Duck! and Gather

Archive for June 2010

Part 1 was the introduction. Here is the ‘splainin’.

Social media will kill Google, and bring the Corporations to heel.

90% of Google’s revenue comes from those paid search listings on the right hand of a Google search results page. When we search for “iphone” on Google, we get some anonymous schmoes (the “Long Tail” of retailers) on the right hand of the page trying to sell us an iPhone. At the top of the results are the Head players (ATT and Apple). (BTW  I had to shut off AdBlock Plus to see those ads.)

But when we search for “iphone” on Facebook we get something very different. That difference is found in the reason why I didn’t provide you with a link for that search. You need to be logged in to Facebook for that link to work. A key reason why you need to be logged in to perform a search on Facebook is that the results include things your friends have said about what you’re searching for. Facebook “backfills” these results with Microsoft’s Bing.

Some people believe that this is the future of search, especially commercially oriented search. These people say that the Millennial Generation doesn’t scratch their ass without checking first with their friends. If this is true, then, over time, Facebook will come to knock off Google as the #1 commercial search tool. The day that happens is the day that Google stock goes all MSFT.

On the point of bringing Corporations to heel, this is a more subtle point. Next to its ads, Facebook places a small “X”. Clicking on that X brings up:

You have removed this ad. Why didn’t you like it? Uninteresting? Misleading? Offensive? Repetitive? Other?

Contrast this with Google’s paid search and its YouTube. The only “voting” we have on paid search is not to click. And YouTube has buried its 5 star ratings just as the former web 2.0 darling is moving fast to embrace the media Head.

What about Twitter’s new “Promoted Tweets”? Corporate advertising tweets will get dinged if not retweeted enough by the hordes.

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Let’s try starting this in Tweet-sized chunks:

  • Rethinking my duckandgather blog. Maybe we won’t have to “duck”.
  • Social media will save us from the need to duck, and history will end.
  • Social media will kill Google, and bring the Corporations to heel.
  • Social media is driven by we the People; not by management.
  • Nobody dies. Crisis averted. We all live happily ever after.

Yeah, Twitter is good for some stuff. But deep analysis ain’t among them.

Another way to start is the following: As part of my day job, I deeply analyze the social media landscape (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). Today, in the middle of that work, I had an epiphany: Could the emergence of this dynamic hearken the end of history as we know it?

Let’s start the analysis with my purpose in starting this blog back in late 2003. Basically, I had read two politically opposite books in 2003 — both of which seemed true to me. Assuming their truth, I looked for their intersection. And what I found in there was surprising to me. I found that these books seemed to be predicting that America was heading for an existential crisis, and that crisis would take the form People vs. Corporations.

With this thought in mind, I spun out a number of  bold predictions for George Bush’s second term. More than a few hit the mark.

Since Obama won in 2008 (as I predicted in 2006), I’ve been sort of holding my breath, waiting for the collapse. Well, not waiting passively. As I’ve mentioned previously, I live in the hills surrounding Silicon Valley and, with my wife, have created a reasonably self-sufficient life — one that could support us and a few others for a few years without having to go “down the hill” into the Valley.

Hey, I’d have refashioned my life in this way even if I hadn’t come to the “doomsday” ideas above. The fact is, I like chopping wood, raising vegetables, and purifying mountain spring water, to name a few regular practices of mine.

But you know what? Today, on June 8, 2010 — 7 years after I read those two books, drew my conclusions, and watched as history seemed to validate them — I’m reversing course. My epiphany is that Facebook and Twitter and their ilk will save us from ourselves.

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for the money has gone too far

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June 2010