If Google were gone, where would you go? It’s an interesting question.
and the list goes on and on and on … and on (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google_products). It’s only when I asked my self the same question that I realised how much my life revolves around google.
I would go as far as to say it would alter the way I lived my life if google were gone. I place so much trust in google’s services with my data for some reason, trust I would find difficult sharing with say microsoft or any other company.
Anyways, I’m hoping for an open discussion on the topic ;)
I don’t think it would be that much different. Google has a ton of money now, so they are dipping into every bit of technology they can. I think Google is the best, but there was alternatives before. There are other search engines, and Google didn’t invent search, although they did make it better, but who says Yahoo or Microsoft couldn’t of also done that if Google was never around taking a mass of the profits? Google didn’t invent video sites, and they didn’t really even make them better… YouTube had the WORST quality for a long ass time, but it had the most marketing. Lots of people would say there are still better alternatives to YouTube. Analytics is the one thing I think Google had a huge part in, so without them, I think that part would be different. Maps is similar to search, I think Yahoo or Microsoft could have been as advanced as Google in mapping if Google wasn’t there to take a large part of the market in the first place.
I like how Google puts money into a bunch of different side projects, I think that part of Google is playing a huge role in the advancement of the web. I’m currently in Google Voice beta and I love it… I have free text messaging and I don’t even have a cell phone… I just use my iPod Touch and you can text and receive texts for free through your Google Voice phone number. I also can’t wait till Google Wave… I signed up for the beta a couple of months ago, but haven’t got in yet :(
Microsoft and Yahoo are also putting money into side projects, but of course they are going to come up short. Although, I do like Microsoft’s Live Workspace more than Google Docs. Also, Adobe has a nice web suite. It has live collaboration, file sharing, meetings, remote controlling, etc. It’s like you get your own little chat room, like Google Wave. But, you can control each others computer and it has voice and video communication.
Anyway, if Google just wasn’t here and no companies got all of their money, so everything stayed the same but Google was gone, I think I would be going with Microsoft and Adobe.
I honestly don’t think my life would really change. Sure, the sites I go to would be different, but all of the essential services would remain via other companies.
I hold zero faith in Google in terms of trust, they are just like any other huge company. I just happen to like what they’re doing, so I forgive them.
I suppose it’s how you use the services that determine what you’ll miss.
I do agree, YouTube has lower quality, but they do have a HQ option now that seeps to be on par with vimeo, sometimes. But I don’t think the USP of YouTube is the quality. For me it’s the community. It takes a while to build up a list of subscriptions you like, but I get about 30-60mins of new content a day, personalised for what I want, and because the participants are global, you start to get a much better view into what the world thinks, unaltered by mass media. If google were to go, I’d miss that. User’s would switch to another service but the experience will not be the same.
The reason I think I trust google is probably silly, but they say ‘Don’t be evil’, and I believe they’re not evil. If you want to look at how socialy ethical a company is, look at how they treat their employees, and their treated well. 20% of your paid time if for doing what you want, I so want to be able to pull that off. Google being a big internet company they are well aware that any negitive decision they take will be pretty accurately reported on blogs, twitter etc. And all the stories I’ve seen so far about google being evil are acceptable in my mind.
For me the Search and Maps are, as you say, not unique, but because google has a huge range of websites it can link them all together. You can get your maps, youtube subscriptions and more all on your igoogle home page where you can search.
Another example is adsence, which can be used ith conjunction with your youtube account and analycts.
To finish off, I think the reason I’d miss google is not because of the great services they provide (there are alternatives), but they way they are all interlinked. If microsoft were to invest money into providing a more closely connected webfolio then Google could have some worrying competition.
It’s an interesting question, for sure. I think the reality is that another company would step in and start taking over the various parts of it very quickly. Billion dollar industries exist because there is incredible demand for what they offer. Other companies already are fighting for a peice of the pie, so if Google folded, they’d pounce all over that shit.
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