Strategies to Approach Google’s Social Service Challenge

Google’s effort into social services where many consider being critical to its future growth has produced less than remarkable results. This month, its returning CEO Larry Page is putting all employees on notice. According to Business Insider:

“Last Friday, new Google CEO Larry Page announced that all Google employees will have their 2011 bonuses either go up or go down as much as 25% depending on how well Google “perform[s] against our strategy to integrate relationships, sharing and identity across our products.””*

Larry don’t just want Google to be social, he wants to integrate identities. I will explain the concept of online “identity”, why Larry’s goal is an incredible challenge and offer three strategic approaches to it. Continue reading


On Online Identity

Christopher “moot” Poole on online identity (link):

I think anonymity is authenticity. It allows you to share in a completely unvarnished, unfiltered, raw way. I think that’s something that’s extremely valuable. In the case of content creation, it just allows you to play in ways that you may not have otherwise. We believe in content over creator.

Continue reading

The Social Network, movie of the year and reflecting on the last decade.

The Social Network is the movie of the year or the decade perhaps. For, while its direction masterful, it was the subtext of the story of Facebook so reflective of the last decade that enticed me

“They dont want you, they want your idea”
The rise of Facebook symbolise the pinnacle prominence of idea, over shadowing everything else. Dont get me wrong, ideas has always been prized since Schumpeter wrote Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy and popularise the term creative destruction. But, never before has the value of ideas so convincingly trumps all other factors of production. In the information age where Facebook inhibits, credit are plenty, labor are cheap, land are irrelevant and raw material unneeded. Karl Marx will be rolling in his grave. With the Facebook idea, Mark Zuckerberg was able to attract troves of talent and cash. Google had the same quality, but Facebook surpass it. It took about a year for google to receive their first hundred thousand dollar from an angel investor, but for Faceoobk it only took four months before it was showered with five hundred thousand cold cold cash. Facebook was worth 15 billion in 2007, two years before it could even turn a profit. Google was worth 23 billion in 2004 after it 3 years of continuous profitability. How time have changed in such short notice.

“A million dollar isn’t cool, do you know what’s cool, its a billion dollar”
Cash, and lots of it. For the majority of 2000s, Americans were swimming in pool of cash fill by the low Federal Reserve interest rate and Asian savings. Without all this cheap money, Facebook would probably never have raise finance the way it did. The decade was an bubble economy, people and banks were over-leveraging, buying houses and making financial bets that they cant afford. The mountain of wealth built on a house of cards came crushing down and drove us to near depression in 2008. We survive the crush to live with the consequence.

“Relationship status: it’s complicated”
Google Earth, Wikipedia, Second Life, Four Square, Wikileaks and a lot of last ten years was about the digitalization of our reality. Our reality because its base on our perspective. With social media like Facebook we even digitalize our social relationships. In a sense, this should not alarm us, because it bough us back to where we were for most of human existence until the the mass urbanization during the industrial age. We were people of small villages of hundreds rather than mega-cities of hundreds of millions. Everybody knows everybody in small villages, reputation were important. No as much so in mega-cities, you can hook-up with a different girl every night in New York without any of them ever knowing each other. Social media, Facebook in particular reverse that trend. Now people fear getting tagged on Facebook in places or people they dont want to be seen with, and receiving friend request from their mothers. Employer check you up before you are hired. Now, internet reputation is as important as village reputation was.

In summation
In the decade of 2001~2010, the world (Asian countries mostly) worked hard and saved while the Americans rack up mountain of debt and pool their talents to develop the idea of Facebook so that we can know each other better. It  has been fun. The party, of course had to end in the fall of 2008. Good times.

My other post on The Social Network.

I dig The Social Network

Yes i do,
and so does all reviewers except for a handful of technology writers,
so what are the charges lay upon this masterful film (according to Wikipedia)?

1. The film was an attack on new technologies and those responsible for them.
Really? i thought the movie as either was neutral on the value of technology or implicitly lauded its ability to change industries (music was the case in point), relay information (about the relationship status or result of rowing races) value by people.

2. Its describe young tech entrepreneurs as anti-social weirdos,
What? did the reviewer completely missed Sean Parker, who charms, parties and dates Victoria’s Secret models.
Even Zuckerberg had a girl friend, had sex in the film and a best friend who dished out $19,000 to support him.

3. Its anti-Geek.
nope. not really. I consider my self a nerd (a close kin of geeks) on the nerds vs jocks divide and i felt the movie accurately portray the bitterness that we hold towards jocks in our adolescence. And have these reviewer ever seen other works of Arron Sorkin (the script writer), namely The West Wing? That television series was an unapologetic glorification of nerds, its had dialogues so nerdy it had got to be written by one too.

4. its misogynistic
maybe, but there really wasn’t a substantial female character at all. It did strongly suggest that Zuckerbergs was a strongly motivated by his relationship with a girl. But really when is the opposite sex not a strong motivator in any thing we humans do? Ever read The Origin of Species or anything by Sigmund Freud? Procreation is the ultimate motivator.

5. Its was unfair on Zuckerberg
How? Zuckerberg in the movie had keen sense of what socializing was all about, he had vision (not going to the dull million, but the cool billion) and he was a genius.
I will bet my lunch money that Zuckerber has been getting more sex since this movie came out.

6. fail to point out the absurdity of the legal system.
no, the movie did point out the problem of trail by jury system.  In fact the movie had suggest that the lawsuit bought by the rowing twin’s is stupid. Larry Summers (the President of Harvard) completely dismissed it.

Did i watch the same movie as the negative reviewers? or did they see an earlier version of the movie? i dont know. but i found many of the criticism to be over the top.


I dig it. i dig it very much.