Saturday, June 20, 2009

East and West

Somewhat busy today. We finally have a hot one. Summertime's here and it does create a pair of feelings. First, the desire to get things done outside because it's a weekend, and the weather is nice rather than crappy. Simultaneously, it makes one wish to just kick back and take it easy. So, what's a fella to do?

This month's Wired magazine has an extensive article about Facebook's battle to dominate Google. Personally, I'm tired of Facebook. It's interesting, however, that no company can rest on its laurels, and Google is no exception. The same can be said for countries, I suppose. All the great empires have come and gone and we're kidding ourselves if we think our nation is going to be the exception.

But I'm talking Facebook and Google here, so I'll try to stay on task. In 1996 I wrote an article about search engines in my Screen Net column for Screen Graphics magazine. I listed 25 search engines and described how they were different. Google did not even exist yet, its birth date arriving in 1998.

According to Wired, Facebook has a four step plan for online domination.

1) Build critical mass by creating a cybernation within cyberspace. (In the past eight months their membership has grown from 100 million to 200 million.)

2) Redefine search. In the Facebook worldview, people will look to their friends for information rather than Google's algorithms.

3) Colonize the Web... utilizing thousands of partner sites or apps which somehow become part of the Facebook realm.

4) Sell ads everywhere, utilizing everyone's personal data so that advertising can be targeted with pinpoint relevancy.

The rest of the story is how a new Berlin Wall will be built to keep Google out. My personal opinion? Why can't we all just get along?

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