Google’s White Picket Fence

If any of you are fans of classical American (USA) literature, you may recall the tale by Samuel Clement aka Mark Twain, and Tom Sawyer and his White Picket Fence.

I am imagining this conversation between two Google executives back a few years ago.

Exec 1: We need to increase our ad sales.
Exec 2: OK, let’s set up more web sites, and put our ads on them.
Exec 1: No way, bro. That’s too much work. How will we ever come up with enough content?
Exec 2: No problem, dude. We’ll get the public to do it for us. We’ll provide the network, and the servers, and con the Internet users of the world into creating all of the websites for us.
Exec 1: That’s the ticket! I’ve been looking at Blogger – they have an easy interface, we can get lots of dumb asses, who know nothing about computers or the web, to set up web sites, and write all sorts of shite. And we will own the web sites, and get richer from the ads that we put out there.
Exec 2: But with millions of dumb asses using computers, they’ll make mistakes. And our servers will break down. And we’ll have to spend all our surfing time answering questions, and explaining what broke today.
Exec 1: Not at all. We won’t have to support them. We’ll have a Help Form that we never have to reply to except if we’re bored, and web sites that we can update when the mood strikes. And we can use Google Groups to persuade the dumb asses to help each other. And we can get somebody to write a bunch of email bots, so we never even need to read our email.
Exec 2: Kewl. Let’s hit the beach.

And I’m betting that both of those execs are fans of Mark Twain. Because Blogger is a perfect example of the white picket fence.

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