Friday, September 27, 2013

A birth day note to my best friend ever, Google!

Today I am in a good mood. And so, a few hours back, I did a favor to my lappy by cleaning it up. But who knew that a surprise was waiting for me to switch on the computer! Folks! Today is my virtual love Google’s fifteenth’s birth day! Happy birth day Google!  

While playing the birthday doodle for nth number of time, I went back to time when Google was introduced to me for the first time. Back in the year 2000 , as a student of Mass Communication, we had started using the computer to look for information for our departmental projects.  We already were introduced to Yahoo/Hotmail/Rediffmail for our emails and chats. But to look for information using the internet, was something new to us. I remember a friend showing me how to type a search word in the box and press enter, and how that simple action would bring up a page of related links within a minute or even a second, depending on the speed of internet connection.  We were so excited! As if we got a Genie, it could bring us whatever we wanted.

We used to pay a good amount of money for using internet at the cyber café. Well, the phrase ‘cyber café’ too was so very trendy and new at that time in our area, in Silchar, Assam.  I remember how difficult it was to maky my parents understand that phrase. As a student, we used to pay Rs. 30 an hour for low bandwidth speed, Rs. 40 for medium speed and Rs. 60 for high speed. Well, our expectation of high speed at that time is equal to 186 kbps now. Having seen broadband and wireless and 3G etc., 2 mbps is somewhat medium level internet speed for us right now.

Well, inevitably, the boys in the group would take upper hand on us, we, the girls, would pay for the hour, and would still depend on them to do it for us. It was fun time getting surprised, discovering information, fighting over the search words and results, arguing on who knew better and who could ‘Google’ better.

Eventually, the student life ended. I started my career as a copywriter in a creative department of an Advertising agency. At that time, my job role did not require Googling. We used to rely on print materials. But then, Google was there, for every other reason. For the sake of everything, for the heck of it, for fun, for serious and curious need to discover, to know.  Then slowly, I stopped asking questions to elders, looking for books to answer what I wanted to know. Google was there. Any single question, any doubt, Google will answer it readily. It had become like an addiction. Google became a friend, a philosopher, a guide.

Then, after a few years, I moved to IT sector and started as content developer. And bingo! Here Google was everything! Everything we wrote was with an aim to get a good ranking on Google SE. Of course there were other search engines as well, like Yahoo, Bing, and Ask, wiki, etc. But Google is the undisputed king of ‘Spartan searching’. Do you enjoy the Google Doodles? And the April Fool’s day jokes? Don’t they show a healthy sense of humor?

Till today, Google is the largest catalog of websites, and is prompt and appropriate with subtle and intuitive approach to the search actions. With Google 'images', 'maps' and 'news' features, it remains unmatched, ahead of its peers, one of a kind! For the sake of internet, and for the sake of Google search engine and Google analytics, the IT sector needs more employees as SEO, Analytics, content developers, etc. 

Google products
In 2004, Google came up with its email service. For the long-lasting infatuation on Google and for the trust and respect it had already earned from me, I readily embraced Gmail, forgetting all other mail boxes. I remember that we had to have an invitation to open a Google account. Also, at that time, it was the only mail service which introduced the concept of ‘integration’ within an email system, i;e; Google Calendar, Google Talk, and Google Buzz.  Later it integrated the blogger profiles also within the mail system. 

Slowly, Gmail started to look highly professional. Using a Gmail ID made an impact as it showed that the person is well-informed and up-to-date. We could open Word file and .pdf attachments directly from Gmail. Even Google Docs and Spreadsheets were already integrated as well as the IMAP/POP facility with mail forwarding system. There were a lot of things happening to leave us awestruck! Luckily, I haven’t left any of its features unused!

Our generation is a truly blessed one, in a way, to experience the evolution of television, computer and internet. We had enjoyed being introduced to television, to our first national television broadcasting, to computer and then the internet. Our evolution had included and was affected by or responded to the evolution of these channels of mass media. We have seen internet in desktop, to laptop to android. May be that is why we were not victimized by it. Unlike this present generation, we are not the victims of information overload from our childhood, but we have experienced it playfully, slowly, at our own pace.

Coming back to Google, have you seen Google Body Browser for human anatomy and Google Art project to visit museums around the world? Needless to say that  Youtube and Google Map are a part of our life today. I remember that the concept of social networking came to me for the first time through Google. It was Orkut. Now, it’s marred by Facebook. Whatever! Larry Page and Sergey Brin, I am thankful to you guys for bringing me Google. Google has been, and will remain an indispensable part of my life.

In India, we address a specific type of people as ‘Google Gyani’. Aren’t we all, a bit of Google Gyani, more or less? Well, I am! And I enjoy being one!  More because I don’t have to store my knowledge in my less-efficient memory. Google does it for me. :P

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