Re: Why pay for Google?
Personally, I like Google a lot. I use their search and gmail products mostly, but also put the charity I work for onto Google's Grants, now Google for non profits, scheme to get free google adwords ads. Yeah, I'd imagine Google get a lovely tax break for this, but it also opens up advertising for us, where we otherwise couldn't afford to. This is one example of a genuinely good thing they do, that their competitors, namely Bing, categorically do not do. I know, I've enquired.
Regarding my gmail use, I own numerous domains of my own, one or two of which I use for 'serious' emails. The gmail account is used for the trivial stuff that has no financial or career ties or anything I would regard as serious. I wouldn't imagine Google can get much of a profile on me from what passes through that account and if they can, then good luck to them and it makes even bigger suckers of those willing to pay for that information for marketing purposes.
Yeah, they're frighteningly huge and minted now and have the potential to have grave effects on society, mainly in the online / digital arena, but maybe naively, I don't see that happening in mine or my children's lifetimes. Not from Google, at least.
Am I missing something big here? Why do so many have such a dark and grave view of the chocolate factory? I'm really rather keen on them and feel we have a lot to thank the company for. I genuinely feel it would be a poorer world if Google had never been conceived, if not for what they have given us themselves, but for the innovation and competition that they have created, directly and indirectly.
I would love to hear why my view on them is so wrong, if that be the case.