Is a Socialutions Battle Brewing?

by Jay Deragon on 05/19/2008

This morning’s Mediapost article states: Microsoft and Yahoo are back at the negotiating table, according to a statement issued by Microsoft on Sunday. Microsoft began courting Yahoo Feb. 1 and withdrew its $47.5 billion takeover bid for Yahoo on May 3 after talks stalled over price issues.”

“In light of developments since the withdrawal of the Microsoft proposal to acquire Yahoo Inc., Microsoft announced that it is continuing to explore and pursue its alternatives to improve and expand its online services and advertising business,” the statement reads, most likely referring to Yahoo stockholder Carl Icahn’s bid to replace the Yahoo board. Icahn, a billionaire investor activist, recently started a bid to oust Yahoo’s 10-member board, which he accused of acting irrationally by opposing a merger. He proposed a slate of replacements to be voted on at Yahoo’s annual shareholder meeting on July 3.”

A Battle for Control?

Robert Scoble writes: “ Let’s say Microsoft gets Yahoo’s search. That doesn’t look that brilliant. After all, we know Google is gaining share there and taking Yahoo’s best advertisers (and let’s just forget Microsoft’s efforts, which have been an utter failure so far).”

“But these two moves would change everything and totally explain why Facebook is working overtime to keep Google from importing anything. First, let’s look at what is at stake here:”

“Loic Le Meur did a little test with me a couple of weeks ago. He listed his Le Web conference on both Facebook and Upcoming.org. Here’s the Facebook listing. Here’s the Upcoming.org one.”

“The Facebook one can’t be seen if you don’t have a Facebook account. It’s NOT open to the public Web. Google’s spiders CAN NOT REACH IT.”

“He put both listings up at exactly the same time and did no invites, nothing. Just let people find these listings on their own.”

“The Facebook one is NOT available to the Web. It has 467 people who’ve accepted it. The Upcoming.org one IS available to Google and the Web. It has 101 people on it.”

“This is a fight for the Web. We all just crawled inside a box that locks Google out.”

“Now Microsoft/Yahoo search will have access to HUGE SWATHS of Internet info that Google will NOT have access to”. “It’s Facebook and Microsoft vs. the open public Web.”

And Big Moves Continue Elsewhere

Comcast Capital recent investments and the acquisition of Plaxo suggest a peak into the big picture of intent. The playbook appears to be centric to convergence of media, access, content creation and user interaction across multiple channels of distribution. A bold move and one that would seem sound but the challenges of winning the people over are many.

The biggest challenge for Comcast lies in the relationship it has with the markets, the users and their related experiences. While their apparent strategy seems very sound the ultimate judge is and will continue to be from the end users.

How will Users Respond?

Scoble writes: “Can the open public Web fight back? Yes. It’s called FriendFeed. Notice that FriendFeed replaces almost all of Facebook’s killer features with open ones that are open to Google’s search.”

These collective issues point to the clash of intents from both the media and technology side which is a battle for control. Never before has “the people” had the power of communications and access but the power is a threat to those who control it for economic gain.

We are witnessing an epic battle of historical proportion and the momentum of the people and the unity of purpose will be the force to respond to the opposing attempts for control. Possibly there is a Scoialution that calms the battle and enables everyone to win.

What say you?

{ 1 comment }

Alen May 19, 2008 at 9:43 am

Google is a master at grabbing other people’s data and presenting it on it’s website to grab the ad revenue. Same thing with Facebook. Google is master at search, but it’s other services are way behind other Internet companies.

In this case Google doesn’t want to build a social network from scratch, so they are trying to grab the data and have the people interface with Google instead of Facebook or some other site which will simply become dumb data stores. If Google succeeds the next step will be for it to start writing it’s own API’s and become the value instead of Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever.

I am actually on Facebook’s side on this one. I would love a super networking site to check updates on, but I would rather have Facebook and other companies come together and set it up themselves instead of Google doing a power grab.

Jack Welch once said, “Don’t let anything come between you and your customers.” He was speaking about some of the dot bombs at the time, but the concept is the same.

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