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Google Plus, The Great Game and why Social is the One Ring to Bind the Internet OS

Submitted by on July 3, 2011 – 4:23 am6 Comments

The great game on the Internet is to own as many of the disparate pieces that make up The Internet Operating System.   The pieces of this puzzle are many (and well covered in Tim O’Reilly’s post on the same which can be found here):

  • Identity (Think Facebook)
  • Search (think Google or Bing)
  • Photos (think Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa)
  • Music (think Apple, Amazon)
  • Software (Think Google Docs, Salesforce etc.)
  • Storage and computation (Think Amazon, VMware, Rackspace)
  • Location (Think Foursquare, Facebook)
  • Video (Think YouTube, Netflix)
  • Content Management (think WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger)
  • Telepresence (Think Skype, Cisco or AT&T)
  • Etc.

The major players in this battle royal are slugging it out and Google Plus is the latest entrant.   It is a big one.   If any single player is to win they will need to embed the social functionality that brings the disparate pieces together.    Here is why:

Social is identity. Social motivates people to fill in structured information and maintain a complex profile.  It also moves them to self-organize into groups.  This is the magic of Facebook (and to a much lesser extent Twitter) and is the vital (and slightly terrifying) future of advertising/marketing.  Identity also enables frictionless sign in across the various services.

Social is the network effect – the more people connected to any of the above services the more value it has since it is has wider reach and more openness to sharing and co-creation.  To wit, Euan Semple’s comment this morning on switching from Flickr (Yahoo) to Picasa (Google).

Social is the distribution service – Services increasingly rely on peer-sharing as the means of distribution and credibility in public consciousness.   Services passed along via social networks are implicitly (and explicitly) credentialed.

Social is productivity – The next frontier of productivity is real-time collaboration which is driven by shared (read social) services in the cloud – from Google Docs to Salesforce.

Social is Discovery – As the signal (meaning) to noise ratio grows on the Internet, social is the discovery filter that enables us to quickly find what is needed and move on.  Those able to embed social as a filter within search will win.

With that in view – a quick screenshot of the revamped Google Plus interface shows how many of these pieces Google has in play.

What do you think?  Does Google Plus Represent a major shift in the Internet OS front?

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