Today’s announcement from Facebook is the reason why Google announced OpenSocial last week. They must have gotten a leak from one of the companies that stood with Facebook, so they knew what was coming. They weren’t scared of Facebook’s technology, because they didn’t respond with technology. They were scared because Facebook has a better advertising story than Google does. They are getting ready to offer some very premium web real estate that (pay attention now) Google can’t compete with. And advertising is Google’s bread and butter, advertising is to Google as operating systems are to Microsoft. They can’t let somebody appear to be better than they are in advertising. Yet that’s what Facebook is, better than Google in advertising.
Here’s what Facebook can do.
Let’s say I bought a Wii and I like it. They can tell all my friends “Dave bought a Wii and he likes it.” That’s a lot more likely to result in a sale than an intrusive ad like this one, that was displayed next to an email I sent to some friends about their New Networked Living Room. Google thinks I might want to buy Moroccan Lamps, or something called a Unique Shabby Chic (huh?) or Crate & Barrell bedroom furniture. Of course I tune that shit out, I don’t even see it. It has zero impact.
Anyway, I was talking with Doc Searls a few minutes ago and he mentioned OpenSocial and I told him it was just a lot of noise meant to distract people from what Facebook was doing in advertising. He hadn’t heard anything about it even though he was at a tech conference in Denver today and yesterday. I said there you go, Google’s strategy worked. But to no effect, longterm, because Facebook has the momentum and Google, try as hard as they want to stop it, will not be able to, any more than Alta Vista or Infoseek were able to stop Google once they figured out that their lunch was eaten. Google will be around for a long time, I’m not saying they will go away, but Facebook will be around too. And Google will have a hard time catching up to them.
Long-term, however they both have problems because advertising is on its way to being obsolete. Facebook is just another step along the path. Advertising will get more and more targeted until it disappears, because perfectly targeted advertising is just information. And that’s good! 🙂
8/3/06: “Information is welcome, advertising is offensive.”
First a caveat. You don’t have to agree with me, this is my opinion, and my blog, and that’s what blogs are for, they’re places where, if you happen to have an opinion, you can put it.
This is the mode of a blogger with comments. Defensive. Yuck!!
If you say in your comment that I’m dishonest, I will delete your comment. That’s the only tool I have to work with until my new friends at Disqus give me the feature WordPress has that allows you to queue up every post in moderation when blog comments get flamey. This technique tells the honesty-attackers in no uncertain terms that they should take their attacks somewhere else.
So if your comment got deleted it’s because something in your comment required a response from me (or someone else) that says basically “I am honest.” I just save us all the trouble. No need to defend myself if the attack is gone.
You may think I am dishonest, you can even say so (but be careful to be sure you’re right, and have the courage to put your name on it, only cowards make personal attacks anonymously) and do it in your space not mine. Here, I want comments with ideas and information. It’s okay to disagree with me, the people who say that all they did was disagree are wrong. I never delete a comment just for being disagreeable. I delete them if they challenge my honesty. I really don’t like that, I think the people who do it are creepy.
Okay, good. Glad to get that out of the way.
When I said Leopard feels like Windows, I meant that it locks up, disappears, freezes and crashes. That I have to trick it into doing the right thing. I wasn’t paying Windows a compliment, geez, you guys need to learn how to read.
And by the way so do some of the Mac advocates. I didn’t say you’re having no fun with Leopard. Glad you’re pleased. I wish I could gloat at how great an upgrade it was, nothing would make me happier. And btw, since writing the piece yesterday, it’s been performing pretty well on all four systems I have it installed on. Maybe getting all that out in the open is just what was needed.
For the record, I’ve never used Vista, I don’t want to, honestly I’d rather live in Bucharest than use Vista. Not today’s Bucharest, which I hear is actually pretty nice, I’m talking about the Bucharest of Ceausescu. The one who taught Cheney and Bush all they know about torture. 🙂
Update: Loic wonders what you would ask or tell President Bush if you had 3 minutes with him.
I recorded a Twittergram with what I’d say.