Google Owns My Soul

For years I’ve been giving Google unfettered access to my email and my search history without giving it much thought. And over the course of the past couple years, I’ve continually kept giving them more and more access… That brings us to today, when I finally came to the realization that Google really does own my soul. That is assuming my soul is comprised of personal information, browsing habits, etc.

Let me break it down for you:

  • Each morning at 5am my company website sends an updated list of products that we have in stock to Google Base to get listed in Google Shopping.  Google now knows what products my company likes to carry as well as how quickly we sell said products.
  • My company uses Google Analytics, not only to track our corporate website, but our clients websites as well. Google now has access to very detailed information about how popular my websites are and  just who’s visiting them.
  • The afore mentioned company also uses Google Places to attempt to draw in new business. This one isn’t that big of a deal, since it doesn’t really increase Google’s access to information about my company. I’m just trying to be thorough.
  • Each of my sites generates a Google SiteMap.  Making it even easier for Google to catalog every little page on my websites, even some that I may have forgotten about.
  • All my websites that run advertisements run Google AdSense. Now I rely on Google to get paid.
  • I use Gmail for my personal email. Google gets to scan through my entire life and contextually provide ads to me. Yay?
  • I also use Google Apps for my business. Which includes the occasional Google Doc upload of a spreadsheet or presentation. Potentially giving Google access to sensitive company information. As well as Google Calendar, which lets them know where I’ll be and when I’ll be there.
  • Several of my ventures use Google Voice numbers for texting and calling. Google has access to an archive of my text messages and voicemails.
  • When I subscribe to an RSS feed I do it through Google Reader, so that my RSS feed reader on my laptop, desktop, phone, and iPad all get the same feed. Guess what? Google gets some solid feedback on what kind of blogs/articles I read.
  • If I record and upload a video it usually goes to YouTube, I also watch movie trailers and the like on YouTube. All the sudden Google knows whether or not I watched Rebecca Black’s “Friday” music video, and if so, if I watched the whole thing.
  • I often use Google Maps to get directions. Now Google knows where I’m planning on visiting, which new restaurant I’m likely eating at, and where my Uncle Phil’s house is.
  • Did I mention that I have an Android phone? Making it even easier for me to continue to use Google products in my day to day life. If I use the Barcode Scanner app to check the price of something, Google instantly knows what I’m out shopping for.
  • And last, but not least, I use Google for 99% of my internet searches. If Google didn’t already know what things I’m interested in, they do now.
  • Oh, and I use Google Chrome to do all my web browsing.

Don’t worry, there’s still more I can do to give away my life to Google. For example, I could start using Google Latitude, or start accepting Google Checkout on my company’s store, maybe use Picasa to start sharing family photos. Or actually update that Google Buzz account of mine… nah, that’ll never happen.

[Note: I’m sure I’m using even more Google services and not realizing it, so I may update this list at a later date]

Chrome For a Cause

The Google team has come out with an extension for Google Chrome to make  a difference in the world. That extension is “Chrome For A Cause”. It was released this morning (12/15/10).

Here is a quick explanation provided by Google: “Google will make a donation to worldwide non-profits on behalf of the Chrome community, based on the number of tabs you open in Google Chrome between December 15-19. You’ll be supporting charitable causes, just by browsing the web.”

This is a great way to help the world with doing nothing more than you normally would. So go download it now!

Colbert interviews Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Been really busy this week and I need to veg, so I’m going to opt out of thinking this weekend.  However, I feel like if I don’t post something this week, I won’t be upholding my duty in this relationship that we’ve established, and then I’ll have guilt, and I don’t need that.  So in review… I’m doing this out of selfish reasons.

Anyway, here’s a great interview of Google CEO Eric Schmidt by the brilliant Stephen Colbert.

Have a great weekend!

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Eric Schmidt
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Android 2.2 Users: Go Get the New Gmail App!

Google announced today that a new version of their Gmail Android app has been made available in the Android Market.  This update is for users running Android 2.2 (Froyo) – (EVO and Droid Incredible users: see the update at the end of the post).   This new update includes several great features, as well as limited support for the new Priorty Inbox feature.  

Read On to find out more. Continue reading Android 2.2 Users: Go Get the New Gmail App!

Live Coverage of Google’s “Search On” Event

Google’s press event will be kicking off shortly, and we’ll be providing some shiny live coverage. So stay tuned!

I believe you’ll also be able to stream the event on Google’s YouTube channel, but I could be wrong.

[ Google’s YouTube Channel | Opt-in to Google Instant ]

9:30 PST: Google is playing some eerie new age music to intro the event…

9:32 PST: Really Google? Eerie music is still playing.

9:34 PST: Still nothing but music, but here’s an interesting page on Google’s site for Google Instant.

9:36 PST: Gabriel Stricker is on the stage now! Explaining how to connect to the WiFI.

9:37 PST: Now he’s explaining why they do these events.

9:39: PST: Marissa Mayer is on stage.

9:40 PST: 1 billion users visit Google search per week.

9:41 PST: Google rolls out 100s of new features every year, 500 so far this year.

9:48 PST: Talking about information gathering over the years, how it has evolved from taking weeks to find information, to days, to hours, and now to just seconds.

9:50 PST: Average search takes 25 seconds. Even with autocomplete.

9:51 PST: Search time is limited by the “speed of thinking”. Google Instant is in fact the new product.

9:52 PST: She’s demoing Google Instant.

9:53 PST: She’s searching for the name of a Matissa painting, and results show up in real time, before she even presses Enter. Name of the of painting is “Femme Au Chapeau”.

9:54 PST: Says that Google Instant isn’t search as you type, it’s search before you type. She says there’s almost a physic element to it, predicting what you’re likely to search for.

9:55 PST: Demoing more searches.

9:56 PST: She says “We’re really ultimately excited about this”. Uh, ok…

9:57 PST: Google Instant launches today for Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer 8.

9:58 PST: Roll out starts for the US, with international support later on.

9:59 PST: Google Instant will save you 2-5 seconds per query.

10 PST: Johanna Wright and Othar Hansson are on stage.

10:01 PST: They’re going to demo three primary features.

10:02 PST: First gear, instant results, second is predictions, the third is “scroll to search”.

10:03 PST: Othar says “It’s not quite physic, but it’s very clever”.

10:06 PST: Eric Zeman makes a good point on Twitter. “With Chrome, I do all my google searching in the address bar. No Google Instant there. Have to use That’s already too much work”

Guessing it’ll be added to Chrome down the road.

10:07 PST: Othar explains that he recently bought a new bike, and test-drove it by riding up a hill. It went twice as fast as his old bike because it was a newer, lighter  bike. “That’s what we’re shooting for with Google Instant.”

10:11 PST: Giving a sneak peak of Google Instant for Mobile. Demoing it on Android, of course.

Sorry our connection flaked out on us.

10:25 PST: Lots of technical details explaining various research they did to refine Google Instant.

10:26 PST: “We work on search because it’s an absolutely fascinating problem…and because we’re engineers…”

10:27 PST: “Most importantly, we work on search because we believe it matters to people. It matters to us.”

“We’re constantly working to improve search.”

10:29 PST: Marissa is back on stage.

“We feel that Google Instant is a quantum leap into the future:”

10:31 PST: In 1965, Bob Dylan went electric, that inspired Google’s engineers. Showing a Bob Dylan / Google Mashup video.

10:33 PST: Q&A session is starting.

Q: Robert Scoble asks when this will hit browsers, like Chrome.
A: They’re working on it. Later this year hopefully.

Q: How will this impact ads / impressions.
A: No real change, but they’ve added a 3 second pause which counts as an impression.

Q: How will this interact with Google Search History?
A: Searches where you clicked or paused for three seconds will show up in Search History.

Q: Is there a blacklist? Irina Slutsky’s name doesn’t autocomplete.
A: Google cares about family safety, so they do censor results at least until you press Enter.

Q: How much personal information is required for this to work?
A: No change, weather is tied to your IP location. Which is information they already record.

Q&A is still going on, but we’re headed out. You can follow the rest on Google’s YouTube channel.