Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Google Starts Happy Birthday Home Page


My Google home page looks significantly different than yours does today. When you signed in,  you saw the standard Google logo. When I did, I was greeted with something quite different. No, I didn't customize it -- Google did it's own customization for me.

You see it's my birthday today and Google customized it's home page logo with a new birthday logo for me (OK for everyone celebrating a birthday today). Rather than the red, blue and yellow Google font, I'm looking at cakes, pies, torts, all adorned with icing and lit candles shaped into the Google logo. My own Google Birthday doodle.

There aren't many benefits of having the first workday of the year as a birthday. Scratch that. There are no benefits. None. Zero. The world's biggest party leaves everyone with the same New Year's resolution: no more partying. Not to mention if people somehow do remember it chances are your gift will be a regift and most assuredly wrapped in Christmas paper. So trying to get anyone to celebrate today is tantamount to inviting them to a Root Canal party.

The only caveat (or curse depending on the situation) is that those of us born today get to be the first to experience new laws, etc. In this case, I am the first to receive Birthday wishes from the Google gang. It's just for Google+ members or Gmail accounts? Or maybe they've always done it and this the first year I've logged in? Who knows as it was a pleasant surprise.

I imagine it's a new Google wrinkle in humanizing the web. And if you've ever dealt with Google on a partnership level like I have, you'd know that this is a very good thing. There the moniker "technology geek" is worn with pride so it's all in good fun.

But the Birthday customization by our Big Brother is also a reminder that Google knows where you are and who you are as privacy on the web continues to be redefined. Facebook just changed its policies (again) making it more confusing. I shouldn't be alarmed though as it's just part of living in a Google world. I suppose the new Google Birthday Doodle adds new meaning to the adage of "having my cake and eating it too"

Article first published as Google Starts Happy Birthday Home Page on Technorati.

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