27 September, 2009

Intro to a strange thing

And so, with great trepidation, I enter into MySpace

(Snipped, with modifications, from my first post on MySpace blog)

So now, I've got presences on live.com, blogger.com, and quite a few other places too. I've got nearly everything under the sun except for MySpace, until now. I'm an "old fart". Yup. I'm probably 75% older than the average age on there, but I'm probably not the oldest person there. Just old enough to know better.

Brand recognition

So, how come some things are so well known they've become new terms in the world at large: “I’ll just Google it”, and some have faded into obscurity—who remembers gopher? If you do, you're older than I thought. If you also know what veronica was for, you’re one of less than every thousand. It's called brand recognition, and is the reason why some companies have survived (some for centuries, even) and some have died within a year of release. Category killers (usually), they've either become the best (and in some cases, the ONLY) entry in their chosen field, or they're pretty high up there. For Google, at least, they took over (or so it seems to me) from the all-powerful altavista.com, doing the job better than them. Now, who hears of altavista? Only old farts like me. Yes, it's still around. Yes, it still provides search results. Have I had a look at it in the past decade? Only once or twice, the last time to check that it was still up before I blogged about it. Google killed it off, or might as well have. Altavista list who they are on their website:

AltaVista, a business of Overture Services, Inc., is a leading provider of search services and technology.
and so on.

Okay, granted—there are literally hundreds of thousands of leading companies that I haven't heard of, but there certainly was a mass exodus to Google from Altavista. Something is said that the results from Google were way more relevant, and way more up to date. I'm not too sure, just that I jumped the bandwagon along with most of the Internet population of the time.

The funny thing is: their initial page is so dead simple! It's only when you start digging beneath the surface that you realise just how deeply embedded that the Google company has become. There have even been comments about how Google could be seen as another Microsoft. I can't verify that, nor deny it. But they're certainly big.

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