An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

September 11, 2008

The Missing Doodles

Google started to customize its logo in 1999 for the Burning Man festival, an annual art event that encourages creative self expression.


Since then, Google's Dennis Hwang created hundreds of doodles that celebrate interesting holidays and events, from Halloween to Father's Day, from Picasso's birthday to the 50th anniversary of the LEGO brick. Dennis told CNN that the events selected for Google's doodles are the subject of an internal debate. "We talk about interesting holidays that are coming up, or various international holidays or any current events or news events that we think are cool and geeky or 'Google-y' in some sense and then we just sort of give it a go."

In fact, most Google doodles are cheerful, celebrate birthdays and innovations. Instead of creating doodles for any important event, Google chose to decorate its logo for events that have a lot in common with Google's values: excellence, cheerfulness, universality.

Some people noticed that Google choose not to commemorate 9/11. "The murder of 3,000 individuals by Islamic fanatics on September 11, 2001 is, to Google, apparently less important than the first hot air balloon flight, which the company commemorated on June 4 with a stylized logo in which a balloon replaces one of the O's," asserted Paul McDougall from InformationWeek.

Like many times before, Google answered by reminding people that doodles are a part of the company's brand. "The doodle selection process aims to celebrate interesting events and anniversaries around the world that reflect Google's personality and love of innovation. Although we are aware that our list of doodles is not exhaustive, we try to select doodles that show creativity and innovation in a fun, quirky way. Generally, we choose doodles from a variety of categories, such as those that celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of artists and inventors. We try to be sensitive that a doodle is not the most appropriate way to recognize certain events, especially those that are more somber in nature."

Doodles are inherently childish and unpretentious. According to Wikipedia, "a doodle is a type of sketch, an unfocused drawing made while a person's attention is otherwise occupied. They are simple drawings which can have a meaning, a shape or just irregular forms. Doodling is mainly made by young people around the world, notably students. This activity is normally made during long or boring classes as the students begin daydreaming or losing interest."

So you can see doodles as glimpses from an imaginary Googleworld that gathers some of the greatest human achievements. The missing doodles are hidden somewhere inside this drawing:

("Up in the Clouds" by Grace Moon, winner of the Doodle 4 Google US competition)

16 comments:

  1. Is adding an American Flag or a WTC representation to the logo too much to ask? I don't understand why they refuse to honor some of the most important days in our country.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Zayin: Doodles have not an attempt to mark importance per se. They are denote something worth celebrating. I don't celebrate 9/11. Do you?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Zayin: RTFA. "We try to be sensitive that a doodle is not the most appropriate way to recognize certain events, especially those that are more somber in nature."

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Zayin: There's nothing to celebrate in 9/11. People don't usually celebrate the death of people. People usually morn the death of people. You, sir, are a sick person.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Look at it from the perspective of all the other doodles. They are celebratory and not commemorative. If Google followed that tradition with 9/11, they wouldn't be recognizing those that died. Instead they would be celebrating the ingenuity of the men that flew the planes. I don't think that's what anyone wants. Some things are better left unsaid.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You don't honor or celebrate a disaster!

    ReplyDelete
  7. If google did put up a doodle for 9/11, there would be plenty of people bitching at them for trivialising the deaths and destruction.

    Damned if they do, damned if they don't, and I for one feel that they've taken the right route.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Doodle gives a new worthy look to people on celebration days.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Doodle are usually good looking to eyes

    ReplyDelete
  10. If google doodles celebrate birthdays, will there be one celebrating Christ's birthday? Or are you afraid of being politically incorrect?

    ReplyDelete
  11. After the recent doodle for Hans Christian ├śrsted's birthday, cited as a prime contributor to the development of lots of different things we use every day because of discovering electromagnetism. I would say Nikola Tesla has contributed in this manner on more than a few discoveries and innovations. Is he honored with a doodle yet?

    ReplyDelete
  12. A simple search would have returned this doodle from July 10:
    http://www.google.com/logos/tesla09.gif

    ReplyDelete
  13. I searched for "google doodle 911" today. 9/11/2009 and found this year old article and thread. After reading, I have to agree that Google has made the right choice.

    9/11 should not be celebrated, but it should be remembered. Not just "Oh yeah, something terrible happened on this day" but to remember that there are people in this world that hate our United States of American and everything we stand for. We must remember that we have brave firefighters and policmen that consistantly run toward danger instead of away from it. We must remember the unity we felt in the days following the attacks. Are we one country or are we 50 little states that are kind of clumped together?

    We are facing enemies every day. Keep your eyes open. Our entire way of life is threatened from within.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Personally, I find Google not doing anything for 9/11 as off-putting, to say the least. Bing did something that was tasteful; Google could have done something as well. I understand that the Google Doodle is something that is fun and endearing but 9/11 is this generation's day that will "live in infamy" and Google should have done something in remembrance like they did for Remembrance Day to commemorate the civilian and military deaths that happened during WWI.

    ReplyDelete
  15. i'm really disappointed google chose not to "remember" such an important day in america's history
    : (

    ReplyDelete
  16. Look- it's not about celebrating something with a doodle. It's about a somber rememberance. BING was able to do something very tasteful. I would have thought Google would do something respectful as well.

    ReplyDelete