7.3. MAKE IT FUN

Google has improved my sex life, tightened my abs, and brought me closer to God. (I keed.) Actually, as a working gossip columnist, I appreciate Google as a rough—very rough—research tool. The Internet is still the Wild West.[]

—Lloyd Grove, columnist, New York Daily News

Silicon Valley has a history of April Fools' Day jokes, and Google joins right in. In 2000, Google announced the MentalPlex, Google's ability to read your mind as you visualize the search results you are seeking. Sometimes the April Fools' Day jokes get jumbled up with more serious business. On April 1, 2004, Google proclaimed it would open a research facility on the moon. On the same day, it announced its Web-based, free mail service, Gmail. Shooting for the moon clearly was a prank, but what about Gmail? It was real.

Google has tried to infuse a sense of fun into its hunt for greater advertising revenues. This was most apparent when it made itself a liaison between Hollywood talent and online entertainment with its "Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy" project. The clips of the television show The Family Guy were offered to a number of Web pages frequented by 18- to 34-year-old men. "We can work with more and more Seths and connect them to advertisers," said Alexandra Levy, director of branded entertainment at Google.[]

Larry Page is impressed by the entertainment available on his own website: "I'm amazed at the quality and diversity of the video available on Google Video, with more ...

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