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The Internet Businesses Google Social Networks

The Battle Between Google and Facebook 202

Posted by Soulskill
from the friend-request-denied dept.
A story at Wired delves into the ongoing struggle between Google and Facebook to establish their competing visions for the future of the internet. "For the last decade or so, the Web has been defined by Google's algorithms — rigorous and efficient equations that parse practically every byte of online activity to build a dispassionate atlas of the online world. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline. In Zuckerberg's vision, users will query this 'social graph' to find a doctor, the best camera, or someone to hire — rather than tapping the cold mathematics of a Google search. It is a complete rethinking of how we navigate the online world, one that places Facebook right at the center. In other words, right where Google is now." A related article at ReadWriteWeb suggests that while Facebook's member base is enormous, the company hasn't taken advantage of its influence as well as it should have, though the capability for it to do so still exists.
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The Battle Between Google and Facebook

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  • Why not have both? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @09:56AM (#28494755)
    Seriously. Why one way or the other. Why not both?
    • by multisync (218450) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @09:58AM (#28494775) Journal

      My "vision" for the future of the Internet:

      One where there is room for Zuckerberg version, Google's, Microsofts and Richard Stallmans. And anyone else who wants to put something up for consideration.

      As long as we have network neutrality, all of these visionaries are free to do as they please.

      This "one version will overtake all the rest" mentality is a meat-space concept and has no place on the Internet.

      • Google Wave [blogspot.com] (be sure to watch the video, it's long, but there is lots of interesting stuff in it) will provide a system based on open standards and open source code. It will let folk use their own email inbox, IM client, and blog as the focus of their communication with the world. The open federated model will end the stovepipe model where I must have 5 IM systems, 3 to 5 social networking systems, and hundreds of blog logins what I must keep track of to communicate with folk. FaceBook will probably int
      • As long as we have network neutrality, all of these visionaries are free to do as they please.

        Wait 'til your job application demands a link to your facebook profile, and then say that.

      • Mark Zuckerberg is correct - it's somewhat human nature for things to go that way - but there's no chance of displacing Google.

        Why do I feel this way? Before buying any tech gadget, all my real life and online friends consult me. I use Google to read up on stuff, and then give them my opinion. After that they decide whether to buy the gadget. Most go out and google reviews by themselves, and some just consider my word as final.

        Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline.

        Already happening. :P Google just helps us get the info. Facebook?... not so much

      • by Miros (734652)
        "one vision to rule them all... one vision to find them... one vision to bring them all and in the ddddaaaarrrrkkkneeesssss BIND THEM"
    • by Angostura (703910) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:10AM (#28494849)

      Precisely. My friends may be good at recommending a pub that I would like. But I don't think my network of friends would be particularly trustworthy for recommending with digital SLR to buy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dtzitz (937838)
        "Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline." These groups can aggregate information but they are not really a primary information source. As an idea it sounds a bit like digg but in practice digg doesn't exactly function that way.
        • by Futile Rhetoric (1105323) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:03AM (#28495297)

          And besides, Google is already making forays into just this sort of thing with Wave. Holy false dichotomy, batman.

          • by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @01:18PM (#28496181)
            I'm glad they called it Google Wave. Something like 'FaceGoo' would probably attract the wrong crowd.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by maxume (22995)

              I saw it on the Tonight Show, the coming Facebook-Google-Twitter mashup will be called YouTwitFace.

          • I see your point, but it is not exactly a false dichotomy. Take what Facebook is doing and contrast that with what Microsoft is doing with Bing. In the case of Facebook, you have another company who is executing a business plan based on their vision of how the world should be. Microsoft on the other hand is busily trying to emulate what Google is doing in hopes of catching up, gaining market share, and increasing revenue.

            Because of how quickly the Internet evolves, grows, and new ideas are hatched, M
        • Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline.

          Zuckerberg's vision of offline life must be based on that Idiocracy movie.

          My "network" of family, friends, colleagues, etc. is not my primary source of information. They may contribute valuable opinions, and frequently some useful facts or pointers to where relevant information can be found. However, most of my information - online or offline - comes from more authoratitive sources. I rely on textbooks, reference books, and so forth, as well as on searches online (google/wikipedia are starting points). I

        • by shoemilk (1008173)
          "Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline."

          Then why do we come online to get our information?
      • by cashman73 (855518)
        I would trust my friends more than some salesperson motivated primarily by how much commission is offered on different products, or which products have a better extended warranty for them to make money off of. Interestingly enough, I was just talking to someone on facebook yesterday that was looking at buying a new hard drive for their laptop. Trying to decide between a standard hard disk versus a solid state drive. Several friends on facebook chimed in with insightful comments.
      • A Third Way (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Mandrel (765308)

        Instead of Facebook's community assistance, and Google's assistance from the cloud, a third way is Rbate's [rbate.com] model of assistance from professional helpers, which includes a search engine [rbate.com] that's dedicated to allowing people to find such helpers.

        Helpers can not only include the usual forms of professional information, advice, and assistance (professional reviews, aggregators of consumer reviews, and full-service retailers), but consultants and recommendation engines that can offer more personalized service.

    • by StCredZero (169093) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:25AM (#28494971)

      The big problem facing Facebook is difficulty of monetization. There are societal and cultural sensitivities around companies monetizing one's "circle of friends." This has been true since the early 90's with MCI's campaigns.

      Cold mathematics (Google's way) doesn't have this problem.

      I am reminded of a quote from the PBS documentary about the 60's. A woman was lamenting that so many of the movements had powerful societal traction, but no economic basis. So in the end, they faded away.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Miros (734652)
        of course, at the end of the day, by the numbers, google is an advertising sales company not a software company. that's probably a little unfair, but it's necessary to point out that there are many many projects at google that do not really earn significant income, and only a few that really sustain the vast majority of their cash flow. that is not to say that many of the other things they work on are not cool and useful; quite the opposite in fact. we should not discourage anyone from building something
    • by Nikker (749551)
      Its funny how they talk about your 'real' life (people you already talk to in "real life") as being the best way of getting info. Isn't the Best Way(tm) to consider as many resources and then convene with those people to determine which is best? If your only information source is your 'family' is that really the most balanced form of discovering information? So they are basically saying if we can sell one of your friends on a product then you should buy it as well. As a strategy this is awesome for adver
  • by TofuMatt (1105351) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @09:57AM (#28494767) Homepage

    I thought the magic of Google is that it's not (as) personalized, and I can get information outside my group of friends/peers. Frankly, my friends are great, but I don't go to them for advice on, say, programming; I go to Google. What's more, I couldn't get a lot of the info I get from search engines from my friends, because they just don't know. Social networking is awesome, but using Facebook in place of Google sounds like many steps back, at least the way it's being presented here.

    • by Bobnova (1435535)
      That's my issue with this. Unless my facebookies have used dozens of different cameras/heatsinks/whatevers their advice just isn't useful, and none of them are likely to know how to build a heatpipe, or other esoteric things like that. Moreover, if they did know i'd just, you know, ask them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by empraptor (748821)
      Google is not the solution for your programming domain inquries. Facebook is. You just need to get better friends.
    • by StCredZero (169093) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:44AM (#28495589)

      using Facebook in place of Google sounds like many steps back

      The questions you ask your friends are going to be more limited. Feedback to advertisers in the form of data will also be more limited, therefore less valuable to advertisers.

      You know what would be of *huge* value to advertisers? Social news techniques used *on* advertising. Hulu is in a great position for this. *Let* the users skip (or better yet, 40X fast-forward) the ads! If not that, then let users mod them up or down! Heck, why not tags, like "irrelevant" "obsolete" or "already own?" Advertisers would get immediate feedback on ad reception. Correlation to buying demographic buying habits would be easier to make. Decisions on where to put ad budget wouldn't have to be done at the huge granularity of a particular show or timeslot, but could be targeted directly at demographic cohorts.

      Viewers would benefit, as ads would have to get better. Advertisers would benefit from the better, more watchable ads!

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by milas (988484)
        Both Hulu and Facebook allow you to thumbs up and thumbs down ads. I know Facebook opens a little AJAX pop up asking for some comments when you thumb down, but I've never actually done it on Hulu to know if it's more than a binary entry. On a related note of better, more watchable ads, Hulu should really increase the variety of ads shown to users. I can't even begin to describe my hatred for the HP TouchSmart PC or Carmax as a result of extensive Hulu watching.
      • You already can mod advertisements up and down on Hulu....
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ScytheBlade1 (772156)

        Hulu actually already has this, in the browser. During an ad, if you mouse over the playing video, two icons will appear on the left hand side.

        A thumbs up, and a thumbs down.

        While they don't let you skip or tag, I think you get the idea. They could absolutely renovate and add more feedback options to end users, but this basic "I like it" vs. "I don't like it" has been around for quite a while.

  • I don't see facebook as anything else other than a fad that will begin to go away. I already deleted (not just disabled) my fb account and know many other people too after graduating college.

    • by dsavi (1540343) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:05AM (#28494823) Homepage
      Seems to me it's just the opposite; I can easily see it being mainstream for the next few years at least. And anyway, MySpace never grew at the same pace as facebook at any point, did it? Also, MySpace seems to have more of a reputation for being for 13-17 year-olds and pedophiles, while facebook has more of an aura of an "Every-man's social network".
      • by Macrat (638047)

        while facebook has more of an aura of an "Every-man's social network".

        Just the ones who need to get a life.

      • by Rovaani (20023)

        Facebook's killer app: baby pictures. The 50-something women - a demographic that is big, wealthy and hard to reach in the net - just love to see their grandkids, comment on how cute they are and share the pictures with their friends.

    • I already deleted (not just disabled) my fb account and know many other people too after graduating college.

      An interesting statement. I resisted getting a Facebook account until after college, when I decided I wanted to try to find old school friends.

  • Aardvark (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mattwolf7 (633112) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @09:59AM (#28494781)
    Sounds like Facebook wants to do something similar to Aardvark - http://vark.com/ [vark.com] Basically you ask a question and it finds people in your "network" and poses the question to them. You get pretty good answers from people around the world.
    • by dword (735428)

      Aardvark is strongly connected to Facebook as far as I can see. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Screenshot [imageshack.us]

    • I signed up early and played with it some. It's an interesting concept, but it suffers mightily from a signal to noise ratio which started out at "Digg" level and is falling rapidly to "Reddit". Last week they finally added an option to reply to a query with the single magic keyword "google", and the system will construct a polite reply suggesting that the person who asked, "Where can I download Microsoft Windows security patches" or whatever, will get a polite reply suggesting they try a google search.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:00AM (#28494783)

    I can get useful information without signing up for anything. Facebook needs me to join and create a profile.

    I am not a joiner.

  • Well I for one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:01AM (#28494789)
    Do not want to have searches, research, news exposure, etc, mainly recommended by my friends and social network contacts. It's way too limiting. And it's not just because I don't have any friends. People don't even necessarily have the same interests as their friends. Peoples opinions have value, but so does objectivity. Think about buying a camera. If you only base your decision on your friends recommendations, you would never look at anything 'new'. Somebody needs to do that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by evilkasper (1292798)
      I'd mod you up if I could, this is the reason Facebook is not the future of the internet.
    • by IANAAC (692242)

      If you only base your decision on your friends recommendations, you would never look at anything 'new'. Somebody needs to do that.

      Look at it from another point view:

      If you've used Boxee and use the social aspects of that, you've most likely discovered shows and/or music (and other online content) you probably didn't know existed. I've also discovered new things through Facebook.

      I think there's room enough for more than one way to get information, be it impartial or through a circle of friends and c

    • Re:Well I for one (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gravesb (967413) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:24AM (#28494965) Homepage
      The problem is that the target isn't you, or the general slashdot audience. It is the advertisers, and they are interested in easily suggestible numbers. The more people, and the more suggestible, the better. Facebook also seems better targeted to guiding people to what they didn't know they needed-the advertisers' best friend. I think control of the Internet in this sense means control of advertising dollars. Like you, I'm going to stick with Google and discount anything I see on Facebook. But like you, I am in the minority. The real question is what the majority of people on the Internet will do.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mdwh2 (535323)

      If you only base your decision on your friends recommendations, you would never look at anything 'new'.

      Maybe it's just my friends, but I find the range of material I find out about from my friends far more diverse than I'd find out just by looking at mainstream adverts or shops. Music would be the classic example, but I think it applies more generally.

      Consider, how much of Firefox's success (not to mention Linux, to a lesser degree) is due to people seeing it advertised or otherwise finding out about it the

  • by Quothz (683368) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:07AM (#28494833) Journal
    Friends, family, colleagues, and peers as my primary offline information sources? Only if I want gossip, urban legends, extemporaneous answers to avoid admissions of ignorance, and rambling anecdotes. If I need actual information offline, I use reference works. I don't want "passion" in my information; I'd rather have facts and data. Thanks just the same, Zuck, but please go back to your tea party and let the grownups deal with information systems.
    • by pfafrich (647460)
      Often I will trust my friends more than the stuff on the internet. Friends are not trying to sell me stuff unlike much on the internet, friends will largely share my world view and not try to impose some other agenda on me (well not too much), and if they are good friends may actually know enough about me to know the sort of info that I need. I've also got a pretty good idea of how much weight to put on different friends suggestions.

      Just the other day I was doing some DIY and a friend came by and gave me

    • by Miros (734652)

      I feel like this is a straw man argument, at least as it pertains to how I use facebook and google (that statement alone may discredit the rest of my comment). If I'm searching for something with a general purpose search engine like google, I generally am looking for a piece of factual information that I know to exist, or at least a relevant reference point as a starting place for a topic of interest. I go to facebook to "browse" what my friends, family, and colleagues are up to in their day to day lives;

  • Apples and Oranges (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xistenz99 (1395377) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:08AM (#28494841)
    It doesn't make sense at all to compare these two sites because I don't think I have ever mistaken Google for facebook. Facebook will never be a place for looking up statistics unless those statistics consist of "Who is going to my party tonight", Facebook influence is small and limited
    • by Macrat (638047)

      It doesn't make sense at all to compare these two sites because I don't think I have ever mistaken Google for facebook. Facebook will never be a place for looking up statistics unless those statistics consist of "Who is going to my party tonight", Facebook influence is small and limited

      If only I had mod points...

  • by ae1294 (1547521) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:11AM (#28494855) Journal

    humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information

    I'm sorry but honestly I like cold logic.. This sounds like some sort of RIAA / Government control the flow of information justification and creeps me the hell out.

    I donno sort of like this...
    "why do you need to look at books Timmy? Why not just ask grandpa about it? What do you have to hide from your dear old grandpa timmy?" Why don't you trust that we know best.

    It just sounds creepy but maybe I just have less faith in my family's wisdom than most? Anyhow I really don't see a battle here... There is more than one way to skin a search request....

    • by westlake (615356)

      I'm sorry but honestly I like cold logic..

      But is it cold logic?

      Search Google for information on "global warming" and you will get 78 million returns.

      Each attempt to refine your search will help reduce this number to something more manageable. But increases the risk that you will find what you want to find - not what you need to know.

      The geek will hunt for the scenarios he can use to explain how his PC might have been hijacked the nineteen times over six weeks that he stands accused of having downloaded a

  • by jfengel (409917) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:14AM (#28494883) Homepage Journal

    A good general heuristic: plans exposed on Wired never come to fruition. Wired is where you go when you want to gain exposure for a plan that can't get traction.

    So no, Facebook isn't going to challenge Google with any success. If they're lucky, they'll continue to be an interesting niche player, like blogs. More likely, they'll let their success go to their heads and they'll become MySpace, which people abandon in droves for the next flashy thing.

    In this case I also RTFA and I think their plan is dumb: I use google precisely to find out what I don't already know. But even without RTFA, the Wired heuristic tells me it's a bad idea. That heuristic has served me well.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A good general heuristic: plans exposed on Wired never come to fruition.

      What would happen if you published this idea of yours on Wired?

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:14AM (#28494885)

    That's basically what you get when you define "opinions from everyone vs. opinions from friends" negatively.

    On one hand, in google, the recommendations and answers you get are from strangers. They may be experts, they may be deluded and full of it, they may actively try to misinform you. You don't know. Now, Google holds the creed that the majority isn't out there to "get you" and to con you, so the numbers work in your favor. If, and only if, the majority actually has the right answer. If you asked some 500 years ago the majority about the revolution of sun and earth around each other, the answer you would have gotten had been a wrong one. When your source is the majority, new insight is rarely possible. The majority never thinks "outside of the box", it usually goes with what's tried and (perceived) true.

    The other extreme is relying only on your network of friends and other people who think like you (because else, they would probably not be on your friends list) for information. The danger here is that wrong information will become reinforced and more readily believed as truth because it will be confirmed by many. A says X, B agrees, C doesn't know, but he perceives A and B as experts in this field, so he takes over their theory as reality.

    Either has its advantages and drawbacks. The internet is no dinner where you get your answers and informations served. It's more a buffet where you have them offered, but you alone are responsible to get the right ones.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      For your astronomical example, what are the chances you have friends smart/knowledgeable enough to tell you correct information. If I want a fact my friends are unreliable, if I want recomendations/opinions for various things my friends are better because they know me.

      Google is good because it bypasses my friends' limitations of knowledge, Facebook is redundant because the only things my friend's could tell me I could simply ask in person.
  • Bad crowd (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Faux_Pseudo (141152) <<Faux.Pseudo> <at> <gmail.com>> on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:20AM (#28494935) Homepage

    One of the problems with the internet is that it gives people a chance to self select themselves into a tiny little corner of interstes that creates an echo chamber. I don't want recomendations from people I know to be prone to confermation bias. I want recomendations from a large body of evidance showing both pro's and con's. Nothing against Facebook, its just their users I have an issue with.

  • by tjstork (137384)

    I think the moment you start writing reviews of your doctor friends, Facebook explodes into a giant flamewar.

  • I think the subject line says it all.

    The advantage of a universal search engine such as Google is that it searches for data internationally and broadens one's horizons.

  • by delirium of disorder (701392) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:36AM (#28495097) Homepage Journal

    Zuckerberg may be the cute face to front Facebook, but we all know that the (only) two other board member's Peter Theil and Jim Breyer are humanists of the highest degree.

    Yes! because Thiel's extreme vision of capitalism where corporations control the whole world is 'humanizing'. TheVanguard.Org and 'The Diversity Myth' are humanist projects, not neoconservative? Support for the rich using offshore tax havens...that's the ethical human thing to do!

    Jim Breyer's time on the board of Walmart, why, I'm sure he's helping Walmart become more caring, personal, and humane.

    Greylock Venture Capital's ties to the CIA are also of no concern, I'm sure.

    Can you make money out of friendship? Can you create communities free of national boundaries - and then sell Coca-Cola to them? Facebook is profoundly uncreative. It makes nothing at all. It simply mediates in relationships that were happening anyway.

    I think It's pretty insane that people present their personal details in public via social networking. This same type of connectivity could be implemented with end to end encryption, signatures to verify everyone, and secure deletion. Social networks could be a p2p, open source, empowering service. Instead, people just upload their entire lives to the web, and use services run by some of the most extreme right wing members of the ruling class. WAKE THE FUCK UP!

    • by AnyoneEB (574727)

      I think It's pretty insane that people present their personal details in public via social networking. This same type of connectivity could be implemented with end to end encryption, signatures to verify everyone, and secure deletion. Social networks could be a p2p, open source, empowering service. Instead, people just upload their entire lives to the web, and use services run by some of the most extreme right wing members of the ruling class. WAKE THE FUCK UP!

      Sounds wonderful. Where can I get this service so I can recommend it to my friends? Doesn't exist? Maybe there's a project working on it?

      Personally, I do have a Facebook account -- with pretty much the info you could find on me if you were very bored and had a few hours to kill on Google -- but I would rather use the system you describe. Unfortunately, it will probably never exist [wikipedia.org]. Facebook might get replaced by Wave, but not for privacy reasons. Privacy and security don't sell.

  • Is it just me and a few other people, or is this becoming common. I am really getting sick of facebook. I don't really use it as much as I used to. There are just too many things that I don't rally like. It would be nice to know if there are others that have quit or slowed their use of facebook.
  • by Shag (3737) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:46AM (#28495165) Homepage

    I have somewhere north of 300 friends on Facebook. Any question I might need help with would best be addressed to at most three of them. If I need to know something, I'm not going to find it out by asking my cousins. People I used to work with tend to know pretty much the same stuff I know in the field I used to work in. And so on. I haven't been able to enforce "you must be knowledgeable and a good thinker to know me" yet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Macrat (638047)

      I have somewhere north of 300 friends on Facebook.

      Do you actually KNOW any of them?

      • by Shag (3737)

        I have somewhere north of 300 friends on Facebook.

        Do you actually KNOW any of them?

        Of course - and that's how I know that for any given question that might come up, fewer than 1% of them are going to be able to tell me anything I don't already know. I'm a generalist; "know more than most people about most things" is how I roll. So unless I have a question that requires specialist-level knowledge of, or advice on, something, my social network isn't any more useful than Google.

  • evil (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Weezul (52464) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @10:55AM (#28495241)

    Just remember that Google still tries to not be evil. Facebook quite clearly has no such qualms about the standard sort of "corporate evil". Also Facebook invades your life infinite more than Google.

    • by IANAAC (692242)

      Facebook quite clearly has no such qualms about the standard sort of "corporate evil". Also Facebook invades your life infinite more than Google.

      Only if you let it. It's not invasive with some forethought.

  • facebook==AOL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saleenS281 (859657) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:01AM (#28495277) Homepage
    Zuckerberg wants to create a walled internet where everything goes through facebook. We've seen it once before, back when it actually had a small chance of succeeding because a lot of the general public didn't know any better.

    Not happening, get over yourself. It didn't work the first time, it won't work this time.
  • Yeah right (Score:3, Interesting)

    by elashish14 (1302231) <profcalc4&gmail,com> on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:14AM (#28495365)

    Get back to me when Facebook gives a damn what I want. Always changing the layout because of this stupid concept of 'sharing' every fucking detail of our lives. Tell me on the right side of the homepage that I should friend my 60-year-old former diffusion professor. Forcing me to use their stupid minifeeds and asshole applications. You know why people consult Google for shit? Because Google gives them what they want. Facebook is just for dicking around and bending over while millions of drones come back and bend over for Mark Zuckerberg to come up with some new fucked up idea for changing the layout and pissing off the userbase again. Whereas Google will always be the same old Google, typically (not always, of course) well in touch with their userbase, providing what you need and far more powerful than Facebook. And above all, Google gives me the entire web, whereas Facebook just constrains me to this stupid social networking concept. Seriously, if the entire web became personal profiles and Facebook fan pages, I wouldn't bother paying for my connection anymore.

  • Facebook's Vision? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dhammond (953711) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:18AM (#28495393)
    I don't really get Facebook's vision for the web. It seems like wishful thinking to me. That is, they're starting with the fact that they have all this data that they want to use to make money, and they're envisioning what a world would look like that would make them insanely rich.

    Anyway, I, for one, am more comfortable with Google vision, which is not predicated on the idea of a single company having exclusive access to vast amounts of personal information.

    By the way, it's easy to forget that what makes Google's "rigorous and efficient" algorithms work is that they model the work that all of the millions of people in the world do every day to build the web. When someone reads something online that they like, they create a new page and link to it. That is the powerful idea -- harnessing the work of real people -- that made Google work, and allowed it to supplant earlier search engines.
  • by br00tus (528477) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:20AM (#28495401)

    The whole genius of Google is that it is NOT "rigorous and efficient equations that parse practically every byte of online activity to build a dispassionate atlas of the online world". Search engines prior to Google would classify a searched for word or phrase by how many times it was mentioned in a page, if the word/phrase was in the page's title, or in the beginning of the page, perhaps in a header, and so forth. Google's algorithm was to do those rankings, but then to give enormous weight to what pages of that type linked to another page. So if a large majority of baseball web sites linked to the MLB's web site, MLB's website would be on top for a Google search for baseball (as indeed it is). This is not a dispassionate equation, but one utilizing human cognitive skills and social connections via the web to give you what you want. Google's surge over search engines like Opentext, Webcrawler, Excite and Altavista was precisely that it began concentrating on social connections on the web.

    And insofar as non-search services - Google has Orkut, on Google Mail one could only get an account originally through an acquaintance, Google Earth has a Web 2.0 collaborative piece to highlight places in a local area, Google sponsors the Summer of Code and so forth. Facebook may be taking the social component even farther, but Google has never been just an icy monolith of sleek computers and dispassionate equations.

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:41AM (#28495567) Homepage
    Facebook and everyone's "friends" do nothing but pass around a bunch of bullshit, half truths quizzes to determine who your sexual partner should be. Both models should exist but one is good for learning (Google) and the other is good for a laugh (Facebook).
  • by Serious Callers Only (1022605) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @11:54AM (#28495667)

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline. In Zuckerberg's vision, users will query this 'social graph' to find a doctor, the best camera, or someone to hire - rather than tapping the cold mathematics of a Google search. It is a complete rethinking of how we navigate the online world, one that places Facebook right at the center. In other words, right where Google is now."

    Translation from Wired corporate shilling:

    Facebook CEO envisions a walled garden controlled by Facebook, where your identity, network of friends, colleagues, peers and family belongs to FaceBook, and where Facebook is the primary source of all information, just as they've always dreamed of being. In Zuckerberg's vision, users will query FaceBook to find anything, rather than using the far more useful and wide-ranging Google search, which might lead you to sites which are not hosted by Facebook. It is a complete rethinking of how we navigate the online world, one that places Facebook right at the center. In other words, right where the real internet is now.

    I've never liked sites like Facebook since they started off by trying to make everyone join their site before they can actually access content. Visit their front page, and all you see is an exhortation to give them your email address and some personal details - that tells you everything you need to know about their intentions and the utility of their site. Joining them means being data-mined by Facebook for every ounce of your worth as a consumer. Thankfully Facebook's vision of the future of the internet is about as relevant as Wired magazine is nowadays.

    • by Old97 (1341297)

      I wish I hadn't spent all my mod points, because I'd mod yours up.

      Yahoo is supposedly the most used destination - it's portals, site and mail services - on the internet. Why is it struggling financially while Google is raking it in? If Facebook usurps Yahoo, why will it somehow be able to "defeat" Google? Google will still be raking it in, in part because it doesn't require an admission fee - your privacy. It's monetization strategy is less obtrusive - it places ads on your page based on what you are

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sporkinum (655143)

      Visit their front page, and all you see is an exhortation to give them your email address and some personal details - that tells you everything you need to know about their intentions and the utility of their site. Joining them means being data-mined by Facebook for every ounce of your worth as a consumer.

      Which is why I really don't know what is on facebook other than what I have heard through hearsay. Not worth the effort if I can't peek behind the kimono without baring myself.

  • Several posts I've read here say things like "My friends may be good for recommending , but they're no good for recommending ", or "I don't want recommendations from people, who are prone to errors, but from algorithms, which are objective and logical."

    I can't really understand that argument: the primary difference between Facebook's and Google's search models is the level of data aggregation.

    Want to find a website that sells digital cameras? A Facebook search would "ask" your friends, and perhaps their
    • by Sapphon (214287)
      Edit: first sentence should read: "My friends may be good for recommending ITEM_1, but they're no good for recommending ITEM_2"
  • by ActusReus (1162583) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @12:26PM (#28495857)
    ... is not being spammed with 200 goddamn "Mafia Wars" requests every time I log in. Seriously, Facebook is slowly approaching MySpace levels of obnoxiousness... and it hasn't gotten better as Facebook started trying to "out-Twitter" Twitter. I used to log in multiple times a day... now I only log in once a week or so to clean up all the annoying notifications. Zuckerberg should have sold back when the economy was booming and his company wasn't facing exposure as a mere fad.
  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @12:28PM (#28495865) Journal

    IM sorry, but its really hard to respect anything this guy says. IMHO, he got really lucky with Facebook, and he simply doesnt have that much intellectual capital.

  • by joocemann (1273720) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @12:34PM (#28495909)

    The internet is so big that Google and Facebook are swinging their swords, but are nowhere near each other and cannot really hurt each other. There is room for both 'ways', among the many many other ways the internet will be used as well. There is still a big IRC following and surprisingly a lot of people still on Usenet. I think its silly to act like the Google meme or the Facebook meme is in any way an 'end all' solution or method for use of the internet.

    • by ultrabot (200914)

      I think its silly to act like the Google meme or the Facebook meme is in any way an 'end all' solution or method for use of the internet.

      Not before Google Wave [google.com] at least.

      Apart from that, I find it ridiculous to think that you can find useful information on Facebook (now or in the near future).

  • Facebook muscles itself on others by social norms and peer pressure (Like a Thanksgiving dinner you dread to assist)
    Sure, go ahead and stay out of Facebook but don't blow a gasket by the the fact that people are talking about YOU on it.

    The Market Norms put information exchange as a commodity.
    The Social Norms put information exchange as a human activity (like breathing)

    The trick is to make the humans feel a safe and familiar experience (like a quiet summer afternoon conversation in you uncle's porch) when
    typ

  • by moore.dustin (942289) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @01:08PM (#28496117) Homepage
    I am certainly in the minority here, but I cannot be the only one who does not want there whole social network knowing so much about them. Call me old-fashioned I suppose... but I much rather be a mystery than a well-read novel. I just cant help but think about how many people in business will be bit in the ass by things posted online! You know HR depts. look at these things if they can. If they have a FB dev account in IT somewhere, then maybe the phone interview can get replaced by a FB profile browsing. ;)
    • If they have a FB dev account in IT somewhere, then maybe the phone interview can get replaced by a FB profile browsing. ;)

      Not installing apps, not adding a bunch of "friends" you don't know, and setting your profile to "private" will go a long way.

      Not posting potentially embarassing things will go even further.

  • by Savage650 (654684) on Saturday June 27, 2009 @01:35PM (#28496295)

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline.

    And those family members, friends and peers will be utterly delighted to become an integral part of your private life. Just imagine having your private questions forwarded to your least favorite family member (lets say, your mother-in-law)

    • need a doctor? what kind of doctor? GP? VD? need a Shrink?
    • need a lawyer? what for? want a divorce? what have you done this time?
    • need another mortgage? You were never good enough for my son/daughter!

    And that's just one immediate drawback. Other posters have already listed various long-term problems (cultural stratification, deprecation of "outside" information, etc.)

    All in all, its a profoundly dumb idea. The fact that some schmuck (excuse me, CEO) calls it "his vision for the internet" just illustrates the kind mental vacuum that accompanies plans like this one:

    1) Facebook
    2) ???
    3) Profit

    The Internet is too important to be in the hands of the CEOs

  • Seriously, how hard could it be? A few million for servers and bandwidth, a team of visionaries, developers and project managers that give a fig about privacy, usability, and openness, and you just start building the thing. Social networking without ads or marketing.

    (Or perhaps even better, the p2p social network.)
  • If I'm looking for a website about a particular subject I'll google it.
    If I'm looking for information on hacking an xbox I'll check xbox-scene.
    If I'm trying to figure out where else I've seen an actor in a new tv series then I'll check imdb.
    If I want to know what new movies, games and music have just had scene releases then I'll check rlslog.
    If I want to know how many of my co-workers "cnt wait ntl teh wknd" or want to know in detail what mundane crap my best mate's gf has been up to then I'll check faceboo

  • Not gonna happen (Score:2, Insightful)

    by billybob_jcv (967047)
    Wait - is this the same Facebook that locks out your account if you post too much? And that refuses to post the rules for how they determine you are "abusing" their system? Facebook is a prime example of the least common denominator becoming the market leader. A horrible user interface, pathetic functionality, zero personalization - and a jillion users. AOL 2.0
  • My predication is that in 3 years time no one will even remember what facebook is. It is not a new concept, and it is not a good buisness modal. When facebook finally crashes and burns in a ball of bankruptcy fire, millions of users are going to be turned off from anything even remotely tagged as "social networking".

    Personally, I am still waiting for some sort of big facebook scandal. Say a serial killer, big scam, or a massive virus. Hopefully something that will put it down fast, rather than a slow drip o

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