The Zen of Search
the Image Freedom blog
The Zen of Search
the Image Freedom blog
Earlier this year I was published in Entrepreneur Magazine in an article about Google Chrome weighing the pros and cons of Google’s slick new browser, my vote was to stick with Firefox. This blog will come as a bit of a departure from the normal, but reading the news there is just a lot going on with Google right now that is frightening to me.
Google REALLY wants your information.
In the movie Minority Report Tom Cruise walks down a hallway filled with 3D advertisers able to scan your eyes and cater advertisements specifically to each user. These advertisers are able to query a database and know what kind of car you drive, where you live, what else you’ve purchased, etc. This makes for better advertisement success because the content is catered to the user.
It seems that Google is very eager to learn as much as they can about each person, and assign that data to your gmail or Google User account. Google now owns YouTube, and knows what you’re watching online, Google tracks your search data through Google to know what you’re into, and if you read the fine print of the Google Chrome license agreement you’ll see that you’re agreeing to let Google record all of your online activity so they can send that back to their engineers to further refine their advertisements to you, and map your behavior online.
Maybe this isn’t a big deal, but people are pretty guarded about their privacy. Google isn’t recording your bank account number, or your social security number, they aren’t capturing your e-mails or selling your information to third parties, but they are using the map of your virtual self to target advertisements your way.
According to a report by Business Insider Apple is receiving more than $100 Million Dollars annually from Google to keep Google the default Search Engine on the iPhone. The relationship between Apple and Google is starting to deteriorate in no small part because Google wanted the data collected from their Google Maps application on the iPhone 3G to again further target content and advertising to you based on your behavior.
The issue that concerns me, from a search marketing perspective, is that Google seems to want to decide what is right for you, based on your behavior and their algorithm. This moves us away from an Organic Search format where web sites are ranked based on popularity and are instead ranked on what your internet behavior says about you.
If Microsoft’s history is any indication, I see lawsuits and public fears becoming more and more prevalent as Google’s Chrome operating system hits the market. How will people feel when they learn that their operating system is spying on them to build the next generation marketing tools?
That dark Minority Report future might not be too far fetched, we may be only a few clicks away. How much of your information do you want Google to have? Is it all in the name of a better more targeted experience or does Google seek to turn our personal data into profitable research?
I had a wonderful day. The new episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” started airing and to a point I’d say these nerdy geeky guys are ashamed of themselves for being as much. I kind of felt the same way for a long time. I’d much rather play a Final Fantasy game than watch Baseball, or sit and build a model kit vs. getting rowdy and drunk. To a point, I felt like I didn’t fit into most crowds.
One of my favorite bloggers, Danny Choo, has always been a huge Geek and often I’d wonder if he was ashamed and I think to a point I’ve been jealous of the joy in his face. He isn’t afraid to wave his Geek flag, and the part of me that was jealous was the part ashamed to own a $300 Japanese Gundam model. In a way, Danny’s been a great role model for the empowered geek.
When it comes down to it, what is the point of fitting in if you’re miserable?
The same is very true as a businessman. I did not start Image Freedom to be rich, I did not start Image Freedom to join a club or mimic someone else, I started Image Freedom because developing for the Web is my passion. When you’re six and you say “When I grow up I want to be an Astronaut!” I was saying I wanted to be a Webmaster, I can sit here and say that I am exactly who and what I wanted to be.
That feels pretty damn good.
I’m never going to grow up. I refuse to. I’m done being ashamed of this, and if it bothers ya don’t let the virtual door hit you where the good lord split ya. I’m really bad at being someone I’m not, and I choose instead to just be Matthew. What works for John, Michael, Ryan and Paul isn’t what is going to work for me, as a business owner, or a man.
I have fears, I have areas of my life where I know I need to improve, but I’m starting to really get a kick out of the world just the way it is. I spend a lot of time and a lot of money reading 7 Habits and other empowerment books but truly at the end of the day, you can take bits and pieces of all of these things, but you all you really have to work with is the man in the mirror.
Today I got an e-mail from a client who was on the line with the Better Business Bureau. The man on the other end asked my client if his business was a part of a larger franchise or some national chain. My client wasn’t sure why when the Bureau man said his site, which we just launched this past week, looked too professional to be for a one man operation.
What a compliment!
I’m not always going to do things the way my peers do, structure my business the way they do, or conform to some bauble of who the ideal Matthew should be. I know what makes a good Web Site, I know how to be a good Father, and I know how to be a good man. I can’t promise I’ll do things the way you expect me to, but I can promise you’ll like the results.
I might be a little different, but you know, I’m starting to be ok with that.
I, Geek. Success story.