Google is 11 today. Some people doubt that and even argue with it.
What’s interesting about the logo change is that Google’s (Google) official birthday is somewhat disputed: some often declare the company was born on September 15th 1997, the day the Google.com domain was registered. Meanwhile, Google filed for incorporation in September 1998: the papers were filed on September 4th, but Google has been known to celebrate on both September 7th and September 27th.
Google says, it depends on when people want their cake.
I remember when I first heard about Google. It was a breakthrough moment. I don’t remember what I used for search before Google, it’s been that long ago. I started on AOL so it was their search. After AOL it probably was Yahoo.
But Google search was the first time I was excited about a “discovery” that I shared with everyone I could. It was just so much quicker and such a simple design!
Search alone has changed my life. I’m smarter because I Google search everything that doesn’t pass the smell test. I’ve quit using the dictionary to check spelling. I’ve seen pictures that I never would have seen before (both good and bad!)
I make money from Google. (But their stock slump GOOG is very depressing.) I thought Google Ad Sense might give me enough money to buy a box of cigars from time to time. Now it’s providing much more than that.
Google owns YouTube.com, of course that has had a huge impact. I watch more than I upload. But I do upload and share from multiple accounts.
Gmail: I used Eurora for email. But when Gmail came out, I changed. I am much more organized and have multiple email addresses – that all come to one in-box! I can respond from the same in-box using the address to which the mail came or change the email return address. Filters and labels and the labels are fantastic. (Google cancelled by SerqeyBrin@gmail.com account tho’ – didn’t like that the slight change to Sergey could be used for nefarioius purposes, which of course was my full intent.)
IM: I IM regularly, but only with people I am acquainted with. However, Nancy and I have not IM’d each other from the same room – yet.
Maps: OMG, what a time suck. Especially with Street View. I used to be a big Mapquest.com user, but now Google Maps is just so much more robust. Grandad has in ingenious use for Google Maps. When on holiday, he searches out public parking in a town, gets the the longitude and latitude and plugs into Roger. Seems to get his holidays off to a nicer start. Street view is just so much fun. I just now found out they have Street View of the hometown where I grew up. The link is the former family homestead. I hadn’t checked in ages. (Post coming up on how this tiny town has changed!)
Google Reader is more important to me than any other feature. I have a whole crap load of RSS feeds. I started out using Bloglines, but switched to Google Reader because of the ease and it integrated with Gmail. I hardly visit websites or blogs anymore. If you don’t provide a full RSS feed, I probably won’t visit your site regularly. (Hint to those who think a truncated feed is smart: it isn’t. The few of us that still use RSS aren’t ad clickers anyway. Switch to full RSS feeds and will come by to comment, so you will grab those pageviews.)
OK you get the point…
Happy Birthday Google!