Search or Destroy

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

That part sounds good BUT as some have suspected, googles ambitions are quite a bit more complex and far-reaching.

Most readers here are feeling google through the lense of commercial vision and have watched google morph from its initial role as a supplier of useful information to the defacto internet tax/toll collector. They deployed what is known as the "frog in the pan" method to gain webmaster trust and then turn it into webmaster ownership, you do not make a move unless the Google gods approve it.

"If you drop a frog into a pan when water is boiling, it will leap out. But if you put the frog into a pan of cold water, and then heat it slowly toward boiling point, the frog -- unaware that any dramatic change is taking place -- will just sit there, and slowly cook."

Yes, you are currently cooked, don't monetize your site unless it is a google approved monetization, no selling links!; you use adsense or you go into the "sandbox that isn't a sandbox but acts like a sandbox". Anyway, anyone clued up knows what it is, boil in the Gpan or go back to the swamp. You still have webmasters who think G is out for the "mom and pop" and is "democratic".

Well, wonder of wonders we now get a glimpse of political motives before the political burner knob is turned up. A group called Personal Democracy Forum sponsored by our overlords from Mountain View is showing their cards. They use the word "Manifesto" to describe their goals, a nice tip-off as to where this "saying something while maybe saying nothing, point out the obvious and paint it as fresh revelation" style of presentation was born. So, of course the usual suspects are involved: Doc Searles and and his band of sycophants.

What is interesting is not the "conversation" but the people behind it:

Personal Democracy Forum - Sponsored by Google

Okay, so the politicos, media, etc. have a heads-up here, will they begin to flex what muscle they have to reduce G back to a search engine or will they they boil.

The targets are significant here, the manifesto:


Democracy in America is changing.

A new force, rooted in new tools and practices built on and around the Internet, is rising alongside the old system of capital-intensive broadcast politics.

Today, for almost no money, anyone can be a reporter, a community organizer, an ad-maker, a publisher, a money-raiser, or a leader.

If what they have to say is compelling, it will spread.

The cost of finding like-minded souls, banding together, and speaking to the powerful has dropped to almost zero.

Networked voices are reviving the civic conversation.

More people, everyday, are discovering this new power. After years of being treated like passive subjects of marketing and manipulation, they want to be heard.

Members expect a say in the decision-making process of the organizations they join. Readers want to talk back to the news-makers. Citizens are insisting on more openness and transparency from government.

All the old institutions and players-big money, top-down parties, big-foot journalism, cloistered organizations-must adapt or face losing status and power.

Personal Democracy, where everyone is a full participant, is coming.

The Personal Democracy Forum is your place to meet the people who are making that change happen, discover the tools powering the new civic conversation, spot the early trends, and share in understanding and embracing this dynamic new force.

Will the big froggies boil in the Gpan?

Boiling frog (wikipedia)


It reminds me of Animal

It reminds me of Animal Farm... where they tore everything down and rebuilt it as it was or worse. The problem is that as humans and as a society we all have inherent flaws that people exploit. No global ad supported business is going to change it for the better though. Some win because others is just a shifting of the chip stack though. Great post Hardball

Not so I think. I look at

Not so I think.

I look at one of your editors / owners and I know for a fact one makes a living out of scraping other peoples content (not aaron). Google to me are on a search to eliminate scrapers , hijackers and theft of content. There's collateral damage right now but hopefully it will come good.

stay on subject please

Multiple of them make money off scrapers that I know of. What is the difference between those scrapers and YouTube? Nothing, at the moment at least...other than the top rankings Google guarantees YouTube content.

Until recently Google was also funding most scraper websites as well. It is a problem THEY created.

Sort of Like the Beatles

Google's direction is sort of like the Beatles. John Lennon said one time that if had not been them who were vaulted into the immense spotlight, it would have been another band. I don't know if Google deserves blame for doing what sort of is inevitable given the technology, circumstance and human nature. It is arguable that an institution by any other name would have been taking things the same directions were they in Google's position. I don't think the Personal Democracy Forum is a bad idea in itself. But what we DO need is for a legitimate, healthy competitor to start gaining a legitimate foothold for some leverage. Google's trends and steps would be recognized as merely human efforts then, and would not have to be observed with fear and suspicion. As it stands now, with only one player in the game, we all resent being dictated to and not having the options that come with good competition. I've said it before, but I think Bill Gates and Live Search represent our most legitimate shot at equality. And no, I don't work for Microsoft. Good post, Hardball.

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