Google as Social Network = THE killer application?

Google’s acting social at the Googleplex and this could become an earthquake in the social network landscape.   TechCrunch reports that Maka Maka appears to be the Google codename for their social network integration, which may be a way to tie together existing Google stuff in a seamless and user friendly way.   For many of us Google aleady has a lot of info.   I use Gmail, Google Toolbar, and more.  If they simply say to me “click here and we’ll make it all work great” I’m going to do it.    If it works, I’ll keep it.  If I, and 50,000,000 other users keep it Google will be bigger than Facebook….almost overnight.  If they integrate it all with the upcoming Google Phone?   Wow.

The real killer app for Google is not to turn Orkut into a Facebook clone. It is to turn every Google app into a social application without you even noticing that you’ve joined yet another social network.

Hey Yahoo!   Why don’t you DO THIS!    Use Mash to get all Yahoo users going.  Don’t ask others to sign them up – simply have a  one click Mash page creation thing where YOU set up a page for all Yahoo users…..right NOW.    If people want to delete it, fine.  If not, rock on with the new largest social network, and populate it with people …. later.

Yahoo Mash – Yahoo!, don’t forget about Yahoo! Mash

Yahoo’s social networking tool “Yahoo Mash” offered up a good first entry into the social networking space by a major player.    But I’m noticing how it seems to be languishing after the initial positive buzz, and I think this is because Yahoo’s taking too long to go out with full bore, full online network promotion.  

Yahoo Mash offers some features I really like compared to Myspace and Facebook.  It’s an open architecture meaning that you can mashup mash with modules that show pictures or RSS feeds like this blog.   I think my favorite thing about Yahoo Mash is the way the comments stream from profile to profile, so you don’t have to keep bouncing back to a single spot to remember what you said to somebody.    I’m not enough of a social networking person to know if this is a real innovation or not because Myspace and Facebook also have some features that cross pollinate across profiles, but somehow Mash feels more like a “social networking” experience to me, even though I with it had the kinds of business networking features you find at LinkedIn.  

If Yahoo Mash is just working out kinks and getting ready to scale up to full release soon that is fine, but if the idea is to scale the project *slowly* over a year or so I think they are making a big mistake.  Why?   Because social networking is an explosive phenomenon both in the sense that it has quickly become a key online activity across all users but also because it seems to me that social networks don’t gain momentum gradually, rather they become “in fashion” as did Myspace and Facebook and grow quickly and explosively.   Facebook is still in this growth mode while I think Myspace growth is tapering off (I’m too lazy to go look at graphs to see if this is true).  

Disclaimer – I’ve got some Yahoo stock.  Not enough to prejudice my views, but perhaps enough to make me unreasonably optimistic. 

Yahoo Mash – all play and no work?

Social networks are the key to understanding the “new” online world so I’m paying a lot of attention to Yahoo’s entry into this space called Mash.    Myspace, with close to 100,000,000 profiles remains by far the king of this heap though Facebook is catching up fast.  Yahoo failed to aquire Facebook after offering – according to most reports – about a billion dollars for what is arguably the best programmed and highest potential social networking environment.

With Mash, several of the beta testing folks including me are asking the question Li Evans correctly is asking over at Yahoo Mash:

… do we really need another Social Network?

I think the answer is basically “yes”, because we need to improve social networking so that you don’t have to sign up separately and build profiles and hassle with friends for every Mash, Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace that comes along.

We need social networking that breaks down the things that separate people from pure online interactions on their own terms, at their own time, and with the information they want to provide to others.   Facebook and Mash admirably are starting to do this with open architectures and developer programs and we are already seeing some great stuff come out of the Facebook environment.    Mash, correctly, is also working to keep development easy and open though they seem to be looking to compete with Myspace more than Facebook.    This may be a good idea from a profitability perspective but it’s disapointing to those of us who want some fun but mostly work related interactions with folks.

Yahoo Mash Blog

OK to email me if you need an invite to Mash beta   jhunkins @

Battelle will be back at Mash!?

John Battelle‘s already giving up on Mash and I think that’s too bad.   He’ll be back because I think it’ll catch on… unless Yahoo fails to evangelize properly.    Umm – wait a minute.   Yahoo !   Evangelize!!!!!

Here’s the comment I could not post over at Searchblog because I gave up on the  4th time with the captcha.   Searchblog is still a good resource though I think it suffered greatly when John went off to build the Federated Media Empire.   Today’s challenge posting was a perfect example of why I’m getting tired of putting in my “valuable” comments at A list websites only to be treated poorly by tech problems, short replies, or no feedback.

Social media / social centric blogging will soon trump the current elitism that is damaging blogging and that’s a good thing.    I’m finding the best stuff is coming from peole who are not read enough.  That can be fixed though Google’s ranking system is getting in the way of that for sure – but this is for another post.

——  To John at SearchBlog —-

Wow John, I think you’ve given up too soon.  Yes it’s too much like Myspace but there are some great features that bring Yahoo’s strength to bear in social networking.  Blog and picture integration are good features but the threaded conversations *across different profiles* is a feature I’ve not seen before – it’s a very good way to get people talking, like MyBlogLog does.

For example I’ve given up on SearchMob and even commenting here because as much as I appreciate your wisdom on things this is very one-sided.   I give my .02 in thoughtful comments and get back…very little, because most A list folks are far too busy building empires to actively engage with the rifraff bloggers out there.  That’s OK, but’s regular blogs don’t reflect the web in all its powerful 2.0 social glory.  The holy grail for blog/social media is where we get away from the “A list” and towards socializing that is spawned from the belly of the internet beast itself – ie where socializing springs from natural relationships of people and sites.   Facebook and now Mash are facilitating that change, and it’s a great one.