Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dominance Disguised as an Android

As Google continues to grow, is it their intent to hide their continued dominance under the thin veil of Open Source?

This week, Google unveiled an alliance (Open Handset Alliance) with 33 companies to make new software available free of charge to power mobile phones that will hit the market in the second half of 2008. Last week Google unveiled the alliance around it's Open Social social networking platform.

If this isn't a smart company I don't know what is. Strategic partnerships are integral to each of Google's viable (read non-beta) product/service launches.

Not too mention that the wireless landscape is in need of a huge disruptor like the Android platform proposes itself to be - a low cost, flexible, and hardware agnostic platform.

On Open Social

GigaOm's Om Malik points out that Google's entire business model depends on information being public--search is just a tool used to glean more information about us so the company can serve more targeted advertising. The idea behind OpenSocial is more of the same: provide free tools for (developers in this case) to create free, open software and then help developers monetize their programs through AdSense. Therefore, Google doesn't really have to get into the social networking game.

Well the case is that Google only has to dip their toe into the Social Networking game in order to have significant influence over the social networking space in terms of monetizing the output of capabilities develop using their 'standard' of OpenSocial.

Perhaps I am can easily now be lumped in with those calling Google the evil empire, but I challenge everyone with the question, "What is that threshold when it becomes too much control for one organization to have over the advertising distribution mechanisms for every media including digital, known to mankind?"

1 comment:

Digital Media Mobster said...

Let the detractors in...

OpenSocial Is Far From Open
O'Reilly Radar
Tech guru Tim O'Reilly loses his respect for Google's so-called OpenSocial initiative following a conversation with Patrick Chanezon, the project's developer advocate for the program. Incidentally, "open" is a misnomer, he says, because the API does not allow for data exchange between social networks. In other words, when you download an app for MySpace, you'd have to download it all over again at Bebo, and reenter the data. The applications do not communicate. You might ask: what, then, is the point of OpenSocial?

Indeed. As such, "it provides little incremental value to the user," O'Reilly says--which means it provides little incremental value to anyone. "We don't want to have the same application on multiple social networks. We want applications that can use data from multiple social networks." After all, data mobility (think: mashups, RSS) is one of the key components to the whole Web 2.0 movement. It would be far more useful if developers could create programs that let people manage and export friends' lists across different social networks, but perhaps that's the very thing OpenSocial's members don't want--they want to hold onto their traffic, after all. Ironic for an "OpenSocial" network, no?

As O'Reilly says: "Set the data free! Allow social data mashups. That's what will be the trump card in building the winning social networking platform." Amen. - Read the whole story... at