20 January 2012

Google Social Search Fundamentally Misunderstands Social Networks

For a company that is trying to get a foothold in Social Media, the new Social Search feature shows a profound misunderstanding of social networks.

People have many reasons for friending / following / adding other people to circles. Of course some people truly are friends. But even if one personally knows the other person, unless one is an introverted nerd, other people are added to social networks as a cue to third parties, for personal benefit or because of social etiquette. For example, one may add a person or make a comment because it will impress third parties. In other words, adding a person to a social network and interacting with them does not mean that the user is interested in the other person's opinion about anything.

If the person wants input about a topic, the social network is available to ask and to respond directly. The person can decide whom to ask and whose responses to consider. Choosing relevant and helpful information from a social network is much more subtle and complex than Google's "updated" implementation.


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