Tuesday, March 01, 2005

the autolink battle is over

it looks like google is winning, publishers are losing and users are too ignorant to care. i've read quite a few opinions on this feature in the past few days (since setting up a pubsub for the term - which, by the way, is an awesome service) and it looks like, in general, publishers are up in arms and users don't really know what the problem is. since it has been made quite clear that google doesn't care about what publishers want, it seems that the battle is over. even scoble has resigned on this one. once again, google's mindshare - or rather mindlock - on users will win out and people will just take what's given to them.

of course, as a user, i actually like the feature. but i recognize the danger in giving a tool that kind of control and it just gives me a bad gut feel.

the next logical step? MSN should immediately add smart tags into their toolbar - they wouldn't even have to write it, it's probably sitting around in some old, archived repository. then, when the user navigates to google.com and is about to attempt a search, the MSN icon on the toolbar should begin to blink and animate, begging users to click on it. when they do, it imperceptibly changes google's search page so that queries are actually directed to MSN search. additionally, they could even release a "security update" to IE that prevents google from blocking the smart tags like publishers are blocking autolinks.

those who don't believe in the slippery slope arguments are really blinded by the brand. we're not at the top of that slope, we're already more than halfway down!


Blogger d3bruts1d said...

Depending on where it goes, I think it could be very useful.

To me, it'd be nice if it was set up like AdSense, where a user would have to add specific code (and receive payment) for having autolink on their site. I doubt that will be the case tho.

Another option, could be the use of META tags. Something like META NAME="googleAutoLink" CONTENT="NO" could be placed in a website which would tell the Google Toolbar, "Hey, I don't want you screwing with my code. Leave it the hell alone."

Or you could take the reverse... and require the author to put something like META NAME="googleAutoLink" CONTENT="YES" in their page, and only then would Google mess with it.

3/02/2005 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger heyyheyygirl said...

hi, i saw you on nbc news. sorry to hear about google =/

3/04/2005 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

It's seems like much ado over nothing.
As previous posters have pointed out people choose to install the Google toolbar and then choose to turn on autolinking. It not as though they're be forced to do anything. As for publishers concerns, browsers have been able to change text color, change font type, font size, block popups, and block images for quite awhile. It' s not Google or Microsoft's fault that certain people have convinced themselves that have complete control over the presentation of their website when in fact they never have. Slippery slope arguments have been a logical fallacy long before the internet, and with good reason (no proof that harmful events are caused by the first even). Hollywood and the recording industry especially have a long history of predicting the doom of their industry and being completely wrong (such with the VCR). I would argue that the only people blinded here are the publishers.

3/06/2005 05:36:00 PM  
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10/01/2005 11:49:00 AM  

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