Lately I’ve had a closer look at Google and what they exactly are offering. I mean, I have always known that they have a really powerful search engine, but apart from that, I wasn’t very googleized. But now, I realize, Google is my master.
Let me just summarize what kind of services I’m using from Google at the moment. You should do the same yourself and maybe you also will realize something:
- Google Analytics, web site visitor tracking and statistics.
- Google AdSense, that is, ads served through Google.
- Gmail, saving gigabytes of my email conversations.
- Google Sitemaps, defining my web sites in detail for Google.
- Google Desktop, indexing everything on my computer.
- Google Maps (aka Google Local), zooming in on where I live
- Google Blog Search, finding my blogs.
- Google Accounts, gathering all my Google login information.
- Picasa, indexing all my photos and images.
- Google Alerts, tracking what news I want.
- Google Search History, tracking my searches.
- Google Reader, tracking RSS feeds for me.
And those are not the only services I use. Of course I use the Google Images Search for images, their normal search through Firefox, academical search at Google Scholar. I’m reading their blog, I’m checking out books at Google Print and watching some videos at Google Videos. Heck, I’m even looking for jobs at Google. It’s not much left of me to googleize.
I’m not that kind of guy that gets worried as soon as I see a surveillance camera, avoiding leaving personal details out, etc, etc. I’m quite OK with big brother watching me. But I’m just starting to realize what a vast amount of personal information Google has at their fingertips. (which of course makes people worried, like (here and here). But I’m not worried for my own sake – I have nothing to hide – however I’ve already started thinking about what cool future dystopias we could have – imagine us ruled by the Google Federation – you might get some inspiration by watching this time-shifted transmission from 2014.
My tip to you. Do a search through your browser history for “Google”. See what comes up. And then decide if you have to be worried. I ain’t, but I’m looking forward to see what Google will use all this information and power for…
Update: Read more in Wired Magazine.