Archive for August, 2008

Will Google Eat Itself?

Posted in miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on 2008 August 13 by KLP
Scamming Google... but not really.

Scamming Google... but not really.

My understanding of the Google Will Eat Itself (GWEI) art project and AdSense might be limited, but right now my astonishment isn’t.  I learned about the project from the Make blog. Apparently, the folks behind the project make lots of fake clicks on websites they’ve set up with AdSense. The money Google pays for each click is then used to buy shares of Google stock. When GWEI owns a sufficient amount of shares, the shares are then divvied up amongst shareholders.

The significance of GWEI is the concept it presents–Google eating itself–and the associated shock value. My own response was an enlightened “but, of course!”. As far as Google actually eating itself, though, we are not even talking nibbles. According to the GWEI website, they own 819 Google shares. They estimate that it’ll be at least 200,000 years before Google eats itself. So, as far as mortals are concerned, Google will not eat itself.

Even though GWEI will not achieve its apparent objective I wonder how much it pays for webspace, internet, and equipment. According to their statistics, I wouldn’t be surprised if one could profit off of such a venture. So I have to ask, why didn’t GWEI just keep the whole matter quiet from the start and run off with the money? From what I’ve read on the GWEI website, they’re trying to make some point about Google being some sort of nontraditional monopoly, but they could still just write a book about it later instead of flaunting their scam right now.

As such, I’m inclined to believe that GWEI is fake. It’s just a clever prank of sorts designed to make people think.

Or maybe try for themselves…

Too easy?

Too easy?

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Venture Communist. Miscommunications Technologist. Telekommunisten Polemicist. ThoughtWorks Analyst.