My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Google vs Facebook - Age of Empire and TRON Legacy

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Google vs Facebook - Age of Empire and TRON Legacy

Speech is civilization itself. The word, even the most contradictory word, preserves contact – it is silence which isolates

Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

Couple articles ago, I advanced the idea that the blitzkrieg onward march of Facebook was beginning to affect Google’s advertising bottom line.

I postulated the idea that somehow, Google, the unstoppable juggernaut based around online advertising, was all hype and no substance in face of the simplistic and tightly organized yet rigidly focused and controlled camp, the Zuckerberg camp called Facebook, which may be drawing away eyeballs from clicking on advertising as more and more people get their news and information via the Social Network.

Speculations abound and now inklings of a revolt seem to now be in full swing within Google, as the company, traditional notoriously hard to get into, is facing a series of high-profile defections to Facebook, prompting Google CEO Eric Schmidt to increase everyone’s salary by 10% as stated in the article “Google gives employees 10 percent raise”, cash, published November 9, 2010 11:00 PM PST by Steven Musil, CNET News - Digital Media. While I love the increase of salary, something tells me this is not your regular Christmas Bonus.

People, this is not a very good sign, as defections only mean one thing to an experienced veteran in the ‘Gideon such as myself, also having had experience at a company where everyone is desperately trying to leave: C&W back in the height of the redundancies in 2003, after they had shut down the Training School.

This is despite the strong IT and Software Engineering culture, based on the recent negative Press and failures of Google to even penetrate the Social Networking fabric with the failure of 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

The now apparent failure of Google Buzz, over which they recently settled a rather public lawsuit that is affecting adoption of the service as reported in the article “Google alerts users of Google Buzz Settlement”, published Tuesday November 2 2010 by PC Magazine, Yahoo News.

This is coupled with the news or rumours, whichever is you cup of storm in a teacup, of yet another attempt at the all essential Social Networking as opined in the article “Google denies building Facebook 'rival'”, published Thursday November 11 2010 by Jeffrey Van Camp, Yahoo News. Social Networking is the one area that has remained a challenge for Google.

Thus the announcement of Facebook possibly getting integrated email or whatever the surprise may be, has set the Social Network on fire as stated in the article “Are you willing to trust Facebook with your email?”, published Friday November 12 2010, 5:21 pm ET By Ben Patterson, Yahoo News.

I do not think I will not be using their service, despite recent foibles by Google that indicate that they also tamper with your email. But the writing is now on the wall, pun deliberately intended and directed at Google

This integration of email into FaceBook, potentially, can kill off email as we know it in the Generation Y segment of the market, who are more Social in how they interact on the Internet and hardly use email anyway as stated in the article “Pew: Gen Y to remain active Social Networkers”, published July 9, 2010 11:16 AM PDT by Don Reisinger, CNET News - The Digital Home.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg comments 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 a foreshadowing of the future as Seventh Day Adventists would say, may give some insight into his announcement this week of Sunday November 14 2010 AD. That’s my girlfriend’s advice whispering in my ears: it all about the Social.

If it is what everyone suspects, that being a tightly integrated email component inside Facebook, it may change the Internet forever. FaceBook is already getting itself more tightly integrated in the Social Fabric of interaction on the Internet. This coming announcement makes earlier news of a Bing and FaceBook partnership as stated in the article “Microsoft's FaceBook stake: Maybe not so crazy”, published October 13, 2010 2:01 PM PDT by Caroline McCarthy, CNET News - The Social.

A Skype Partnership with FaceBook as stated in the article “The New Skype: Now with Facebook integration and group Video calling”, published October 14, 2010, 12:28pm PDT By Sam Diaz, Between the Lines - ZDNet look more like future proofing, as Social Networks, thanks to these new portable always connected gadgets, follow you everywhere you go.

Throw in the rise of Social Gaming and the decline as indicated by the stats of the NPD come sharply into focus as stated in the article “September another rough month for game industry”, published October 15, 2010 9:01 AM PDT by Don Reisinger, CNET News - The Digital Home.

Analyst NPD stated that in the United States of America hardware sales have take a dive, hitting the pockets of the  Video Game Industry with a loss of 13% year on year to $3.09 billion. Software [game titles] sales have declined year on year by 8% to $4.93 billion.

The usual Recession excuse aside, the obvious answer is the Empire that CEO of FaceBook Zucberberg built. After all, FaceBook offers the addictive Zynga’s Farmville along with other game titles, free, playable over the Internet with friends

It does not require expensive gaming rigs and for the Video Gaming Industry, represents the only source of growth in a stagnant American Economy as stated in the article “Gameworld: A virtual farm turns new ground for game developers” published Thursday March 25, 9:48 am ET , by John Gaudiosi, Yahoo News.

The death of the Video Gaming Console, ironically, may actually be Social Networking website FaceBook, as nothing attracts people like free. The new kids on the block, such as Zynga and their highly successful Farmville and Café World, with audiences as wide as FaceBook is large, as well as Bigpoint, Playdom, and Playfish make their revenue from in-game purchases as well as from advertising and data mining of the Social Networking profiles of the gaming participants.

Social Gaming, as opposed to the lackluster Console Gaming, has grown from revenues of US$600 million in total revenue in 2008 to approximately US$1 billion in 2009 and 2010 is forecasted to see revenues of US$1.6 billion in 2010, with 2011 being the Year of the All-Electric Vehicle, earning can only increase.

This as the games are free, especially if you already have a PC or Apple iPad. Michael Pachter, videogame analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities, says it best: “The growth rate should remain very high at around 40 percent each of the next three years, so my guess at 2011 is around $2.2 billion, 2012 at $3 billion 2013 at more than $4 billion”.

In this Age of Empire III, as per the popular Microsoft video gaming franchise, Facebook is scoring a Social coup de etat against the Engineering culture of Facebook. I do not even have to mention their venture into FaceBook Places, which also has Google in its sights as stated in the article “Facebook Places take aim at Google”, published August 19, 2010 1:18 PM PDT, by Tom Krazit, CNET News - Relevant Results.

In fact, it is directly related to the high profile defections from Google, as the two (2) persons who have thus far allegedly left for Facebook are on the Google Maps and Google Wave projects, aspects that integrate Geo-Location and Social Networking, the future in this new Social Media Landscape.

Hence the panic among the Google Sheep as reported. Jamaicans in general are not too crazy about geo-location in the form of Facebook Places, so Facebook email may not be so well received – with the exception of Generation Y, already used to exposing themselves on Facebook and already hip with the trend of smart phones with Facebook integration. Like the Walt Disney movie TRON: Legacy (2010), Google has only one thing to do: survive.

Breaking News: For those aficionados of Telecom Provider CLARO, information from a confidential source tells me that they may be sponsoring the Walt Disney movie TRON: Legacy (2010). This is fitting, as Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the Chairman of Walt Disney, the maker of the TRON: Legacy (2010), reputed to be the Sci-Fi flick of 2010 AD. Stay tuned for more info when I get hold of it………..

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