Two Internets: Preparing for a Google Centric Walled Garden

September 24, 2018

In my “The Google Legacy” I included a diagram which showed a diagram of a Google centric Internet. Here’s a diagram from that monograph written in 2004:

walled garden

This is an old diagram. To modernize it, we need to add more closed systems such as a Russian Internet, an EU Internet, and maybe an Amazon Internet.

The idea is that information flows into a Google construct. Users use the system. Think of the diagram as illustrating an Internet which is, in effect, inside Google.

I thought about this now 15 year old diagram when I read “Former Google CEO Predicts the Internet Will Split in Two and One Part Will Be Led by China.” The write up reports:

If you think of China as like ‘Oh yeah, they’re good with the Internet,’ you’re missing the point. Globalization means that they get to play too. I think you’re going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China. There’s a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.

The subtext, of course, is that Google wanted China to change, a laughable moment like solving death.

Today Google finds itself faced with losing its walled garden. Think of the problem as AMP and online advertising under pressure from outsiders. These are people who can withdraw cash from an ATM but not understand its plumbing.

I interpreted the remark in the context of “The Google Legacy.”

  1. Two Internets means that Google will have to find a way to be a big dog in the other Internets which are likely to try and exclude the Silicon Valley scooter riders
  2. An explanation of why Google’s smart search system has to be given some special training
  3. A signal that Google will change, maybe taking another step down the road that Hewlett Packard followed. (Remember HP owned AltaVista? I do.)

To sum up, I think more allegedly helpful insights are revealing more than than paying for coffee with a mobile phone.

Stephen E Arnold, September 24, 2018


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