This week, specialist social media recruitment consultant and colleague of mine Steve Ward organised an event based on a concept entirely unfamiliar to me: Social TV. For those of you who are skeptical, all you have to do is read this post.
Someone once told me that Googling something uses as much energy as boiling roughly five kettles. Leaving a light on all night suddenly seemed relatively innocent when I thought about how many Google searches are done all over the world. According to one blog, 694,445 Google searches are carried out every minute.
Then I start thinking about Google and the behemoth it is becoming. Forget Facebook – Google is the company that will be an integral part of our online lives in ten year. If it doesn’t already, Google will soon know about your habits, which YouTube video genres you like, your weekly route to work, what kind of presents you look for at Christmas… the list goes on.
I’ll be honest though. Google offers the best search engine, the most incredibly useful maps and navigation software and arguably the most entertaining and unique collection of videos in the world – and it’s by no means slowing down in its unstoppable march to monopolize what we see and engage with on the internet. Google+ is even a really impressive (if at first hard to use) social network. But is it even a social network? The way a Gmail address automatically classes you as an ‘active user of Google+’ is a clever trick – and has sparked a debate over whether they really are ‘active’.
A blog in the Guardian hits the nail on the head in my opinion: “Google+ isn’t a social network, it’s the Matrix”. Would you take the blue or the red pill? Personally, I’d rather wake up believing what I want to believe. I like the way Google learns about my search habits and uses that knowledge to show me content that I’ll probably find interesting.
Which pill would you take?