This post is intended to sum up an article on WIRED (Great Wall of Facebook: The Social Network’s Plan to Dominate the Internet — and Keep Google Out) I’ve just read this morning. The article is excellent, but in my opinion the editor Fred Voegelstein handles quite a lot of issues in just one article. Given that the piece pretty much concerns itself with the very topic of my PdH, I’d like to comment on it. As you will see, the post below contains quite personal and vague thoughts. I thought about rewriting it in a more objective style, but apart from – hopefully –reporting on my research as objectively as possible, I’d like to also use this blog to express my personal opinions. Thus, please allow me to share my thought on the matter with you. For the sake of brevity I left out information that contradicts my line of argumentation. Please feel provoked and comment on my entry.
It is all about the MONEY. And, with the exception of some music and porn-sites[!], money is mainly made on the web through advertising.
So, money on the web comes from ADVERTISING. The more information the advertiser has about the user, the more precisely the ad can be tailored to meet the users’ interests. Perfect advertising is not perceived as advertising, but as welcome information.
There are two kinds of advertising: BRANDING and ONLINE RETAILING. “Online retailing” aims at guiding a potential customer to an online-shop; Say you type “Flight Edinburgh” into a search engine – together with your search results you will receive an ad informing you about cheap flights by XY-air to Edinburgh. That is the work of Google AdWords.
Branding does what IP is all about. Reputation. A good trademark is a “lighthouse withstanding the data tsunami“. Branding means investing into the reputation/goodwill of a product/trade mark.
Google made 4 billion USD through its Keyword Advertising service last year. But offline brand advertising accounted globally for 500 billions USD[!] last year.
Google does ONLINE RETAILING, but Facebook could do BRANDING much better. Google lists and indexes everything it finds on the web. However, the 850 million photos and more than 8 million videos uploaded onto Facebook by its 200 million users
Its plan reads as follows: first attract as many users as possible, then let them interact with each other, which creates an incredible wealth of (personal) information. This Facebook then uses (MONTERAIZES) to deliver you perfectly tailored advertising. cannot be indexed by Google. Why? Because Facebook wants to become the new Google.
While whole governments go ridiculously crazy about Google trying to e.g. digitalize their phonebooks etc. (a very poor example that just sprung to my mind), 200 million people (that means one out of every five internet users) show little hesitation about sharing even their most personal data on Facebook. And while data protection fanatics are torturing Google representatives at every turn with their weirdest paranoid/conspiracy fantasies (e.g. very sad example: the annual SUMA e.V. Conference in Berlin, Europe), Facebook, more or less unnoticed, is on the fast lane.
Facebook, who is in a strategic alliance with Mircosoft will soon launch Facebook Search. This will enable users to search one another’s feeds [even of users who are not your friends]. Facebook’s reported goal is to replace Google. But with one big difference: Google’s results are based on the data available on the web; Facebooks results are based on information people shared online under a false impression of confidentiality.