The Google Generation

While “The Google Generation” sounds like a title for a millennial horror film, it actually is quite literal and refers to the generation which grew up with the benefits of Google. With our smartphones, the entire world is (literally) at the tips of our fingers. Not a day goes by that I don’t Google something. Whether it be to find a new place to eat, or to translate a phrase I’m not sure how to say in Spanish, Google has made and continues to make my life easier each day.

Before I get into the ways in which having this extensive library is beneficial, it also doesn’t make the Google generation particularly smart.

27-hilarious-yahoo-questions-20.jpg

hilarious-google-searches-21.jpg

There are too many Yahoo! Answers and Google searches to post, but the stupid questions don’t end there. People are even asking a platform as big as Twitter these dumb questions:

stupid-twitter-question-quarter-till.jpg

stupid-twitter-question-miami-florida.jpg

stupid-twitter-question-wtf-are-vowels.jpg

Although the Internet allows for, and can record the stupidity of other people, it has also been exponentially beneficial for people to get the answers they would have not known without the Internet. Even with the stupid questions, the Internet allows them to  be educated on what they don’t know (although everyone should know what a vowel is).

Tools like Google Scholar  has made it easy for people in academics to search credible and reliable sources. TED Talks are another example of how the Internet has made the spreading of information that much easier, and more importantly that much more accessible.

Google specifically, is such a large platform it has enabled itself to become intertwined with almost everyone’s everyday lives. Below is a visualof everything offered by Google:

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 11.15.38 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 11.16.42 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 11.17.57 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 11.18.27 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 11.18.57 PM.png

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 11.19.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-02-25 at 11.19.24 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-02-25 at 11.19.32 PM.png

My initial thought was that it was quite ridiculous to put in every example of their products, but when you can see how long the list is it becomes real in the sense that some things people don’t normally associate with Google, still have to do with Google. For example, Waze is also a product of Google. Along with YouTube, which now includes YouTube TV, Youtube Kids, and YouTube Gaming.

This video shows users exactly what Google+ is, the advantages and disadvantages. The end however gives the almost creepy realization that Google has almost perfected every one of their products. From email, to it’s search engine, to RSS readers, we subconsciously allow Google to be our own norm. The video ends with, “You don’t need to choose Google+, sooner or later you’re going to end up using it.”

This monopoly type of Internet has its pros and cons. It definitely makes it easier for the consumer to have everything (calendar, email, maps) all connected and all in one place. However, it also it creepy when you think about how much information Google has about you. They know what you’re searching, when you’re searching it, and where you’re searching it from. They know what you’re discussing in your email, where you’re going with maps, and even what videos you’re watching with YouTube.

But at least we can now ask the internet what silly questions we have whenever we have them, right?

Advertisements

Social Networks

This week I will be talking about social networks, specifically the social network MySpace. While this platform is not nearly as popular as it was in 2006, I am interested in researching and discussing its history and reason for its decline.

Before I delve into MySpace, I will specify the definition of a social network, and how it functions in our society.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 10.08.26 PM

In short, a social network is any service or site which allows an individual to interact, on a long or short term basis, with another individual. The popular social networks we use today include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. While these social networks can be used for professional or personal reasons, there are social networks such as LinkedIn which allow its users to connect solely on a professional level. This shows the flexibility and variety of social networks we use on a day-to-day basis.

MySpace is an interesting social networking site because of its peak and decline. According to a CBS News article, MySpace was created in August 2003 by several eUniverse employees, an Internet marketing firm [1]. It was bought from the original founders, Brad Greenspan, Chris DeWolfe, Jos Berman and Tom Anderson, in 2005 by News Corporation for $580 million. In 2006, it was the number 1 website and by 2007, was valued at $12 billion.

It was highly known for bands’ pages customizable profiles, and soon enough it was a popular networking site to have and included features such as the Top 8, which would allow someone to rank their best friends openly on their page. According to an article on The Startup Bros, from 2005 until early 2008, MySpace was the most visited social networking site in the world. In it’s 2008 peak, it attracted 75.9 million unique visitors a month [2].

Below is an example of what an individual’s page looked like for MySpace.

0789737094 1-6 5.5.8

However, the peak of MySpace did not last long. Facebook was founded in 2004, and by 2008 took the title of the number 1 social network site on the Internet. MySpace reached its lowest point of membership in 2010 in which they lost half of their monthly visitors in just one year [2]. News Corporation made several attempts to save the networking site with several re-design attempts, however it could not outdo Facebook.

In June 2011, MySpace was jointly sold for $35 million to the advertising firm, Specific Media Group and pop-star Justin Timberlake.

MySpace is now regarded to either as a joke, or in regards to “simpler times.”

However, the website is trying to make a comeback. Rather than attempting to be similar to Facebook, they are rebranding their website focusing mainly on music, games and videos [2]. The site has been generating around 20 million visitors a month. While it is unlikely that the website will ever regain the same popularity it once had, it is nice to see they are offering a more niche online experience to users.

In terms of why MySpace failed, I think it got unlucky especially with the launch of Facebook. Had Facebook never been launched, it could be argued that MySpace would still be as popular as it was in 2006.

[1]: https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/then-and-now-a-history-of-social-networking-sites/7/

[2]: https://startupbros.com/myspace-the-rise-fall-and-rise-again-infographic/