August 01, 2012
Google, let’s talk. You like yourself a lot, don’t you? You changed my iGoogle theme, my beloved teahouse theme and rearranged it into oblivion. Now it’s a bunch of white squares on top of what would be artwork underneath, if i could see it. I know, I know, you’re getting rid of iGoogle. It must be a pain in the ass to offer a free portal service to us lowly users, knowing that we only respond by loving you for it, embracing your brand, and, dare I say it, even look forward to using your product. And I know serving up any more than your ‘Google Classic’ page of nothing but your logo, your big blank whiteness, and a blank box is an affront to your genius.
I like my teahouse theme the way it was. It had a little fox on it and he had little adventures throughout the day. He ate meals, at appropriate times, looked through a telescope, was visited by ghosts, had picnics, and all through the magic of a few pictures that you paid someone to draw for you a few years ago. It was a nice companion to my day. It was cute.
Your logo is not a companion. It isn’t cute. Your playing with my customership isn’t cute, either. Do you know what would get me to switch from Firefox to Chrome right now? A teahouse theme for your browser. That would be nice. As it is, I don’t think that’s the direction you’re going in. It’s too bad. I think your search is great. I use it all the time. I don’t think the internet will be the same without it.
Someday, when every tablet, phone, computer, app, and probably cash register and ATM machine has seductive graphics, is completely personalized, and integrates itself into its users lives somewhat on their terms, making them feel like they own part of the process, and some other group of companies are raking in the money and the eyeballs, some business magazine will run a cover story called “What Happened To Google?” they won’t know. They’ll probably know as much as you do, and cite your awesome cafeteria, your indoor basketball games or nerf tournaments or whatever it is you think makes you special and creative, and they won’t understand why you went the way of Altavista or Ask Jeeves. After all, you guys owned a lot and had fun games and stuff. Fun and money equals perfection for all infinity, does it not?
I’ll know why. I’ll know that I never played nerf basketball in your glorious Googleplex, nor did I eat sumptuous organic gourmet feasts in your Googleteria, nor did I have jousting tournaments as team building exercises or whatever fantastical things you do that make you so awesome. No, as a lowly user, I will have one insight that will not make it into your magazine-run post-mortem. I will have memory of a bunch of pictures of a fox that kept me tied to your brand rather than someone else’s. I’ll also remember that you decided that controlling how I interact is more important than getting me to interact at all. I’ll probably be running some third party teahouse clone on whatever thing I use for a computer, because like the Coca Cola formula, the Golden Arches, and things like them, sometimes we want longterm sameness. Even if the shape of the bottle changes, the location of the restaurant changes, or I buy a string of computers throughout the years, I want the contents to be familiar enough that I think of them as things in my life that I want, things that I own, and things that I control.
- alanharris likes this
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- catty1 said: I used to have the Teahouse theme - loved it!
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- cityofbridges answered: RIP Teahouse Theme
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- leadingtone answered: Google hears you! It will promptly formulate an answer consisting of context ads for McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and various tea clubs. :P
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