Understanding Media by Understanding Google

Few people who “just Google it” to find an answer to their every question understand just what the company does (and why). Through this course, you'll join the minority that really gets it.

About The Course

Google Inc. is one of the key success stories of the Internet era. The company has expanded beyond its original search business through innovation and acquisition to touch the lives of nearly every person who lives life online. For example, Americans spend more than 3,400 hours per year using consumer media, the field where Google’s impact is most profound, and citizens around the world must understand what the company has wrought not only to control their offline and online environments, but also to interact and engage successfully with anyone in our professional and personal lives.

Enrollees in this course learn how to understand the tactics that modern media companies, journalists, marketers, politicians, technologists, and social networks are using to reach them and affect their behavior. They learn how to adopt strategies that put them on an even footing with these entities in achieving their own communications goals. They 

  • think about, react to, and write about excerpts from half a dozen important books; 
  • read a sampling of newspaper and magazine reportage from Google’s entire history;
  • monitor news sites and specialized blogs about the company and its competitors while the course is in session;
  • take note of their own usage of Google and other online resources; and
  • learn how to anticipate the future impact of the company and its competitors on aspects of the media such as information consumption, creation, and distribution. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

    Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    You need an Internet connection; access to the texts and other course materials; and the time to read, write, discuss, and enjoy some some of the best writing, reporting, and opinion on Google and the other companies that are shaping media and culture today.

  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

    Among other things, you'll learn a new definition for the concept of "privacy"; the difference between the "best answer" and the "right answer"; and perhaps what it feels like to be "Googlized."

Recommended Background

First and foremost, students should enjoy reading! They should also be curious about the companies, including but not limited to Google, whose products and services have come to define the Internet. Finally, students should also be willing to examine their own habits and behaviors in new contexts and be open to new ideas and opinions.