How To Tick People Off With One Blog Post, Yours Truly, Google

When Merriam-Webster added google/googled/googling to their dictionary Google made some rumblings about how they weren’t happy to see their trademark become a verb. This wasn’t because they weren’t thrilled to be popular, but because they were worried that they’d eventually loose their trademark.

That was all fine and good until yesterday, when Google managed to tick off nearly everyone with a single blog post: Do you “Google?”.

Granted this probably came about because their legal team figured it would be a good way to show that they are trying to protect their trademark. But their specific approach certainly came across as, hmmmm, demanding. And if there is one thing that the world of open source/api/mashup folks don’t care for is being told what they can and can’t do. Sorry Google, I think you blew it on this one. Expect people to do exactly the opposite of what you just told them to do.

5 Comments

  1. Maybe this is another hack on Google blogs..? Anyone know???

  2. I totally disagree 100%. I don’t think this was offensive in any way. Not only do I think they communicated effectively but in a humorously fun way. Good for them. I’d hate to have my billion-dollar brand name inappropriately linked to their competitor’s products.

  3. José Encarnação

    Sat 28 Oct 2006 at 4:02 am

    I agree with Mike!

  4. Half the world seems to have over-reacted to this. I don’t blame Google at all and I thought the post was rather light-hearted.

    If you wanna see “evil” visit http://www.adobe.com/misc/trade.html#photoshop

  5. I agree with Mike, Jose and particularly Scott. Google is a trademark and unless they want their trademark to go the way of the zipper and the other trademarks mentioned in the blog, they HAVE to take regular steps to steer us users in the correct direction.

    Adobe, on the other hand, in trying to do the same thing, comes across as nit-picking. Unless the identity of the specific photo editing software product used is absolutely essential to the sentence, a writer is more likely to eliminate the reference to “Photoshop” entirely rather than use the laughable sentences Abode constructed. I can’t imagine Matsushita or General Motors telling people that they could not use Panasonic or Pontiac without putting the company name in front of the trademark.

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