If MySpace (current valuation, $30 million) is the Facebook of the past, then what does that make Google Plus?
I’m not sure. But, as an inveterate fan of all things Google, I hold some hope that Google will succeed where other platforms have failed, or are failing.
I share Greg’s skeptical view of Facebook, which has struck me from day one as a kludgy mess. I find it virtually useless for business. It strikes me as AOL-like in its attempt to separate itself from the Internet.
Facebook wants all things to be Facebook. The Internet wants to be free. Google wants to help us more effectively find things on the Internet. Those are radically different visions of what it means to organize information and minds.
Google does all this at great risk, since making things more accessible, more open, and more transparent also lowers barriers to entry for competitors.
Google Plus seemingly moves in a different direction, by providing the tools by which can interact in a “social framework”. The trick will be to keep it all more free-wheeling than is possible on Facebook, give users more control over how information about them is shared, make it easy and intuitive to use, and make money at it.
Here’s where Google has an advantage: because it is the means by which people already search and organization information, that means that social networks can be brought to bear on that information, such that search results, for instance, can be influenced by your network.
For businesses, that means figuring out to make their business a part of various social networks can really give them a leg up if, and when, Google Plus takes off. And, unlike the pointless Google Wave and dreadful Google Buzz, I think it just might.4 comments