Google Me: Facebook Challenger or Social Media Pretender?

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Is that YOU, Google Me?

Rumors have been swirling since last weekend that Google is up to something big in social media. And that “big” is reportedly being designed to take on Facebook, by far the largest social media platform in the world.

Tweet Rumor

I first learned that something was up when a friend tweeted that “Google Me” was being developed. At first, I thought he was telling me to Google my full name, but dutifully followed the supplied link to CNET’s site where I found Tom Krazit’s piece discussing the rumor. “Not again!” I thought, believing at first that Google was sending out a teaser to gauge the public’s reaction.

It didn’t take long for me to learn that Digg’s Kevin Rose first announced Google Me last Sunday with Adam D’Angelo of Quora saying that the project is, indeed, very real.

I contacted a well-connected social media friend for his thoughts and he said that Google has been looking at ways to counter the Facebook mystique, given that Facebook has been siphoning people away from Google in scads. This friend says that from a purely strategic point Google Me sounds plausible but he agreed with my thinking that the name is goofy.

Social Mystery

Defining what Google Me might actually be remains a mystery. Sorry about the rhyming, but it was too tempting to resist….

What we can expect is that Google will make good on its promise to improve Google Buzz, a somewhat lame response to Twitter. Though there are some definite uses for Google Buzz, including sharing links, photos and updates with friends, this service hasn’t gotten people to say that it is a “must have” in its current form.

Not Facebook

SayCampusLife has been following or trying to follow the news surrounding another anti-Facebook site, Diaspora, that has been in the works this summer and is scheduled to be released this September.  Under development by four New York University students, Diaspora originally sought $10,000 in funding and received $200,000, such was the sentiment against Facebook this past Spring.

Google would do well to model whatever it has planned to counter Facebook with full privacy and portability controls in place. Perhaps even a better way for Google to show that it means business while putting on a friendly face would be to adopt Diaspora’s project through Google Chrome or make an offer that the four NYU students would find difficult to turn down.

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Job Hunting With Social Media

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Categories: Social Networking