“Google doesn’t do social media well.” Discuss.

Ahniwa Ferrari of Washington State Libraries, one of early adopters I met at the Internet Librarian conference last year, passed on this provocative entry from Adam Rifkin’s …ifindkarma… blog, “Pandas and Lobsters: Why Google Cannot Build Social Applications“, which dissects Google’s character as an online megalith and makes the pronouncement that its essential nature precludes its success with social media apps and platforms. Barring YouTube, which it purchased as opposed to developing itself, Google’s track record in creating spaces in which people want to gather and share is pretty dismal.

Personally, I made furtive stabs at Google Wave and Google Buzz, but have found neither anywhere near good enough to replace my other social media tools, or to even use at all. Conversley, I was let in on Google Voice last year and it became my go-to real-time communication tool, after Skype. Proving “Panda’s and Lobsters” thesis that Google makes great tools, not great social connectors.As librarians, we obviously need both, and this post provides some nice insights into how we can evaluate the programs, apps, and platforms that come our way. Understanding the nature of the beast is a large part of successfully making it our pet.


3 Responses to “Google doesn’t do social media well.” Discuss.

  1. Good point about the difference between utilities and social platforms. My Google profile languishes because I have no motivation to even have one (except knowing that it may somehow increase my personal Google rank).

    After reading this it is easy to view Google really as a utility — like the Electric Company of the web. It powers most of what we do online. But the things that are created using that power (granted to them by search results and ex-employees) are what light the streets. (If we really thought this through, I think the metaphor is pretty good!)

    It will be interesting to see if they can hold on to all that power and status as social media applications gain more strength both in the general public and also at the enterprise level (ie Outlook now integrates Facebook updates!)

  2. tania says:

    Just a quick update which proves the point – Google Wave is dead. http://chronicle.com/blogPost/blogPost-content/26039/

  3. Pingback: Google buys social company, Slide. Now what? | danielhooker.com

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