TechCrunch is rapidly becoming a favorite read of mine these days. Forget who I was following that dropped a TC link, but once I clicked, I was hooked. Of course, imagine how piqued my curiosity was when I read this headline:
My mind read that but saw, “Rise of SocNets, Demise of Google.”
While Sean’s CV is truly impressive, I’m having trouble swallowing this premise that the rise of SocNets will somehow diminish the relevancy of Google. Again, given his background, I would have to agree with the one of the commenters that the talk probably had more to it than simply the presentation slides embedded on TechCrunch.
Knowledge Based Economy
In my opinion, our economy is rapidly shifting to a knowledge economy (thank you Pete Drucker). As such, BOTH SocNets and data collectors (ie. Google) are necessary. Without common, readily accessible data that all folks in your SocNet can access, a social network becomes little more than a glorified coffee clatch. Being able to point your peeps to the relevant information and resources online (wonderfully indexed by Google) has already allowed much to be accomplished across the digital landscape.
Think about your own use of Twitter, for example. It is great to be able to share conversations and ideas with folks across the ‘net. The ability for you to share and discuss is inextricably tied to your ability to communicate, effectively, your ideas. That’s where ‘the Google’ and other search engines come riding in. They have made it their mission to catalog the world’s data. And that data is darn near useless if no one can find it or access it.
Earlier this year, I mentioned a trailer for a movie coming out that looks intriguing. While highlighting the film itself, I explained part of my fascination with science fiction in general:
One of the draws to scifi, for me, has been the “what if” of the stories presented. Vernor Vinge wrote a book called “Rainbows End” that I recently picked up again. The premise is a near future story, 2025, and the prevalence of access to the net, data and therefore analysis of said data plays heavily into the storyline.
Vernor Vinge’s, “Rainbows End,” is a story that truly does not seem too far fetched, or removed from our current technological progress. His premise of ease of ‘access to the net, data and therefore analysis of said data’ is the direction I can see our economy heading. Mentioned in the periphery of this story are the collaborators; those with giant SocNets that can analyze data/trends and delegate quickly through their SocNet.
The Rumblings of a Beginning
The recent news of Twitter “pipelining” its feed to search engines is the beginning of a new collaborative age. SocNets ability to transmit information quickly is renowned. The “balloon boy” hoax earlier this year is a great example of how quickly a hoax can travel around the globe… and nearly as quickly get ridiculed for the attention attracting hoax it was.
Being able to sift and sort real time “conversations” will make crowd sourcing near instantaneous. Furthermore, the ability to determine patterns of marketing affects, disease, weather anomalies and emergency conditions will allow the appropriate institutions to respond accordingly…and a LOT faster than we are currently used to.
Is the rise of the SocNet going to bring Google to its knees? Nope. In this particular instance, I firmly believe the sum of the whole is vastly greater than its parts.