Sturm und Dross on the Internet

  • People use “Search” to research a topic or find a solution. Google dominates search but Bing is gaining and new entrants are constantly emerging, like Blekko.
  • People use Facebook to socialize and play games – both of which are essentially leisure activities. People don’t go to Facebook to solve problems. And Facebook keeps people inside their walled garden with intra-friend messaging, virtual goods and all those games. Every page on Facebook has a 250px sidebar of Image Ads.

That’s the way it’s been for the last few years, but things are changing.

  • Search is bogging down with SPAM (Ads pretending to be information) and DROSS (words pretending to be information). The latter has gathered a lot of attention with the IPO of Demand Media, who basically pays pennies per word for keyword-stuffed articles. Jason Calacanis does a good job of calling the kettle black .
  • Facebook is evolving. With 1B members forecast by year-end they are changing the web.

Google’s mission is to catalog the world’s information. Facebook’s mission is to catalog the world’s people and entities. The page changes unveiled last week make no distinction between a personal page, a corporate page or a movement, belief or hobby. If they are successful, people will use Facebook to play, to communicate, to learn, to shop and to live.

A few years ago I wrote a faux press release blog claiming “Facebook hits 2B users and changes name to WWW”. That was semantically incorrect since www is a sub-domain. I should have said “Facebook changes name to Hotel California.

Leave a Reply