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Google To Challenge Facebook Again

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the clash-of-the-titans dept.

Google 197

Hugh Pickens writes "Google is set to make a fresh attempt to gain a foothold in the booming social networking business, seeking to counter the growing threat that Facebook poses to some of its core services. USA Today reports that the search giant is upgrading Gmail to add social-media tools similar to those found on Facebook, including photo and video sharing within the Gmail application, along with a new tool for status updates. According to reports, Google is planning to give Gmail users a way to aggregate the updates of their various contacts on the service, creating a stream of notifications that would echo the similar real-time streams from Facebook and Twitter. Google's decision to exploit the heavily-used Gmail service as the basis for its latest assault on the social networking business partly reflects the failure of Google's previous stand-alone efforts to enter the social networking sector. Its Orkut networking service, though launched before Facebook, has failed to gain a mass following in most parts of the world, despite success in Brazil, and its acquisition of Twitter rival Jaiku ended in failure after it scrapped development of the service." Update: 02/09 19:32 GMT by KD : It's been announced as Google Buzz; CNET has a detailed writeup.

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privacy is key (5, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071418)

This might be interesting if they manage to get the privacy thing right. If they don't, I see it as a disaster. I use gmail to communicate with a much wider audience than Facebook. If somehow they managed to let me easily and effectively segment users into different groups, with STRONG WALLS between groups, then it might be interesting.

Although it would take quite a few HCI PhDs to figure out how to do it all without cluttering an already cluttery gmail UI.

Re:privacy is key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071452)

...if they manage to get the privacy thing right.

LOL

Re:privacy is key (3, Informative)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071530)

...if they manage to get the privacy thing right.

LOL

Just to be clear, I meant privacy in terms of your friends. In terms of Google, privacy was pretty much given up a long time ago.

Re:privacy is key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071552)

This google selling privacy is their game.

Re:privacy is key (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071994)

You fail english? That's unpossible...

Re:privacy is key (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073728)

See people?? now MS it's even outsourcing shills to third world and green card maggo^h^h^h^h^GOOGLE is TEH SUCKS!!!1

Re:privacy is key (2, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071854)

This might be interesting if they manage to get the privacy thing right. If they don't, I see it as a disaster. I use gmail to communicate with a much wider audience than Facebook. If somehow they managed to let me easily and effectively segment users into different groups, with STRONG WALLS between groups, then it might be interesting.
Although it would take quite a few HCI PhDs to figure out how to do it all without cluttering an already cluttery gmail UI.

Wouldn't you really just need to have two accounts, your real life account and then your second one for all the naughty stuff you don't want people to find out about? Of all the drama stories I've seen or heard about, it's usually because the two lives mixed. Embarrassing photos associated with your name on your facebook, web posts associated back to you, mistress texting you on the same phone you use for your normal life with the wife able to read said messages when you set the phone down for a moment, messages coming in to your regular mailbox and she reads them, etc.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that if you're doing stuff you don't want your spouse to know about, you need to reexamine why you got married and whether you should still be married. It might be kinder to just end the pretense and you can both get on with your lives. If you want to be a freaky swinger, just be honest and start dating the freaky swingers. If you wanted to be an ultra-orthodox jew you wouldn't start out dating regular women and spring the religion surprise, right? Of course not. You start from the hardest criteria first and find women you like who fall into it. If you find yourself torn between wanting to be a televangelist and having gay sex with male prostitutes, you have to decide which is more important to you, Jesus or the dong. Maybe you could move your ministry to a gay-friendly denomination? The lying and hypocrisy is too much BS.

I think it would be ok to have gmail with groups for church friends, rpg friends, work friends, family, etc, there's no embarrassment if the those get mixed. But anything that could be embarrassing should be on a separate account and your real name should not be associated with it.

Re:privacy is key (5, Insightful)

mrboyd (1211932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071974)

Relax, I don't know what's going on in your life for your first thing on your mind to be about cheating swinging gay porn and whatnot but most of us just want to avoid their close friends, vague relation and coworker to mix it up too much.

We all have pro-email and personal email but I'd bet that the majority of us had to give out the personal one away in a professional context for whatever reason (file size limit, exchange server bogged down, msn/google chat, etc..) and we really don't need our clients and recruiters to know about the boozing festival we had last week end for our childhood friend's birthday. It's not that we're ashamed of it. It just none of their business.

Re:privacy is key (3, Insightful)

ztransform (929641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072098)

Wouldn't you really just need to have two accounts, your real life account and then your second one for all the naughty stuff you don't want people to find out about?

The person you're being naughty with has a friend who has a friend who is your real-life serious friend.

Facebook does not hide friends lists. So the circle can easily be followed.

Re:privacy is key (2, Funny)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072710)

That's why I don't have any friends. Now get out of my basement.

Re:privacy is key (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073298)

I do not think that is the reason you don't have friends.

Re:privacy is key (3, Insightful)

gartogg (317481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072158)

And clearly the sample of stories that are told is representative of how thing go wrong in peoples lives.

The separate domains of my life shouldn't overlap. The stories are re-told because they are sensational, not because they are likely, or frequent, or representative of what people should worry about. The fact that you have things that you do not want others to know about isn't about hypocrisy, it is about privacy. Privacy allows for hypocrisy, but the fact that something is private, or even would be embarrassing, does not imply that it is wrong or hypocritical. Internal memos about client plans would be embarrassing if leaked, but there is no shame in having them. I don't want clients seeing my work life, I don't want anyone able to see what is going on with my love life (even though I am doing nothing I am in any way ashamed of,) and I don't want the wider world who I've emailed once seeing my private life at all.

Re:privacy is key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072142)

I use gmail to communicate with a much wider audience than Facebook.

So you're obviously a spammer, right?

Re:privacy is key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072610)

Although it would take quite a few HCI PhDs to figure out how to do it all without cluttering an already cluttery gmail UI.

Or it would simply take a person to ask the right questions a diverse user-base to see what they really want. Sometimes the simplest answer is to just ask the users.

Will there be any difference? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071424)

Neither company values privacy and just wants all the data for advertising so what difference does it make?

Your lives belong to us (5, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071460)

I think many people (though probably not enough) already worry about what Google and Facebook separately know and track about their online and private lives. Putting them both together under the control of just one of those companies? No thanks. A million times no.

Re:Your lives belong to us (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072090)

... where the hell did you get this? This is about Google creating some social networking services integrated with Gmail... not Google and Facebook teaming up..

Re:Your lives belong to us (1)

Loco3KGT (141999) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072208)

It's not about Google teaming up with Facebook. It's about Google trying to replcae Facebook and all your base belong to them.

Main screen turn on (1)

ImYourVirus (1443523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072298)

Uh from the summary it's google becoming like facebook, that much should be obvious, and as such they will have access to both.

Re:Main screen turn on (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072558)

So anyone creating a social networking application is ultimately gaining access to Facebook?

Google Fail..... (4, Interesting)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071466)

Where Google can offer clear cut advantage, it's easy to see them dominating. Online search was ripe for such a revolution. Other things like answers.google.com just didn't make 'em enough money. Social networking needed a revolution and Facebook emerged as the winner. Friendster couldn't do it and MySpace became irrelevent through obsolescence. What I think had made Google such a success has been it's openness towards developers and Facebook beat Google to that game by allowing developers to use it's services (which is torn from Google's own playbook). Google can try but I think they're gonna fail on this one, Facebook people are way too entrenched in it now. I, for one, will avoid Google simple because I just don't like how big they've become.

Re:Google Fail..... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071660)

I have an Okurat account, it is decent, but not great. What I feel is it's greatest failure is lack of integration with google as a whole.

I want to post pictures in picassa, and have Okurat be a way for my friends to find them. I really thought google would get that right when i signed up 6 or so months ago, but there was no integration at all. I was highly disappointed, but this new push could be what I want.

Re:Google Fail..... (1)

afrazkhan (1018034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071696)

I, for one, will avoid Google simple because I just don't like how big they've become.

I've never understood that argument. Are you scared of what Google will do with all the data they have on you? If so, then I think the only thing you have to go on is their past actions, and that doesn't ring any alarm bells for me.

Avoiding Starbucks, Google, Microsoft, whoever simply because they are "big" is a little superstitious, don't you think? I avoid Facebook and Microsoft not simply because they're big, but because they play dirty (and in the case of Facebook, their privacy policy).

Big != evil

Re:Google Fail..... (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072008)

Well, in a certain sense it's a rational mode of thought. If you're the type who generally distrusts the government for rational reasons (too much power concentrated in too few hands), the same rationale would apply to sufficiently large corporations. A small corporation lacks the ability to do anything really harmful, but a larger corporation with enough hooks in your life can abuse power in much the same way the government can.

Re:Google Fail..... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072042)

Big != evil

The bigger the company, the better the chance that they've hired unscrupulous people. The bigger the company, the better the chance that the corporate culture will lean to a "don't care" attitude. Money is power and power corrupts. The bigger the company, the more money it has.

So, Big != evil, but Pevil(big)>Pevil(small)

Re:Google Fail..... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072860)

Big != evil

When will people learn that companies are amoral? Sometimes they'll take actions that seem "right" or "wrong", but their goal is always increasing value.

The problem with being big, in Google's case, is the prevalence in all websites. If you browse with NoScript you really understand how widespread Google Ads and Analytics are. If you then "help" them by voluntarelly providing personal information, they will hold an enormous amount of data about you, which is always dangerous.

Not that I'm paranoid; I use Google Search and Gmail. But I'm aware that they control my data and can use it in any way they see fit.

Re:Google Fail..... (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071872)

I don't think that the article really understands Google's intentions here. Google has already demonstrated, with Wave [google.com] , that they do not see email, in its current incarnation, as the future of communication on the Internet. They have a very clear vision of merging all the disparate forms of communication on the Internet into one platform. Yet they've hit a stumbling block with Wave, in that nobody really wants to use it until everyone else is using it. I think that this is less about "taking on Facebook", as so many people want to think, and more about integrating some of the concepts that they've been exploring in Wave into, the already widely used, Gmail.

Re:Google Fail..... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072126)

Nobody wants to use it because it offers nothing over email except the ability to watch people correct typos in real time, and edit other people's words to make them look like idiots.

Re:Google Fail..... (2, Interesting)

technomom (444378) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073046)

They have a clear vision with Wave? If they do, they have done a terrible job communicating it. Wave looks promising to us propeller heads, but the general public is confused by Wave. It's slow and without knowing some secret incantations, it is brutal to navigate. Most people look at it for 2 minutes and give up.

Facebook is butt ugly but simple to jump in and use. If Google is going to have any prayer of making any social center work, it has to get back to fundamentals.

Google's original product was great because it had one text box and one button (two if you count 'I Feel Lucky'. Any idiot could use it and feel instantly smarter. They need to get back to that kind of simplicity if they want to go anywhere in the social arena.

Re:Google Fail..... (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073290)

There are two reasons for not using wave:
1. it's slow (even firefox 3.6).
2. no "standalone server" yet, that I could install at work, or for my _private_ stuff

Re:Google Fail..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071888)

In addition, it seems that Google might be fighting too many simultaneous battles...Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, China, News Corp...even becoming Mozilla's main competitor, despite the funding, and in other ways irritating the OSS community. Who are Google's friends? Why have they become so aggressive?

Re:Google Fail..... (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072124)

Aggressive? Elaborate?

Re:Google Fail..... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072716)

Where Google can offer clear cut advantage, it's easy to see them dominating. Online search was ripe for such a revolution. Other things like answers.google.com just didn't make 'em enough money.

And that's the thing, in so many things they've tried they aren't dominant. They came late to the table without offering a clearly superior product and have suffered for it.
 

Social networking needed a revolution and Facebook emerged as the winner.

What I think had made Google such a success has been it's openness towards developers and Facebook beat Google to that game by allowing developers to use it's services (which is torn from Google's own playbook).

Facebook didn't 'beat' Google. They beat LiveJournal, and Myspace, and Friendster. Google wasn't even in the race as they never put any significant effort into Orkut or Jaiku.
 

Google can try but I think they're gonna fail on this one, Facebook people are way too entrenched in it now

I don't think they are going to fail, but they will have a hard time coming out near the top.

Laziness (3, Insightful)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071468)

Google will fail to get a foothold for one reason laziness, the masses will not want to change over their account to something else. There is little innovation to be had in social media and the little tweaks that facebook does not copy from google will not be enough for people to deal with the hassle of changing.

Re:Laziness (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071968)

Laziness? Why would I move to another social networking site, if all my friends are still on Facebook?

Re:Laziness (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072150)

He meant mass laziness, as in even if Google's social networking services are far more powerful and intuitive than Facebook's, mass laziness will stop them -all- from switching over. Since they -all- won't switch over, many individuals won't switch. It's a mean spiral.

Re:Laziness (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072418)

Same reason the masses migrated to facebook - they didn't, but as a new generation decided that the 'new way' was facebook, the rest caught up or got left out.
I have a facebook account primarily for that reason, despite liking having a 'proper' blog. - I missed out on what people I knew were doing.
And am considering twitter, for a similar reason.

Re:Laziness (1)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072548)

Exactly, but probably most of my friends in Facebook also have gmail accounts so it's not big deal. I don't think that the smart people of Google haven't thought of this, so there must be "something" we just don't know yet. Anyway, apart from the stupid FarmVille and such games in FB (which many people do play) there's just too many people in FB and almost everyone uses it. Seems a tough move, let's see how it goes.

Re:Laziness (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073516)

So you have no more friends on MySpace? I bet your Facebook friends are on Twitter now.

I forgot what it was before MySpace, but that was THE shit just five years ago. Twitter is getting big now and Facebook is soso. Who knows.

I doubt google will take either over, but if they have a constant stragity, they might be the fall back for allot of people. I might be on all three services, but I still use gmail for my mail.

Re:Laziness (2, Insightful)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072516)

Google will fail to get a foothold for one reason laziness, the masses will not want to change over their account to something else.

Not to mention inertia.

For example, I use Windows Live Messenger. Not because it's the best IM protocol (it certainly isn't) but because all my friends are on it.

Re:Laziness (1)

Nov Voc (1619289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072536)

If it works better, people will use it.

Most of my friends transitioned from Livejournals to Myspace when they realized "hey, we can cover the page in obnoxious toys I like", and similarly switched again to Facebook when they realized they could actually read the pages and keep in touch much more easily. If Google adds something game-changing(Perhaps they'll market it as "sign in once and get email, youtube, networking, news, IM, voice, and office programs all at once, fluidly, with easy access if you use our phone"), then they can get the backing.

Laziness only prevents those who might join late with no clear-cut advantage.

Re:Laziness (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072954)

Laziness, nothing. They'll probably just bolt this 'functionality' onto a UI that really wasn't designed for it and nobody will bother to use it. You know, just like they jammed Jabber in.

Re:Laziness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073666)

Google will fail to get a foothold for one reason laziness

On the contrary, that's precisely the reason they stand a chance. All the people who already use GMail can start reading what their friends are up to at the same time as checking their e-mail.

There is little innovation to be had in social media

What a strange statement. If innovation was predictable, it wouldn't be innovation.

Paying for facebook (1)

DebianDog (472284) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071512)

Google should first target those groups on Facebook that think any day now Facebook is going to start "charging" a monthly fee to use the service.
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=26810775786 [facebook.com]
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=445591600322 [facebook.com]
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=292810587737 [facebook.com]

Less, not more! (4, Interesting)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071522)

I really do not want a constant flow of inane jibberings from every person in my gmail contact list day after day. This would drive me totally mad. Presumably there will be an opt out?

Re:Less, not more! (2, Funny)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071870)

Sure, just do what other Slashdotters do - don't have any friends.

Re:Less, not more! (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072020)

Hey, you insensitive clod, I'm a shut in.
besides, mom says I'm special.

Re:Less, not more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072672)

Don't use the web gui. IMAP and Thunderbird are your friends.

Facebook/Twitter Threaten Google News? Laughable. (1, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071528)

... seeking to counter the growing threat that Facebook poses to some of its core services.

What?

From the expert quoted in that article:

"Facebook could be a major disruptor to the News and Media category. And with the Wall Street Journal already publishing content to Facebook, perhaps the social network can avoid the run-ins that Google has suffered recently with Rupert Murdoch. We will continue to watch this space."

Yeah, in the same way that McDonalds could be a major disruptor to grocery stores. Rampant, ridiculous speculation and little more. Remember when MySpace was supposed to be the greatest news source EVER? And tried to become a gaming platform [slashdot.org] ? Unless I've missed some new development with Twitter and Facebook (I'm only a user of the latter), this is preposterous.

The only thing you'd see with Twitter or Facebook adding news is social networking bloat. That's it. One guy trying to do everything and be your one stop shop. It rarely works. Even some of Google's efforts to be your one stop shop die on the fine and fails encompass more of what you need from the web.

Not to toot my own horn or pat myself on the back too hard but the only reason I'm even in the standings on Slashdot submissions is Google and Google News. Let me know when Facebook or Twitter offer a simple RSS interface that I can log into from anywhere and share stories with my contacts [google.com] . Also, they'll need to be able to search the news, turn that search into an RSS feed and let me view that with the feed reader ... because that's exactly the kind of thing I do with Google Reader. And it allows me to dump very little time into searching for news and maximize my time spent reading the news.

die on the fine = die on the vine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071592)

Don't know how that got screwed up ...

No Farmville! (4, Funny)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071534)

I will not use this until I can play Farmville on it and send people were-pigs and pork-knights so they can defend themselves properly.

Re:No Farmville! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072488)

pork-knights

Do they fight with pork swords?

Re:No Farmville! (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072572)

well if they have farmville then count me in

Just Say No To The Triangled Eyes (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071560)

Dear Google,

Your requirement of obtaining cell phone numbers for new YouTube accounts sucks.

What's next, a drop of blod or a small amount of our hair into a special internetID
device and/or staring into a webcam with proprietary software extracting info about
your eyes and/or face to verify we say who we are?

Screw the path being prepared for us in the future.

Oh, you did hear about Microsoft's call for a future internet ID, right?

When will the people get it, we need to look to each other for support, not
corporations. In the end, none of them have our best interests at heart. We
are nothing but products to be groomed and squeezed.

Re:Just Say No To The Triangled Eyes (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071716)

you can just use your gmail login for youtube whats the big deal

Re:Just Say No To The Triangled Eyes (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071964)

you can just use your gmail login for youtube whats the big deal

They're asking for cell phone numbers to "activate" new Gmail accounts too.

Re:Just Say No To The Triangled Eyes (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072054)

That's what you get for coming late to the party I guess

Google's too big! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071562)

Ok, this has to stop.

Facebook : 2010 :: CB Radio : 1975 (1)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071576)

Google needs to find one niche for the age 13-20 crowd, and exploit it.

Facebook will fall as fast as MySpace did.

Personally, I think that niche is security. Facebook has already failed miserably on that front, and, although I hate thinking about everything that Google knows about me, they (somehow) have a reputation of protecting that information.

Re:Facebook : 2010 :: CB Radio : 1975 (4, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072284)

I think you're crazy if you believe that the 13-20 crowd is even vaguely aware of the concept of online security. In my experience they view privacy and security as hurdles, not assets, for the products they use online.

Re:Facebook : 2010 :: CB Radio : 1975 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072892)

I think you're crazy if you believe that the 13-20 crowd is even vaguely aware of the concept of online security

When I was in that age-range I used to read astalavista and security documents. It was, as matter of fact, a period where I was most aware of online security.

Not their core competence (1)

buruonbrails (1247370) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071626)

Google just doesn't get all these social things, they're good at creating ruthless search bots, but lose when it comes to social interaction.

They'd better let this generation social networks be and focus on next generation social networks (mobile social networks). At least now they have an Android platform, so they may integrate social network functionality into their OS (maybe even based on current Gmail application) and start from there.

Re:Not their core competence (1)

jomegat (706411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071986)

Google just doesn't get all these social things

That's because INTJ's don't do social.

Google is succumbing to the Dark Side (2, Insightful)

axl917 (1542205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071628)

Innovation and producing the "Next Big Thing" is the more difficult but potentially more rewarding path.

Slapping lipstick on your competitor's pig is the easy shortcut.

Who cares? (2, Insightful)

whatajoke (1625715) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071664)

Does it really matter whom you upload your private data to? Once it is out of your hands, it does not matter if it is with google, facebook, yahoo or msn

How cool will that be? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071672)

I think the social thing is more about being (or seeming) cool than anything else. The target of Facebook is people wanting to have an audience for wathever idea they can have to appear cool (and waste some time gaming).
So, what Google really needs to attract those people is becoming cooler, while remaining a good tool for productive people. The target is difficult to reach, but I would advise starting with games, there is potential for creating community there that is badly exploited on the Facebook side.

Not for the workplace at least (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071678)

"Goofing off? Of course not boss, I was just checking my email!"

no!!! (2, Informative)

Blymie (231220) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071710)

NO!

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

Did I mention, NO?

I am already annoyed, pissed off, angry and fed up with having to use lame gmail and other core Google services on my Android device. I have PRIVATE business contacts in there. I have NO PERSONAL CONTACTS.

I do not want them seeing each other, seeing when I am online, what I am doing, where I am, or anything of the sort! I use corporate email, not silly gmail for emailing my clients, both from my phone and from my desktop. The *only* reason I use gmail is for the calendar and contacts that I am *FORCED* to keep there.

If Google makes me, or my company the least bit *more* uncomfortable with this situation, we'll be moving to Blackberries.

BAH!

Google has gone so far downhill, I've actually tried Bing!. I *HATE* Microsoft. I _LOATH_ them. Google is just getting so bad, however, I had to try!

Heck, it's almost impossible to search for what you want on Google now, as it constantly changes your search terms. You pretty much have to add a + in front of every search keyword, in order to get what you want. Shouldn't that be opt-out? You know, an "actually search for things I asked for, not things you suggest" option?

Now they have those idiotic search suggestions, while you are typing. Annoying, and slow. About 1% of the time I search for something (I'm in IT, I search hundreds of times per day), the Google redirect domain they use is slow, and you have to reload to get where you want to go. Now they have personalized searches, which of course just makes things worse.. so now I have to randomize all Google cookies using a Firefox app.

What is wrong with these people?

 

Re:no!!! (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071874)

BAH!

Google has gone so far downhill, I've actually tried Bing!. I *HATE* Microsoft. I _LOATH_ them. Google is just getting so bad, however, I had to try!

Heck, it's almost impossible to search for what you want on Google now, as it constantly changes your search terms. You pretty much have to add a + in front of every search keyword, in order to get what you want. Shouldn't that be opt-out? You know, an "actually search for things I asked for, not things you suggest" option?

In my mind's eye I'm reading this as subtitles to that angry german kid video on Youtube. Bravo, sir.

Re:no!!! (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072000)

NO!

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

Did I mention, NO?

Ok, calm down.

Google has gone so far downhill, I've actually tried Bing!.

How has it gone down hill? It's as good as it's ever been in my experience. Also, you say you've tried Bing! Was it actually any better?

Heck, it's almost impossible to search for what you want on Google now, as it constantly changes your search terms. You pretty much have to add a + in front of every search keyword, in order to get what you want.

Hyperbole much? It's always done that. It makes sense. If you want to search for a specific phrase you still can.

About 1% of the time I search for something (I'm in IT, I search hundreds of times per day), the Google redirect domain they use is slow, and you have to reload to get where you want to go.

Actually I have noticed this. I'm in the same position and Google seems incredibly slow during office hours. It can't be that bad a service if you use it hundreds of times a day though...

What is wrong with these people?

They're trying to provide a services that works for millions of people. Obviously it's not going to be perfect for everyone.

[On a side note, why can't I click the bottom-right quarter of this text area?]

Re:no!!! (1)

BOFslime (178524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072144)

I'm not sure you're using the same Google I am. Predictive searching NEVER gets in the way and can be helpful from time to time.

And android only requires a gmail login for market/google checkout. You don't have to keep your contacts in gmail, (you can import them from your SD card or sim), you don't have to use the google cal, you don't have to use any google app on android. I just so happens that its the main point of the phone, as they're highly integrated and work fantastic together. At one point I wiped my phone and re-flashed once a day for a couple of weeks. I never once had to worry about my contacts, they were there after syncing, and as of 2.1 android now syncs the rest of your settings including your installed apps.

Re:no!!! (1)

bluewolfcub (1681832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072484)

Heck, it's almost impossible to search for what you want on Google now, as it constantly changes your search terms. You pretty much have to add a + in front of every search keyword, in order to get what you want.

If you put your search term in quotation marks, it'll search the exact term
no need for constant +

Re:no!!! (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072666)

you could always...uh...not use them? I am sure they will refund your money.

Bad Move (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071836)

Most corporations block webmail(security, trojans, viruses, etc) but many are now allowing access to social network sites. Most folks visit social networking sites during the workday. So a webmail social networking app is a non-starter.

Re:Bad Move (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071976)

Really? My workplace blocks Facebook. I thought many, or even most businesses blocked social sites.

Re:Bad Move (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072202)

We used to have access to Facebook as well as many forums but I guess folks were taking too much time out of work to socialize and they're blocked. I can still get in to my webmail accounts though and ESPN is still unblocked. There are a few sub-Yahoo! domains that I can't get to including my profile (identified as social networking). I imagine work will figure out which google servers are the social ones and block them.

[John]

Work blocks Facebook (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071844)

Now it'll block Google. Guess I'll be forced to use Bing!

[John]

Fat Girl Angle Shot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071852)

Google needs to apply some perspective-correcting algorithms to all the Fat Girl Angle Shot [encycloped...matica.com] profile pics. There'd be a service to humanity!

Best tag (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071882)

nooooooooo

The law of unintended consequences... (2, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071956)

If Google pimps up GMail enough, with file-sharing, social networking, instant-messaging, and gee-whiz features, it will get blocked at our firewall as a security risk.

Right now, Google Chat is blocked. Google Voice is blocked. YouTube is blocked. Google Docs is blocked.

Keep it up, Google, and I won't be able to use much Google at all at work.

Now, for those of you who have no responsibilities, feel free to flame on and explain why my corporate masters are shortsighted, maniacally obsessed with control, and oblivious to reality in their vain attempt to secure the corporate data, protect our customers' information, and be responsible to the shareholders. It starts out as funny, then becomes annoying, and finally settles into a tragic display of ignorance of the reality of large corporation security issues.

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. Or $50 million.

Re:The law of unintended consequences... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072214)

The thing is that all those services could be used to leak sensitive information. What's the difference between chat, google docs, and gmail?

Sure, you could post some juicy stuff online for the world to see with google docs. Sure, you could tell people of impending stock changes over google chat or talk. But you could also put those things into a chain mail and send it to all your contacts in gmail! Don't even get me started on using all kinds of random third party websites to post stuff on the web.

If they are so concerned about security issues, then why do they even allow web access without at least a white-list with the bare essentials? The policy in your story just seems so arbitrary. Either allow people to use what they want and hold them responsible for fuckups, or close it off for maximum security.

Re:The law of unintended consequences... (2, Informative)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072830)

This is anathema to many, especially the young, but...

There are some things that cannot be resolved by a 'hold them responsible for fuckups' policy. You would probable, for instance, not be impressed by that policy if it required firing several people who let your financial data spew forth. After all, your credit is gone, your house is gone, your future is unnecessarily complicated, and it will take years to put it all back. No amount of retribution will fix it or make you whole.

We've read many reports of data breaches, and the result is not mitigated by punishing those responsible. And despite our fondest hopes, it's kinda pointless to expect the mid-level sysadmin to sport over a few tens of millions of dollars to compensate their former employer for the damage and recovery. Just the letters cost real money to mail. Writing off lost revenue, disputed transactions, and such is nontrivial.

And that's just the financial industry. In healthcare, there are things that can be disclosed that have no fix. NO FIX. And cost is the wrong concept. People often consider their private medical history beyond value.

There is no real point in having a 'hold them responsible for fuckups' policy. It should be obvious that you are responsible. Prevention is the only solution for many scenarios.

And yes, the policy seems arbitrary. And it is. The team assesses threats and potentials, and assigns levels of risk. I'm often amused by the websites blocked, but I can figure out why most of the time. Among the reasons to block sites here seem to be: Obvious hacker actvity/encouragement, obvious time-wasting, socially unacceptable behavior, excessive bandwidth utilization without any business purpose, etc. I haven't tried going to 4chan, for instance, I expect it to be blocked. I've never even gone to Drudge.

And among other things, the corporate Internet bandwidth is clearly the property of the corporation to manage and control. I'm just an employee. I have nothing to say about it, my job does not require control or special privileges. I'm somewhat amazed that I get /.

Re:The law of unintended consequences... (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072248)

Worse is that work uses Blue Coat filters. So sites are blocked based on someone else's definition of a site. I'm amazed that I can still get to Slashdot though.

[John]

Re:The law of unintended consequences... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072660)

Probably cause the guy that installed Blue Coat spends his lunchtime on Slashdot.

Re:The law of unintended consequences... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073356)

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Yeah, then it's just a game... Find the eye.

Don't you think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072066)

I for one welcome our Stanford PhD overlords.

Google is the new Walmart (or Microsoft) (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072068)

Google is the new Microsoft. It goes wherever they see money. It is the 800 lb gorilla that not only has the money to undercut its competition, but the advantage of giving themselves a higher page rank in searches. They can make their product appear better by marketing the new product's integration with the rest of Google's services.

Soon it will be like the 80's when tech companies' strategy switched from long term goals to the short term "What would make us attractive to Google?" strategy. Did we not learn anything from living with these tactics from Microsoft?

Re:Google is the new Walmart (or Microsoft) (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072802)

Bullshit, pure fucking bullshit.

Google history has nothing like the history of Microsoft. Microsoft has been breaking laws all the way back from when they stole computer time from The Computer Center Corporation (and caused important systems to crash) to write their "borrowed" basic interpreter. Bill Gates didnt start with a nice little upstart company with blue eyes and good intentions, its been bad to the bone from day one. Compared to Microsoft, Google must have been founded by nuns

While Microsofts history is riddled with bad behaviour, total disregard to laws, abusing partnership, killing competition, abusing monopolies, bribing and pretty much anything you can think of Google has none of those traits, at all.

While Google goes after buys services that people find useful and are popular, Microsoft goes after any service that could in time pose a threat to their only income and kills it. Google makes popular services more popular and useful, Microsoft kills the ones posing a threat. One kills any innovation, one takes it further. Ill take Googles approach thank you.

Re:Google is the new Walmart (or Microsoft) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073584)

They can make their product appear better by marketing the new product's integration with the rest of Google's services.

Why use the word "appear"? If the integration is useful, then the product is genuinely better for having it.

        Integration can be bad for users if it means your data can not be exported outside the set of integrated products. Google seems to be going out of their way to make their services capable of exporting data and interoperating with competing services. See http://www.dataliberation.org/ .

        Integration can also be bad for users when they are forced to pay for a set of integrated products to get the one they want/need. Since the services discussed in the article are free, this is not an issue.

Wave social network (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072356)

Give me wave as a social network, and I will be happy. Technically, people can already do this, but ... a 'publish and let people follow if they wish' sort of approach is better than a defined list of recipients.
You don't actually need much more than that, to make something that'll be better than most of the competition.

Facebook? Twitter! (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072382)

Sometimes you feel someone did a list of what should not be done regarding privacy and named the implementation of all that rules Facebook. Twitter is a better example of what could be implementing Google.

And if they do in their usual way, will be a somewhat open protocol, a federated social network. Not sure if twitter have such protocol, but if so, the right move for google would be to use the same protocol, and interconnect both.

Re:Facebook? Twitter! (1)

jetxee (940811) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073210)

> will be a somewhat open protocol, a federated social network.

You mean like identi.ca and openmicroblogging?

This won't work (1)

bloobloo (957543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072456)

Individually, Google's projects are mostly very interesting. But they don't work together. I have to set pictures separately for Picasa Web Albums, and a google profile, for example. Some settings must be configured in each project, while others are common across all of them, but it's hard to know which is which, and indeed where to find out where to make changes.

Before trying to go for something as ambitious as rivalling Facebook, they should improve integration and consistency between their projects. Not saying that it is too ambitious - if anyone has the skills to do it, Google has.

Facebook is a fad. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072542)

Why do i think it is a fad? Because once the novelty wears off its just a glorified diary. Some people will stay on but most will do better things with their time. Just like Second Life its fun while its new but really not something people spend years doing.

Most people on facebook havent given a seconds thought about just why it can be bad to put your photos, innermost thoughts, friends and secrets online. They will discover in time how hard it is to erase something already online. Im just waiting for the newspapers plastering every edition with horror stories about Facebook.

no thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072714)

I'll take my gmail the way it already is thank you very much.

If I wanted that crap, I would have had a hotmail (1)

Lazypete (863757) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072760)

I use gmail for 1 reason... ok maybe 2... but only one that really matters... It is fast and lean. If you fatten it up with useless networking crap its going to get slower, no doubt about it.. my second reason is that I had my name as an email address..

What happened to Wave? Has it Waved Goodbye? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31072978)

I thought the new APIs were 'gearing' towards wave? It was heir-apparent to GMail right?

I got my wave account, did a couple waves, realized the coolest plugins were missing... and decided to wait. I looked at the APIs.. It's pretty cool as a platform. It has some really interesting concepts. The fact that they were releasing the source to it and allowing the enterprise to have their own (supported?) wave server which could federate to others was AMAZING! I told all my friends it was the Exchange killer... Teach me to drink the kool-aid.

Oh well... Maybe they will let the enterprise download their own GMail server appliance and get around the privacy/security issues.

Remember Lively? (1)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073066)

Lively? Yeah that worked out well.

Facebook pressured to change to style before last (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073464)

Facebook has outraged thousands of obsessive shirkplace F5-pressers by changing its layout from the layout it changed to after the layout before that [newstechnica.com] .

The change has met a storm of protest from users going so far as to click "Join This Group," with nearly two million people with, apparently, nothing whatsoever to do that they're actually being paid to stepping forward to demand that Facebook switch back to the layout before the last one, or the one before that.

"This new format makes absolutely no sense at all," said aggrieved office administrator Brenda Busybody, 43 (IQ), who had said the same thing each of the last three times it changed. "There's, like, all this stuff all over the place. It's not like the old one at all ... ooh, that's interesting, I hadn't seen that before."

The users vowed to continue their campaign assiduously for at least a day or two, in between working on their imaginary farm or joining "I Bet I Can Find A Million People Who Believe In Facebook Petitions Before June" or observably not giving two hoots about handing their personal details, fingerprints, DNA and probably first-born to Facebook's advertisers if it meant they could get thirty coins on Petville.

Facebook engineer Jing Chen explained on the company blog how the changes had been extensively tested on the 599.5 million Facebook users who hadn't joined such groups, and that he hoped everyone who wasn't a whiny little bitch would appreciate the new experience. "There's really nothing quite like the complaints of someone getting something for free that what they're getting for free just isn't perfect enough. It's what makes Monday Monday."

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