Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Notes: Social Networking

“Searching on Google is good, but having your friends help you find what you’re looking for is better.”
You will find those words here, as part of an article titled “Google’s View: Three trends in social networking.” The author is Rafe Needleman, an editor of CNET’s webware. Needleman is summarizing the gist of a talk given by Joe Kraus, Director of Product Management, at Google. Krause does not actually utter those words in his talk, which is also accessible from the same address to which I link above.

Kraus’ talk, while a bit choppy—chopped up by anecdotes, each illustrated by pics of web pages (which happen not to be easy to see), and short slogans briefly flashed up — is worth a look if you wish to get a feel for how Google—and indeed every big web company, these days—is thinking.

Kraus talks about the web “evolving” in the direction of a giga-global social web. Other interpretations of what is actually happening, however, suggest themselves. One is that in a relentless drive to find yet other venues for advertising, web companies have discovered a vast new market and are now busy transforming the Internet solely to serve this market. One corollary of that is that an electronic utility now serving Information Seekers on the one hand and Interaction Seekers on the other will be skewed powerfully to favor the second group, thus making it more difficult to get facts, history, literature, etc. without it arriving weighed down heavily by the attached or linked opinions of every one of your “friends.”

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