Gotta Love Those Google Doodles

By Courtney | 7 Rookie Marks »

I have diabetes. I support getting the word about diabetes out. But I have to take a moment to play devils advocate because there’s something that bothers me lately.

The Google logo and world diabetes day on Nov 14th. (I blogged about this last year, and yes it would be cool, and yes diabetes is important to me, and yes so is awareness.)

I did some research because almost every time there’s a new Google doodle there’s some hype surrounding it and how Google won’t hook up the diabetes peeps with our own doodle. Most notably recently I remember the barcode and now with sesame street. I do have to say that cookie monster is my favorite:

So, here’s what I’ve discovered: there’s not one disease that has ever had a Google doodle, if someone can prove me wrong, I’ll take that statement back.

There are a million diseases worthy of being noticed. To most of us they’re mostly a name, or maybe they hit us on some level of familiarity, like a family member with cancer. Then there’s the diseases that are personal to us, like me and diabetes.

Diabetes is huge, it affects me directly, it affects my uncle, my sister, my grandmother…it’s all over my family. It’s all over the world. It’s in the remote places where they can’t even get a hold of meds or have to walk a half marathon to get to a doctor. It’s huge.

But so are other things. Like the people that don’t have homes in third world countries, or access to clean water, or access to indoor plumbing, or children without parents because disease has taken them out of this world and the child doesn’t have a chance at living long because starvation will kill them before they even get a chance to catch a disease.

Google will lose what Google is about if they start putting up logos for diseases and everything else that is not pretty in this world. Google is fun. Diseases are not, we can’t create a logo for something so depressing and expect it to fit in with Google’s brand (I’ve been reading about branding, it takes a long time to build up a brand and not much to destroy it).

I understand that Google has an amazing reach since many of the people that use the internet use Google as a search engine, but really, what is a Google Doodle going to do for us, the diabetic population, it’s a blue circle, one that not every diabetic knows of unless they pay attention to all the blogs in the D-sphere and visit the D-communities (and yes, those people do exists). It would link to a search for diabetes which really, is a useless search for us, it brings up general information sites, but doesn’t really link to anything about efforts for finding a cure unless you dig into the sites that Google brings up. And is diabetes something people really want to read about if they’re not already associated with it in some shape and form (mostly, I’d say not…when’s the last time you read about something you’re not associated with, i dunno, let’s pick on prostate cancer. When’s the last time you googled for prostate cancer)?

I understand that the goal is awareness, I just think that we’re getting upset with the wrong people for not doing something that we think would be cool. And yes, I agree having a Google doodle would be cool, I just don’t think that Google is the proper platform for gaining awareness for our disease.

7 Rookie Marks On Gotta Love Those Google Doodles

  1. I admit I came to this post with a bit of skepticism. Having read your argument, I agree. If they pick one of “us”, they’d have to support all of “us”. It would get too political for Google in a situation that is probably already too political for their liking.

    Well said.

    ...said Chris on November 5th, 2009
  2. I have never given thought to the idea that you proposed… until now. This is a great idea! In fact, even though my family suffers from various diseases: heart disease, breast cancer, arthritis, chronic anemia, and type II diabetes, I didn’t give much thought to the diseases unless one of my loved ones were going through a rough path due to their disease. With one exception… because of the little pink ribbon, I am constantly reminded about breast cancer. Thanks for the great idea; I hope someone picks it up and run with it.

    ...said Theda L. "Deedy" Wallace on November 5th, 2009
  3. LOL Just Kidding. I know they will never do it. I am trying to get us a BING logo now.

    ...said George on November 5th, 2009
  4. I think you were looking for this on diabetesmine:

    I think you’re probably right about Google and it’s desire to keep the brand light and cheery. I don’t feel motivated to do anything about this.

    ...said Jerry Nairn on November 5th, 2009
  5. I am 100% about awareness for diabetes and getting it out across any and all mediums that are out there. Your blog is 100% right. If Google did this, then they would have to do it for most other diseases and if they didn’t they would get a lot of flack from the other communities.

    ...said Chris Stocker on November 5th, 2009
  6. I still wish they would, even though they won’t. And I’m still disappointed because it seems like the hurdles to raising awareness and overcoming the stigma of ‘it’s your-fault-you-have-diabetes’ seem never-ending.

    Maybe it makes me a big insensitive jerk, but I’m not too concerned about other diseases and being fair to them though, generally speaking. Heaven knows the people looking out for their cause, whatever it might be, aren’t looking to be fair to our cause. Otherwise the research dollars for disease like AIDS and breast cancer wouldn’t be so off-the-charts disproportionate to the number of people afflicted and the deaths attributed to those diseases relative to diabetes.

    ...said Lee Ann Thill on November 6th, 2009

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