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How Google became a cultural phenomenon...

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  • Frederick Noronha (FN)
    We probably need solutions for the Third World on similar lines too. There s very little information exchanging happening among our parts. FN ... Thanks to
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2004
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      We probably need solutions for the Third World on similar lines too.
      There's very little information exchanging happening among our parts. FN

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------

      Thanks to Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay forwarding this from the "BANGLA ICT"
      <bangla_ict@yahoogroups.com> mailing list.

      How Google Became a Cultural Phenomenon
      Thu Apr 29, 2004 03:04 PM ET

      By Jill Serjeant

      LOS ANGELES, April 29 (Reuters) - So you've spent an hour Googling through
      the Web for your graduate research paper, you've played the Google drinking
      game, heard the Google theme song and vanity-Googled yourself (again).

      Just for a change you turn on the TV and find they're even talking about
      Google on "Sex and the City" and "The West Wing."

      What the heck was life like before Google?

      The last six years have seen Google become not just the world's most popular
      Internet search engine but a verb, a household word and a cultural
      phenomenon.

      And on Thursday it entered a whole new chapter when it filed with the
      Securities and Exchange Commission to become a publicly listed company and
      sell $2.7 billion in stock.

      Google's the place people turn to in more than 80 languages more than 200
      million times a day if they want to locate a long-lost friend, find a recipe
      for maple walnut mousse pie or research a business competitor on a different
      continent.

      And Google delivers the answers with such ease, without fear or favor, that
      New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman was moved to ask last year "Is
      Google God?"

      "There are clearly a lot of people who spend a lot of time with it and feel
      close to it," said Joe Janes, a University of Washington Information School
      professor who taught the world's first university course on Google this
      spring.

      "I don't think I would go as far as saying people treat it as a friend but
      it fills a couple of those roles -- it helps you find things, it's always
      there.

      "People now use Google as a verb and Googling people before they go on
      dates. When it gets to prime time television that's a sign it has become a
      cultural phenomenon," Janes said.

      SERIOUS WITHOUT THE SUITS

      Garrett French, 27, editor of the WebProNews.com online newsletter for
      Internet professionals, can barely recall life without it. "For as long as I
      can remember, I've been using Google for work and for leisure," said French.

      Information before Google was a tough and often dull business before
      Stanford graduates Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with an algorithm that
      searched and ranked Web pages on the basis of "importance" value to
      determine their usefulness.

      Students trudged to libraries, journalists rifled through dog-eared contacts
      books and computer neophytes struggled with search engines that required
      precision spelling, hyphens and slashes in the right order.

      But Google -- a play on the word googol which means the number one followed
      by 100 zeros -- made Internet searching not just easy but fun.

      Whacky logos, tales of life in the Googleplex headquarters where the company
      chef used to work for the rock band Grateful Dead, the organizing principles
      of "You can be serious without a suit" and "You can make money without doing
      evil" took the Internet out of geekdom and turned it into something cool.

      Sometimes the joke has turned sour. "Google-bombing" was invented by a
      tech-savvy prankster who last year devised a way of linking the search words
      "miserable failure" to President Bush's official biography Web site.
      "Google-whacking" became a sport of producing a search query using such
      bizarre words that only one result is returned.

      MIND-BOGGLING FUTURE

      Richard Brandt, author of an upcoming book "In Search of Google" said that
      Page and Brin's genius was in realizing that the Internet was not a series
      of disconnected sites but information treasure troves that were linked and
      which influenced each other.

      "They understand the Internet, how it works and how people use it. Google is
      all about inventing new ways of finding the information you want. "Larry and
      Sergey take that role very, very seriously. The stated role of the company
      to 'do no evil' is deadly serious. It is one of the things that has helped
      make people love Google, and use it and trust it," Brandt said.

      If life before Google is difficult to recall, the next six years promises to
      be mind-boggling.

      Google is already working on a personalized search engine that "learns" what
      individuals like, find relevant or prefer to avoid.

      Google's Chief Technology Officer Craig Silverstein spoke last month of a
      future in which people could have "search pets" that are able to find the
      answer to tricky questions such as "What did my wife mean when she said
      that?"

      Larry Page revealed his own vision at a technology conference in February.

      "On the more exciting front, you can imagine having your brain being
      augmented by Google. For example you think about something and your cell
      phone could whisper the answer in your ear."

      Source:
      http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=technologyNews&storyID=4
      990577
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