Google Launches Celebrity iGoogle Showcase
Celebrities including Al Gore, Demi Moore, Martha Stewart, Katie Couric, and Rachael Ray have been enlisted to show the masses how accomplished people use the iGoogle service.
The Internet may be the most democratic communication platform ever invented, having lowered the cost of mass communications to a point where the disadvantaged can publish alongside the privileged.
But some are more equal than others in this new world order, and Google, in its quest to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible, has enlisted the exemplary to show the average how to better personalize their iGoogle home pages.
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Google on Wednesday said that it has partnered with "iconic celebrities and thought leaders and asked them to share the content on their personal home page." It's a move that reflects Google's ongoing campaign to encourage users to linger on Google properties rather than visiting Google to search and leaving immediately.
This isn't the typical sort of celebrity content sharing, the accidental sharing that occurs when, say, a pop singer's mobile phone or Facebook account gets hacked. It's an arrangement that shows iGoogle users how accomplished people use the service. Presumably, this knowledge will encourage the masses to model their computing choices after the featured famous people.
Celebrities in the iGoogle Showcase include Al Gore, Demi Moore, Martha Stewart, Katie Couric, Rachael Ray, and Queen Rania.
The various celebrity profile pages present lists of the celebrities' favorite iGoogle gadgets and, in some cases, celebrity-branded iGoogle themes. Martha Stewart's iGoogle theme, for example, features floral tissue paper pompoms, the sort of cheerful decoration that would improve the iGoogle user experience even in a minimum-security prison.
Not every featured celebrity has his or her own theme, however. Some use generic iGoogle themes or themes related to other artists, designers, or charities.
In April last year, iGoogle added themes designed by artists. In October, Google redesigned iGoogle to increase user happiness, as measured by internal metrics, and to allow more monetization opportunities for gadget developers. In March, the company added iGoogle themes related to computer gaming, a shift that added an element of brand promotion to user personalization choices.
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