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Re: <nettime> Google INC. vs Wisdomized Clouds
Felix Stalder on Wed, 26 Mar 2008 15:39:52 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Google INC. vs Wisdomized Clouds


On Tuesday, 25. March 2008, John Hopkins wrote:

> Same with google -- it is a techno-social sub-system within a larger
> techno-social system which overall is looking to maintain its own
> viability. To guarantee its own viability it needs to have a reliable
> energy source.

Maybe I'm missing something. But I don't really understand what's so 
mystifying about Google. They are in the business of advertisement. They 
are selling attention to people/organisations who wish to use this 
attention for their own (commercial) purposes.

In principle, this is not different from TV or print. The difference his 
how Google does it, and the degree to which they can fine-tune the 
matching of the person *paying* attention to the party *buying* attention. 
Compared to Google's extensive profiling, the market segmentation TV and 
print can offer is primitive.

In order to develop this model, Google need to do two things: a) to bring 
its ad delivery infrastructure to as many places as possible and b) to 
know as much as possible about each person being using this infrastructure 
so that they can serve the best possible ads to that individual person 
(rather than to, say, a mere demographic watching a TV program). Whereas 
TV and print divides its audience in a few dozen groups to be addressed by 
targeted marketing, Google claims to know 100s of millions of people to be 
addressed individually.

In order to reach the goal of penetrating the entire infosphere, Google 
both externalizes itself (by enabling external partners to place Google 
adds on their websites) and internalizes more and more information 
resources (for example, by scanning major libraries, offering email 
accounts). The latter also serves the goal of creating better and better 
profiles of individuals in order to server more targeted ads. The more 
time one spends on Google's servers, the more information they can extract 
from their server logs in order to compile that profile.

I would not be surprised if Google would, rather sooner than later, offer 
free hosting.

What strikes me as an internal contradiction, though, is that perfect 
search (ie. you find exactly what you want) would make ads redundant. But 
I guess that's an easy thing to live with since perfect search is far off 
and advertisement is more often about triggering new desires than 
fulfilling known needs

Felix

--- http://felix.openflows.com ----------------------------- out now:
*|Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society. Polity, 2006 
*|Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks. Ed. Futura/Revolver, 2005 


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