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Googlization Revisited: Is It Time To Evolve Or Die?

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-10-04

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In the past few months, Google has made some astonishing moves (and is poised to make another one today when they announce their new partnership with Sun Microsystems), the reactions to which have been as exciting as unnerving-a polarizing force whose benefits may indeed destroy traditional businesses, or at least business models.

It has become clear that Google is not just going after US business, but global business, and threatens traditional print media, advertising, the telecommunication sector, and software companies.

In their philanthropic, open-source-society every man, woman, and child has the Internet to raise them up, to educate, to communicate, to speak out…the granola-eaters, the patchouli-smelling Birkenstockers are elevated to executive levels…and that's a good thing, really, even if it is very, very California.

And though this egalitarian world reflects the supposed hegemony of a modern free society…it's chiseled on that big freakin' statue in New York, anyway…the free economy types are sitting around, nervously fingering their brandy glasses, ulcers churning, while thinking what this may mean for so many traditional businesses.

Preston Galla, blogger for networkingpipeline.com and former newspaper chain editor-in-chief, explores the impact Google will be having on local newspapers whose bread and butter is local advertising. A free WiFi network, with its ability to deliver targeted advertising "literally on a block-by-block basis," could spell disaster for small dailies and weeklies that depend on local money.

Pair that with Netimperitive that points out a recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau that online advertising is "creaming" traditional media as paid search overtakes outdoor and radio advertising in the UK.

"The internet is an exceptional medium in that it now acts as a source of entertainment, information and communication for the majority of the UK population. Advertisers are realising this, and allocating their budgets accordingly," said Pricewaterhouse Coopers' Paul Pilkington.

And then you read David Kirkpatrick's musings on next generation conglomerates, a fictional super-company he calls GEMAYA, consisting of Google, eBay, MSN, Amazon, Yahoo!, and AOL.

"There's a new sort of Internet colossus on the rise, and it is poised to wreak havoc on what might be called the world's legacy business infrastructure-meaning many of the world's important businesses big and small. If you're a banker in Greece, a telecom executive in Thailand, or a retailer in Reno, watch your back," writes Kirkpatrick.

Not everyone, though, is convinced of this definitely plausible slippery slope. ZDNet's Dana Blankenhorn thinks it's only a matter of time before governments step in to prevent an economic (or moral) upheaval. Could Google really set off an open source communication revolution?

"Rose petals could fall from the sky, SBC could go bankrupt, and Osama Bin Laden could walk up to Abu Ghraib prison of his own free will, hands in the air. Ain't gonna happen," says Blankenhorn.

He reasons that the future will yield a slew of privacy advocate concerns, major com companies suing Google out the wazoo as municipalities "sponsor" a private enterprise, and eventually state legislatures stepping in with an interest in protecting business (and maybe with an interest in protecting kids from seeing Paris Hilton naked).

It will be interesting to watch unfold. Will Google create their free open source communication society driving major corporations into an evolve-or-die ultimatum? Will governments step in and stop it altogether? Will it be a mixture of the two? Only time will tell.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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