My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Google and Google Me - How the West was Won

Monday, August 9, 2010

Google and Google Me - How the West was Won

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact;

Shakespeare, A Midsummer-Night’s Dream, V, 1

Call me Ishamael. After what seemed to be a bit of a rough path for the Internet Search Giant, one thing is now certain for the Summer of 2010: Everybody loves Google, best described in the short prose up on yonder, at the end of the day, it seems. When the Remains of the Day are counted, Google now smells like a rose.

Everybody loves Google over Bing as stated in the article “Survey: Linux users love Google, ignore Bing”, published August 21, 2009 9:08 AM PDT by Matt Asay, CNET News - The Open Road, albeit Google is beginning to look more and more like Bing as Bing’s intuitive search results begin to gain traction, a worrying trend.

Also the Google Chrome, the web browser, though a success in its own right, will not be seeing its cousin, the pie-in-the-sky cloud based Google Chrome OS on Netbooks as Google has planned as stated in the article “Google Chrome OS could shake up PC Market”, published Wednesday June 2 2010, 2:11 PM by Jeff Bertolucci, Yahoo News.

This as the Apple iPad Effect has effectively killed the Netbook and now the Laptop as the prediction that the Apple iPad would kill the Netbook market as stated in the article “ Netbook Sales Sag as the iPad Arrives” published April 7, 2010, 12:27AM EST By Cliff Edwards, CNET News - COMPUTERS.

This seems to be bearing fruit as stated in the article “Apple ponders iPad cannibalization of PC's”, published July 20, 2010 8:43 PM PDT, by Brooke Crothers, CNET News Nanotech - The Circuits Blog.

The much castigated Apple, is now number three (3) in the world behind only Hewlett-Packard and Acer in terms of Global Unit Share, leaping over Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba and Dell based on the utterances of Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore, a Blogger for Fortune Magazine on the Apple 2.0 Blog as stated in the article “iPad pushes Apple into the top mobile ranks”, published August 2, 2010 9:20 PM PDT by Brooke Crothers, CNET News - Nanotech The Circuits Blog.

It I also confirmed by the article “Apple: We're No. 3, We're No. 3!”, published August 3, 2010 10:20am by Eric Benderoff, Appolocious, Yahoo News, a position it gained by selling three million, three hundred thousand (3,300,000) plus Apple iPad’s since the debut of the Apple iPad on the weekend of Saturday April 3rd and Sunday April 4th 2010 AD. That is some White Whale!!

Computer manufacturers are now going full tilt into developing iPad-esque knockoffs or Apple iPad Assassins as John Public likes to call them in their various skunk works, laboratories and bunkers scattered across Silicon Valley.

Interestingly, India, King of Reverse Engineering and redesigning First World Gadget for a Third World Market, is now building a US$35 Tablet built from one circuit board with integrated processor, memory and cameras and using a SD Memory Card as a Hard drive

A surefire Apple iPad killer on the basis of cost alone as stated in the article “India unveils prototype of US$35 taplet computer”, published Friday July 23 2010 by ERIKA KINETZ, AP Business Writer, Yahoo News.

It is cheaper than Nicholas Negroponte principal founder of the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology's) Media Lab in 2005, One Laptop Per Child Program, which is now crowing success in getting people to read and even allowing children to teach their parents to read as stated in the article “Negroponte: You really can give a kid a laptop”, published August 6, 2010 11:28 AM PDT by Ina Fried, CNET News - Beyond Binary.

To get children in Third World countries access to computers, Negroponte needs to think a bit more innovatively and cost effectively as to how he fabricates his next project, which ironically is a Tablet PC, as already he has competition from India, which has set its sights on making the Tablet PC drop to even dizzying lows of US$10.

Surprisingly, it was the overpriced US$100 laptops under the One Laptop per Child Program that eventually morphed into the popular Netbooks that drove the adoption of 3G Internet on Telecom Provider AT&T 3G Broadband Networks

Google, LG Electronics, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and their currently popular Dell Streak and now Microsoft and CEO Steve Ballmer’s announcement of a Tablet PC as stated in the article “Microsoft takes aim at Tablet market”, published Friday July 30th 2010 by Christopher Null, Technology Writer, Yahoo News are now in full flight after the runaway train that is the Apple iPad, ironically my idea based on just simply making the Apple iPhone, already a popular product, bigger and throwing in a dash of controversy here and there to generate a little buzz.

Even the usually aloof and publicity shy RIM is now playing catch-up with its recently launched spanking new BlackBerry 9800 Torch, a capacitive touch screen slider with traditional QWERTY keyboard, a SENSE UI Google Android-esque interface on a US$199 two (2) year contract on Telecom Provider AT&T Network.

This as stated in the article “RIM looks to make a splash with US$199 touchscreen BlackBerry Torch”, published Tuesday August 3 2010 by Ben Patterson, Technology WriterYahoo News and confirmed by the article “RIM unveils new BlackBerry to counter iPhone”, published Tuesday August 3 2010 by Sinead Carew, Associated Press, Yahoo News.

Now running behind Captain Ahab……, I mean Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer………… as EVERYONE is chasing after the White Whale cum Apple iPad, with RIM BlackPad as the harpoon with which RIM intends to kill Captain Ahab’s White Whale first stated in the article “RIM said to plan Tablet for november to Take on Apple's iPad”, published Friday July 30 2010 by Hugo Miller, BusinessWeek.

Arrg, Arrg, me hearties [Pirate talk] !!

But like poor little Ishmael, I, the Developer and Blogger, pause, chomping on my chocolate pipe, mulling, pausing to reflect on the Remains of the Day. Unlike RIM and its current problems with the Middle East and Far East, The People’s Republic of China is in love with Google again, if not in bed with them.

Note that I said “unlike RIM”, as Google has unwittingly co-operated with the People’s Republic of China by plastering the URL to their Hong Kong page in full view instead of automatically re-routing search requests.

Thus satisfying the Chinese Authorities as it relates to being able to track and spy on dissidents as slyly alluded in the article “Google fine-tunes its China weather vane”, published July 9, 2010 9:47 AM PDT by Tom Krazit, CNET News - Relevant Results.

The People’s Republic of China still censors traffic though, but then Google needs the People’s Republic of China to grow.

Ditto for Apple, FaceBook, Twitter and other Silicon Valley players, all wanting a piece of the action in this fully literate, hard working society with cash to splash as well as in the Federation of Russia, Korea and Japan. The United Kingdom also loves Google again.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the United Kingdom’s privacy pooch, sniffed around at Google rear end and declared, rather charmingly, that they found nothing more than fragments of data, mostly IP Addresses and the name of the Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) hotspots collected as stated in the article “UK.: Privacy abuse unlikely in Google Street View flap”, published July 28, 2010 7:21 AM PDT by Tom Espiner, CNET News - Privacy Inc. which any Network Administrator could have told them, Google StreetView being another of my brainstorms and mapping Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) a bandwidth freeloader or war-driver’s dream.

Thus John Public wonders when will the Media get Tech Savvy, as this now appearing to be another case of the Media blowing the situation out of proportion for a quick buck and some paper sales, akin to the Black Sabbath of CEO Steve Jobs and the External Loop Antenna (WWII German Design!!) on the Apple iPhone 4.0, for which there is a simple ceramic deposition solution……… for another article, of course.

Developers for the Google Android love Google even more, now that Google has responded to demands to improve security on the Google Android OS Mobile Platform to protect them from side loaders and bootleggers of unauthorized apps [piracy] as stated in the article “Google licensing changes could cap Android piracy”, published July 28, 2010 1:31 PM PDT by Jessica Dolcourt, CNET News - Android Atlas.

Mobile Handset Providers love Google even more this Summer of 2010, their sweaty palms greased with advertising money, their pockets lined with cash from the new mobile ad sharing deal with the Search Behemoth as stated in the article “Google sharing mobile ad cash with partners?”, published March 26, 2010 9:51 AM PDT by Tom Krazit, CNET News - Relevant Results in order to adopt the Google Android Platform

They have and are now experiencing an explosion in sales as it relates to their mobile phones as stated in the article “Smart phone shipments jump 43 percent”, published July 22, 2010 12:34 PM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News – Wireless

This evident from its growing popularity based on news of component shortage as stated in the article “The summer of the smart phone shortage”, published July 13, 2010 4:00 AM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength and confirmed by the article “HTC Evo 4G, Incredible shortages make room for Droid X”, published Monday July 12 2010 by Jared Newman, CNET News.

Most of all, Advertisers love Google, with such initiatives as Google AdWords for marketing campaigns and Google AdSense, a click-metrics based Platform tailored for advertisers, their main bread and butter, now with clickable-callable phone numbers shown in search results on computers and mobile phones as stated in the article “Call more businesses from Google on your smart phone”, published March 2, 2010 12:53 PM PST by Jessica Dolcourt, CNET News - iPhone Atlas.

Like any growing business, Google is diversifying into other areas not related to search, hence:
  1. Its move to handle its Global Cash pile as stated in the article “Google's Latest Launch: Its Own Trading Floor”, published May 27, 2010, 5:00PM EST, By Douglas MacMillan, BusinessWeek - TECHNOLOGY
  2. Alternative Energy, White Spaces Mapping as stated in the article “Google wants to build 'white spaces' database”, published January 4, 2010 5:54 PM PST by Tom Krazit, CNET News - Relevant Results
  3. Experimentation with Next Generation Fiber Optics as stated in the article “Google subsidizing ultrafast broadband test”, published February 10, 2010 8:58 AM PST, by Stephen Shankland, CNET News - Deep Tech
  4. A long term strategy to shake up the lucrative Mobile Smart Phones business as stated in the article “Google's mobile hopes go beyond Nexus One”, published January 5, 2010 5:24 PM PST by Tom Krazit, CNET News - Relevant Results
  5. Television with Advertisers having their back as it relates to interactive targeted advertising as stated in the article “Advertisers give Google TV a warm Reception”, published May 24, 2010, 1:12AM EST, By Olga Kharif, BusinessWeek  - INTERNET, and confirmed in the article “Google tries where others failed: shaking up the TV Biz”, published Tuesday May 25 2010 by Yinka Adegoke and Jennifer Saba, The Associated Press, CNET News.

Equation to remember: Google = Lots of Money for shareholders!!

But there is one arena, despite Google’s reputed engineering prowess, that Google has largely failed: Social Networking. They have largely failed with Google Wave as stated in article “Google pulls plug on Google Wave”, published August 4, 2010 2:35 PM PDT by Ina Fried and Josh Lowensohn, CNET News - Beyond Binary

This is largely because their engineers are not Social-savvy, as the build-and-they-will-come philosophy that powered Google thus far does not work in the Social Networking Sphere, effectively the “New Internet” as far as some people are concerned, spending all their time playing the uber-addictive Farmville, as is the SOLE pre-occupation of most of my friends on FaceBook.

Also, their lack of understanding the basic “Social Skills”, that being forming your Social Network based on people who are ACTUALLY friends and then base the Social Network around a common connection was glaringly evident as stated in the article “Google struggles with Social skills”, published February 3, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Caroline McCarthy and Tom Krazit, CNET News - Digital Media.

This despite its auspicious and over bloated AOL-esque ambitions as stated in the article “Will Google's wave Replace e-mail - and FaceBook?”, published October 4, 2009, 8:30PM EST, By Olga Kharif, BusinessWeek – INTERNET.

It is thus also sad too that Google killed DodgeBall, a close relative of FourSquare except SMS (Short Messaging Service) or Text Messaging Based Geo-location service, as that actually still has potential as a Mobile Social Network, as Digicel Brown Dawg, a Mobile Social Network I had designed for Telecom Provider Digicel, is based on DodgeBall.

Apparently, the Engineers at Google did Socialize very well or worse, unlike yours truly, John Public, did not keep a diary of all of your High School friends and how they Socialize and any ideas that they came up with, only to later end up being their FaceBook buddies and give them away over time. Whatever.

Thus I shall get to the point. Google has created, based on my advice and prognostications and much chastisement in early April of 2009, a Social Network called Google Buzz. Google Buzz is a UI (User Interface) tweak to Google Mail (Gail) as stated in the online news report CNET Buzz Report aired February 11th2010 by Molly Wood, Executive Editor, CNET News (CBS) which on the face of it, is really a copy of Yahoo UI (User Interface) tweak that integrates their Yahoo! Messenger into Yahoo! Email.

But it goes a step further by including a posting and interactive UI similar to Face book, micro-blogging with one hundred and twenty (120) character text structure like Twitter and geo-location features like FourSquare, a start up which people have been suggesting AT&T should purchase.

This as their Social Network is heavily tied to GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) mobile phones such as Blackberrys, Apple iPhones and Google Android smart phones, all of which depend on the Customer or Subscriber having a 3G Data Plan on their network as slyly proposed in the article “Time for AT&T to buy FourSquare”, published April 26, 2010 9:14 AM PDT by Matt Asay, CNET News - The Open Road.

So far it has been wildly successful. This has a better fit into the Social Networking Scene, as it is actually follows the above mentioned trends of all successful Social Networks:

  1. Facebook (for organized people)
  2. Twitter (for disorganized spur-of-the-moment types)
  3. Digg (for news hounds)
  4. Hi5 (for those cheerleader support types)
  5. FourSquare (for people who like to track their friends on smart phones)
  6. Tagged (for people looking for casual sex) – and the recently launched and now successful Google Buzz (for lovers of all things Google!)

Despite the recent privacy debacle which has worked to Google’s advantage as stated in the article " Buzz Backfire: How Google pushed me to Facebook" published March 5, 2010 4:00 AM PST  by Stephen Shankland, CNET News - Deep Tech, effectively a mirror of society with interconnections between people being displayed in a Digital format, but requires a little controversy to be the spark that creates interest in the first place, much in the same way Socializing in the real world works.

What all these Networks have as their “secret sauce” that I had previously mentioned: they are all built on groupings of people who have something in common in terms of their personalities or who are just simply friends sharing the commonality of each other company in a Digital space – much as it is in real life. My idea for Google, Google Buzz, has hit the ground running, but Google is looking for something with more “oomph!”. Just so happens I have just the thing, and it has a bit of a technological ring to it, much to the delight of the Engineers at Google.

The information being harvested about the users of the Social Networks in terms of their advertising preferences, their “likes” and “dislikes”, what products they support and about what they converse while connected to the Social Network is extremely valuable and is worth billions of dollars to Advertisers and Marketing people, especially if the Social Networking Site has geo-location services baked in, opening up the possibility of geo-location based advertising.

It is an accepted trade-off of the users of most Social Networks, especially as it allows users to access the Social Networks services for free and the behavior of most users is nonchalant with regards to their privacy, as most people who have grown up with the Internet and are used to the informal nature of interaction on the Internet are a lot less concerned about their privacy, as stated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the article “Why no one cares about privacy anymore”, published  March 12, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Declan McCullagh CNET News - Politics and Law.

Ostensibly, Social Networks collects this information on each user with the users permission and using Behavioral Targeted Marketing can more efficiently deliver advertisement placements to a users webpage or mobile device based on his “likes” or “dislikes” and other pertinent information that the Social Network may have about the member, who is also a potential customer for the products and services chosen to be advertised on their page or referred to via geo-location based advertising.

Indeed, a new study from a group called the NAI (Network Advertising Initiative), claims that 6.8% of people who click on behaviorally targeted ads turn into buyers, versus 2.8% of those who click on non-targeted ads as stated in the article “Study: Like it or not, behavioral ad targeting works”, published March 24, 2010 9:01 AM PDT by Caroline McCarthy, CNET News – The Social.

My concept for a new Social Network for Google, therefore, will take many by surprise. Google has a search engine called Google and an email service called Gmail, another idea of mine that I gave away during an interview at C&W back in September 2003, the original concept based on placing spot hyperlinked words for the various products being advertised, with the hope that user would click on the words.

Gmail success, however, was driven by the fact that they were one of the first email service to allow people to use their email in a third part client to both send and receive email, thus making it unnecessary for the user to go on the Internet, merely only to have the Internet and was not loaded down with advertisements like Yahoo! Mail.

Not to mention the more than amply generous 5 GB of storage. Google and Nintendo Wii also co-developed an obscure game, at my request, called And-Kensaku, available only to Japanese Nintendo Wii players for the low-low price of 4,900 yen (US$52) on April 29th 2010 as stated in the article “Google and Nintendo to launch 'Search Engine' Game”, published Wednesday April 7 2010 by Matt Peckham, Yahoo News, an experimental concept for a game also based on suggestions I had made via email in early 2009 to Google.

Thus my idea becomes clear. All Google needs to do to create a Social Network is to combine the Google Search Engine Game called And-Kensaku and the Google Buzz to create something that is the first of its kind: A Search Engine Social Network.

New users would simply enter their email address into the search text box on a standard Google Search Page, the knowledge of the Social network being spread by word-of-mouth and online advertisements.

The letters Google would morph into the words Google Me and a second fold out drop box, designed in the style of Google Android OS UI, would fold out below the search text box and the user would be invited to choose from the List which Social Network their information and content is currently hosted.

On selecting the Social Network e.g. FaceBook, Google Me would then use a SNP (Social Network Portability) Tool, developed based on Google Wave technology to transfer all of you settings, inclusive of your videos, pictures, recordings and postings into the Google Me Platform, which already has the same optimized equivalent settings as Twitter, FaceBook and FourSquare and in the process setting up you Gmail account and creating the Google Buzz account in the API so as to re-integrate your previous settings from your previous Social Network,

A process that may take twenty four (24) hours, hence advising the user to check their email to advise them when the transfer is compete. From that point onwards, to access the Search Engine Social Network, the user would merely have to go to a Google Search Page and type their email and press “Search”.

A second search textbox would appear that would allow the user to enter their password, the Google Me Platform supporting passwords of up to twenty (20) characters long or optionally, one can use the Blink! Facial recognition software, now able to work on 64-bit Windows based Computers

Perfect for the trending of front facing cameras on mobile smart phones and tablets as is possible based on the article “Blink-induced log-in now available on 64-bit Windows”, published August 6, 2010 10:15 AM PDT, by Polina Polishchuk CNET News - The Download Blog as a means of accessing ones Google Me account securely. First for any Social Network.

An additional incentive is that Google Me can allow users to make revenue by clicking on advertisements or receive and read sponsored emails in their Gmail accounts, or even watching advertising on television when Google rolls out Google TV, into which Google Me can be easily integrated.

It is ever present once you have the Google Search Page. Members of Google Me would be paid in a program similar to how Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft AdCenter works

This is a business model being attempted locally here in Jamaica by Bishop Damion Ffriend of the Ebenezer Tabernacle Apostolic Church, an entrepreneur who partnered with another businesses entrepreneur named Robert Gregory Jr. to form Jamaica Advertising Advantage as stated in the article “Click for Cash”, published Sunday August 1 2010, by Avia Collinder, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner. Free Money: Guaranteed to be more addictive than crack, also another first for any Social Network!!

The “secret sauce” of this design, (aside from the free money!!)  is not so much the UI using the commonly known Google Search Page as the fact that it tackles the onerous problem that most defectors from one Social Network to another face: having to start over. Just as in real life Socializing, when one moves to a new neighborhood, you have to re-socialize all over again and find friends.

But before you do that, you have to set up your house and make it as welcoming to others interested in coming on invitation. Since FaceBook often has most of your treasured moments uploaded and most users have declared the pictures, recordings, videos and other content as being originally theirs and non-copyright infringing

A simple SNP (Social Network Portability) Application can be designed from research tools left over from Google Wave to handle the transfer process, much in the same way professional movers can help one pack, move and unpack and resettle in a new neighborhood, hopefully with none of your valuables stolen, broken or damaged.

However, unlike real life, in the virtual world, once you move, you can still keep you old haunts or choose to delete your old Social Network Account, especially as Google Me mimics all the currently popular trending Social Networking sites.

Google Me is truly a lunatic, a lover and a poet, heralding a first: migrating Social Networks via SNP (Social Networking Portability) similar to migrating Mobile Phone Number on a Telecom Provider’s Network known as MNP (Mobile Number Portability) to this new type of Social Network, namely a Search Engine Social Network.

The Search Engine Social Network will improve itself by simply copying the latest trends on their other Social Networks it already mimics, thus saving time on coming up with original proof-of-concept ideas and thereby guaranteeing success……… attrition.

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