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Google CEO Confirms Social Integration 96

siliconbits writes "As we get closer to — and hear more about — the launch of Google's upcoming social product, Google Me, the less and less it seems like a stand-alone social network and more like an interweaving of social connections into its existing offerings. It sounds eerily similar to those 'social' search results that have lingered at the bottom of the results page and third-party extras like Rapportive, the Gmail add-on that gives you the social networking lowdown on your email contacts."
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Google CEO Confirms Social Integration

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  • Uh, no thanks. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GrumblyStuff ( 870046 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @09:40AM (#33586092)

    Is there ANY place that isn't jumping on the god damn social networking bandwagon?

    • Re:Uh, no thanks. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cybrthng ( 22291 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @09:45AM (#33586152) Journal

      Maybe the Internet was social to begin with?

      I don't like the way its being dominated by single entities acting as marketing companies, but i'm not naive enough to think it isn't a fundamental aspect of the very existence of the Internet :)

      • Re:Uh, no thanks. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @09:54AM (#33586286)

        It's a fundamental aspect of human culture and psychology... for normal people, at least. Its just there used to be places you could go that everyone in the world couldn't follow you and find out everything you were doing.

        • Re:Uh, no thanks. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by daedae ( 1089329 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:11AM (#33586508)

          Its just there used to be places you could go that everyone in the world couldn't follow you and find out everything you were doing.

          The Internet is not and was not necessarily that place ("On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog" notwithstanding). The reason everybody can follow you and find out everything you're doing everywhere else in the world is because you announced to everybody where you were going and what you were doing anyway.

          • by houghi ( 78078 )

            The reason everybody can follow you and find out everything you're doing everywhere else in the world is because you announced to everybody where you were going and what you were doing anyway.

            Yes, but not on purpose, willingly or even that most people know of. Cookies, IP tracing, login linking and what not.

            That is also the reason why I and many others do not use their real name. However many people do not have the knowledge to make that decision. On the Internet nobody is paranoia, because your ARE being f

        • There still are (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:39AM (#33587948) Journal

          I can't follow you outside slashdot unless YOU make that possible. I don't know who you are. I can search your posts by your username because YOU choose to create an account and post under that account. I can't see what posts you made as an AC. Or what moderations you have done.

          All your actions outside posts made under your account are unknown to me, unless YOU somehow share them AND link them to this account. You could be Obama for all I know, or be Lady Gaga. Now, I could google your nickname, but that only works if you used the same nick somewhere else.

          It is possible to analyse all your posts and from them deduce a profile based on your style of writing. To be fair for the average slashdot poster that would put their location as "nearest kindergarden" but it might be possible to trace you to a specific location.

          BUT that is because YOU choose to link all your posts together.

          On the other hand, in the real world, I can't go invisible when I leave my house. So my neighbours know when I come and when I go. The supermarket can tell what I am doing by what I am buying. The bookshop knows my reading habbits (you sicko, is their personalized greeting) etc etc.

          So, why do people worry about their online visibitlity where you can be a million different people, when everyone and their dog knows your offline person and what it is doing?

          If you ever lived in a small community, you are used to it and you know, if the community is good, then it is a benefit. Neighbours actually stopped an attempted burglary because they knew I was away and saw movement so knew it couldn't be okay when I was younger and lived in a "village" that was about a dozen houses. In Amsterdam I had a neighbour discovered after the smell from the rotting corpse finally drifted into the hallway. All I knew was that the previous resident had moved and nobody ever noticed the new person moving in.

          Don't complain about invasion of privacy is you broadcast every fart you make to the entire world. It is like saying "how dare people look at me when I streak down the high street".

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Requiem18th ( 742389 )

            Fair enough, but you have to admit that things start getting sticky when Google tries to pressure you into giving them your cellphone number by using SMS for authentication.

            Sure they may already have a rough idea of where I live based on my IP address, heck they may know exactly where I live thanks to the Google maps van that also happened to sniff and store WiFi activity.

            They still don't know whether I go to Pizza-Hut or not and they are irritatingly desperate to find out.

          • by houghi ( 78078 )

            You are right, unless you are Google.

            And about that small community where everybody knows me. It also means I know them. On Facebook almost everybody puts up their own name and details. Sure I could say "But they did that themselves" and lauch at them for not having the knowledge that it is a bad thing to do.

            Even about 10 years ago it was pretty easy to find information about people. e.g. Person makes contact via Yahoo Pager using his own name. We figure out the IP, so we know he is from a University. Searc

          • by Gilmoure ( 18428 )

            But, but, I put a link to my super-secret (don't tell Mom because I sometimes post boobies) blog in all my posts.

            Damn you Slashdot, for invading my privacy! Damn you to HELL!

        • by Gilmoure ( 18428 )

          Just create a new user name/email account?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        No. The internet was designed to keep computers connected during a nuclear war. Everything else was added on later. The web was really for publishing documents and accessing scientific information - it wasn't meant to let everyone know that you're a Justin Bieber fan.

        But hey, everything morphs and now the scientists can look at porn while surfing for the latest on particle physics.

        • by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:09AM (#33586476)

          Maybe they're just trying to find out what happens when two bodies with strong attractive properties collide with each other?

        • The web was originally designed to allow two way data push between agents, human/automated or whatever. The tools to push came later, and so iteration one was just static content, mostly information (data that got compiled); now we have data being published as readily. I'd suggest letting the web know you're a fan is the same sort of data that was originally intended.

          • Actually, the part that annoys me more about the new "social" intarwebs is all the morons complaining about people knowing they're a Justin Bieber fan after they posted the same on their "marked private" Facebook account. That said, I do hate things like when Google makes GoogleTalk sign-in automatic when you go to Gmail unless you turn the setting off explicitly. They made the same mistake with that stupid Buzz crap. I anticipate with Google that I'll have to opt-out rather than opt-in with this social
        • I did not know that AnonymousClown was a Justin Bieber fan.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by eln ( 21727 )

          The internet was designed to keep computers connected during a nuclear war.

          That's a common, but untrue, myth. The Internet was designed to survive large network outages primarily because the early networks were extremely unreliable, not because of any desire to survive nuclear attack. The Internet was primarily designed, and used, for facilitating communication between researchers in far-flung locations. In that aspect, it could be argued that the intention was social in nature from the very beginning, and anonymity wasn't ever really expected or designed for.

          Having said tha

        • by Rob Kaper ( 5960 )

          Keeping computers connected during a nuclear war serves no benefit in itself. The Internet was designed as a robust communication network. And it has remained to be just that. The amount of users and content of the communication haven't changed that.

        • Internet was designed, as you said, to withstand nuclear war, but that is not what the internet was "designed" for. It is, it will be, and it will remain a "communication" tool. People who don't realize and understand this are doomed to "not getting it" for a long time.

          The people who don't get why social media is so big, don't understand that the internet was social to start with, because it is all about communication. The internet is a social network. The only thing that has changed is the bandwidth, and w

          • The users have changed. The whole point of improved user interfaces is that the medium is accessible to a greater range of people. There are more people in the world who are interested in their daughters party photos than the contents of github.

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by RazorSharp ( 1418697 )

        I think what the parent is complaining about isn't the social nature of the internet, but how it's become focussed on social frivolities rather than a method of exchanging information. When the www came about everyone thought that this generation of kids would turn out to be the most intelligent in history because information would be easily accessible and free. But the exact opposite is true. Despite the fact that the www hosts more knowledge than any library on earth, most people use it for social network

    • by croddy ( 659025 )
      Look on the bright side. It means the whole scene will be burning out pretty soon and the internet can go back to its original purpose, the proliferation of misanthropy and technical arguments.
      • by vlm ( 69642 )

        Look on the bright side. It means the whole scene will be burning out pretty soon and the internet can go back to its original purpose, the proliferation of misanthropy and technical arguments.

        And Pr0n. Lots of Pr0n.

    • by axx ( 1000412 )
      your-own-domain.tld ? That's what I like about having my own domain, being able to direct it to whatever I want, and not depending on some other entity that can change the services I'm using whenever they want to. That and tinkering with all the possibilities a domain + a box plugged to the Internet offers, obviously. :)
    • imo, giving people more ways to communicate is not a bad thing. i am not claiming it improves the quality of communication, but i don't think anyone is promising that either. people are online, so they want to talk to others who are online. kind of like what we are doing right now.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Yeah, who would want the internet to connect people...

      social networking is awesome. some implementations are better then others, but I like it.

      And no, I don't post everything I do, but I do stay in connect with friends and family who chose to follow me.

      • Sarcasm noted.

        What I mean is the problem isn't social networking but every commercial interest that jumps on it. Share us on Twitter! Follow us on Facebook! Dig us! Reddit! And it's everywhere and practically replaces actual websites except with more tracking.

    • Agreed! Why does everything have to be social! To me it's not social, it's INSECURE! When I want to be social I invite friends over, or I actually leave my home. I don't want my g-mail account to be linked to my google groups profile. Nor do I want my Youtube account to have anything to do with my google search account, which I really don't even want! I further more don't need the search function integrated in my browser, and I don't need it to simultaneously index my files. I know where I put em - It's
  • sounds like an open invitation to David Barksdale []
  • Google does remember the debacle [] earlier this year...right?

    OK, show of hands: given what happened with Buzz, who here would feel comfortable with Google Me?

    • It's rather unlikely that Google didn't learn *anything* from Buzz and is making the same mistake again.
    • Let's see:
      On the blue corner we have the king of disregarding users privacy options time after time. The one is standing up to its amoral morals in the face of media outrage and scandals aplenty - Facebook.
      On the red corner, the newcomer to the social networking scene/ It may have blundered the first time, but it quickly learned from its mistakes and fixed what is wrong within days of users' complaints - Google.

      I think I'll go with the one who at least tries to listen to what the users complain about and ch

      • Let's say you have a friend. One day, he invites you to go camping. You wake in the middle of the night and he's raping your asshole. You beg him to stop and he does, after making you lick the shit off his dick. A couple months later, he asks you to go camping again.

        But I'm sure he learned from his mistakes.

        • I personaly would gracefully decline, but I know some who would gladly take the offer :)
          And on a more serious note: If Google breached users' privacy intentionally, then what you said would have been a good anolagy (Although there were no cars in it). However, I believe Google's position that what happened with the launch of Buzz was a honest mistake. They offered the product with some options turned on by default because they thought users would appreciate the fact that it made the product easier to set up

    • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
      Is it that shocking to make a second try after a first failure ?
  • by rotide ( 1015173 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @09:50AM (#33586220)
    Best two Google stories, back to back. Spying on kids by Google employee(s) and Social Integration announcements. What could possibly go wrong? Just kind of funny.
  • by Assmasher ( 456699 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:05AM (#33586426) Journal

    Fully expect this to be in beta for 2 years and then canceled, a la Wave, for some other 'uber' replacement 'product.' Seriously, with so many talented people, Google actually produces relatively very little.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jDeepbeep ( 913892 )
      Their attention span seems notoriously short at times.
      • by D Ninja ( 825055 )

        Darn tootin

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Their attention span seems notoriously short at times.

        That's actually quite deliberate, as far as I can tell. Google's model is to get something working in front of real users quickly, have it adapt quickly, and, if it doesn't work well enough to be worth the costs of keeping it up, kill it. This lets them get lots of things in front of customers, giving them more chances to get hits (and letting them learn a lot from the flops.)

        It also reduces the risks, since things they don't keep plugging on things till

    • by MiP007 ( 1887996 )
      At Google they don't "cancel", they "open-source"...
    • by whoop ( 194 )

      This could be sort of a culmination of everything they have learned from previous projects. Take a little Buzz, a bit of Wave, toss in some Profiles, Blogger, etc, add some games to keep people busy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Just like gmail, and gtalk, and search, earth, maps, .. oh wait.

      Her is an idea, stop using fallacious arguments.

      Your argument is basically this:

      Hey, a few of there products where accepted to market, there fore every thing they ever do will fail.

      I, for one, am glad they do this type of RnD research.

      Part of research is failure. An idea that just doesn't work when implemented.

  • by sfraggle ( 212671 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:07AM (#33586454)

    The question everyone is asking: Will Google Me be as successful as Windows Me?

  • How many times has Google been launching "a social network" (or "social integration")? First there's Orkut (failed), and then FriendFeed and its Blogger integration, and then Google Buzz (major fail!), now this Google Me. Just buy out Facebook (or Zynga, or both) and be done with it.
  • Google has their fingers in a lot of pies, I know. But please pull resources from this crap and get some truly useful things workings, like the ability to import an existing phone number into Google Voice! That has been "on the way" for 18 months, and many many people will jump to use it. As it sits now, my GV number is unused and that makes GV mostly unused. If I could put my home/business numbers on GV, usage (and potential data for mining) will skyrocket for me and for a lot of other people disaffect

  • Mixed Feelings (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:14AM (#33586544)
    As much as I want a Facebook killer to come along (and I really, really, really want Facebook to be killed...), I'm not sure I want it to be Google. My big beef with Facebook is I absolutely do not trust them. They've proven to have no respect for my personal information and thus I've pared my profile down to just the bare minimum information and I use the site to stay in touch with friends and family now. I'm not really using the site to keep my friends and family updated on my going-ons, however, because I don't trust Facebook with that information any more. Google, a company which is built on making money from the activities of web browsers, I trust only a bit more. Google, I know, will try to turn a profit from my information but I at least trust Google to make a serious attempt to respect my privacy while they try to monetize my information.

    I really want Facebook erased from the digital landscape but I'm not sure if I want Google to be the vanquisher...
    • They should follow the diaspora model. Maybe even implement a diaspora server and/or clients.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Rogerborg ( 306625 )
        What, you mean scam a shitload of funding for a vapourware product, and then go strangely silent? Google already have a shitload of money.
        • Time for them to go silent, then ?
          • Google are like Chuck Norris. If you can't see them, it's because they're just about to snap your neck.
            • Can't we just aim Bruce Schneier at them, then ?
            • by jpapon ( 1877296 )

              Google already have a shitload of money.

              Google are like Chuck Norris.

              Just a question... why do you use Google as a plural noun? I thought corporations were always referred to as singular nouns i.e. "Microsoft is the devil" or "Rolex makes watches", not "Microsoft are the devil" and "Rolex make watches".

              • Plural is the British usage, and singular is American.

                • by jpapon ( 1877296 )
                  Really? I've never noticed that. Interesting. Honestly, they both make sense, since it's a single entity, but by definition is composed of lots of people. Do the Brits do this with all collective entities?

                  On second thought, American English makes no sense; sports teams are plural, corporations are singular, and the "United States of America" is singular.

                  Ok, so I looked it up, there's a nice history of the whole thing here: []

      • by atisss ( 1661313 )

        Btw The Facebook Killer (diaspora) should have developer release today. Waiting for it..

    • Agreed. The ideal scenario is for Google to support the protocols for something like Diaspora so that it plugs in the Google userbase without the Google control. Google's incentive would be reducing facebook's influence in the advertising sphere, naturally.
      • The ideal scenario is for Google to support the protocols for something like Diaspora


        What do the protocols for, e.g., Diaspora do that the open protocols for various social networking functions that Google already supports (some of which it developed) fail to do?

        If the protocols don't offer anything new, where is the large established user base for those protocols that Google supporting them in addition to its existing protocols would open up?

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      A man of your convictions would be more easily allayed were he to simply discard all your personal relationships. Then the shadow facebook looms above your world would fade.

      Or I mean, you could get over yourself. Either way, just sayin'.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I don't so much want a Facebook killer, as that just means the sheep have moved on to the next advertising grazing field... I'd much rather people get back to actual social interaction instead of this social facade for the lazy and uninteresting. Instead of facilitating social interaction, Facebook "replaces" it for a large number of people. People get so used to these internet social norms that they don't know how to interact with each other in real life anymore.
      • Man, you must have sucky friends. Facebook does facilitate actual social interaction for me. Really. I have 20 invites right now for actual things to do outside scheduled for the next week. Now, there are of course other ways to facilitate social interaction that doesn't involve facebook, or really the internet. But, it can be used correctly. So if people don't use it correctly who is to blame, them or the site? I've noticed my anti social friends have finally joined facebook. But they only play the stupid,
    • by jafac ( 1449 )

      I just want competition.

      I know that having more than one social network kind of defeats the purpose - so obviously, a federated approach is necessary, and you'll never get vendors to buy into such a thing.

      But "one" network to "rule them all" is. . . not good.

  • time to change it to Google Millennium Edition.

  • Seriously, Google, don't do it. Facebook sucks. It is a pit of wasted time, shitty Zanga apps, and pictures of people's cats. Let Facebook (or someone else) be Facebook and let Google stay Google.
  • Google became popular not only because of their quality search results (which Bing has now, for most practical uses, caught up with), but also because of their minimalist uncluttered search page. Ditto Google mail which not only works well but has a clean UI.

    It seems to be the way of most major software applications that they end up adding feature bloat to the point they are no longer unusable for their core purpose, and Google seems intent on going that way too. I guess the Wave fiasco wasn't enough - they

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:50AM (#33587074) Homepage Journal

    And replaced by something else. In the meantime, Google is jealous that they got a movie made about Facebook, but nobody's rushing to make a movie about Google. Even Apple and Microsoft have have movies 9TV movies anyhow) made about them, so they are feeling left out.

    In the mantime, this whole "social networking" thing will die out in about 3 years, that's the general timeframe before everyone gets bored and moves on to something else. I mean, how many time can you post a picture of your cat?

    Blogs are already dying out because they oversaturated themselves, it should take Facebook about that much time to oversaturate themselves as well. eBay is dying also as everyone now hates them, Google is now viewed as "evil", let's face it, things change fast in web-time, the WWW has only been around for slightly less than 2 decades (publicly), and one of the first sites here was Yahoo. Does Yahoo make the news every day? No. Nobody gives a crap about Yahoo. They are a dull company. And so it will go with every other internet firm.

    • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

      As long as I have people interested in me (At least my mother loves me...) I will have facebook.

  • Funny that a Pentagon general was lambasted for suggesting the notion, yet a couple internet companies start pushing it as a feature and the public flocks to it. I think I'll start a password storage cloud. Oh wait...

  • Social sites were called channels.. it wasn't a single entity that controlled everything, it wasn't monetized. It was called IRC.. the difference until mIRC came around was that you had to do everything through a command line.. which for the most part kept the dummies out of my social networks, +++ATH0 took care of the rest. :)

  • All this social blabber here, there and everywhere from companies who are after your life blueprint so as to target you with even more senseless commercial tripe is so... so... silly and immature.

    Consider a road example... the internet is what the roads are, a means of connection to disparate places, a way to gain access to places otherwise closed for communication.

    Facebook and its ilk are public transport companies using a hub and spoke network where their aim is to get everyone to linger in their station

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas