Archive for the ‘Google+’ Category

Google and Mission Statements

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Google has ‘outgrown’ its 14-year old mission statement, says Larry Page by Samuel Gibbs.

From the post:

Google’s chief executive Larry Page has admitted that the company has outgrown its mission statement to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” from the launch of the company in 1998, but has said he doesn’t yet know how to redefine it.

Page insists that the company is still focused on the altruistic principles that it was founded on in 1998 with the original mission statement, when he and co-founder Sergey Brin were aiming big with “societal goals” to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”.

Questioned as to whether Google needs to alter its mission statement, which was twinned with the company mantra “don’t be evil, for the next stage of company growth in an interview with the Financial Times, Page responded: “We’re in a bit of uncharted territory. We’re trying to figure it out. How do we use all these resources … and have a much more positive impact on the world?”

This post came as a surprise to me because I was unaware that Google had solved the problem of “organis[ing] the world’s information and mak[ing] it universally accessible and useful.”

Perhaps so but it hasn’t made it to the server farm that sends results to me.

A quick search using Google on “cia” today produces a front page with resources on the Central Intelligence Agency, the Culinary Institute of American, Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) Certification and allegedly, 224,000,000 more results.

If I search using “Central Intelligence Agency,” I get a “purer” stream of content on the Central Intelligence Agency, that runs from its official website,, to the Wikipedia article,, and ArtsBeat | Can’t Afford a Giacometti Sculpture? There’s Always the CIA’s bin Laden Action Figure .

Even with a detailed query Google search results remind me of a line from Saigon Warrior that goes:

But the organization is a god damned disgrace

If Larry Page thinks Google has “organise[d] the world’s information and ma[de] it universally accessible and useful,” he needs a reality check.

True, Google has gone further than any other enterprise towards indexing some of the world’s information, but hardly all of it nor is it usefully organized.

Why expand Google’s corporate mission when the easy part of the earlier mission has been accomplished and the hard part is about to start?

Perhaps some enterprising journalist will ask Page why Google is dodging the hard part of organizing information? Yes?

Google+ Ripples: Revealing How Posts are Shared over Time

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Google+ Ripples: Revealing How Posts are Shared over Time

From the post:

Google+ Ripples [] is the first data visualization project from the elusive Big Picture Group, organized around (previous IBM Visual Communication Lab pioneers) Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg. It is a working demonstration how aesthetics and functionality can still be effectively be merged.

The ‘Ripple Diagram’ shows how a post spreads as people (publicly) share it using the Google+ service, with arrows indicating the direction of the sharing. A timeline at the bottom of the diagram allow the ripple to animate, revealing how this post was shared over time. People who have reshared the post are displayed with their own circle. Inside the circle are people who have reshared the post from that person (and so on). All circles are roughly sized based on the relative influence of that person.

Awesome graphics! You need to visit if for no other reason than the graphics!

As far as the content/idea, with just a little bit of tweaking and better tracking, the title could read: Revealing How Information is Shared over Time. Think about it, there were a limited number of people party to the mission against bin Laden and according to the Sec. of Defense, there was a deal to no reveal some information about the mission. But by the following Monday (that was on Sunday), the deal fell appart as everyone leaked to the news media.

Now, just imagine that you have all the phone records for all the persons who were party to any or all of that information. Plus records of most of the people they could have spoken to overnight. Does that sound like over time you will be able to find the leakers?

Particularly with a topic map to flesh out contacts of contacts, merging phone numbers, etc.

Nothing new as Jack Park would say, you could do the same thing with pencil and paper but with a topic map you can combine numerous occasions of leaking to establish patterns, etc. Something to think about.