The Google Trap

Went and saw a discussion at the Thalia-bookshop here in Vienna about a new book by an Austrian journalist titled “Die Google Falle” (The Google Trap).

Unfortunately, it was the worst panel discussion I’ve ever witnessed.

Here are a few points they should consider next time they hold something like that:

  1. Apart from the author, don’t just invite marketing hacks. Telling people about the wonders of Adwords will not counter the arguments of someone who fears world dominance through data-mining. Find someone who knows about the Internets well enough to counter certain arguments by the author.
  2. When selecting a moderator, make sure he knows what the term “moderate” means. If he’s more fervent in detailing horror scenarios about the abuse of data collected by Google, he should not have been the moderator.
  3. If you bring up all the evil things Google does, let audience members who clearly know more about the subject matter than anyone on stage talk about it. That’s what makes events like that interesting.
  4. Make sure the author knows how to behave. Having him accuse a member of the audience (!) of being a Google fanboy, only because he didn’t share the author’s sentiment about the evils of collecting information about a visitor’s screen-resolution, is not just ridiculous, it’s simply not professional.
    Generally, I can’t say a whole lot about the quality of the book, as I haven’t read it. But gathered from the quality of the arguments brought forth during the discussion, I’m pretty sure I’d be better off spending those 20€ on something more worthwhile.