Google graduates social stalking tool
Search sniffs out friends and family stuff
Google's social network stalking aid has graduated from the company's experimental Labs site to prime-time on Google.com.
In the next few days, with its Social Search tool, Google will let English-language users scour for publicly-available content produced by friends and online contacts .
To use social search, users need to sign on to Google and link their account with the various profiles they have on social network sites like Facebook and Twitter. Once Google is acquainted with the social circle, it can harvest their relevant content in query results.
Two new links - "My Social Circle" and "My Social Content" - will let users see the connections and content behind social results, Google said on its company blog.
In addition to being included on the main page, Social Search will also now work in Google Images by sniffing out photos and pictures published from contacts on sites like Picasa Web Albums and Flickr.
Google said that because it envisions several additions to Social Search in the future, it's putting a "beta" tag on the service - which, considering Google's history with such things, could remain there a good long while.
"We think there's tremendous potential for social information to improve search, and we're just beginning to scratch the surface," Google said. ®
It's a wonderful time...
...to be an antisocial outcast.
Even if, like me, you have actively avoided the great online morass that is social networking, your personal data may still be discoverable.
I have relatives who insist on posting images and names on FailBook (etc), without permission.
"Let's have a family photo......for FaceBook"
Friends and family - who needs them?
I have found it really difficult to convince children about how careful they need to be in their use of network sites.
On about day 2, having been promised that they understood about not putting anything personal up, I discovered that the group were all happily identifying which school they went to. A few days later, messages on friends' walls were accompanied by photos.
I like to think that explaining that they do not want to put on anything that they do not want their teachers (or me?) to read had a little effect towards explaining what should be left off.
And now this !!!
On the other hand, perhaps it will help to finally get through to them just how publicly available is anything they put onto the network site, just like letting the whole world read what is on their screen.
I think that more than tinfoil hats are needed. This is modern slavery.
The simplest solution is to stop using Google then maybe Google will go back to being a really useful means of delivering adverts about businesses (something we are looking for) and leave our privacy alone (we don't want to be shown adverts based on our 'peer group').
«Google said that because it envisions several additions to Social Search in the future, it's putting a "beta" tag on the service - which, considering Google's history with such things, could remain there a good long while.» Austine Modine might want to compare the length of time Chrome for Windows wore a «beta» tag with the length of time IE8 did so....