love us so much." On a mass level, this would change the Web forever.

Google needs to show they care about the content producers they depend upon as much as the users by giving us opt outs. If they don't, when you couple their size and the slippery slope, there's no telling what might come next.

Receive Our Daily Email of Breaking eBusiness News

About the Author:
Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.

WebProNews RSS Feed

More Articles

Contact WebProNews


Targeted Information for Business
WebProNews is part of the iEntry network

Internet Business: Marketing: Small Business:
WebProNews MarketingNewz SmallBusinessNewz
WebProWorld AdvertisingDay PromoteNews
EcommNewz SalesNewz EntrepreneurNewz

Software: Search Engines: Web Design:
WebMasterFree Jayde B2B DesignNewz
NetworkingFiles SearchZA FlashNewz
SecurityConfig SearchNewz WebSiteNotes

Developer: IT Management: Security:
DevWebPro ITManagement SecurityProNews
DevNewz SysAdminNews SecurityConfig
TheDevWeb NetworkingFiles NetworkNewz

The iEntry Network consists of over 100 web publications reaching millions of Internet Professionals. Contact us to advertise.

 Advertise | Contact Us | Corporate | Newsletter | Sitemap | Submit an Article | News Feeds
 WebProNews is an iEntry, Inc. ® publication - $line) { echo $line ; } ?> All Rights Reserved
About WebProNews
WebProNews is the number one source for eBusiness News. Over 5 million eBusiness professionals read WebProNews and other iEntry business and tech publications.

WebProNews provides real-time coverage of internet business.

Free Email Newsletters:
WebProNews SearchNewz
WebProWorld DevWebPro
Marketing SecurityNews
Plus over 100 other newsletters!

Send me relevant info on products and services.

Ten most recent posts.

Featured Software

WebProNews in the News
View all recent mentions of WebProNews from around the world!

Recent Articles On ...
Google eBusiness
Yahoo Ask Jeeves
MSN Blogs
Search Engines Blogging
Affiliate Programs Marketing
eCommerce Advertising
eBay Sun Microsystems
AOL Adsense
Microsoft Adwords
Oracle IBM
Amazon Apple
SEO iPod
Adsense XBox
PR Adobe

iEntry.com WebProWorld RSS Feed WebProWorld Contact WebProNews Print Version Email a friend Bookmark us