Social Networking Wars: Ridiculous

There’s a lot of talking going around today, with due cause, about the new social networking application built into Gmail, called Google Buzz.  Many articles, like this PC Magazine piece by Michael Muchmore, repeatedly and needlessly compares it to other social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, wondering if people will switch over from one to the other. The reason why this is needless is that there is no reason to discard one for the other.

As I demonstrate on my Twittermy Google Profile, and my Facebook, all of these updates can synch with each other, thereby allowing me to make one update (I personally like the 140 character challenge presented by Twitter) and it displays across the board. The questions people are posing, about replacing one of these technologies with another, is ludicrous and short-minded. As far as social networking goes, the more applications you use to get out your message, the more likely it is that someone will hear you. Why not go for wide spectrum?There are some compelling issues that are also being bandied about, including in the PC Mag article, which are indeed in need of consideration. Namely privacy. Google does collect a lot of information about its users, true, but to call them “Big Brother” is sort of juvenile and unimaginative: Google does not desire to control every aspect of your life, and their compilation of data is not meant to keep track of what you do and who you talk to, it’s merely a business-minded venture. By analyzing the data you acquire through their services they can tailor the advertising, their bread and butter for all the services they offer at no cost to the user, that you see, thereby maximizing their earning potential.

Google is not some evil corporation looking to eventually dominate the individual, stifling creativity and homogenizing the world – their motivation is the opposite of that, the free exchange of information so that eventually all humanity is on exactly the same footing, at least educationally. Of course they’re in it to make money, that’s what corporations are all about, but Google has at least developed a non-morally reprehensible approach to the acquisition of wealth, a platform that seeks to connect people, bridge gaps, and break down barriers all while drawing a profit. This isn’t to say that Google should have carte blanche on determining the state of information they acquire from their users, but they already have a privacy policy that holds them accountable, to themselves and to us. If you’re not one for links, here’s the video lining it all out.

If you’re not one for videos, here’s a relevant piece that hits at around the 1:45 mark, specifically, “We don’t sell user information to other companies.” That PC Mag article touts how people may be annoyed at having to set up a Gmail account to use Buzz (who doesn’t have a Gmail account besides my fiancee?), perhaps preferring to stay with Yahoo! Mail. Well, turns out that Yahoo! doesn’t have such privacy policies and have no qualms in selling user information.

So, in closing because I have other things I have to do and can’t spend all day talking about why Google is better than everyone else, the development of technology does not immediately dispose of previously established technology, and there’s no reason why everyone can’t play together nicely. However, should there need to be a complete shift toward the utilization of a single company’s software infrastructure, I believe it should be Google’s because they are very competent at what they do and seem to be the most open-minded on how to do it. Give me a Buzz, a Tweet, or a status update and let me know how I’m doing – my digital ears are open and hoping to hear from you.


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