Wednesday, May 06, 2009
A face with a name?
Has Google decided to enter the arena of social networking? After a poor showing with "Lively" (Google's attempt at a 3D virtual world), Google is now offering the opportunity to create a profile to accompany vanity/ego searches. That is to say, when one searches for one's name on Google, or more likely one's ex, a person now has the opportunity to post a profile that can found at the bottom of the "name-query" page searched. Google may be vying to take on, rather than buy, MySpace and Facebook.
Google claims, "when searching for yourself to see what others would find, results can be varied and aren't always what you want people to see. We want to make that better and give you more of a voice." The profile service is a way to influence the information displayed when one's name is queried. However, it is also widely suspected that Google can use information connected to profiles to mine for more connected relationships and searches likely of value to advertisers and marketers.
Google could personalize advertisements and search suggestions for profilers and those who search for and look at their profile. And if in creating the profile one gives personal info to Google (links to friend networks, interests, etc.) its pipes will not only become the precursor to finding those one is searching for, but could potential interlink one's entire social network.
As usual with the internet, user be wary.