Saturday, January 07, 2012

Divorcing Google - and hoping for GoogleMinus

Google hired a hit man, and was shocked to find bodies. Now the remnants of Google 1.0 are punishing Google 2.0, though Matt Cutts hasn't said anything. He didn't used to be so quiet.

Google 1.0's glorious Data Liberation Front is pretty quiet too. Their Twitter feed went silent on 9/15/2011.

It's sad. I loved Google from my first searches in 1997 until the Google-Apple war began in 2009. Even then I wanted to believe in their original mission to free the world's knowledge. I didn't really lose faith until Google deleted my Reader Share memory - with 1 week's notice.

Yeah, I was denying simple arithmetic. Google's is an algorithmic corporation that iterates on its goals, and its goals are to delivery value to their paying customers. Advertisers. Yes, Google, like health insurance corporations, has an Agency problem.

Notice how much junk their is in Google searches these days? How many "" pages? How ads are growing across Google's search pages? This isn't going to stop -- not unless Google divides into two companies.

Now I'm moving off the Google platform. It's a slow and painful process. Just as painful as moving from DOS to Mac Classic, from Mac Classic to Windows, Windows to OS/2, OS/2 to Windows 2K, Windows to OS X, Palm to iOS…

Especially like moving from Palm to iOS. That's because there was a wasteland between the end of PalmOS and the rise of iOS. It was a kind of technological winter; a gap between one life and the other. I nursed my aging Palm devices along because the alternative was to resurrect my Franklin Planner.

That's what life is like post-Google - because there isn't a good alternative to Google. iCloud? Please. Microsoft? I wish. Yahoo!? Ok, you get the point. I won't go on.

So it's a tough divorce. It would be even harder if I were an Android customer. I wonder if Android users understand how tightly they're tied to Google -- and why.

How will this winter end? Amazon? Apple? Microsoft?!?

Or … perhaps …. GoogleMinus.

GoogleMinus, because there are businesses in Google that make money selling value to users. Google Docs, for example, sells ad-free solutions to schools and corporations. These aren't not huge businesses, but they might be profitable if they could lease infrastructure from GooglePlus.

GoogleMinus, because there are still, I think, some idealists left at Google -- and they might prefer to work for GoogleMinus rather than GooglePlus.

It could happen. The EU might require a breakup. Civil strife within Google might make a breakup internally acceptable.

Imagine a future when GoogleMinus packages GooglePlus search. For an annual fee of $100 I get the ability to block searches, and a control that lets me filter out web sites that run ads. Wouldn't that be interesting?

Update 1/9/12: This Android retrospective is relevant. I'd forgotten the day Google made its deal with Verizon; a deal signed in blood at midnight

Update 1/10/12: Today Google dedicated their search function to promoting Google+ properties.

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