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Book: Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge  (View post)

Jeff De Cagna [PersonRank 1]

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
7 years ago2,632 views

On some level, Google's US-centric approach is understandable. But every time I've heard Larry, Sergey and Eric speak about the business, they make a point to talk about both Google's current global reach and future plans to extend that reach. Google is a global brand and its mission is a global mission. I'm not endorsing the views of this book, I'm just suggesting that Google's leaders may want to consider whether some of its criticisms are justified and think about ways of addressing them.

ropib [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

When Google asks for indexing french content, they're not happy. When there is no french content indexed they're not happy... some times french leaders are stupid and so they think all France is stupid with them. He could give content to Google for example.

I'm not sure that i should add that i'm french.

Elias Kai [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

And why are European sleeping ? Wake up and go ahead with what you have been saying to do and do it.

A lot of European government has gathered to launch Quaero a competing Search engine, and we hear about research amounts for this product but never come to reality.

What are you waiting for ? Stand up and develop a better french , german, swedish , italian spanish search engine for Europe.

Or at least make all european public libraries free open sources.

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Incidentally, here is an article that contains the first mention of Quaero that I've stumbled upon in months. Apparently France and Germany are waiting for the go-ahead from the European Union to pour the equivalent of over a quarter-million dollars in Euros from governmental funds into the project. The focus of the article is on efforts by European companies to take on Google in their home territory. See the article at:
iht.com/articles/2006/12/17/bu ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

This just in: Germany is withdrawing its part in the Quaero initiative, leaving France remaining. The German effort will now be titled Theseus. German Spiegel talks about a "lost race against Google", but I'd argue European search engines didn't even qualify for that race yet.
spiegel.de/netzwelt/web/0,1518 ...

Joel Thornton [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

It is understandable that a US company would focus on US content, first. But a good international company will make efforts to incorporate content outside of their home nation.

And I think this is exactly what Google's doing. Look at the broad multilanguage support that Google has added to its various offerings (GMail is supported in 42 languages). Look at Google Book Search efforts in Europe. Indeed, look at their whole operation in China.

But I think the biggest boost Google is due to provide to international content is its work in language translation. Google's approach to machine-based language translation has routinely outperformed all competing technologies, and it's still in its infancy.

When this technology gets sufficiently advanced, expect Google to start automatically translating foreign-language pages into your native language, including during search – so if you search for "cherry trees" you'll get results across all languages which contain said search term in the language used on the page.

Now, find me a company who is oriented to do *more* for international communication and information sharing than Google.

Kevin [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

I read this book and find it obnoxious. She fails to recognize that Google has an impressive focus on internationalism: Translation services, products in more languages then I knew existed, scanning Madrid Library's books.

The danger of having only one provider of our cultural history is understandable, but she is too much of a short-sighted fatalist.

Kevin [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

Also, I find it quite hypocritical that when Google does try to include European content, they are sued: Belgium and French publishers. Understandably the author does not speak for Europeans as a whole, but this culture of competition helps no one.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

> She fails to recognize that Google has
> an impressive focus on internationalism

"She"?

Erik Høy [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

As European (Danish) librarian, I sometimes feel embarrassed reading about books like that. Google never denied European editors to upload their books to Google Books, so I dont see the point of European criticism of Google or any other US based company.
While you might sometimes critizice Google for doing miserable products, the guys are at least doing something. While the Europeans keep talking, planning, talking and nothing happens.
I wish that the Google guys would come and scan all our books at the Copenhagen City Library! At least the ones out of copyright..... And we're talking about many titles, it's an old library.

Pierre S [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

They won't come by themselves. There is a form or a mail on their site to ask them to do it (you have to describe your fund)

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