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The Battle Between Google and Facebook

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the friend-request-denied dept.

The Internet 202

A story at Wired delves into the ongoing struggle between Google and Facebook to establish their competing visions for the future of the internet. "For the last decade or so, the Web has been defined by Google's algorithms — rigorous and efficient equations that parse practically every byte of online activity to build a dispassionate atlas of the online world. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline. In Zuckerberg's vision, users will query this 'social graph' to find a doctor, the best camera, or someone to hire — rather than tapping the cold mathematics of a Google search. It is a complete rethinking of how we navigate the online world, one that places Facebook right at the center. In other words, right where Google is now." A related article at ReadWriteWeb suggests that while Facebook's member base is enormous, the company hasn't taken advantage of its influence as well as it should have, though the capability for it to do so still exists.

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202 comments

Zuckerberg is a cocksucker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28494743)

a thieving, lying, backstabbing cocksucker.
nuff said.

Why not have both? (4, Insightful)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494755)

Seriously. Why one way or the other. Why not both?

Re:Why not have both? (5, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494775)

My "vision" for the future of the Internet:

One where there is room for Zuckerberg version, Google's, Microsofts and Richard Stallmans. And anyone else who wants to put something up for consideration.

As long as we have network neutrality, all of these visionaries are free to do as they please.

This "one version will overtake all the rest" mentality is a meat-space concept and has no place on the Internet.

Re:Why not have both? (-1, Troll)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495287)

One where there is room for Zuckerberg version, Google's, Microsofts and Richard Stallmans.

The problem with your vision is that Stallman, like Trotsky and other orthodox Marxists is exclusionary. So putting Stallman in the mix as you have is like opening a jar of antimatter. Stallman -for good or bad - is incompatible with any other vision.

Re:Why not have both? (0, Offtopic)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495335)

That's dumb. Who do you think wants a free internet more, Stallman or Microsoft? Stallman doesn't want users to be restricted on the internet anymore than with software. How is that incompatible with Google?

Re:Why not have both? (0, Offtopic)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495467)

It's not incompatible with google, it's incompatible with microsoft -- stalman doesn't want you to do whatever you want, he wants you to do something that's open no matter what.

antimatter in the mix (4, Interesting)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495513)

Frankly Microsoft, undeniably, share that "antimatter" characteristic with Stallman, and although they haven't demonstrated much in the way of competence to exploit it, Zuckerberg / FaceBook aspire to that level of domination. Philosophically, Google doesn't, even though they dominate search quite thoroughly, Wolfram Alpha and Bing have recently shown that there is room even in search for serious innovation, and potentially come competition.

Google appears to be the one company in this mix that seems to subscribe to the notion that a rising tide floats all boats. Look at what they are doing with Google Wave [google.com] as a fascinating example (innovative, open standards based, open source implementation).

Microsoft's world domination by operating system monopoly is over, they are a dead man walking.

FaceBook will integrate with Google Wave, or they will become irrelevant.

Blog engine makers will have an opportunity to see blogs on an equal footing with FaceBook, by integrating with Google Wave. Bloggers will have a chance to spark a conversation through their social network, as with FaceBook, but they will also have the chance to have that conversation grow beyond their circle of friends, as with a high profile blog today. As a participant in those conversations, your contribution today is normally "fire and forget" (I always wonder why people bother posting to the comments area of the major newspapers, where there comment is read only by them and one or two lunatics with an axe to grind). Tomorrow, with Google Wave, you can participate in conversations all over the internet, without the need to remember to go back to hundreds of places to check to see if anyone else was interested in what you said.

If they (or someone else) figure out how to build a decent set of filters and ratings into it, Google Wave might make Digg irrelevant.

Re:Why not have both? (5, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495871)

The problem with your vision is that Stallman, like Trotsky and other orthodox Marxists is exclusionary

Actually, I would consider Stallman an "inclusionary." He has fought hardest and loudest to ensure that users - who normally have no say whatsoever in how the software they use works, will have the choice to use "something else" if that's what they want. And the beauty of it is, you are free to choose to use Microsoft's offering instead.

It's kind of the same thing as net neutrality. It's all about having choices. And that scares some people who's world view won't allow them to see a market place of ideas in terms of anything but "winner takes it all."

I'm sorry you feel so oppressed by the bearded one, but don't worry. Last time I checked there was plenty of opportunity for you to stay inside the silo and continue to be locked in by vendors like Microsoft. I honestly don't think that's going to change any time soon.

I'm just glad that my choice isn't limited to you narrow vision.

Google Wave and room for multiple visions (2, Interesting)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495383)

Google Wave [blogspot.com] (be sure to watch the video, it's long, but there is lots of interesting stuff in it) will provide a system based on open standards and open source code. It will let folk use their own email inbox, IM client, and blog as the focus of their communication with the world. The open federated model will end the stovepipe model where I must have 5 IM systems, 3 to 5 social networking systems, and hundreds of blog logins what I must keep track of to communicate with folk. FaceBook will probably integrate and play with it, so they won't die overnight, but they wont' become the center of the internet. Google Wave, assuming it works as envisioned, will probably cement the "Google at the center of the internet" model, but it will leave room for other players, probably even help them, even those who could challenge Google Ads.

Re:Why not have both? (1)

Cross-Threaded (893172) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495809)

This "one version will overtake all the rest" mentality is a meat-space concept and has no place on the Internet.

Absolutely. The Internet is big enough for everyone to bring their own ideas, and they can succeed.

My reaction to this is simply, "Why would I limit myself to just Facebook, or just Google, or any other web service?"

Every web service out there will have some things they do better than others, so why would anyone limit themselves when it is not necessary?

Choices. You don't have to make a choice.

Re:Why not have both? (4, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494849)

Precisely. My friends may be good at recommending a pub that I would like. But I don't think my network of friends would be particularly trustworthy for recommending with digital SLR to buy.

Re:Why not have both? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495189)

I wouldn't go that far - sure, when I'm looking to buy something new, I try to look up reviews. But it can also be helpful to ask for advice from friends too. If nothing else it helps filter out choices that might be particularly bad. And actually, I would say that you can trust your friends more - the point is, you know which of your friends might be knowledgable in that area, and which of them aren't, far more so than some random guy writing on a website (which could be anyone).

Both ways have their benefits. And before the Internet, all most people went on was looking at what was on offer in the shop, and relying on the "advice" from the shop assistant.

Re:Why not have both? (2, Interesting)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495859)

The problem with Zuckerberg's vision is that it only works when you have a sufficient number of friends who share your interests. When people don't organize themselves into mailing lists, forums, newsgroups, etc., but only have social connections, you end up having to know someone already into a particular hobby to find out any more about it. Word of mouth is great when it works but it's unreliable.

Re:Why not have both? (3, Insightful)

dtzitz (937838) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495233)

"Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline." These groups can aggregate information but they are not really a primary information source. As an idea it sounds a bit like digg but in practice digg doesn't exactly function that way.

Re:Why not have both? (4, Insightful)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495297)

And besides, Google is already making forays into just this sort of thing with Wave. Holy false dichotomy, batman.

Re:Why not have both? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495487)

I would trust my friends more than some salesperson motivated primarily by how much commission is offered on different products, or which products have a better extended warranty for them to make money off of. Interestingly enough, I was just talking to someone on facebook yesterday that was looking at buying a new hard drive for their laptop. Trying to decide between a standard hard disk versus a solid state drive. Several friends on facebook chimed in with insightful comments.

Hey, has anyone heard from Roland? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28494915)

I noticed that his Google Ads blog hasn't been updated in a while. I hope he's ok.

It's the Economics! (Like the 60's) (5, Insightful)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494971)

The big problem facing Facebook is difficulty of monetization. There are societal and cultural sensitivities around companies monetizing one's "circle of friends." This has been true since the early 90's with MCI's campaigns.

Cold mathematics (Google's way) doesn't have this problem.

I am reminded of a quote from the PBS documentary about the 60's. A woman was lamenting that so many of the movements had powerful societal traction, but no economic basis. So in the end, they faded away.

Re:Why not have both? (1)

kappa962 (1583621) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495415)

Exactly. I RTFA and I am still not seeing a huge overlap between the two services, even with the growth they are planning. There's just doesn't appear to be much conflict here.

A step back perhaps? (5, Insightful)

TofuMatt (1105351) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494767)

I thought the magic of Google is that it's not (as) personalized, and I can get information outside my group of friends/peers. Frankly, my friends are great, but I don't go to them for advice on, say, programming; I go to Google. What's more, I couldn't get a lot of the info I get from search engines from my friends, because they just don't know. Social networking is awesome, but using Facebook in place of Google sounds like many steps back, at least the way it's being presented here.

Re:A step back perhaps? (2)

Bobnova (1435535) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494799)

That's my issue with this. Unless my facebookies have used dozens of different cameras/heatsinks/whatevers their advice just isn't useful, and none of them are likely to know how to build a heatpipe, or other esoteric things like that. Moreover, if they did know i'd just, you know, ask them.

Re:A step back perhaps? (2, Funny)

empraptor (748821) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495231)

Google is not the solution for your programming domain inquries. Facebook is. You just need to get better friends.

Don't forget Advertisers! (4, Interesting)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495589)

using Facebook in place of Google sounds like many steps back

The questions you ask your friends are going to be more limited. Feedback to advertisers in the form of data will also be more limited, therefore less valuable to advertisers.

You know what would be of *huge* value to advertisers? Social news techniques used *on* advertising. Hulu is in a great position for this. *Let* the users skip (or better yet, 40X fast-forward) the ads! If not that, then let users mod them up or down! Heck, why not tags, like "irrelevant" "obsolete" or "already own?" Advertisers would get immediate feedback on ad reception. Correlation to buying demographic buying habits would be easier to make. Decisions on where to put ad budget wouldn't have to be done at the huge granularity of a particular show or timeslot, but could be targeted directly at demographic cohorts.

Viewers would benefit, as ads would have to get better. Advertisers would benefit from the better, more watchable ads!

Re:A step back perhaps? (1)

Cosmo the Cat (78184) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495881)

Facebook is like the new AOL of the internet. A walled off, members only version that doesn't want any outside association or connections.

Facebook will begin to fade just like myspace did (2, Insightful)

mc moss (1163007) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494779)

I don't see facebook as anything else other than a fad that will begin to go away. I already deleted (not just disabled) my fb account and know many other people too after graduating college.

Re:Facebook will begin to fade just like myspace d (4, Insightful)

dsavi (1540343) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494823)

Seems to me it's just the opposite; I can easily see it being mainstream for the next few years at least. And anyway, MySpace never grew at the same pace as facebook at any point, did it? Also, MySpace seems to have more of a reputation for being for 13-17 year-olds and pedophiles, while facebook has more of an aura of an "Every-man's social network".

Re:Facebook will begin to fade just like myspace d (1)

GravityStar (1209738) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495363)

Also, a lot of myspace pages suck. Like geocities websites, only worse. Much much worse. There are entire myspace profiles filled with Unspeakable things.

Re:Facebook will begin to fade just like myspace d (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495345)

I already deleted (not just disabled) my fb account and know many other people too after graduating college.

An interesting statement. I resisted getting a Facebook account until after college, when I decided I wanted to try to find old school friends.

Re:Facebook will begin to fade just like myspace d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495763)

The funny thing is that people were saying exactly this on /. replies to FB articles two years ago, and FB has only grown.

This isn't a toddler's game of peek-a-boo...just because you closed your eyes on your FB friends doesn't mean they cease to exist. In reality, everyone but you stayed on FB after graduating, and everyone you know who graduated in the last 30 years is gradually joining.

Aardvark (2, Informative)

Mattwolf7 (633112) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494781)

Sounds like Facebook wants to do something similar to Aardvark - http://vark.com/ [vark.com] Basically you ask a question and it finds people in your "network" and poses the question to them. You get pretty good answers from people around the world.

Re:Aardvark (1)

dword (735428) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495113)

Aardvark is strongly connected to Facebook as far as I can see. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Screenshot [imageshack.us]

Re:Aardvark (1)

bothwell (1272132) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495499)

Nah, that's just Facebook Connect. It's Facebook's own implementation of OpenID, and makes Facebook users able to use the same credentials to log into any site that uses it. People are a bit more likely to have a Facebook account than an OpenID one, so I guess that's why they've used Facebook Connect instead of OpenID (or any of the other providers).

Aardvark is annoying (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495559)

I signed up early and played with it some. It's an interesting concept, but it suffers mightily from a signal to noise ratio which started out at "Digg" level and is falling rapidly to "Reddit". Last week they finally added an option to reply to a query with the single magic keyword "google", and the system will construct a polite reply suggesting that the person who asked, "Where can I download Microsoft Windows security patches" or whatever, will get a polite reply suggesting they try a google search. This won't save it, however. The model is broken, and it's not clear how to fix it.

Google will always have an advantage for me (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28494783)

I can get useful information without signing up for anything. Facebook needs me to join and create a profile.

I am not a joiner.

Well I for one (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494789)

Do not want to have searches, research, news exposure, etc, mainly recommended by my friends and social network contacts. It's way too limiting. And it's not just because I don't have any friends. People don't even necessarily have the same interests as their friends. Peoples opinions have value, but so does objectivity. Think about buying a camera. If you only base your decision on your friends recommendations, you would never look at anything 'new'. Somebody needs to do that.

Re:Well I for one (2, Insightful)

evilkasper (1292798) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494817)

I'd mod you up if I could, this is the reason Facebook is not the future of the internet.

Re:Well I for one (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494917)

If you only base your decision on your friends recommendations, you would never look at anything 'new'. Somebody needs to do that.

Look at it from another point view:

If you've used Boxee and use the social aspects of that, you've most likely discovered shows and/or music (and other online content) you probably didn't know existed. I've also discovered new things through Facebook.

I think there's room enough for more than one way to get information, be it impartial or through a circle of friends and colleagues, as would be the case with LinkedIn. Discovery is discovery, wherever you get it.

Re:Well I for one (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495123)

How do you discover new things through Facebook when it effectivly blanks out any information provided by anyone not in your "network"?

That is one of my major complaints about Facebook. How am I supposed to know if I want to be "friends" with someone if their profile is hidden from me? And I can't view their profile unless I am friends with them.

The whole thing seems like a dick waving exercise for people who have a lot of IRL acquaintances (not necessarily people they are actually friends with). Seemingly the only way to become "friends" with someone on Facebook is to know them already.

Re:Well I for one (4, Interesting)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495265)

How do you discover new things through Facebook when it effectivly blanks out any information provided by anyone not in your "network"?

I think you are using a different interpretation of the word "new" than the GP. He is using the word to mean "new to me". So something can be known about by his friends, but it is new to him, so he learns about it. It looks like you are using the word to mean "brand spanking new" so that you and all of your friends would be clueless aobut it. Both points are valid.

That is one of my major complaints about Facebook. How am I supposed to know if I want to be "friends" with someone if their profile is hidden from me? And I can't view their profile unless I am friends with them.

The whole thing seems like a dick waving exercise for people who have a lot of IRL acquaintances (not necessarily people they are actually friends with). Seemingly the only way to become "friends" with someone on Facebook is to know them already.

That is precisely why I use Facebook instead of Myspace. People are almost required to have an IRL connection to the people on their friends list. This makes it a lot more likely that they know the individual personally, so it really is a "network" and not random people who like to have friends online. This also improves the likelihood that the person is a REAL PERSON, not a spam page. This is opposed to Myspace where people have 7000 friends that they never spoke to (the real dick waving exercise), and you have no idea who is really thier friend, or even if they are real people.

Re:Well I for one (3, Interesting)

gravesb (967413) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494965)

The problem is that the target isn't you, or the general slashdot audience. It is the advertisers, and they are interested in easily suggestible numbers. The more people, and the more suggestible, the better. Facebook also seems better targeted to guiding people to what they didn't know they needed-the advertisers' best friend. I think control of the Internet in this sense means control of advertising dollars. Like you, I'm going to stick with Google and discount anything I see on Facebook. But like you, I am in the minority. The real question is what the majority of people on the Internet will do.

Re:Well I for one (2, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495211)

If you only base your decision on your friends recommendations, you would never look at anything 'new'.

Maybe it's just my friends, but I find the range of material I find out about from my friends far more diverse than I'd find out just by looking at mainstream adverts or shops. Music would be the classic example, but I think it applies more generally.

Consider, how much of Firefox's success (not to mention Linux, to a lesser degree) is due to people seeing it advertised or otherwise finding out about it themselves, versus it being recommended by a geek friend?

Ummmm.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28494793)

Sorry, but Facebook is just a very small niche of the 'net. Even with it's status as a fad, Facebook still attracts only a very, very small number of users of the Internet. Even with the membership base it has, most are a bunch of mouth-breathers.

Seriously, it's just another stupid social website. Don't place more importance on it than it deserves. It's the Internet's embarrassing shit stain that won't go away.

Science and Statistical Data Mining (1)

strannik (81830) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494795)

Statistical and Scientific Data will become more relevant as soon as all my friends take this cool quiz on facebook!

Give Me Dispassionate Information Any Day (5, Insightful)

Quothz (683368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494833)

Friends, family, colleagues, and peers as my primary offline information sources? Only if I want gossip, urban legends, extemporaneous answers to avoid admissions of ignorance, and rambling anecdotes. If I need actual information offline, I use reference works. I don't want "passion" in my information; I'd rather have facts and data. Thanks just the same, Zuck, but please go back to your tea party and let the grownups deal with information systems.

Re:Give Me Dispassionate Information Any Day (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495235)

Surely this criticism applies to Google too? If you rely on a Google for your knowledge, you get plenty of gossip, urban legends, ignorance etc, and worse you don't even know the people it's from, and whether there is any reason to trust them or not. Sure, occasionally you might happen upon a web page that gives a reliable reference, or a website that is in itself authoritative, but the same is true of friends too.

Re:Give Me Dispassionate Information Any Day (2, Interesting)

Quothz (683368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495411)

If you rely on a Google for your knowledge, you get plenty of gossip, urban legends, ignorance etc, and worse you don't even know the people it's from, and whether there is any reason to trust them or not.

That's true enough if you're totally indiscriminate and don't use services such as Google Scholar. Let's say I need information on Iran.

First result: Wikipedia. I know it's pretty accurate if you avoid touchy topics. Since this is Iran, I'll poke around the citations for primary information but pass otherwise.

Second stop: CIA World Factbook. This is accurate. Surprisingly, despite your claim to the contrary, I do know who wrote this information and and how much I can trust it.

Third hit: New York Times coverage. Again, I know who it's from and about how much I can trust them (probably, but corroborate).

And that's just from the first few links of plain ol' Google.

Re:Give Me Dispassionate Information Any Day (1)

pfafrich (647460) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495747)

Often I will trust my friends more than the stuff on the internet. Friends are not trying to sell me stuff unlike much on the internet, friends will largely share my world view and not try to impose some other agenda on me (well not too much), and if they are good friends may actually know enough about me to know the sort of info that I need. I've also got a pretty good idea of how much weight to put on different friends suggestions.

Just the other day I was doing some DIY and a friend came by and gave me a good simple suggestion which was better than all the stuff I've read on websites.

Apples and Oranges (3, Insightful)

Xistenz99 (1395377) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494841)

It doesn't make sense at all to compare these two sites because I don't think I have ever mistaken Google for facebook. Facebook will never be a place for looking up statistics unless those statistics consist of "Who is going to my party tonight", Facebook influence is small and limited

This is CREEPY sounding. (4, Insightful)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494855)

humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information

I'm sorry but honestly I like cold logic.. This sounds like some sort of RIAA / Government control the flow of information justification and creeps me the hell out.

I donno sort of like this...
"why do you need to look at books Timmy? Why not just ask grandpa about it? What do you have to hide from your dear old grandpa timmy?" Why don't you trust that we know best.

It just sounds creepy but maybe I just have less faith in my family's wisdom than most? Anyhow I really don't see a battle here... There is more than one way to skin a search request....

Buyer Beware! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28494867)

FB's Capricious and poorly defined rules. I was âoepermanentlyâ banned from Facebook recently for about a month for violating the terms and conditions of FB. I protested and got back on but they said that on my next infraction there will be no second chance.

This occurred shortly after I posted my position on abortion. Problem is, that they would not tell me what I had done or how I may have violated their secret rules. My issue is that I invested my time not theirs uploading my pictures to FB and at the very least they should be able to give some guidance as to what I did so that I won't do it again.

I am fed up with their capricious and non-deterministic "rules" and their draconian administration of âoejusticeâ. I believe in rules and the administration thereof but rules should be clearly understood, publicized and adjudicated. That IS NOT the case with FB. And they want to rule the world?

Re:Buyer Beware! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495003)

If I was you I'd stop being a woman hating fucktard who adds pictures of aborted fetuses or protests that basically say that the death of Tiller was fine. Just a guess.

Don't be that guy.

Re:Buyer Beware! (1)

Cross-Threaded (893172) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495949)

How do you get permanently banned for a month? I'm sure that is simply a poor choice of words, oh well.

Getting angry at a web service for their rules, and style of applying them, is not very constructive.

Even if they aren't as transparent, or helpful, as you think they should be.

When you opened your account, you agreed to be censored by them. Since they are the service provider, it is their prerogative to run that service in whatever way they see fit. They will do it their way, and the only reason they will change is if they see that revenue is dropping because of the way they run it.

If they provide a service that you find valuable enough that you still want it after this realization, then you will choose to put up with it. If not, you will leave, and either find a service that is more compatible with your views, or create your own.

There is nothing requiring you to use their website, you can go to a competitor, and there is nothing stopping you from creating your own website to post your views. Who knows, you website might just be the next big winner, and eclipse Google, and Facebook, combined.

The Wired heuristic (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494883)

A good general heuristic: plans exposed on Wired never come to fruition. Wired is where you go when you want to gain exposure for a plan that can't get traction.

So no, Facebook isn't going to challenge Google with any success. If they're lucky, they'll continue to be an interesting niche player, like blogs. More likely, they'll let their success go to their heads and they'll become MySpace, which people abandon in droves for the next flashy thing.

In this case I also RTFA and I think their plan is dumb: I use google precisely to find out what I don't already know. But even without RTFA, the Wired heuristic tells me it's a bad idea. That heuristic has served me well.

Re:The Wired heuristic (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495191)

A good general heuristic: plans exposed on Wired never come to fruition.

What would happen if you published this idea of yours on Wired?

Re:The Wired heuristic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495723)

The Internet would die.

Trusting strangers vs. cicrle jerking (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494885)

That's basically what you get when you define "opinions from everyone vs. opinions from friends" negatively.

On one hand, in google, the recommendations and answers you get are from strangers. They may be experts, they may be deluded and full of it, they may actively try to misinform you. You don't know. Now, Google holds the creed that the majority isn't out there to "get you" and to con you, so the numbers work in your favor. If, and only if, the majority actually has the right answer. If you asked some 500 years ago the majority about the revolution of sun and earth around each other, the answer you would have gotten had been a wrong one. When your source is the majority, new insight is rarely possible. The majority never thinks "outside of the box", it usually goes with what's tried and (perceived) true.

The other extreme is relying only on your network of friends and other people who think like you (because else, they would probably not be on your friends list) for information. The danger here is that wrong information will become reinforced and more readily believed as truth because it will be confirmed by many. A says X, B agrees, C doesn't know, but he perceives A and B as experts in this field, so he takes over their theory as reality.

Either has its advantages and drawbacks. The internet is no dinner where you get your answers and informations served. It's more a buffet where you have them offered, but you alone are responsible to get the right ones.

Re:Trusting strangers vs. cicrle jerking (2, Insightful)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495797)

For your astronomical example, what are the chances you have friends smart/knowledgeable enough to tell you correct information. If I want a fact my friends are unreliable, if I want recomendations/opinions for various things my friends are better because they know me.

Google is good because it bypasses my friends' limitations of knowledge, Facebook is redundant because the only things my friend's could tell me I could simply ask in person.

And Facebook would do it, too (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28494887)

If only Intel and AMD and...

Would get it together and build their servers right!

Bad crowd (3, Insightful)

Faux_Pseudo (141152) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494935)

One of the problems with the internet is that it gives people a chance to self select themselves into a tiny little corner of interstes that creates an echo chamber. I don't want recomendations from people I know to be prone to confermation bias. I want recomendations from a large body of evidance showing both pro's and con's. Nothing against Facebook, its just their users I have an issue with.

Beauty of the Internet (1)

Auxis (1341693) | more than 4 years ago | (#28494979)

The beauty of the Internet is that I'm not limited to asking questions to the peers around me in real life (or on some social network.) I've never used Facebook for anything else than looking at pictures of friends I haven't seen in years, keeping in contact with them, and trying to talk to the single ladies that I know. I can remember only one situation where a friend was interested in a subject (programming) which I offered to help him through a private message.

Ghettoization of the intertubes (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495075)

I think the subject line says it all.

The advantage of a universal search engine such as Google is that it searches for data internationally and broadens one's horizons.

Re:Ghettoization of the intertubes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495355)

The problem with a Google universal search is that it often returns items I don't want.

Webpages, Yes... I did a Web search and expect web pages. International, sometimes might be useful, but it depends on the search criteria (news vs. information vs. reviews).

Books results, Products results, Groups results, Profile results, etc.? *NO*. I did a *Web* search for *web pages* and I don't want Google-specific offerings from their specialized search engine categories unless I specifically search in those categories.

I also don't want those filtering into the web search as well--I just want *web pages* when I do a *Web* search on Google.

Whoever thought that would help Google appear to be a better search engine, well, I don't think it makes it better and it's most of the reason I use Yahoo and Bing over Google.

Militarism and the market. (2, Informative)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495097)

Zuckerberg may be the cute face to front Facebook, but we all know that the (only) two other board member's Peter Theil and Jim Breyer are humanists of the highest degree.

Yes! because Thiel's extreme vision of capitalism where corporations control the whole world is 'humanizing'. TheVanguard.Org and 'The Diversity Myth' are humanist projects, not neoconservative? Support for the rich using offshore tax havens...that's the ethical human thing to do!

Jim Breyer's time on the board of Walmart, why, I'm sure he's helping Walmart become more caring, personal, and humane.

Greylock Venture Capital's ties to the CIA are also of no concern, I'm sure.

Can you make money out of friendship? Can you create communities free of national boundaries - and then sell Coca-Cola to them? Facebook is profoundly uncreative. It makes nothing at all. It simply mediates in relationships that were happening anyway.

I think It's pretty insane that people present their personal details in public via social networking. This same type of connectivity could be implemented with end to end encryption, signatures to verify everyone, and secure deletion. Social networks could be a p2p, open source, empowering service. Instead, people just upload their entire lives to the web, and use services run by some of the most extreme right wing members of the ruling class. WAKE THE FUCK UP!

Is facebook going down? (2, Interesting)

Psychotic_Wrath (693928) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495135)

Is it just me and a few other people, or is this becoming common. I am really getting sick of facebook. I don't really use it as much as I used to. There are just too many things that I don't rally like. It would be nice to know if there are others that have quit or slowed their use of facebook.

Re:Is facebook going down? (2, Informative)

d4nowar (941785) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495425)

For every person that says "I deleted my facebook because I got tired of it," there are about a dozen moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and grandparents just starting one up.

Re:Is facebook going down? (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495475)

FTA:

We all had that audacity, 'Anything Google does, we can do better.' No one talked about MySpace or the other social networks. We just talked about Google."

They know who their competition is, but they haven't even really matched Google. Google search and Gmail are where they are because no one can possibly come up with a service that offers the same feature set in such a clean, elegant, and efficient package.

Facebook is where they are from sheer momentum. If I thought people would read my RSS, I'd be inclined to move everything to a private site without all that Javascript, Flash, and random ad banners. At the moment, there is a certain class of social interactions that my generation expects to happen on Facebook (mostly date setting.) Email is too impersonal, phone is too difficult to get a hold of someone. Facebook is a happy medium. Unfortunately, it's a mess.

Re:Is facebook going down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495765)

I agree. You should send me your username, 'cause I'd like to gift you a pizza.

Pretty much my main use for facebook, which I didn't get with myspace, is for playing games with friends and lately non-immediate relatives have been contacting me a bit through there. When I first joined, it seemed like it was kind of a nice social site; instead it turned out to be myspace, only wearing wearing a fancier jacket. The amount of unfunny inanity that facebook perpetuates is staggering.

When I read stories like this, or their complaints against the chipmakers (no links before breakfast), I wonder things like has Facebook done a single thing that could reasonably be called innovative? Does Facebook ever plan to make money? Do the people running Facebook actually believe that they're providing a unique and valuable service? Do they have plans to some day actually provide a unique and valuable service? I mean, there's nothing wrong with starting a company just to make money but then you should probably make money and maybe not seem quite so full of yourself.

Re:Is facebook going down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495791)

I have also stopped using it, and I've been using it for about 5 years.

It has just become unmanageable to maintain an acceptable standard of privacy and control over your details.

Nowadays, everyone's aunties have facebook, and there's no way for me to know what photos of me friends are putting up and who can see them.

The opinion of "the masses" isn't personal (2, Interesting)

Shag (3737) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495165)

I have somewhere north of 300 friends on Facebook. Any question I might need help with would best be addressed to at most three of them. If I need to know something, I'm not going to find it out by asking my cousins. People I used to work with tend to know pretty much the same stuff I know in the field I used to work in. And so on. I haven't been able to enforce "you must be knowledgeable and a good thinker to know me" yet.

evil (3, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495241)

Just remember that Google still tries to not be evil. Facebook quite clearly has no such qualms about the standard sort of "corporate evil". Also Facebook invades your life infinite more than Google.

Re:evil (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495537)

Facebook quite clearly has no such qualms about the standard sort of "corporate evil". Also Facebook invades your life infinite more than Google.

Only if you let it. It's not invasive with some forethought.

facebook==AOL (5, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495277)

Zuckerberg wants to create a walled internet where everything goes through facebook. We've seen it once before, back when it actually had a small chance of succeeding because a lot of the general public didn't know any better.

Not happening, get over yourself. It didn't work the first time, it won't work this time.

yawn (1)

ypctx (1324269) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495289)

Just by quickly scanning the article, it looks like their world domination is intended to hinge on the "Facebook Connect" thing for websites --- which Google already has an answer to: the "Google Friend Connect". (Correct me, if you indulge in reading 20 page advertising articles about nothing.)

All in all, saying that "Facebook is going to dethrone Google" sounds to me as saying "Somalian pirates are going to defeat US army and then dominate the western society."

<joke>
Facebook: blah blah dominate blah blah
Google: yawn (removes Facebook from search index)
</joke>

But to stay objective, Google should seriously do something about the abomination named Orkut, which runs on .aspx. But I guess they don't care too much - their intent is to social-networkize the whole web using open protocols - and open thinking - which is why they will succeed.

there's one tiny difference (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495319)

facebook is good for knowing what the idiotic things the idiots you're surrounded by do to kill time online. Google is good for everything else.

Yeah right (2, Interesting)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495365)

Get back to me when Facebook gives a damn what I want. Always changing the layout because of this stupid concept of 'sharing' every fucking detail of our lives. Tell me on the right side of the homepage that I should friend my 60-year-old former diffusion professor. Forcing me to use their stupid minifeeds and asshole applications. You know why people consult Google for shit? Because Google gives them what they want. Facebook is just for dicking around and bending over while millions of drones come back and bend over for Mark Zuckerberg to come up with some new fucked up idea for changing the layout and pissing off the userbase again. Whereas Google will always be the same old Google, typically (not always, of course) well in touch with their userbase, providing what you need and far more powerful than Facebook. And above all, Google gives me the entire web, whereas Facebook just constrains me to this stupid social networking concept. Seriously, if the entire web became personal profiles and Facebook fan pages, I wouldn't bother paying for my connection anymore.

Facebook's Vision? (3, Interesting)

dhammond (953711) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495393)

I don't really get Facebook's vision for the web. It seems like wishful thinking to me. That is, they're starting with the fact that they have all this data that they want to use to make money, and they're envisioning what a world would look like that would make them insanely rich.

Anyway, I, for one, am more comfortable with Google vision, which is not predicated on the idea of a single company having exclusive access to vast amounts of personal information.

By the way, it's easy to forget that what makes Google's "rigorous and efficient" algorithms work is that they model the work that all of the millions of people in the world do every day to build the web. When someone reads something online that they like, they create a new page and link to it. That is the powerful idea -- harnessing the work of real people -- that made Google work, and allowed it to supplant earlier search engines.

is the battle between Britney and Christina (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495395)

Google and Facebook have done very little for the advancement of humanity, tbh. They respectively make it easier for the laypersons to look up unreliable information they don't really need, and allow the lazy to broadcast recreational updates on their life to more people than care. If you are using either tool for work then, sorry to break it to you, but your job is not doing anything to improve the world. Professionals and academics carry on using specialist applications.

I used the Internet to communicate for a whole decade before Page and Brin were dragging up at Stanford. Today I use mostly the same protocols and resources I've been enjoying since 1996.

Self centered view of the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495397)

Googles advertising policies seem to have directly made it profitable for the scum of the net to prosper. For me search results are incresingly full of crap sites with no useful content followed by the words "ads by google" somewhere on the page.

If facebook thinks its users are going to share all of their personal information re doctors for their "friends" to discover they are not being realistic.

While both sites provide useful services to the world to think that either one is "the way forward" is in my view doing is a disservice to Internet users... I believe we can do better than either vision and have our cake and eat it too.

If I had to pick any one single improvement to the network in the last ten years it would be wikipedia hands down.. no contest. I would rather have wikipedia /w dialup than not having wikipedia with broadband.

This is a false premise (3, Interesting)

br00tus (528477) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495401)

The whole genius of Google is that it is NOT "rigorous and efficient equations that parse practically every byte of online activity to build a dispassionate atlas of the online world". Search engines prior to Google would classify a searched for word or phrase by how many times it was mentioned in a page, if the word/phrase was in the page's title, or in the beginning of the page, perhaps in a header, and so forth. Google's algorithm was to do those rankings, but then to give enormous weight to what pages of that type linked to another page. So if a large majority of baseball web sites linked to the MLB's web site, MLB's website would be on top for a Google search for baseball (as indeed it is). This is not a dispassionate equation, but one utilizing human cognitive skills and social connections via the web to give you what you want. Google's surge over search engines like Opentext, Webcrawler, Excite and Altavista was precisely that it began concentrating on social connections on the web.

And insofar as non-search services - Google has Orkut, on Google Mail one could only get an account originally through an acquaintance, Google Earth has a Web 2.0 collaborative piece to highlight places in a local area, Google sponsors the Summer of Code and so forth. Facebook may be taking the social component even farther, but Google has never been just an icy monolith of sleek computers and dispassionate equations.

social networks for reliable information? (1)

gintoki (1439845) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495521)

I'm sorry, but am I the only one that sees this as an oxymoron(for the most part)? Its the internet. Like its been mentioned in the comments above, why can't both solutions exist? I for one would use google overr facebook 100% of the time if i needed anything academic. I have many friends, out of them about 3 would actually know anything if i asked them to help me (for example, with a graph involving polar coordinates). Hell, 80% of my friends think that graphs can only ever be a straight line.

Google's data is much better (2, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495567)

Facebook and everyone's "friends" do nothing but pass around a bunch of bullshit, half truths quizzes to determine who your sexual partner should be. Both models should exist but one is good for learning (Google) and the other is good for a laugh (Facebook).

Facebook cannot replace the internet (5, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495667)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisions a more personalized, humanized Web, where our network of friends, colleagues, peers, and family is our primary source of information, just as it is offline. In Zuckerberg's vision, users will query this 'social graph' to find a doctor, the best camera, or someone to hire - rather than tapping the cold mathematics of a Google search. It is a complete rethinking of how we navigate the online world, one that places Facebook right at the center. In other words, right where Google is now."

Translation from Wired corporate shilling:

Facebook CEO envisions a walled garden controlled by Facebook, where your identity, network of friends, colleagues, peers and family belongs to FaceBook, and where Facebook is the primary source of all information, just as they've always dreamed of being. In Zuckerberg's vision, users will query FaceBook to find anything, rather than using the far more useful and wide-ranging Google search, which might lead you to sites which are not hosted by Facebook. It is a complete rethinking of how we navigate the online world, one that places Facebook right at the center. In other words, right where the real internet is now.

I've never liked sites like Facebook since they started off by trying to make everyone join their site before they can actually access content. Visit their front page, and all you see is an exhortation to give them your email address and some personal details - that tells you everything you need to know about their intentions and the utility of their site. Joining them means being data-mined by Facebook for every ounce of your worth as a consumer. Thankfully Facebook's vision of the future of the internet is about as relevant as Wired magazine is nowadays.

What if you don't have any friends on facebook? (1)

12Iceman (790001) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495683)

The google approach is a lot better for those of us without any friends on facebook.

It's just different positions on the same scale (1)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495759)

Several posts I've read here say things like "My friends may be good for recommending , but they're no good for recommending ", or "I don't want recommendations from people, who are prone to errors, but from algorithms, which are objective and logical."

I can't really understand that argument: the primary difference between Facebook's and Google's search models is the level of data aggregation.

Want to find a website that sells digital cameras? A Facebook search would "ask" your friends, and perhaps their friends, and maybe members of groups and networks you're in, whatever. Then it combines the answers and recommends one or more websites for you.
A Google search differs in that it "asks" everyone.

I've put "asks" in quotations marks because, obviously, there is no directing questioning occurring: the search engines are simply aggregating information from user behaviour. But the process is the same for Facebook as it is for Google. Everything eventually goes back to what users do, which in turned in a result of their subjective choices.

Let's assume a search function that simply returns the most popular site. If my group of Facebook friends visits the top-ranked digital camera page twice as often as the second ranked page, is that result more or less useful to me than if all internet users (whose traffic Google can track) visit Page A twice as often as Page B? The answer depends on how you regard your friends' suitability to make those recommendations.

People who say they prefer Google's results are, at root, saying they prefer the recommendation of the masses over the recommendation of their friends. Sure, there's algorithms that adjust the numbers so that links from more frequented pages count more than links from less frequented pages – but let's not kid ourselves: there is no expert opinion involved here. Google hasn't hired consumer experts to check out digital camera pages and rank them, and neither will Facebook. The important thing is whose data is being used as basis for the calculations.

Now, there is quite clearly a place for "social searching". All of us have, at some point or another, asked people we know to recommend products or services. We don't ask all of our friends, though, just the ones we think know what they're talking about. So Facebook's problem is going to be evaluating the responses of all of our friends to the "question" of "What is the best digital camera website". Comparing its algorithms with Google's is a little (or possibly even a lot) like comparing Google's with Bing's.

What it will (should) come down to for most of us is, "Do I trust my friends or the masses more to give me a good recommendation?". Based on that answer, we'll choose Facebook search or Google, respectively.

Re:It's just different positions on the same scale (1)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495779)

Edit: first sentence should read: "My friends may be good for recommending ITEM_1, but they're no good for recommending ITEM_2"

Everyone's about the Goobook (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28495805)

But no one likes my idea of the Faceboogle. :-(

My vision of the Internet... (2, Interesting)

ActusReus (1162583) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495857)

... is not being spammed with 200 goddamn "Mafia Wars" requests every time I log in. Seriously, Facebook is slowly approaching MySpace levels of obnoxiousness... and it hasn't gotten better as Facebook started trying to "out-Twitter" Twitter. I used to log in multiple times a day... now I only log in once a week or so to clean up all the annoying notifications. Zuckerberg should have sold back when the economy was booming and his company wasn't facing exposure as a mere fad.

Zuckerbergs 'vision' (2, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495865)

IM sorry, but its really hard to respect anything this guy says. IMHO, he got really lucky with Facebook, and he simply doesnt have that much intellectual capital.

There is no battle... (2, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#28495909)

The internet is so big that Google and Facebook are swinging their swords, but are nowhere near each other and cannot really hurt each other. There is room for both 'ways', among the many many other ways the internet will be used as well. There is still a big IRC following and surprisingly a lot of people still on Usenet. I think its silly to act like the Google meme or the Facebook meme is in any way an 'end all' solution or method for use of the internet.

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