October 30, 2007
To all those people who (for reasons completely unknown to me) believes that Google is here to stay - please read those results of the “Search Engine Experience” report:
“More than three out of four (75.1 percent) of those who experience search engine fatigue report getting up and physically leaving their computer without the information they were seeking – either “always,” “usually” or “sometimes.”
If that’s not a clear sign that Internet is getting more and more flooded by spam, and regular users have more and more trouble finding the informations they want - then I don’t know what is… Search have to improve significantly over the next few years, and I wouldn’t be so 100% sure if its going to be Google who will come with the best new “search design”. History is full of “big and proud” companies, which everyone thought will stay “big and proud” forever - but they (almost) never did.
Few days ago I’ve read a post about Mozilla-clone “web 2.0 browser” Flock to include cross-social networks interface - allowing you to view all your friends from various social network systems like facebook or twitter, in one place -> flock user interface.
This neat feature can be seen from two perspectives - both equally interesting and gaining more and more “tracking” across various blogs:
first is the issue of some kind of cross-social network “OpenID”-like mechanism, that would allow users to see all their friends from various social network sites in one place (and import those contacts to various soc. networks as well) - instead of having to login to facebook.. to myspace.. to linked in.. to beboo… and all other sites one of which your friends happen to use. Of course from technological point of view such “open network” is more than possible, and few companies (like Microsoft of Google) already started to work on prototype versions of thereof. However, the main issue I’d see here, is… what good can come to facebook or myspace or any other social network site, from such open system? Nothing. The strength of any website comes from its users’ visits - and by eliminating the need to go to one website, login, see the ads (SEE THE ADS!), interact, click on something - by eliminating all that through some easy to use open network ID / API - all participating sites will loose. (Of course all their users will win big time - at least until that open ID network API starts to distribute text ads like… Facebook Ads Distribution system )
So as you can see, the basic idea behind using such open ID, is that whoever became the dominant design for usage of thereof, is going to be ultimate winner of the whole social networks market. Simply because by having all friends from all networks in one place, users wont have any incentives to go back to those networks anymore.
Which leads us to the conclusion: those who controls the dominant “user interface” of one system, are automatically on the best position of getting most $$$ / benefits. What flock is trying to do by adding “transparent facebook & twitter integration” is (very clever, indeed) stealing users from those sites - and eventually, monetizing on them…
What’s the second issue?
I’m waiting for Firefox to became a platform. Not just for web 2.0 apps like flock. And not just for “Firefox >>stupid little<< plug-ins”. I’m waiting for Firefox to became full grown web applications development platform, with its own SDK allowing to integrate as many features and as many websites as user (and developers) wants. Facebook platform was a huge success, for sure. But imagine how many users Firefox have, and how many sites (not just Facebook) it presents daily to all those users - being effectively their “user interface” to Internet. For millions of people “Internet” is their web browser. Why not monetize of this?