Tag Archives: Privacy
There is a wonderful saying that one hears in big companies, particularly when discussing Knowledge Management – KM initiatives, “if only we knew what we know“. It is unlikely that Google is exempt from this problem, but their data-driven culture has launched several information dashboards which aim to overcome this problem by facilitating internal and external communication of data, from Google service statuses to internet statistics.
Search engines are great in helping us find something when we suspect that there is an answer out there somewhere, to borrow a phrase from X-File’s Fox Mulder. Yet search engines aren’t very helpful when you don’t even know or imagine a resource exists. This article aims to help insure these mostly lessor known Google tools and resources get the visibility they deserve.
One of the more exciting recent search engine advances I’ve seen in a while is Google Squared. Search for something which has multiple attributes and Google will try to build a structured table of results, adding columns for each major attribute it knows about. As an example, try “Hitchcock films”.
Did Google miss a film? Just add a row and Google will try to fill in the missing attributes. Is a film attribute missing? Just choose from a column suggestion Google offers or specify it yourself and Google will try to find the data. Does a data element seem amiss? Hover over it and Google will display the data source along with alternative values. In the Hitchcock example, one film was reported with the re-release date rather than the original date; a click or two later and the correct date appeared.
Passing through the Frankfurt Airport on my way from Milan to SMX West, I couldn’t help but notice the front page of Germany’s weekly newspaper, Die Zeit (The Time).
Google. Der Spion, den wir lieben.
Google weiß alles. Der Internetgigant aus Kalifornien macht uns das Leben leicht. Zugleich aber folgt er uns im Netz auf Schritt und Tritt – nun auch über das Google-Handy. (Die Zeit, 5. Februar 2009)
The image, inspired by 007, says:
Google. The spy we love.
Google knows everything. The California Internet giant makes life easy. Yet at the same time Google follows our every step on the net – now through the Google cell phone as well.
Germany, with its difficult 20th century history of Nazism and a Russian/German brand of Communism, is very sensitive to the risks associated with a “big brother” watching over us. Yet as the article points out, most people are willing to accept Google’s knowing our every movement to the extent that Google unobtrusively makes our life easier.