I really hope that every person who is praising Google right now and clamoring to get invited to join Google’s latest project has never fallen into any of these camps:
- berates Facebook for knowing too much about us
- laments the power Apple exerts on the web and technology companies
- laments the size of Apple and other large companies
- stresses privacy and ownership of content
If you have ever fallen into any of those camps you should be looking at Google’s latest offering, Google+, with increasing suspicion. This has nothing to do with how good the service will be, but more about how many people are fawning over the latest offering from Google.
I think it is safe to say that Google has taken the place of the “good guy” for many people, and maybe deservedly so. However, never lose site of the fact that Google makes money doing pretty much one thing … selling advertising. I think it is a fairly safe bet that all of the information Google will be gathering through its new Google+ service will also be to gain just that, more information on users so that their advertising can be both more effective and more lucrative. They have to make money after all, otherwise they can’t continue to offer their services.
Apple and Microsoft are both pretty straight forward, they want your money any way they can get it. That’s pretty transparent, and they say as much. Google has never been that transparent with their motivations (and neither has Facebook or Twitter or many other tech companies for that matter). A lot of time is spent on “don’t be evil”, but that’s a corporate slogan, not entirely the company’s motivation.
I hope that Google+ brings to light some good ideas, I don’t know what they could be because I haven’t used it at all, even though I probably will. However, with Google again trying to bring more of the web under its umbrella, I can’t help but fear that this could be another step toward the siloing of the web into larger and larger companies. I hope not, because losing the truly distributed web would be a damn shame.