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If Google Can't Be Social, How Can It Thrive In Social Media?

Google has had more than a hard time developing a social network that could compete in the same stratosphere as Facebook. With reports of a world Internet user base of about 1 billion and over 20,000 employees, it's hard to understand why the search giant can't figure it out? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact, its staff hasn't learned to play nice?

According to a Mashable report, a top-secret initiative led by VP Vic Gundotra is being stymied by internal arguments amongst assigned groups over purpose, design and execution of Google's social network development. The source of the problem seems to lie in "tales of disorganization and too many different teams working parallel or in conflict."

Lars RasmussenLars RasmussenWhen ex-Google engineer Lars Rasmussen recently left the company for greener pastures at Facebook, he did so because his much ballyhooed project Google Wave was scrapped after an extensive launch late last year. Apparently under no gag order to speak his mind, Rasmussen has been very vocal as to his displeasure with Google's current culture. Situations like making a business case to determine whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels was the tipping point for Rasmussen who said he couldn't "operate in an environment like that."

In my post, 'Google Me' Silly - Does Google Have The 'Social Networking' Gene? - it appears after the failings of Orkut, Google Wave, Google Buzz, Google's staff make-up does not have the kind of leadership that's required to pull off a social network. In their attempt to stay relevant and remain the intrinsic "glue" that holds the Web together, it doesn't appear they are recruiting the right leaders with the proper foresight to hone in on the task at hand.

In the graphic novel, Facebucks & Dumb F*cks, the satirical tale deals with this topic.  As the lead character Z-Man (aka Mark Zuckerberg) is quick to point out, while Gobble (aka Google) can't replicate Facebook's services, Facebook has all the confidence in the world that it can replace Google and become the world's universal search engine.

Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novelPage from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel

And regarding Google's Achilles heal (namely people), Z-Man underscores where Google fails, Facebook excels

Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novelPage from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel
As much as Google is headstrong about ruling the Internet for a second decade, reports of delays are not helping the company succeed in the social media space. According to the Mashable report, as of this posting, Google's big social initiative "Google Me" once thought to be a full-fledged social network is once again pushed back to a new launch date - this time - spring, 2011. And in the social media world, months are dog years. With such a delay, it only allows Facebook to move on to more pressing issues, like Web 3.0 and China.

Page from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novelPage from Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel

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Ron Callari
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Comments
Nov 30, 2010
by Anonymous

I am not to sure that China

I am not to sure that China will take to Facebook that well.
In fact I can pretty much see the site being banned in that country from day one.

Nov 30, 2010
by Anonymous

I DON'T WANT GOOGLE TO BE SOCIAL

A SOCIAL GOOGLE SCARES ME. I FEEL SAFER KNOWING THEY ARE COVERT ABOUT COLLECTING DATA. AS SOON AS THEY GO "OPEN" WE'RE ALL DOOMED TO SLAVERY.