Did The EU Actually Do Something Right In Its Efforts To Fight Google Dominance?
from the sorta dept
Over the past few years, we’ve seen various European governments freak out over Google’s dominance over the internet, complaining that since it was an American company, it was a problem and “something must be done.” Usually this took the form of handing over a ton of taxpayer money to some ill-defined project that would compete with Google, but which usually just turned into a way for private companies to get free money. However, one project to come out of these efforts actually does look interesting. The EU has launched Europeana, a site that attempts to offer up, digitally, various cultural artifacts of Europe — and do so in creative and useful ways. Rather than just showing documents, for example, it ties together various multimedia to make things a lot more useful.
Considering that much of the cultural content being digitized for this project is already in the hands of the government, they’re pretty much the only ones that can do this, and it does seem like a great way to expose more people to these cultural artifacts. So, consider us at least a bit surprised that something useful came out of all of this. Of course, this is hardly the “Google-killer” that’s always discussed when talking about these projects. Even the article linked here seems to act as if this is a major triumph over Google, though it’s not clear why. This isn’t a competition, and putting this info online isn’t somehow defeating Google. It’s just another source of information, and that’s a good thing. Of course, even in doing something “right” it looks like the EU screwed up a bit — as they didn’t plan for the amount of traffic the prototype site received, and it quickly went down.