Another IST faculty member, Lee Giles, passed this little read around to the IST faculty list serve this morning … talks about Google’s new foray into China and the strange phenomenon related to its search results — or lack there of. Those of us who thought the web was a way to break down barriers, defeat politics, and open the door to new perspectives and information, well, take a look. It reminds of some research the IST Solutions Institute did several years ago when we were creating the content for 11 and 250 … the instructional design group started to search for exact strings on different engines — at the time, the biggies were Yahoo, Excite, the Netscape portal, and the AOL portal … when we searched for things, the results were so skewed by the political bias of the engines — not to mention that AOL blocked almost all searches that contained, in their opinion, lewd words (breast cancer comes to mind).
Makes me want to tell you all to use multiple sources, do the due diligence to research multiple perspectives, and always do more than just, “google” for information.
Anyway, back to China … we talked last week about hardware and software companies moving into services and other, more broad markets by changing their plans mid-stream … looking at Google’s obvious cooperation with the Chinese government to help, “smooth the way for expansion plans that could help the Mountain View-based company boost future profits,” has me wondering how important it is to know what is really going on behind the scenes after we hit the “search” button — raises some very interesting (even scary) questions in my mind. How about you–>