Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Blogging About Blogging LI
Hot on the heels of its acquisition of Blogger, Google has started sending legal letters requesting that Web writers not use phrases such as "I googled for Muppet Baby icons yesterday." Welcome to the blogosphere? Unimpressive.

Trademark protection is an ongoing legal battle -- and expense -- for companies and brands such as Kleenex, Frisbee, Xerox, and so forth. But in Google's case, as I think is true in Xerox's case as well, the terms use as a verb stems from the fact that people use Google to search the Web. While "to xerox" became a generic phrase meaning "to photocopy" and "kleenex" is now used to describe any facial tissue, I don't see this potential danger for Google.

Sure, "xerox" morphed -- because of the brand's early ubiquity and eventual outpacing by other photocopier manufacturers. And, yes, "xerox" is a silly word. "Google" is even sillier. How can we seriously say "I googled for Muppet Baby icons" if we used AltaVista or AlltheWeb? My prediction: "Google" will never become a generic term for "searched on the Web."

When I say I googled for something, I mean it. I used Google. And that, my friends, is an endorsement.

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