Monthly Archives: February 2012

What does Google Know?

What does Google know? A lot, about anyone who uses their search engine while signed in as a Google user.  Got a GMail account? Who doesn’t? Every time you sign into your GMail, Google Calendar, iGoogle (is that like aye carumba?) or Google Docs, you are now a contributor to the unimaginable amount of data that the  internet giant collects.

At this point, one hopes, even the most nieve users among us realize that the internet is not just about sharing information, but collecting information about you. The collection of personal data found especially fertile ground in the Social Media market.  How do you spend your time? How old are you? What kind of shoes, t-shirts, books, and brands are you most interested in?  These are all things we disclose through our searches, our “likes” and our user profiles.

As Google and Facebook duke it out for internet (read: user data) dominance, privacy issues continue to be concern.  Everyone lies about reading the Terms of Use Agreements, and those often include privacy policies.

Luckily, Google has at least made it easier for you to know what they know about you. Check out your Google Dashboard.  It’s a place where you can see how you exist as a Google User and even erase your user history.  If you really want to be off the grid and still have the benefit of the Google Search you can log out of all your Google accounts, and then go search, and no one is the wiser.  But most of us won’t go to that extreme.

There may be no mystery about who we are on line, but at least we don’t have to stop and ask for directions every time we are lost. Who hasn’t used Google Maps?

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Filed under Social Media, Tools

If Google builds it, will they come?

Google+, the other social network that is arguably the best competitor out there for Facebook is gaining users, but not use.  Todd Wasserman at Mashable reported today that the network is only averaging 3.3 minutes on the network per month. That’s pretty dismal when compared to the 7+ hours users spend on Facebook. 

Dominance is a funny thing. As Google and Facebook duke it out for the top spot on the internet, we follow along likely using both platforms adding to the excitement. I suppose it’s one way that the internet is more participatory.

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Filed under asides, Social Media

Have you updated your Twitter App Today?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s update time.  Twitter released an update for mobile users of both ilks (iPhone & Android), with a return to some features that were sorely missed by some, and a few new ones to boot.

CNet blogger Lance Whitney gives a great rundown of some of the changes that come with today’s update. Sadly the change is not equitable. It appears that iPhone users get a few more perks than Android, and of course I have to wonder why. Are they just cooler than the Android users? Is it class warfare?  It’s hard to say, but it’s this type of dichotomy that seems to be the defining MO of our era.

 

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Filed under Social Media, Tools