On its march to world domination, has Google come to a fork in the road and taken the corporate path more traveled? The one that leads a giant corporation to arrogance, monopolistic practices, disregard for competitors (and the welfare of whole industries), and just plain evilness?
To many, Google's power and size have turned it into the old Microsoft, while the new Microsoft has become the poor underdog fighting the good fight against the Google monopoly. Google is abusing its power, poking its Snidely Whiplash nose into our personal Internet transgressions, monitoring our phone calls, stealing copyrighted books for its own gain, destroying the journalism business, censoring search results in China, and even dodging taxes in the UK.
But I've got a problem with all that. Now, here's my confession. Please don't judge me too harshly. So far, I'm not worried about any of this.
And it bugs me. Everyone thinks I'm too soft on Google. It has absolutely ruined my reputation as a hard-hitting, skeptical, curmudgeonly, Snidely Whiplash-ish journalist. Those were the days.
So I need your help. Please help me regain my bad reputation.
I'm looking for feedback. Is Google evil? I'm holding a contest at RichardLBrandt.com for the best examples of kindness or evil deeds by Google and the best opinions on why Google is/isn't the meanest thing to come along since Dick Cheney.
I'm really giving out prizes for this one. Good stuff! Books! The first 10 people to post comments -- whether you think Google is good or evil -- will get a free, autographed (with effusive praise of your wit and wisdom) copy of the extraordinary new book, "Inside Larry & Sergey's Brain" (a book about the founders of Google). Although it does not say "Google" anywhere on the cover, it is indeed about the Google founders. You know, Larry and Sergey. Page and Brin. Some people don't know that. Talk to the publisher about it.
But wait! There's one more incentive: The person with the most interesting response -- whether it's 'Good Google' or 'Evil Google' -- will get free autographed copies of both "Inside Larry & Sergey's Brain," (a book about the founders of Google) AND Ken Auletta's book, "Googled: The End of the World as We Know it." It takes much longer to read and doesn't have the snazzy writing of "Inside Larry & Sergey's Brain," (a book about the founders of Google) but you get more pages for the money.
Go to RichardLBrandt.com to enter and to vote on the winner. Please! You'll get more background on this issue, including perspective on google, evil, don't be evil, microsoft, snidely whiplash, henry blodget, search, search advertising, server advertising, adwords, adsense, admob, censorship, android, nexus one, verizon, t-mobile, netbook, google netbook, british taxes, open source software, china, opinion, inside larry & sergey's brain, googled: the end of the world as we know it, ken auletta, google contest, don't be evil contest, dick cheney, and chopped liver.
You won't be sorry. But I might.