It’s amazing how times change. There’s no doubt that search — and especially Google — has changed the way I look for information to make meaningful decisions. But in the last month, Google made a number of announcements that signal that its traditional search/revenue business is not where the future is headed. Social is.
Specifically, Google’s made a string of announcements in the last 30 days that signal a shift in their thinking about what creates value. First, they scrapped Google Wave. Then, they made three purchases of social software companies (including Angstro, Slide, Socialdeck). Their objective – to acquire real expertise in the social software market as opposed to building it themselves. In short, they recognized they didn’t have the ‘social’ DNA they needed to create the value they sought.
But that’s not the meaty part of the story. During the same time, Google announced that it was going to integrate social interactions into its core search business. By making this announcement, Google was acknowledging that you, me and everyone else wanted to use search to see what our peers were saying about what matters – not just what businesses were paying for through adword purchases.
The result: Google announced a service called Google RealTime Search. The service pulls messages posted by users of Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and other social networking services. The good news is that Google is finally realizing that real-time blogging, tweeting and online communications and interactions are fast becoming the most popular and interesting source of meaning and value. But conventional search engines — like Google’s — aren’t very good at capturing our voice and the value we create.
Maybe your organization hasn’t yet caught the social bug and integrated social monitoring, management and measurement into the core of what it does and how it creates meaning and value for its constituents. But it is only a matter of time until your organization realizes that the information your people (employees, customers, investors and partners) want is available from other people like them.
It’s time to join Google’s search for meaning and make ‘social’ interactions and communications central to what you do and how you create value for everyone you serve.