To date, Google has chased the elusive social media butterfly hither and fro with little to no success to really call its own. Over the years, it has experimented with Orkut, Google Buzz and the yet-to-be-launched Google Me. Even its collaborative enterprise and much ballyhooed project Wave was just recently scrapped. So what's a search engine to do? Well, I think the most interesting development is news that one of the search giant's co-founders is actually jumping into the fray, with a new project under the code name, Google +1.
If my recent post, "If Google Can't Be Social, How Can It Thrive in Social Media?" I reported on all the rumblings reverberating throughout the blogosphere that intimates Google's major problem was not so much, it lacked the "social media gene" as it was the boys at the top haven't learned to play well together. And as a result an exodus of top-level engineers have left the Big G for greener pastures at Facebook.
However, things change on a dime in the world of social media, and what was speculated only last week could easily reverse itself in the blink of the eye. And this sounds like the case here. With Sergey Brin's name now being bantered around as the new leader of Google's social media initiative, it appears that Google is finally getting serious about making "social" happen.
After all, Sergey Brin even trumps the company's CEO Eric Schmidt. And Mr Schmidt did not fare too well recently when he backpedaled on what Google was really trying to do with social media. When Schmidt diminished Google's social network intent to simply building "social layers," he was quickly admonished by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his zinger response: "Social is not a layer you add - you have to design it from the ground up."
as reported by TechCrunch
So what will Sergey Brin do with Google+1? While there's been previous reports of internal strife among the ranks, I think having Brin involved might be just what the doctor ordered - to pull these troops back in line.
There's a lot of speculation that "+1" will become Google's version of Facebook's "Like" of Twitter's "Retweet" button. But building a social graph, the likes of Facebook or Twitter is a monumental task and one that these two social networks have mastered by laying down a solid foundation. To date, Google has not demonstrated the due diligence required to firmly address the task at hand.
It's also been noted that Google is in a "lockdown" mode with Brin moving the project to the dedicated location of "Building 2000" which is also home to Google's campus store and a slide - to which, I can only guess was selected in case the troops need supplies and an occasional distraction from being sequestered.
So Google Social is still alive and kicking and if "plus one" does the trick, perhaps Facebook's CEO will be back to pilfering more classified secrets and poaching more of Google's employees (for more on that story, see "Social Media Insurgency: Facebook Stealing From Google According To TechCrunch.")