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.

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Comments on “Did The EU Actually Do Something Right In Its Efforts To Fight Google Dominance?”

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Joel (profile) says:

Mid December

Apparently the EU didn’t realize that people want information and not a corporate brand. If hand-hog had the best search algorithms on the net I would be using their site, not Google. It would have been brilliant to have a huge database of historical and cultural artifacts to rummage through. I just looked at their site and they are claiming 10 million hits per hour. What did they expect? Anyone anywhere with access to the internet and a school report on anything in European history or culture could turn to one place and get the information. That would have been groundbreaking. Hopefully they get the site up and running because I would like to be able to see Europe without the plane flight and lost money in this economy.

Kevin (user link) says:


I think it’s time to drop the dominance cry. Only reason Google is at the top, is because they think that way. Want a better Google? Be ready to invest heavily in your plan, and give it away to most everybody. That is what Google’s leadership did, They thought of a better Yahoo, and off they went, never turning there back on there vision.

The EU may have a great site, and that can increase tourism. That is more likely with a quality research tool prodding one to visit,than will its displacing Google, but then again that may have been the plan.

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