The reaction to Google Web Accelerator is in, and it doesn’t look good:
Greg Linden tries to take an even tone, but is eventually overwhelmed by GWA’s bugs, including ‘pre-fetching delete actions’ and being served pages using someone else’s login and password; even for a “Labs” project (i.e., real beta), these are unacceptable.
Dave Winer acknowledges all the privacy concerns and GWA’s “ultimate intermediary” position, but stretches things further… “But what about the other side — content modification. What if Google decides to change the content as it’s accelerating it? Think it couldn’t happen? Well you must have been on vacation when we discussed AutoLink in February.”
Jeff Jarvis doesn’t mince words, and offers up a host of ‘headline’ choices, including: “Google steals content”, “Google declares war on publishers”, etc. He also links to an approach to blocking GWA.
As for me… well, I’ll point back to a quick bit I wrote during the AutoLink debacle and note that Google really seems to have developed a blind spot for how influencers, power users and analysts perceive its moves (or in the sorry state of Blogger.com, lack thereof).
Personally, I’m going to pass on GWA (certainly while it’s handing out info that should be kept behind a password/userID) until Google has the good sense to promise that it will (minimally) 1) flush the click-stream data GWA gathers and 2) not change published content.
Tony, this is an excellent point. I fear that Google is becoming too confident (perhaps arrogant?) and the bugs and problems with GWA are unacceptable. Here is an excellent blog with comments about the serious issues with GWA.
What is happening to Google? Are they turing into Microsoft? First SmartTags and now this.
I think this is pretty serious stuff – a potential step down the slippery slope that Dave Winer and Robert Scoble discussed with respect to Autolink and that I dismissed at the time s paranoid. However now that they’re taking additional, potnetially evil, steps I’m beginning to worry.