The top story on Techmeme is the new push Google is making around profiles. You can get a sense of the reactions from links to the official Google post. Here is a sampling:
- Don’t Google Me – Abstaining from Google Profile
- Personalized Network Searching: Google after People Search
- Google Empowers Users Control Over Their Online Life
- Google Profiles, Name Search and Not Much of a Big Deal for Most
My reaction, like the last one, is that this isn’t a big deal–at least not yet. Google profiles do have one really nice feature: verified names. At least in theory, that could give them an edge over other services, which do get their share of fakesters. And of course Google is in a position to give their own profiles more prominent exposure than anyone else’s–though they haven’t taken this tactic with Knol (remember Knol?) and I don’t think they will unless the profiles get a lot better.
As I’ve said before, Google doesn’t seem to have the knack for community. The profiles are spartan: they don’t have the professional information that makes LinkedIn so useful, or the personality that attracts people to Facebook. They don’t tie in to conversation like Twitter.
Google could, of course, improve its game. But it doesn’t have a great track record in this department. And they may be timid because success will bring them charges of monopolistic abuse. I am curious to see where they will go with the profiles, but not expecting much.
One reply on “Google Profiles: Nice Idea, Meh Execution”
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