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Friday, October 5, 2018

Microstory 945: Google

In the early days, you had several choices for a search engine, and since few people fully grasped how the internet worked, or what it could become, they were all about the same. You chose Dogpile if you wanted to donate to charity, or you chose any of the others based on what features they had, or even just how pretty their homepage was. Then Google came along. As my father was a mathematician, I already knew what a googol was, and ignored the irony that I was otherwise terrible at math myself. As time went on, the world started to see the same thing I did. Google was quickly edging out all competition, until the only real contender was Yahoo!, plus whatever Microsoft was calling their service at the time. And then there was one. I early on saw the potential Google had to completely transform how we access information, despite being a wee boy with no programming aspirations. Though I didn’t know how big they would be, I did predict they would start adding unrelated services all the way back when all they did was search. I expected the internet to be one day entirely controlled by them, and while it’s more complicated than that, they are today the gatekeepers. We all know that person who still has a Hotmail account, and while most people aren’t dedicated power users like me, it still makes you giggle. Why is that? Just because you use Gmail, why in this world defined by apathy, does it matter to you? Well, because it’s absurd. Google is best at nearly everything they’ve tried, even if they ultimately shuttered a given service. They couldn’t crack social, and I don’t exactly understand why they keep trying. While I believe they could have out-Netflixed Netflix before Netflix got so big, they never seemed to see it coming, and missed that boat. Though Google Fiber is considered a failed experiment, they were the best internet service provider I ever had, and only don’t have it still, because I had to move. I use all the usual suspects: search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar, Chrome, Android. But I use all the others too. There’s a reason you’re reading this on a website made by  Blogger, instead of WordPress. There’s a reason I’m typing this out on a Motorola (formerly owned by Google) phone, and one which uses Google’s Project Fi cellular service. And there’s a reason I’ll revise and post it once I get home to my Chromebook. The reason is the same for everything, which is that they are superior to all competition within their field. It’s as simple as that. I have been a fan and supporter of this company since before I cared about much else beyond my own life. Despite their just absolutely god-awful customer service, I still love them, and will never use anything but. So, search on, my friends.

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