Observing US:
A column about America,
by Marylaine Block
originally published by
Fox News Online, 1998-2000

#31, March 31, 1999


by Marylaine Block

I was at a conference a while back at which representatives from AltaVista, HotBot, and Excite came to explain to us why their search engines were the best. (I thought of it as "the Great Search Engine Bake-Off.")

The French founder of Alta Vista began his presentation by saying "You Americains do not OWN ze internet," and went on to explain how his search engine was much better at finding international web sites.

I beg to differ with him. Even if his search engine does find international sites better, the net IS ours. We Americans have colonized it, and made it a reflection of us, because it's ideally suited to doing the things Americans do best:

So, I'm sorry, Mr. AltaVista, but we DO own the internet. Rarely has there been a better match between a technology and a nation with a gut-deep understanding of what to do with it. We're a nation of opportunists, and when the net came along, our eyes lit up and we took it over. We have planted our flag, and it is ours.

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