Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Google to build MySpace for all

The one piece of the Google puzzle that seldom gets any attention but I believe is going to be an absolute key piece of the puzzle is Orkut.

Earlier in the week, Eric Schmidt gave a very rare insight into Google's longer-term strategies when he said in the big Newsweek Web 2.0 article:

Everybody thinks we're building Operating Systems, PCs And browsers. They clearly don't get it. Look at MySpace. Very Interesting.

Google has clearly outgrown it's home page. Pretty much the only way you can find most of the recently developed services is to Google it and then follow the link.

However, to date Google has resisted the "portal" model. Schmidt's comments, perhaps for the first time, confirm that Google will head down that portal route because that's what MySpace is, at its most basic level – a personalised portal.

So how long before we see for want of a better term, GoogleSpaces? Google's personalised home page meets MySpace?? Maybe, it will look something like this:

Google keeps insisting that it has not wavered from its core mission of organising the world's information and increasingly people are relying on personal portals to do just that so it makes absolute sense that Google will follow suit.

What is different about MyScene is it is a combination of a social networking environment amalgamated with content relevent to that social network. So while I can go and build relationships in LinkedIn, I don't hang out there because LinkedIn has not content. When you start to interact and collaborate with content via your social network you build deeper connections with people because you're relationship moves beyond surface-level similarities and your content also becomes more satisfying because its shared and enjoyed socially.

So the big piece of the puzzle that Google has yet to plug in is Orkut but it has made a few special appearances of late. Google mentioned in its analyst briefing that Orkut when integrated with GMail has the potential to become the ultimate address book. And then there was the initiative with Nike around the soccer/football Orkut social network.

Take a good look at that, because that could very well be the best indication yet as to the direction Google wants to go. You see, the power of Google is that it can create a MySpace for all. Once it establishes a framework for plugging Orkut into the rest of its content plays there's no limit to the number of communities and networks it can create because Google is the ultimate long-tail content aggregator, remember.

And you don't think advertisers are going to love that? Magazine publisher should get very scared if this is the case because right now, that's their turf – delivering advertisers well formed, niche communities.

Filed under: Google

17 Responses

  1. gambit32 says:

    Maybe it will look like Orkut

  2. Ed Watkeys says:

    it’s front page. A person’s name is simply one more thing you’ll be able to type into the front page, like FedEx tracking numbers, addresses, mathematical expressions, and ISBNs. All of these things can be used as keys to structured information through Google’s front page *today*. MySpace/Orkut/LinkedIn/etc. provide a potential source of structured information about individuals that can be presented similarly.

    The whole point of Google is the simple front page. Just type in something, and they’ll give you a page that represents their best guess at what you are looking for.

  3. referral says:

    hey there,

    so i came up with a way to manipulate google page rank.

    can you come over and tell me if this will work?

  4. Saul Weiner says:

    I guess the real question is ‘when’? When will this happen. Can they steamroll over facebook and myspace and tagworld if they enter really late? Maybe… they kind of did it with search.

  5. James says:

    I wrote about this a little while ago, talking about how the world is moving towards an immersive experience- staying in one place for all your needs.

    The challenge for Google isn’t creating a superior product compared to Myspace/Facebook/etc, but how they can attract users. Are the 50-75+ million using Myspace going to be convinced to jump ship? Probably not. They’ll have to work hard at convincing the people that use Google Search that they should be apart of social networking online, telling them it’s not just for teens.

    I think the real winner will be the person that develops a handheld device that is seamless with whichever service you choose and allows you to use it everywhere in a lot of different ways.

  6. boo says:

    if i was google, n my mission was to organise all d worlds info, id try to to make it very convenient n appealing 4 peeps all over to put up their content n info thru my tech, via my services n on my servers.
    Ads – in a way is information n with links to more – r sort of jumping on d idea already. Next target? end consumers like myself… (maybe theres more but cant think of any…sorry folks)
    Gmail is at least MY fave webmail of choice n who knows how many elses out there… if smtg like googlespaces came up, id prob take it up…. esp, if they seamlessly integrate Gmail n Gtalk into it.
    just my humble opinion 🙂

  7. alan jones says:

    Google would first have to persuade MySpace users to maintain both their MySpace identity and their GoogleSpace identity for a while – users with an investment in an ID that’s taken them months to build aren’t going to switch one off and turn on another, not while both services are free.

    Google might be able to get ahead by launching a coherent mobile solution for GoogleSpace, however. Remember, the ‘yoof’ demographic spends much more time on their mobile phone than they do on a PC, and they’re much more likely to own their own phone than to own their own PC, and they consume more mobile content and services than any other demographic.

    And MySpace’s mobile offering is a joke – exclusive to Cingular customers in the US only, and all it does is send you an SMS notification that you should check your PC browser when you’re back at the computer.

    Google could build something that lets you contribute, modify and personalise your GoogleSpace identity right from your mobile phone, with text, sound and video. On a recent trip to Google HQ I learned that they think mobile’s going to be very important to them in extending their reach.

  8. alan jones says:

    …GoogleSpace might also be able to get some leverage against MySpace by offering users a share of advertising appearing on their pages…

  9. iansuri says:

    Hey smart one. Google already owns Orkut.

    Why make an entirely new MySpace based community, when they already have one.


  10. Rob Irwin says:

    Did you just cut’n’paste that together, Phil? The graphic’s gonna cause all manner of confusion when it gets passed around, LOL…

  11. iansuri says:

    A quick mock-up design made in MS Paint (for a spoof banner-refrence to Goobuntu)


  12. Mag says:

    Thank you very much for the information.

  13. Orkut is under Google already like iansuri said, but look at all the negativity MySpace is getting from the news and parents. If Google provides an alternative to MySpace and Facebook (which is limited to who join it…students) in a new and safer manner then I see no reason for it not to be successful. I just hope it’ll be regulated a little more so sick-os aren’t creeping all over it looking for little kids.

  14. Phil Sim says:

    I’m very aware that Orkut is owned by Google, that’s the whole premise of the article – how will Google use Orkut!

  15. iansuri says:

    Ah, makes more sense.

    But Orkut is an adult only site, I know because I was invited before it went global to gmail usesrs, and I had to lie about my age.

  16. james doody says:

    I have put together the perfect business model for a new Google Social Networking Site.
    By rebranding all of their cool Search Services into their main Google Search Brand, I have then taken all of their non-search Web Services such as Gmail Google Talk, Writely, Blogger, Picasa, etc etc – and rebranded them into a new Google Web Service, that I am currently calling Google 2.

    Google 2 would have an entirely new look compared to Google Search – as it would encourage much more UGC within the Service.
    Along with Google’s current Communicating and Publishing Services, Google 2 would offer the most innoviate Social Networking Services, along with a new Web 2.0 Advertising Model.

    In a nutshell, Google Search would remain as a Passive Web Indexer. Whilst Google 2 shall operate as a UGC Database.
    In my mind Google 2 could be even more successful than Google Search.

    And the name of Google 2 is?

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