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Google Social Networks

Google To Challenge Facebook Again 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the clash-of-the-titans dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Google is set to make a fresh attempt to gain a foothold in the booming social networking business, seeking to counter the growing threat that Facebook poses to some of its core services. USA Today reports that the search giant is upgrading Gmail to add social-media tools similar to those found on Facebook, including photo and video sharing within the Gmail application, along with a new tool for status updates. According to reports, Google is planning to give Gmail users a way to aggregate the updates of their various contacts on the service, creating a stream of notifications that would echo the similar real-time streams from Facebook and Twitter. Google's decision to exploit the heavily-used Gmail service as the basis for its latest assault on the social networking business partly reflects the failure of Google's previous stand-alone efforts to enter the social networking sector. Its Orkut networking service, though launched before Facebook, has failed to gain a mass following in most parts of the world, despite success in Brazil, and its acquisition of Twitter rival Jaiku ended in failure after it scrapped development of the service." Update: 02/09 19:32 GMT by KD : It's been announced as Google Buzz; CNET has a detailed writeup.
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Google To Challenge Facebook Again

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  • privacy is key (Score:5, Insightful)

    by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:01AM (#31071418) Journal
    This might be interesting if they manage to get the privacy thing right. If they don't, I see it as a disaster. I use gmail to communicate with a much wider audience than Facebook. If somehow they managed to let me easily and effectively segment users into different groups, with STRONG WALLS between groups, then it might be interesting.

    Although it would take quite a few HCI PhDs to figure out how to do it all without cluttering an already cluttery gmail UI.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      This might be interesting if they manage to get the privacy thing right. If they don't, I see it as a disaster. I use gmail to communicate with a much wider audience than Facebook. If somehow they managed to let me easily and effectively segment users into different groups, with STRONG WALLS between groups, then it might be interesting.
      Although it would take quite a few HCI PhDs to figure out how to do it all without cluttering an already cluttery gmail UI.

      Wouldn't you really just need to have two accounts, your real life account and then your second one for all the naughty stuff you don't want people to find out about? Of all the drama stories I've seen or heard about, it's usually because the two lives mixed. Embarrassing photos associated with your name on your facebook, web posts associated back to you, mistress texting you on the same phone you use for your normal life with the wife able to read said messages when you set the phone down for a moment, mes

      • Re:privacy is key (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mrboyd (1211932) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:51AM (#31071974)
        Relax, I don't know what's going on in your life for your first thing on your mind to be about cheating swinging gay porn and whatnot but most of us just want to avoid their close friends, vague relation and coworker to mix it up too much.

        We all have pro-email and personal email but I'd bet that the majority of us had to give out the personal one away in a professional context for whatever reason (file size limit, exchange server bogged down, msn/google chat, etc..) and we really don't need our clients and recruiters to know about the boozing festival we had last week end for our childhood friend's birthday. It's not that we're ashamed of it. It just none of their business.
      • Re:privacy is key (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ztransform (929641) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:02AM (#31072098)

        Wouldn't you really just need to have two accounts, your real life account and then your second one for all the naughty stuff you don't want people to find out about?

        The person you're being naughty with has a friend who has a friend who is your real-life serious friend.

        Facebook does not hide friends lists. So the circle can easily be followed.

      • Re:privacy is key (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gartogg (317481) <sdaman@mi n d s p r i n g . o m.tld> on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:07AM (#31072158) Homepage Journal

        And clearly the sample of stories that are told is representative of how thing go wrong in peoples lives.

        The separate domains of my life shouldn't overlap. The stories are re-told because they are sensational, not because they are likely, or frequent, or representative of what people should worry about. The fact that you have things that you do not want others to know about isn't about hypocrisy, it is about privacy. Privacy allows for hypocrisy, but the fact that something is private, or even would be embarrassing, does not imply that it is wrong or hypocritical. Internal memos about client plans would be embarrassing if leaked, but there is no shame in having them. I don't want clients seeing my work life, I don't want anyone able to see what is going on with my love life (even though I am doing nothing I am in any way ashamed of,) and I don't want the wider world who I've emailed once seeing my private life at all.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by hesaigo999ca (786966)

        Wow, what a nice post about gmail, I never knew you could apply gay, transexual prostitutes and televangelist with gmail in the same sentence, I guess you learn something new everyday.

      • by h3llfish (663057)
        >>Wouldn't you really just need to have two accounts

        Yeah, that's one way to go. But it's a hassle to be signed into two at once. Not a huge hassle, but using two browsers at once is just beyond the average dipshit user.

        Companies need to tread very carefully when they make big changes. One thing I used to enjoy about Yahoo previously was the aliases. You signed into your account with one main ID, but you could have sub accounts that looked to others just like a separate account. So it was easy
    • Your Google profile (the one that already exists) is only fully visible to people who are logged into their google account and are in the contact group you assigned as having full access. Probably good enough for most.

      At this point though, the press release looks a lot more like integration of existing properties...
      Contact list upgrades that link Picasa data, and "status updates" (perhaps including photo updates and whatnot). Maybe they'll add personal Google Groups (basically Facebook's wall).

      Which if you

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Neither company values privacy and just wants all the data for advertising so what difference does it make?

  • by gsslay (807818) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:05AM (#31071460)

    I think many people (though probably not enough) already worry about what Google and Facebook separately know and track about their online and private lives. Putting them both together under the control of just one of those companies? No thanks. A million times no.

  • Google Fail..... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:06AM (#31071466) Homepage Journal
    Where Google can offer clear cut advantage, it's easy to see them dominating. Online search was ripe for such a revolution. Other things like answers.google.com just didn't make 'em enough money. Social networking needed a revolution and Facebook emerged as the winner. Friendster couldn't do it and MySpace became irrelevent through obsolescence. What I think had made Google such a success has been it's openness towards developers and Facebook beat Google to that game by allowing developers to use it's services (which is torn from Google's own playbook). Google can try but I think they're gonna fail on this one, Facebook people are way too entrenched in it now. I, for one, will avoid Google simple because I just don't like how big they've become.
    • by Itchyeyes (908311)

      I don't think that the article really understands Google's intentions here. Google has already demonstrated, with Wave [google.com], that they do not see email, in its current incarnation, as the future of communication on the Internet. They have a very clear vision of merging all the disparate forms of communication on the Internet into one platform. Yet they've hit a stumbling block with Wave, in that nobody really wants to use it until everyone else is using it. I think that this is less about "taking on Facebook

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by technomom (444378)

        They have a clear vision with Wave? If they do, they have done a terrible job communicating it. Wave looks promising to us propeller heads, but the general public is confused by Wave. It's slow and without knowing some secret incantations, it is brutal to navigate. Most people look at it for 2 minutes and give up.

        Facebook is butt ugly but simple to jump in and use. If Google is going to have any prayer of making any social center work, it has to get back to fundamentals.

        Google's original product was

        • They have a clear vision with Wave? If they do, they have done a terrible job communicating it. Wave looks promising to us propeller heads, but the general public is confused by Wave.

          I think the Wave application is basically just a proof-of-concept to draw interest from, as you say, "propeller heads". The clear vision with Wave isn't something that is clear through the application as such, but instead clear through the existence of the Wave Protocol and infrastructure and the conceptual documents surroundin

      • by CaptnMArk (9003)

        There are two reasons for not using wave:
        1. it's slow (even firefox 3.6).
        2. no "standalone server" yet, that I could install at work, or for my _private_ stuff

      • by alen (225700)

        Google Wave sucks because it doesn't solve any problem that isn't better solved by someone else. i tried it a few months ago and even a lot of the public waves are people saying how cool this is and then nothing posted for weeks at a time. the apps are untrusted, at least by me.

        the only point of Wave seems to be Google trying to redirect facebook, twitter and forums traffic through their systems to make money off it, but it's a very poor attempt.

        and it's slow. horribly slow and a resource hog. Google Chrome

    • Where Google can offer clear cut advantage, it's easy to see them dominating. Online search was ripe for such a revolution. Other things like answers.google.com just didn't make 'em enough money.

      And that's the thing, in so many things they've tried they aren't dominant. They came late to the table without offering a clearly superior product and have suffered for it.

      Social networking needed a revolution and Facebook emerged as the winner.

      What I think had made Google such a success has been it's open

    • MySpace became irrelevent through obsolescence...

      MySpace became irrelevant because they were the geocities of social networking. Too many people doing things to their pages simply because they could rather than because it made for a nice page. While I visited very few MySpace pages, the vast majority of the time that I did do so I was greeted by a page overloaded with crap. Sound and flashing graphics and insane background images and everything possible that could make a page as offensive to the senses as possible. And I'm confident that I can't be the o

  • Laziness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jimbolauski (882977) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:06AM (#31071468) Journal
    Google will fail to get a foothold for one reason laziness, the masses will not want to change over their account to something else. There is little innovation to be had in social media and the little tweaks that facebook does not copy from google will not be enough for people to deal with the hassle of changing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tim C (15259)

      Laziness? Why would I move to another social networking site, if all my friends are still on Facebook?

      • by WarlockD (623872)

        So you have no more friends on MySpace? I bet your Facebook friends are on Twitter now.

        I forgot what it was before MySpace, but that was THE shit just five years ago. Twitter is getting big now and Facebook is soso. Who knows.

        I doubt google will take either over, but if they have a constant stragity, they might be the fall back for allot of people. I might be on all three services, but I still use gmail for my mail.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mr_Silver (213637)

      Google will fail to get a foothold for one reason laziness, the masses will not want to change over their account to something else.

      Not to mention inertia.

      For example, I use Windows Live Messenger. Not because it's the best IM protocol (it certainly isn't) but because all my friends are on it.

    • by ccady (569355)
      Button: "Import Facebook Contacts."
      • by Qzukk (229616)

        Button: "Import Facebook Contacts."

        Fine print: "Pressing this button spams all of your contacts with join invitations every 30 seconds until they cave in and join the Google hive"

    • by PylonHead (61401)

      Don't worry!

      Google already knows everything about you. Your page has be pre-populated with all your data and pre-linked to all of your friends!

      They'll be taking care of your updates too! What could be easier?

    • Google will fail to get a foothold for one reason laziness, the masses will not want to change over their account to something else.

      Lots of people already have Google Accounts, and already use them "socially" (via Mail, Talk, Calendar, Voice, Blogger, etc.) These services are already somewhat integrated (Talk is available in the Mail UI, Mail and Talk are both available for contacts through the Voice mobile UI, contacts are synchronized throughout the account, etc.) Buzz ads microblogging/status in a Twitte

  • Google should first target those groups on Facebook that think any day now Facebook is going to start "charging" a monthly fee to use the service.
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=26810775786 [facebook.com]
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=445591600322 [facebook.com]
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=292810587737 [facebook.com]

  • Less, not more! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by symes (835608) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:09AM (#31071522) Journal
    I really do not want a constant flow of inane jibberings from every person in my gmail contact list day after day. This would drive me totally mad. Presumably there will be an opt out?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by imakemusic (1164993)

      Sure, just do what other Slashdotters do - don't have any friends.

    • I really do not want a constant flow of inane jibberings from every person in my gmail contact list day after day.

      Like Twitter, you can control who you are following on Buzz, so if you don't want to get your contacts Buzz updates, don't actively choose to follow them on Buzz.

  • ... seeking to counter the growing threat that Facebook poses to some of its core services.

    What?

    From the expert quoted in that article:

    "Facebook could be a major disruptor to the News and Media category. And with the Wall Street Journal already publishing content to Facebook, perhaps the social network can avoid the run-ins that Google has suffered recently with Rupert Murdoch. We will continue to watch this space."

    Yeah, in the same way that McDonalds could be a major disruptor to grocery stores. Rampant, ridiculous speculation and little more. Remember when MySpace was supposed to be the greatest news source EVER? And tried to become a gaming platform [slashdot.org]? Unless I've missed some new development with Twitter and Facebook (I'm only a user of the latter), this is preposterous.

    The only thing you'd see with Twitter or Facebook adding news is social networking bloat.

    • Yeah, in the same way that McDonalds could be a major disruptor to grocery stores

      Think of how the supermarket has changed since the emergence of the fast food franchises.

      The emergence of the no-name brand bulk warehouse.

      Think about how much space the mega mart allots to microwave and other prepared foods.

      The meal in five minutes. Fast food sales in store.

      At the opposite extreme you're likely to find foods that were rarely stocked outside of a gourmet specialty house.

  • by e2d2 (115622) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:10AM (#31071534)

    I will not use this until I can play Farmville on it and send people were-pigs and pork-knights so they can defend themselves properly.

    • I will not use this until I can play Farmville on it and send people were-pigs and pork-knights so they can defend themselves properly.

      While I don't know of anything like Farmville on it yet, Google does have an publicly available application infrastructure with free and paid hosting, integration into Google Accounts, etc., available already.

  • Google needs to find one niche for the age 13-20 crowd, and exploit it.

    Facebook will fall as fast as MySpace did.

    Personally, I think that niche is security. Facebook has already failed miserably on that front, and, although I hate thinking about everything that Google knows about me, they (somehow) have a reputation of protecting that information.

    • by bberens (965711) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:18AM (#31072284)
      I think you're crazy if you believe that the 13-20 crowd is even vaguely aware of the concept of online security. In my experience they view privacy and security as hurdles, not assets, for the products they use online.
      • by Chapter80 (926879) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @01:30PM (#31074398)

        Maybe I should rephrase it.

        I think that security is one niche that Google can exploit, since Facebook has failed on that front, and Google has a good reputation in that area.

        Really, though, there needs to be a "feature" that is exciting for the young crowd.

        Imagine something like Webkinz, [wikipedia.org] where kids under 13 are already addicted. Funnel those kids into a social network when they reach 13, duplicate facebook's features, and then they'll never need to join fb. In 5 years, you have 13 to 18 year olds hooked on your fb replacement.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeian (409916)

      > Google needs to find one niche for the age 13-20 crowd

      > Personally, I think that niche is security.

      You must know different 13-20 year olds than I do.

  • Innovation and producing the "Next Big Thing" is the more difficult but potentially more rewarding path.

    Slapping lipstick on your competitor's pig is the easy shortcut.

  • Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by whatajoke (1625715)
    Does it really matter whom you upload your private data to? Once it is out of your hands, it does not matter if it is with google, facebook, yahoo or msn
  • no!!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Blymie (231220) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:28AM (#31071710)

    NO!

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

    Did I mention, NO?

    I am already annoyed, pissed off, angry and fed up with having to use lame gmail and other core Google services on my Android device. I have PRIVATE business contacts in there. I have NO PERSONAL CONTACTS.

    I do not want them seeing each other, seeing when I am online, what I am doing, where I am, or anything of the sort! I use corporate email, not silly gmail for emailing my clients, both from my phone and from my desktop. The *only* reason I use gmail is for the calendar and contacts that I am *FORCED* to keep there.

    If Google makes me, or my company the least bit *more* uncomfortable with this situation, we'll be moving to Blackberries.

    BAH!

    Google has gone so far downhill, I've actually tried Bing!. I *HATE* Microsoft. I _LOATH_ them. Google is just getting so bad, however, I had to try!

    Heck, it's almost impossible to search for what you want on Google now, as it constantly changes your search terms. You pretty much have to add a + in front of every search keyword, in order to get what you want. Shouldn't that be opt-out? You know, an "actually search for things I asked for, not things you suggest" option?

    Now they have those idiotic search suggestions, while you are typing. Annoying, and slow. About 1% of the time I search for something (I'm in IT, I search hundreds of times per day), the Google redirect domain they use is slow, and you have to reload to get where you want to go. Now they have personalized searches, which of course just makes things worse.. so now I have to randomize all Google cookies using a Firefox app.

    What is wrong with these people?

     

    • BAH!

      Google has gone so far downhill, I've actually tried Bing!. I *HATE* Microsoft. I _LOATH_ them. Google is just getting so bad, however, I had to try!

      Heck, it's almost impossible to search for what you want on Google now, as it constantly changes your search terms. You pretty much have to add a + in front of every search keyword, in order to get what you want. Shouldn't that be opt-out? You know, an "actually search for things I asked for, not things you suggest" option?

      In my mind's eye I'm reading this as subtitles to that angry german kid video on Youtube. Bravo, sir.

    • NO!

      NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

      Did I mention, NO?

      Ok, calm down.

      Google has gone so far downhill, I've actually tried Bing!.

      How has it gone down hill? It's as good as it's ever been in my experience. Also, you say you've tried Bing! Was it actually any better?

      Heck, it's almost impossible to search for what you want on Google now, as it constantly changes your search terms. You pretty much have to add a + in front of every search keyword, in order to get what you want.

      Hyperbole much? It's always done that. It makes sense. If you want to search for a specific phrase you still can.

      About 1% of the time I search for something (I'm in IT, I search hundreds of times per day), the Google redirect domain they use is slow, and you have to reload to get where you want to go.

      Actually I have noticed this. I'm in the same position and Google seems incredibly slow during office hours. It can't be that bad a service if you use it hundreds of times a day though...

      What is wrong with these people?

      They're trying to provide a services that works for millions o

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      NO!

      NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

      Did I mention, NO?

      You could just not use it. Did that thought occur before your spazzing-out fit?

    • by solios (53048)

      Talk about irritating - a few months ago (maybe longer), Google decided my handle is a plural. So now if I want to googlebate, I have to search for "solios -solio" (and throw in a few other minuses to weed out Matrox, etceteras). Google's first hit for 'solios' is not solios [solio.com] (there's a shock), whereas the first hit on Bing is something me-related. There's also this [amongthechosen.com] - a case example of Bing coming back with DWIM and Google sticking its thumb up its ass and getting drool on the floor.

      Google was fantastic w

    • I do not want them seeing each other, seeing when I am online, what I am doing, where I am, or anything of the sort!

      Just because Buzz is available in Gmail doesn't mean Google is forcing you to use it if you use Gmail, or automatically posting status updates for you. If you don't choose to share information, its not shared. Not that hard.

  • by N8F8 (4562)

    Most corporations block webmail(security, trojans, viruses, etc) but many are now allowing access to social network sites. Most folks visit social networking sites during the workday. So a webmail social networking app is a non-starter.

    • Really? My workplace blocks Facebook. I thought many, or even most businesses blocked social sites.

    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      We used to have access to Facebook as well as many forums but I guess folks were taking too much time out of work to socialize and they're blocked. I can still get in to my webmail accounts though and ESPN is still unblocked. There are a few sub-Yahoo! domains that I can't get to including my profile (identified as social networking). I imagine work will figure out which google servers are the social ones and block them.

      [John]

    • Most corporations block webmail(security, trojans, viruses, etc) but many are now allowing access to social network sites.

      Most workplaces I know that block webmail also block social networking sites, IME.

      Most folks visit social networking sites during the workday.

      IME, most people that do that either work someplace that doesn't block webmail, or use their own mobile device rather than work computers.

  • Now it'll block Google. Guess I'll be forced to use Bing!

    [John]

  • nooooooooo
  • by rickb928 (945187) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:50AM (#31071956) Homepage Journal

    If Google pimps up GMail enough, with file-sharing, social networking, instant-messaging, and gee-whiz features, it will get blocked at our firewall as a security risk.

    Right now, Google Chat is blocked. Google Voice is blocked. YouTube is blocked. Google Docs is blocked.

    Keep it up, Google, and I won't be able to use much Google at all at work.

    Now, for those of you who have no responsibilities, feel free to flame on and explain why my corporate masters are shortsighted, maniacally obsessed with control, and oblivious to reality in their vain attempt to secure the corporate data, protect our customers' information, and be responsible to the shareholders. It starts out as funny, then becomes annoying, and finally settles into a tragic display of ignorance of the reality of large corporation security issues.

    It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Or $50 million.

    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      Worse is that work uses Blue Coat filters. So sites are blocked based on someone else's definition of a site. I'm amazed that I can still get to Slashdot though.

      [John]

    • by TheSync (5291)

      Right now, Google Chat is blocked. Google Voice is blocked. YouTube is blocked. Google Docs is blocked.

      How can you block Google Chat/Voice when it tunnels over HTTPS? Does it go to known IPs different from the Google Mail servers?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rickb928 (945187)

        The URL is still visible. They block both HTTP and HTTPS, though I suspect from what I know of the proxy and filtering software, they can capture the UEL and block on that just fine.

        ps- We use a LOT of HTTPS here. Managing that is not so much different from HTTP from a proxy/filter vantage point.

        My original point was that if our team decides that Gmail (SSL or not) is giving access to services not permitted, like YouTube or Google Chat, they will block Gmail, and let us lose ALL of it.

        You understand now?

        T

    • Right now, Google Chat is blocked. Google Voice is blocked. YouTube is blocked. Google Docs is blocked.

      Your boss' brain is blocked.

  • Google is the new Microsoft. It goes wherever they see money. It is the 800 lb gorilla that not only has the money to undercut its competition, but the advantage of giving themselves a higher page rank in searches. They can make their product appear better by marketing the new product's integration with the rest of Google's services.

    Soon it will be like the 80's when tech companies' strategy switched from long term goals to the short term "What would make us attractive to Google?" strategy. Did we not lear

    • by miffo.swe (547642)

      Bullshit, pure fucking bullshit.

      Google history has nothing like the history of Microsoft. Microsoft has been breaking laws all the way back from when they stole computer time from The Computer Center Corporation (and caused important systems to crash) to write their "borrowed" basic interpreter. Bill Gates didnt start with a nice little upstart company with blue eyes and good intentions, its been bad to the bone from day one. Compared to Microsoft, Google must have been founded by nuns

      While Microsofts histo

      • Bullshit, pure fucking bullshit.

        Tell me how you really feel. I knew I'd get some Google fanboi upset.

        While Google goes after buys services that people find useful and are popular, Microsoft goes after any service that could in time pose a threat to their only income and kills it.

        Since Google derives its revenue from traffic, how does this make Google any different than Microsoft? If it's popular then it's taking hits away from google therefore it is a threat to their income.

        Google makes popular services m

  • Sometimes you feel someone did a list of what should not be done regarding privacy and named the implementation of all that rules Facebook. Twitter is a better example of what could be implementing Google.

    And if they do in their usual way, will be a somewhat open protocol, a federated social network. Not sure if twitter have such protocol, but if so, the right move for google would be to use the same protocol, and interconnect both.
  • Individually, Google's projects are mostly very interesting. But they don't work together. I have to set pictures separately for Picasa Web Albums, and a google profile, for example. Some settings must be configured in each project, while others are common across all of them, but it's hard to know which is which, and indeed where to find out where to make changes.

    Before trying to go for something as ambitious as rivalling Facebook, they should improve integration and consistency between their projects. Not

    • Before trying to go for something as ambitious as rivalling Facebook, they should improve integration and consistency between their projects.

      Google is always working on integrating their projects. It doesn't make sense for them to stop all new projects to do this.

  • Lively? Yeah that worked out well.
  • Facebook has outraged thousands of obsessive shirkplace F5-pressers by changing its layout from the layout it changed to after the layout before that [newstechnica.com].

    The change has met a storm of protest from users going so far as to click "Join This Group," with nearly two million people with, apparently, nothing whatsoever to do that they're actually being paid to stepping forward to demand that Facebook switch back to the layout before the last one, or the one before that.

    "This new format makes absolutely no sense at al

  • There is a strong first-mover advantage here because social networks are natural monopolies; For members of social networks the best choice of social network is the biggest social network because more of your friends are likely to be there. People acting on that basis grow the largest networks larger. The first network to have one member wins and no other social networks exist. In fact that is not the actual outcome because other factors play rolls, nonetheless first-mover advantage may play a dominant

  • I don't use gmail (not counting work mail, I get about 2-3 emails a day, on a busy day), so its wonderful dealing-with-lots-of-mail features don't help me, but I do make use of its contacts manager. But I wish it were better, and more standalone from gmail. The main reason is that we've got a few different places that need to access contact info: our phones (G1s), our mail clients (IMAP via Thunderbird, sometimes webmail), various private web apps that I've written. I *hate* having to manage and manually sy

  • I can see it now...
    "Checking my mail while sipping some nice tea... BUY authentic Indian TEA for only $4 a box! Click HERE"
  • Another me-too product that Google is not designed or staffed to make and which will lower the value of their brand.

    It's like they're starting a nightclub.

  • Its Orkut networking service, though launched before Facebook, has failed to gain a mass following in most parts of the world, despite success in Brazil

    No, it's because of its success in Brazil. I was using Orkut before the Brazilians discovered it. Then I started to get deluged with spam in Brazilian Portuguese. Then I stopped using Orkut.

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