Social Schmidt eyes up Facebook integration
Whether Zuck likes it or not. Ha!
Eric Schmidt took a passive-aggressive stance towards Facebook yesterday as he outlined the search'n'ads giant's plans for social networking.
Speaking at the Zeitgeist conference in Arizona, Schmidt said Google's product lineup would get more social networking add-ons by the end of this year.
According to sources quoted by the Wall Street Journal, these will come under the Google Me banner.
However, according to the Guardian, Google's strategy was more about "layers" of social networking features and access to other platforms, rather than an all-out walled-off Facebook rival.
This apparently humbler approach might be appropriate given Google's previous false starts in social networking-esque products, such as the short-lived Wave and its Buzz service.
The firm hoped to be able to integrate users' Facebook contact information into its own products, Schmidt reportedly said - whether Facebook was open to the idea or not.
"The best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data," the Wall Street Journal quoted Schmidt as saying. "Failing that, there are other ways to get that information."
The Wall Street Journal said Schmidt did not elaborate, but given Google's sprawling tendrils it shouldn't be beyond the wit of its engineers to knock up code to rapidly pull together an individual's contacts a la Facebook.
Who knows, it could even give users a fresh start, by allowing them a pause for thought on exactly how many old schoolmates they want on their list.
Either way, it will strengthen Google's grip on who its users are - and who its non-users are too. ®
@nichomach : If there is one company that has less respect for privacy than Google, its Facebook.
JDX: In Reply
"If we disagree we're automatically blinkered."
Oops. I didn't really mean it to come across like that. My comment about the blinkers relates to attitudes that I encounter daily (and I am sure you do to). Primarily that many - shall we say, unquestioning service consumers - find some random service useful and therefore assume that said service must be good and that the service provider is honourable (or they simply don't think anything beyond 'Hey, great service. Does just what I need'). Also, there are of course, those 'in the know' that simply fail to acknowledge any any 'shortcomings' in their preferred service provider. It is in reference to these groups that I made the blinkers remark.
"...thus automatically meaning your point-of-view wins every time".
Hmmm, I am not that clever. I see no problem with being proved wrong. In fact such events (as rare as they are <<< humour) are useful. That's how knowledge is often gained - by being proved wrong.
I will agree that the quailty of a service and the way that data is handled are 2 different issues. However, for me, they are - in many cases - strongly intertwined. To me, no matter how fantastic and innovative a service may be, if I cannot trust the service provider then the service itself is next to wothless/useless.
Finally, I agree, Google have created some clever 'stuff' over the years. But then there's been some pretty interesting stuff run through Microsoft Labs over the years. And don't start me on webmail!.. Personally, having used the Interned since the mid 90's, I have never found a compelling reason to use any webmail service. But than, that's just me.
There was one error in my original post... When I said Goole are becoming more arrogant by the day, what I should really have said is that *Schmidt* is becoming more arrogant by the day. This man lauds openness and freedom, just so long as he can drive all traffic through his network, monitor your every action, read your mail, ad infinitum. and then monetise. This is the man who believes that you and I should have no fundemental right to online privacy. This is a man losing touch with reality.
PS. Reg: Where's the Schmidt is a penis icon?
Googlebot sends out 500m friend requests to every facebook user.