I joined Google Buzz this week. It was easy – I didn’t have to do anything except log in to GMail. Google had transformed my private email – including my contact list (which it automatically populates based on my email traffic) into a social networking experience, a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter. After several privacy complaints, Google made opting out of certain features a bit easier. It’s still a little creepy.
Tellingly, Buzz allows you to integrate your Twitter feed but not for Facebook profile – another sign of the coming Armageddon between Google and Facebook, which Google will likely get to right after their fight with Apple and possibly after their fight with Microsoft.
How big is Google? There were three separate stories about Google which made headlines this week. That’s not three articles – but three separate issues which made news independent of each other. First was the aforementioned Google Buzz; second was Google’s plan to become an internet service provider; and now comes news that Google is butting heads with the Department of Justice over intellectual property rights of authors as part of their ongoing effort to become a latter-day, digital Library of Alexandria.
That these are all separate issues leads to them becoming one issue. Google is seeking to define how you get to the internet, how you communicate with others, and what information/content you receive. If this scenario continues on the same logical course, Google would become to the internet what AT&T was to the telephone networks before it was broken up by a federal antitrust suit in 1984.
Is Google at risk of an anti-trust lawsuit? Possibly, but they have certainly done their best to make inroads with the government that would prevent that from happening. The relationship between Google and the current administration is well-documented.
And if you believe the balance of power in Washington will tip back to Republicans in 2010 or 2012, Google is ready for that to – they are sponsoring TechRepublican’s Digital Boot Camp at CPAC this year.