“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.

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