Thursday, 18 June 2009

Icon #14 Google

I love Google.

But can Google be Iconic? Why the hell not.

Google does what it's supposed to. Type something you are looking for into the Google search engine and you get what you want in seconds. Simple efficient and precise, no matter how strange or often lengthy your request might be.

It is hard to believe that Google has only been around for a little over 10 years. That doesn't seem possible.

The two guys that started the whole thing in 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are rich beyond my wildest dreams. And I have some pretty wild Euro Lottery style rich dreams. But Google, like Apple, have a sense of integrity about them that Microsoft lack. Some of this is about how they are perceived as a business, they are highly rated to work for, but I think more than anything it's about many of the products are free.

My personal favourite is Chrome, the web browser. Internet Explorer is so clumsy and cluttered for PC users but Chrome sorts that out completely. I was recently at my parents who continue to use Internet Explorer and I was staggered by how much of their screen was taken up by masses of buttons and options. Google Chrome just gets rid of all that. You can even hide what little there is on screen if you wish too. Bookmarks work sensibly and it all happens so much quicker than on any other browser I've used. If you haven't tried it you should. Tonight.

They bought YouTube. They host this blog. They host most of the blogs that I read. They run my email account. And by the way Google Mail is brilliant. Google Analytics is a great piece of online software for analysing the hits your website has. Picasa is a great photo manager that allows you to play around with your pics, it will even host your pictures in online web albums for your friends to download. Google Earth continues to astound with it's satellite images of our planet. Google Maps now have street view. You can literally walk down my road virtually and have a look at my front door. If you want. And the list goes on and will continue to grow. All free. All ace.

Google is almost intangible. There are phones out there, but they've got some catching up to do with the i-Phone, but for the most part, it's all just out there in the ether, working for you. I'd be kinda lost without it wouldn't be great if they bought out facebook and sorted that out.

I'd love to be able to explain why their search engine works better than others, there is a technical explanation. Buggered if I understand it though, it just does. They make money from the adverts that you see after you've searched for something but they are unobtrusive and often useful links to what you've searched for, again clever stuff.

What Google does is give PC's some (not all) of the intuitive features that Mac users have been used to for years. Google has allowed me to get more out of my PC than I ever would have thought possible in the past.

So thanks Google. I'm sure some have very different opinions of you as a company, but me, I think you're great. You're even helpful. Take tonight's post for example. There are more links than usual as you may have noticed. I'm using a piece of 3rd party online hosted software that works with blogger called Zemanta that brilliantly finds the things you are writing about and provides the links for you. Google told me about it and I already love it.

Google: 'You can make money without doing evil'.

Tonight's post is dedicated to @fernandomando.