Google: from Awesome to Awful

Back in February Google was the #2 “most desired brand” among women, and the #7 most desired brand among men, according to a consumer research study commissioned by Forbes. Both men and women claimed that Google is desired because it inspires a sense of “awe.”

In light of recent suggestions that Google’s collection of payload data wasn’t an accident, the awe of many has turned into the anger of many. I found myself this morning wondering where I could transfer my 12,444 stored g-mails to keep them safe from Google. I realized it’s too late: Google has control of every letter I’ve written in the past four years.

Forgiveness and confidence (and perhaps larger subscribership to some of its innovative and useful products and services) might have been achievable for Google if it had from the start focused on its relationship with its consumers—if it had snuggled up to us and offered what is meaningful to us: a personal guide who will take us by the hand and lead us through the digital jungle, making us feel confident and secure in a land we know nothing about—instead of hovering on Mount Olympus with the other disaffected gods at which we mortals squint in awe.

Google has not only failed to successfully market many brilliant products; it has also earned itself the reputation of authoritarian dictator of the Internet, “punishing” companies violating its self-scripted guidelines, effectively debilitating perpetrators by banishing them from top search results.

Stories proliferate of security breaches where careless office hands inadvertently release thousands of social-security or bank-account numbers to the Internet which are then indexed by Google. The office hands might be responsible for publishing them to the internet, but Google is responsible for indexing them, and I predict will eventually be held accountable.

Mayor Bloomberg is striving to build a legacy for himself before the end of his term and it looks like he will be remembered as the guy who brought Silicon Valley to the Big Apple. Microsoft Research is coming to town and Microsoft is cleverly positioning itself as the ordinary guy who’s always been there for you. He isn’t stylish or supernatural, but you can count on him to get the job done. Bing!

About Ruth Zamoyta

Communications strategist, project manager, épée fencer, poet.

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