Diary

Google on 9/11

So today, September 11, 2009, I clicked on Google and saw this plain ol’ Google Logo.  Big deal, right?  I mean, Google certainly doesn’t HAVE to change its logo to recognize this day, and I’d be the last guy to condemn them for not doing so.  Private business, and all.

But Google Doodles have, according to Google, a rich history and a certain level of importance:

Google doodles, the drawings that are designed on, around and through the Google logo on our home page, have long been part of Google’s history. As a Google intern in 2000, Google Webmaster Dennis Hwang began celebrating and marking worldwide events and holidays with doodles. Since then, the work of the doodle team has been seen by millions and reached cult status, with fans waiting with bated breath to see the next creation on the Google homepage. We spoke to Dennis about doodles and how he got a job that combined his two passions: technology and art.

In the last two weeks days, Google customized its logo for:  Ivan Kostoylevsky’s Birthday (Ukraine), 09/09/09 09:09:09, Brazil Independence Day (Brazil), Unexplained Phenomenon, Doraemon – (Japan), Vietnam National Day – (Vietnam), Malaysian Independence Day – (Malaysia), Japan Elections – (Japan), Michael Jackson’s Birthday, Battle of Flowers in Laredo – (Spain), Qi Xi – (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the 400th Anniversary of Galileo’s First Telescope.

At the same time, today, Ask.com and Bing.com have real nice entry pages recognizing September 11th.  Good for them.  I’ll use them more often now that I know this.

To be fair, Google didn’t go entirely silent in recognition of this day in our nation’s recent history:

Google is, however, pointing to a site from the company’s official blog, that invites people to “share their experiences of 9/11 and its aftermath in an effort to preserve the memories of that time.”

The site is called Make History, and utilizes Google Maps Street View and Google’s App Engine. People can submit their photos/videos of the site of the World Trade Center attacks, the Pentagon, and the site of the Flight 93 crash, as well as their stories.

Okay.  Nice.  Still, customized Google Doodles have come to mean something.  You know how I know that?  Because those who wanted to make a malicious point on this day in 2007, did so by hacking the Google logo and posting these two alternate logos of Osama bin Laden and the burning twin towers.

My point with all this?   Something’s missing today.  You know it, I know it, but more importantly, Google knows it.