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"Google Knols Best?" or should we say: "serfing" for Google?" yes "serfing" with an "e"

Google's latest business move to create "knols" should be sending shivers down the spine of any cognizant content publisher that cares about the future economics or growth of their online content. 

  • As Google explained in their blog announcement:
    • "At the heart, a knol is just a web page; we use the word "knol" as the name of the project and as an instance of an article interchangeably. It is well-organized, nicely presented, and has a distinct look and feel, but it is still just a web page. Google will provide easy-to-use tools for writing, editing, and so on, and it will provide free hosting of the content. Writers only need to write; we'll do the rest."

Google's ranked the LEAST ACCOUNTABLE in One World Trust's 2007 Global Accountability Report

What may be the most troublesome aspect of Google's extraordinary ascent to power in the marketplace and in our society is Google's exceptional lack of accountability.

On what basis can I say Google has "exceptional lack of accountability"?

  • First, the independent One World Trust just released its 2007 Global Accountability report in which it ranked Google lowest in its world survey of leading institutions when it comes to accountability.
    • "The Report applies the Global Accountability Framework’s four dimensions of accountability – transparency, participation, evaluation, and complaint and response – to examine the capabilities of transnational actors to be accountable."
    •  Why Does Global Accountabilty Matter?" "...their decisions and actions can have a profound affect on people’s daily lives."
    • "Those at the bottom... need to raise their game."

More on how #1 Google's Internet tentacles reach and "hold" onto #4's "private" data

ITNews has an interesting take in its piece "Google keeps what erases."

  • "AskEraser may remove user search query data from's servers, but deleted data may live on, in part at least, on Google's servers. That's because Google delivers the bulk of the ads on, based on information provided by Ask.."

 I flag this in the context of the Google-DoubleClick merger because not only does Google:

  • Have dominant search market share (65% per Hitwise);
  • Enjoy exceptional network effects;
  • It's hidden market power tentacles reach farther than most appreciate...
    • What the ITNews article tells us is that there is a whole hidden layer of market power/influence by the #1 search engine over its #4 "competitor." 

The market is even less competitive than I outlined in my Googleopoly white paper.

It reminds the astute watcher of how Microsoft used non-disclosed contractual arrangements to acquire more market power in the 1990's...

To understand net neutrality's principal flaw -- imagine "neutral" health care...

If you want to test the validity, appropriateness or reasonableness of a so-called inviolate "principle" like net neutrality, it can be instructive to apply that principle in a different context to see if it makes sense.

What if we passed a law that all health care had to be neutral?

  • That all patient treatment always had to be just the same?  
  • That any prioritization of patient treatment would be deemed illegal discrimination?

What would be the nonsensical result of such a broad imposition of a "neutral" medical treatment mandate?

When CNet questions others motives it needs to have clean hands in its own disclosures

While I am a frequent and usually appreciative reader of CNet's Declan McCullagh Iconoclast column, I have to challenge Declan's recent piece "House Republican targets Google on Privacy Grounds"  when he questions the motives of the Senior Republican of the House Commerce Committee for caring about privacy in the Google-DoubleClick merger, when Declan and CNET did not disclose that Declan's wife now works for Google.

I was also surprised and dismayed that Declan's post included a CNet chart from August to try and put Google in the best light on privacy but did not mention the other side of the coin -- that Privacy International study recently ranked Google as worst in the world on privacy issues.


Super ZDNet piece opposing net neutrality -- "Save Internet Freedom -- from Regulation"

Larry Downes produced an outstanding analysis for ZDNet today which he entitled "Save Internet Freedom -- From Regulation."

I strongly recommend it as it is one of the most cogent and persuasive pieces I have read in a long time on the subject.

He does a great service by putting the issue into much clearer context -- vis-a-vis other industries and past attempts to regulate where the government shouldn't have. 

Google share increases -- evidence continues to mount that this market has tipped to dominance

With the Google-DoubleClick merger reportedly in the final decision phase at the FTC, it will be interesting to learn what they ultimately conclude and if they have been monitoring recent market developments closely.  

In my Googleopoly analysis published in July, I explained in detail why the search market had already tipped to dominance and why Yahoo and Microsoft would continue to fall behind Google.

The incoming evidence continues to prove my Googleopoly analysis was dead on.

  • Information Week reported that per Hitwise: Google's search market share increased in the last year from 61.84% to 65.1%, while during the same period Yahoo's share fell 1.22% and Microsoft's share fell 2.73%. 
    • To put that in perspective, in the last year alone per Hitwise, Yahoo lost 5% of its overall share while Microsoft lost a whopping 28% of its overall share. Whoa.
    • Not the kind of facts that are easy to ignore.
  • Comscore has Google's share at 58.5% and also reports that Yahoo and Google are losing share. To put this in perspective again, Comscore had Google share at only 36.5% in April 2005.

There has been some reporting of's new program "search eraser" which is a great new feature to help protect people's privacy that want it.

More guilty-until-proven-innocent regulation from Google's Poodles; new petition on texting regulation

The Washington Post reports that a consortium of Google's closest net neutrality allies: FreePress/, Public Knowledge, New America Foundation, Media Access Project, are poised to petition the FCC again, this time to mandate that wireless carriers deliver all text messages to their customers, even including text messages by wireless competitors trying to sell their competing wireless services.

Great new analogy why Net neutrality is an irrational policy in a new The Hill editorial

I always enjoy learning about a new fresh take on an old issue.

Kudos to Dr. Daniel Ballon who wrote a great editorial on net neutrality for The Hill newspaper: "Net neutrality punishes everyone for Comcast's actions."  

He recounts a great analogy about how "neutral" networks on Black Monday, the stock market crash of October 19, 1987, was made worse by a traffic jam of orders that couuld not be managed in an orderly fashion to keep the stock market functioning and open.

  • "After Black Monday, exchanges recognized the need to create “express lanes” and prioritize traffic to ensure orderly market function. The chairman of the House Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass), also understood the benefits of placing “sensible speed limits on our market participants so that individual investors and our biggest market players can happily co-exist.” Markey recognized that neutral markets fail as predictably “as if we turned off all the nation’s stoplights,” and “made all speed limits voluntary.”

At its core, the policy of net neutrality, that all traffic is always treated equally no matter what is -- unreasonable, unwise, and irrational.

Google's not feeling the love from the state of California on net neutrality...

Two prominent Californians that matter recently did not side with home state Google on Google's pet policy crusade -- net neutrality. Awwwww. I feel bad for Google... 

Barrons reports in "Arnold drops net neutrality" that:

  • "THE GOVERNATOR HAS JOINED the net neutrality debate, throwing his political heft behind incumbent phone companies."...
  • "Google can't be pleased with its governor taking sides with the opposition. AT&T is based in San Antonio, Texas. Google is based in Mountain View, Calif. But Schwarzenegger is no fool. He knows who pays for his pipes."   Ouch.

Moreover, California Public Utility Commissioner Rachelle Chong wrote a great and thoughtful piece for the ACLI of the New York Law School that comprehensively debunks the call for net neutrality in: "The 31 flavors of the net neutrality debate: Beware of the Trojan Horse." Ouch. Ouch.


Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths