While reading up on exactly how we as a culture might possibly take back the warm fuzzies we lost when we stopped trusting people & reclaim our community (SoulPancake), I thought I’d return to Twitter to see if any discussion on this topic was being made. Lo and behold, I find that instead of tweeting about actual reality, people are tweeting about the new Google “+1” feature, which is essentially the “like” button for Google search results.
And so, in less than 90 seconds, what was turning out to be an otherwise boring afternoon suddenly became a breeding ground of rocket-speed thought.
With a whirlwind of emotion, I sped to Google to see if anybody I know was recommending anything I’d be searching for.*
I didn’t see any recommendations, and as I became instantly sad, I started to think about what was happening. Google is turning the very nature of their search results social.
My expert prediction, by the way, is this: Google’s search results’ “+1” feature will be far and away Google’s most successful punch into social media, stemming from the very fact that Google’s search results are its life blood. If you make your users use a social function because they can’t not use it, you have get successful social media. Even if they don’t click “+1” themselves, they’ll still see others’ recommendations. Also, I predict it ultimately won’t matter, either because the project will fail and go away, or the project will attain homeostasis and no one will care.
Somewhere in my fit of emotion, I realized something:
I don’t want my Google search results to be social. I rather like the fact that they are cold and objective. I trust search results more if they remain untainted by the curse of human thought and human emotion. I feel more like a person when I make the decision of which link to click based on nothing but my own intuition. I feel less manipulated. I feel less like a target.
If history has taught us nothing else, it is this: mixing robots and emotion will inevitably cause an epic war between us humans and the machines, and many lives will be lost. We will win in the end, but at what cost? AT WHAT COST, GOOGLE?!
*Incidentally, what I searched for was Sharkblog, and sure enough I’m still not there. Like, anywhere. Must be really far down the list, many pages in…That’s good, though — this site is still in its sort-of-Beta phase, and I haven’t really started showing it to people. Once I do, you can bet I’ll be all over the SEO aspect of getting Sharkblog onto page one of a Google search.**
**By the way, if any of you out there should find Sharkblog in your Google search results, help a brother out & give it a “like?”***
***By “like” I mean “+1” — you know what I mean.