By now, most of the online community has likely grown wise to the deliciously witty April fools joke, Google Romance. Google posted a press release, Saturday, April 1st, inviting all to view the Google Romance Tour, and learn more.
Okay, I’ll admit to biting, simply because Google seems willing to try its hand at anything in or out of realms of possibility and reason. Someone as jaded as I, however, needn’t read far before realizing that the whole thing is a clever hoax intended to poke fun at Google’s vast array of contextual products and services.
Always in the mood for a laugh, I continued reading the contextually romantic scenario unfolding before me when suddenly the grin left my face.
As the narrative tour described the 8th step of the process “Contextual Courtship,” it occurred to me that the rosy picture being painted of the future of the online world wasn’t rosy at all – it was awash with a white background accented, handily, in the primary colors of blue, green, red and yellow.
“User B employs Gmail, Gmail Chat, Google Talk, Google Desktop Side Bar, Picasa 2, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Local, Google Suggest, Blogger, and an impressive array of highly relevant Contextual Courtship advertisements…”
As the list of products & services under the Google brand continues to grow… Froogle, Google Mobile, Orkut, Google Finance… it seems that Google’s mission to “organize the world’s information” is an ever-so polite description of the homogenization of the wired world. It would seem that Google is slowly doing to the web what big-box stores have done to the retail sales landscape.
Sure, this might make me sound like a harsh, doomsday-er; rest assured that I am not. I have faith that the online universe will forever remain a bastion of individuality, peppered liberally with all sorts of inventive, colorful and unique places to visit.
Search engines are wonderful things; without them most of us would be lost in a sea of information. However, it’s easy to be fooled and lulled into a routine of visiting the good, old one-stop-shop. But it’s up to us, the lonely wanderers of the web, to seek out fresh, independent, and unique content.