Saturday, June 18, 2011

Google +1: The skinny on a possibly very fat future


Once upon a time something new was added to our human experience and thirst for knowledge. It was called the Internet, that thing invented by Al Gore.

To help make it easier to find information on this newfangled thing, way back in 1998, a couple of young, smart bucks named Larry Page and Sergey Brin created a living library of fast and easy connections to find virtually anything you wanted on this Internet.

In 2004, another new Internet thing called Facebook was born, destined to become the world’s gathering place for daily conversations with family, friends and “fans.”

Alas, as we are a capitalist society, and at the end of the day it’s usually all about money, Facebook has been working real hard to monetize their gateway now attracting more than 500 million active users, 50% of which log on to Facebook in any given day. Oh, and yes, the average Facebook user has 130 friends.

To help these Facebook users tell their friends about stuff they like and recommend, Facebook invented the LIKE button.

Hmmm. How do Larry, Sergey and their friends at Google nip this phenomenon in the bud before Facebook becomes an even bigger money machine than they are?

With Google +1, the new preference recommendation introduced on June 1, 2011 in an experimental stage, Google hopes to steal Facebook’s thunder.

It remains to be seen how all this will flush out, but my money’s on two bets. One, the search engine optimization benefits could be huge (long term), and the eventual monetization opportunities could make Google AdWords look like small potatoes.

Stay tuned. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. 

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