Why Google Missed The ‘Social’ Bus

April 12, 2011 6:47 pm

An interesting video clip to watch: Sergey Brin, talking to UC Berkeley Class in October 2005:

(skip to 16:25)

“I think that tagging and semantics are great as long as the computers are doing the tagging and semantics. Because if people are doing tagging and semantics for the computers then there’s something a little bit inverted about the relationship between the man and machine there. I’m a big believer in creating lots of innovative algorithms that can extract this kind of structural knowledge from lots of text that’s out there created by people all the time. But I’m not a big believer that… you know, you’re just gonna have lots of people enter the data very carefully so machines can then process it.”

And then, we have .. Google +1. wow. Thats the same as Sergey Brin saying “I was wrong about Semantics”

But here is the bigger point – until Facebook actually scaled to more than 400 million users or so, the top decision makers at Google probably still underestimated the power of connecting people – they would rather get an algo figure out the social graph than wait for people to share stuff on a network to figure it out. Turns out, it was a costly mistake.

Thanks also to OrangeHues

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