Saturday, December 17, 2005

Google and AOL: Flexible definition of evil?

[updated 12/17]

From the NY Times:

Google, which prides itself on the purity of its search results, agreed to give favored placement to content from AOL throughout its site, something it has never done before.
From the Wall Street Journal:
As part of the deal, AOL would be able to sell advertising among the search results provided by Google on AOL Web properties. AOL's sales staff would also sell display ads across Google's network of Web publishers.
From the Washington Post:
Google's search results, based on equations that rank them according to relevancy, will not be changed as a result of the new partnership with AOL, sources said.
Clearly somebody got it wrong. I like John Battelle's idea of a trial balloon.

So, preferential ranking of AOL content in Google search results. Google seems to be careening toword a standard corporate path of profits over people/values. For those who watched the film The Corporation, you might remember they made the arguement that corporations could be clinically diagnosed as psychopaths. Psychopaths might have a different definition of evil than you or I.

As much as I love mash-ups and open APIs, I think it is time for the nonprofit technology sector to seriously look at providing their own technology services. Anyone want to contribute a little open source coding to write an integration between Dataplace and CiviCRM for a non-corporate mapping solution?

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