August 4, 2011

Google+ And A History of Social Media


Bloomberg Business (25-31 July 2011) tells in biblical terms the history of social media leading up to the recent release of Google+:

"In the beginning, there was Friendster; which captivated the web'ites before it was smitten by slow servers and exiled to the Far East. And then a man called Hoffman begat LinkedIn, saying "This name shall comfort professionals who want to post their resumes online," and Wall Street did idolize it. And then Myspace lived for two thousand and five hundred days and worshipped flashy ads and was subsumed by News Corp., which the L-rd hath cursed. And Facebook emerged from the land of Harvard and forsook the flashy ads for smaller ones and welcomes vast multitudes of the peoples of the world. And it was good."

With the "genesis" of Google+, there is now a new contender in virtual land with a way to share posts, pictures, videos, etc. with limited groups--or circles of friends--and an advance in privacy features has been made.

According to the article, even Mark Zuckerberg and some 60 other Facebook employees have signed up for Google+.

With all this confusion brewing in social media land, one wonders exactly why Randi Zuckerberg (Mark's sister) recently headed for the exits--a better offer from Google? :-)

Google+ has many nice features, especially in terms of integration with everything else Google. On one hand, this is a plus in terms of potential simplicity and user-centricity, but on the other hand it can be more than a little obtrusive and scary as it can \link and share everything from from your profile, contacts, pictures (Picasa), videos (YouTube), voice calls (Google Voice), geolocation (Google Maps), Internet searches, and more.

Google owns a lot of Internet properties and this enables them to bundle solutions for the end-user. The question to me is will something as basic as Circles for grouping friends really help keep what's private, private.

It seems like we are putting a lot of information eggs in the Google basket, and while they seem to have been a force for good so far, we need to ensure that remains the case and that our privacy is held sacred.

(Source Photo, With All Due Respect To G-d: here)


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