26 February 2010

"Google will not survive* " (Prediction v2.0)

My post on this topic generated some interesting and thought-provoking feedback. In my post, the asterisk-footnoted qualification said: "* in its current form". An engineering-minded friend wrote to me and asked if there is anything that ever truly survives "in its current form". Having considered questions of entropy, biology, philosophy, and law, I suggested that perhaps a Hydrogen atom might.

This forced me to re-think, so let me re-state my proposition and follow-up with some additional detail. Here, then, is my Google Prediction (v2.0):

     Google will not survive*
          *as a thriving multinational enterprise with global business presence and global business interests unless and until it decides to undertake a major restructure of its corporate assets, its operational methods, and its technical architecture.

Now let me spell out what I predict will happen, unless Google decides to change all of the above.

24 February 2010

"Google will not survive* "

" *in its current form"

I have been speaking publicly about my "Internet Borders" thesis since the summer of 2008. Starting in 2009, I added a concluding slide to my presentation which said, in total,

   Google will not survive*
         *in its current form

When delegates ask me about this prediction, I have explained that it is my opinion that Google's current operating structure will not be able to survive the increasing stresses of Internet de-globalization. Google's basic problem is that its business consists of operating a single massive database of, well, EVERYTHING.

If you want to know anything, then ask Google. Google itself tries valiantly to "do no harm" as they interpret this. So when I ask Google questions using their public interface Google places limits on what I can learn. But sometimes governments of various description ask deeper and more intrusive questions than Google wants to answer. Other times, Google is criticized by governments for answering too many questions and giving up too much information.

This creates a huge regulatory "sheering" force where Google is increasingly caught between conflicting laws and regulations imposed by different national governments.

22 February 2010

Political news - political advertising

Today I tuned into www.fivethirtyeight.com, one of my favourite sources for quantitative analysis of US electoral trends.

What do I see in the top-of-page banner advertising? An advertisement for the British Liberal Democratic Party. Clearly the advertising system has made an (accurate) guess of my geo-location and served up content to match. Although my subject matter interest is US politics, the advertising market is segmented by geo-location of end-user rather than the geography of the subject under discussion.

My point is this: if the Internet is truly "borderless" then this should not be possible.

Conclusion: the Internet has borders.

6 February 2010

Facebook Country Restrictions: Your social network border patrol

Here's a quick observation. I decided to start a Facebook Page for Internet Borders. (It's called Internet Borders. I have very little imagination.)

As I started to play around with the "Edit Page" feature, I found that it was (surprise!) possible to create a list of countries where the Page can be seen. I can, if I wish, make my page viewable only in "Ruritania" thus excluding the remainder of the world.

If you want to see this feature, and you are the Admin for a Page, you can find it within the Page at: Edit Page>>Settings(edit)>>Country Restrictions.

The feature works on an "opt-in" principle. The Admin enters countries that should be allowed to see the Page. It is not a country "exclusion".

Now here's my dilemma: should I enforce borders on my Internet Borders Facebook Page? Stay tuned, and see if I decide to become parochial.

Oh, the new Page is located here.