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back to article Google's Eric Schmidt 'screwed up' over social network FAIL

Google's Eric Schmidt has shouldered the blame for the company's lack of effort in nailing a successful social networking strategy to compete with rival Facebook. "I clearly knew I had to do something and I failed to do it. The CEO should take responsibility. I screwed up," said Schmidt, who was speaking at the All Things …

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WTF?

"shouldered the blame"

Riiight, 'cause they're really in the shitter without a TwitBook clone.

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Stop

no desire to get into the search business - really?

I'm not sure that's entirley true.

Facebook may not be interested in creating another Google clone or traditional search engine, but clearly search is something they've worked on. If you look at how responsive their site is when searching for anything it's clear they've spent a while refining things. It seems to me almost natural that they'd want to create their own search system directly within Facebook and then use information from logged in users to share that data.

I might be wrong on this and it's just my opinion, but I think it's quite narrow minded of Google to assume Facebook (or another social network) has no interest in search.

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Gimp

He must have lived in a hole... and missed the myspace craze..

"Facebook's done a number of things which I admire," said Schmidt.

"It's the first generally available way of disambiguating identity. Historically, on the internet such a fundamental service wouldn't be owned by a single company. I think the industry would benefit from an alternative to that... Identity is incredibly useful because in the online world you need to know who you are dealing with."

no wonder he hung up his boots....

did he ever hear of myspace? myspace was also better in my opinion but not everyone knew how to code their own page to their liking, so i think thats why most people left. That and the constant spam from facebook saying you have been invited because one of your friends added their contact list to the facebook spambot...

Fanboi just because its a gimp lol! i think ima look at every mac user like that now hahahah

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Silver badge

Google could do some good now

Google should fund and provide support for diaspora or even Eben Moglen's Freedom Box. There is huge potential for a distributed social networking system, one which is free from any one provider's control and allows users to control how much information they expose. Google would still benefit enormously from such a system. They could host a diaspora node, make it incredibly easy to use, integrate it with their other services and of course serve advertising. Users could take their profiles elsewhere of course but they'd loose integration so there is some degree of stickiness but still the ability to pack up and go somewhere else.

Distributed social networking would put huge pressure on Facebook and would also reassure users that Google had learnt from past mistakes while contributing something useful back.

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Anonymous Coward

Can you share some of that your smoking?

Three major problems:

1) Diaspora uses the Affero GPL license which Google loves to hate. It means they would have to make all their changes to the code it public.

2) No matter how hard Google tried the ads would only appear in their node. Then anyone else could just pop up their own node and beat Google at its game. You missed the part where Google wants to control everything.

3) Diaspora's privacy rule is: "Diaspora doesn’t expose your information to advertisers, or to games you play, or to other websites you visit. " which is also incompatible with Google's business goals. How would they target ads?

Not to mention it's probably illegal in the US to provide a service that, as a basis, encrypts and lets users securely share content. How could .gov subpoena for information then?

Finally just to make matters worse Zuckerberg already beat them to that investment...

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Silver badge

I don't see these as problems

1) Diaspora is a commercial entity. Google can buy it and do what they like under a dual licence. Diaspora is also fundamentally a set of protocols for information exchange so Google could even implement their own compatible version under a more aggreeable licence.

2) Not a big deal. As long as Google does a good job of hosting profiles and integrating it with their other services, people won't feel any reason to leave. I don't see it any different from the current situation with Google Talk. Google Talk is implemented over Jabber so in theory you can move if you like, but how many people would bother?

3) Google doesn't expose personal information to advertisers either. You buy words, they serve the words. You as a customer have no idea how they went about delivering ads or who the people were who saw them beyond some generic category.

I think there is enough reason for them to support it. Aside from being a Good Thing, it would also be a way to stick it to Facebook.

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Anonymous Coward

Keep hitting the crack pipe

1) As I said Zuckerberg already gave them some of his money. Plus they can re-release the code under a less restrictive license now.

2) What does Google Talk have to do with this? If you want to use your Google ID you have to use Google's services, if you move you have to change your ID. That's why no one bothers to move.

Not so in Diaspora where it's easy to export and import data between pods.

3) LOL Sure they don't... I'm being sarcastic btw. You can target by country, age, sex... who knows what else when Google gets their social stuff going.

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Silver badge

So what are you saying

1. First you say (I assume the 2nd AC == 1st AC) it's released under a horrible licence and Google can't use it, then you admit Diaspora could do what they like and release it under a liberal one. So your point is moot either way.

2. The point is Jabber / XMPP is a protocol for messaging. Google implement their version as Google Talk and interoperates with users on other implementations. It demonstrates they will use a distributed protocol which they do not control when it suits. This is in pronounced difference to the manner in which Skype / AIM / Windows Messenger work under the thumb of a single operator.

3. Google don't disclose who they target or their algorithms to customers. The reasons for that should be painfully obvious. If they hosted a Diaspora node or Diaspora compatible service it would not be in conflict with any obligation not to disclose private data to advertisers.

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Big Brother

At least its good to have it finally, absolutely and completely confirmed

@"It's the first generally available way of disambiguating identity. Historically, on the internet such a fundamental service wouldn't be owned by a single company. I think the industry would benefit from an alternative to that... Identity is incredibly useful because in the online world you need to know who you are dealing with."

Well at least its good to have it finally, absolutely and completely confirmed in their own words, that its our identity that Google (and Facebook) really wants.

At least we don't have to have that argument every again. They want our identity ... ok ... now what do we do to stop them ... because with our Identity they become an ever growing database on all of us.

That is the end Orwellian goal of all the people who secretly want an Orwellian level of social control and that Totalitarian goal has to be stopped by every means possible, because throughout history, every time societies move towards a Totalitarian level of social control, the people always end up increasingly suffering whilst the rich and powerful get ever more rich and powerful as they exploit the people more and more. Its the same pattern time and time again in society, so we can't close our mind to that and be blinded by the companies shiny new features which act like a carrot on a stick hanging before us, leading us towards their Totalitarian state.

There has to be a limit on what these companies are allowed to do.

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Technology Companies?

>>>He described Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple as being technology companies that were part of the "Gang of Four".

Well, I count 2 technology companies, 1 application company and 1 ad company.

I do hate how Google perceive themselves as a technology company. Really gets on 'yer tits. Google are an ad company with a big technology department. Google do not make money from selling technology, they make money from selling ad space. All their technology stuff breaks even, and contributes very little to their turnover and bottom line.

Apple and Microsoft make money from technology.

Facebook are simply an online application company.

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Bronze badge

Gang of Four?

Does he not realise the unfortunate connotations of that term? Although I consider it is quite apt, myself.

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