Social Networks and Land Grabs

I just got talked into registering a Gmail account by some friends (a different bunch to the ones on Facebook). That’s not so bad. I had been meaning to investigate Google Docs anyway. The problem is that they want to use Google Buzz for chat and microblogging and all that modern nonsense. Oh noes! Its like Facebook all over again!

So what’s so bad about that? Leaving aside my general curmudgeonliness and dislike of social networking, I think there is a genuine problem here.

Facebook only lets you talk to people on Facebook. Google Buzz encourages you talk to people on Google Buzz. My friends clearly feel that my not having been on Facebook/Buzz has impeded our communication and have pulled me onto their preferred platforms rather than setting up something neutral, like an old style mailing list.

Everybody is under pressure to sign up to everything that their friends sign up to but I am sure I am not the only person feeling password fatigue. What the main social networking sites hope for is that popular people will make their platform their sole base and then bully all their friends into joining it until their platform reaches critical mass and eats the internet.

It is a massive land grab as each social networking site tries to own the user base and wrap up the internet in its platform. This is not what the internet was supposed to be about. The internet does not have to be a series of gated communities with jealous landlords.

OK. OK. Google Buzz isn’t too bad. Google are doing their best not to be evil. It certainly doesn’t seem to be spewing my personal details to all and sundry. I have managed to link it to WordPress so that I can post here and it should reflect over there (although it doesn’t reflect the comments in either direction). It was a bit fiddly and Google makes it far easier to link to their own services but at least it is doable. Its nowhere near as bad as Facebook but it is still one more thing I could easily live without.

Advertisements

June 9, 2010. IT, Media, Sensible.

One Comment

  1. danielrigal replied:

    I have now rigged up Gmail to do IMAP and am reading it in Seamonkey. I can now keep up to date with all the Buzz inanity without having to actually remember to check Gmail. This is more like it!

    I am still not sure about Buzz but I am very happy with Gmail. Getting POP and IMAP for free puts them way ahead of other free email providers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: