Why Google Turned Into a Social Butterfly

James Yang
James Yang

Randall Stross によるグーグルについてのすばらしい分析。「Social Butterfly」というのがいい!

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Google’s vision — “Social Will Be Everywhere” — is more compelling than anything Facebook could possibly devise. Who wouldn’t prefer the unlimited freedom to take one’s own trusted circle anywhere on the Web, as opposed to the cramped confines of island life?

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In a bravura switch of strategy, Google left its own island to embrace open standards that belong to no one company. Its initiative, which it calls OpenSocial, is an appeal to software developers and Web sites to cooperate in adopting a single set of software standards for the little software widgets that can add a social-networking layer to all Web sites. Agreement on a standard would save users from the aggravation of joining multiple networks and save developers from the aggravation of writing code that works only with specific sites. Unlike Facebook’s programming requirements, Google’s use nonproprietary programming languages.

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Google’s self-interest is plain enough: it does not want Web users to disappear from its radar when they head off to proprietary social networking islands. Incidentally, if software based on OpenSocial specifications spreads throughout the Web, and if users are permitted to assume more control over how their personal information is used and sold, it is possible to imagine a day when all sites on the Web are equipped to utilize one’s social network, regardless of where it originated. These are not small if’s, of course, but it is also possible to imagine members receiving feeds about what friends are doing and updating others about their own activities while roving far from the island. Why spend time on a social networking site if its functionality can be made portable?

New York Times | Why Google Turned Into a Social Butterfly

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