Funding the Internet
By James Cooley - November 07 2007 tags: google facebook ads privacy
There's a lot of good commentary (RWW, PW ) on how Facebook is going to make money using its new targeted ad system. My personal favorite is from Why Is Google Afraid of Facebook? from GigaOM.
... the information is kept private – only Facebook knows everything they are doing. Google’s spiders are rebuffed and sent away. Then Facebook announces a new strategy and millions rush into this private club, sharing their likes, dislikes and everything in between. And still, Google is kept out. It’s a scary proposition for a company whose very existence depends on open access to all information.It's important to remember that Google has been the runaway success at "monteising" the Internet. Google can throw cash at Firefox, fund the summer of code and other free software projects. From the same GigaOM piece Google hit the jackpot when:
Google took the entire Internet and indexed it with keywords instead of URLs.
It's Googles current competitive advantage to keep the status quo. Here's the Fake Steve Jobs' take on Google's approach to openness with their open phone platform
Companies don't form alliances and consortia when they're winning. Also, whenever you see companies start talking about being "open," it means they're getting their ass kicked. You think Google will be forming an OpenSearch alliance any time soon, to help also-rans in search get a share of the spoils? Me neither.I guess Google is in business and it can choose to be open wherever it suits its business. GigaOM also reports in Is Facebook Beacon a Privacy Nightmare?
[Facebook] makes it seem like users have control over this data, when in reality, this is a privacy disaster waiting to happen.The big question here is who funds the Internet and who protects our digital rights? The Adternet (Advertising-based Internet) is all very well but there is a case for transparently funded network services where our right to privacy and freedom aims to be more than illusionary. Could we ever have an informed political debate on that?