It’s been an interesting time the past few weeks as conversations and meetings have been had with people who don’t really know me that well, nor do they know how I spend my work days. I’m baffled how hard it can be to describe strategy and account work in an ad agency to people not already familiar with it, thus invariably I have to dive into at least a bit of detail surrounding the career and a few of the recognizable things I’ve had a hand in.
Typically the questions are around “is Facebook stealing my information” or “I don’t use the Twitter”, but today turned out a little different. The question was “do you follow Google at all?” I wasn’t sure how to take it, and I asked for clarification. Turns out this youth pastor and musician holds a more-than-passing interest in the existing and coming Facebook vs. Google battle. And he shares my feelings that the battle hasn’t even begun yet. So I changed into controversial mode and fired back a thought:
“What if, while Google was perfecting search, Facebook built the foundation that will back-end the shift underway to recommendation?”
That single statement brought five more people away from the conversations over to chat with us. My thought was meant to be thought-provoking, but it comes with more than a little possibility as well. I phrased it like this:
“If you’re going to Boston how do you go about finding a hotel?” The responses mostly centred around friends and family, or specific websites. Nobody Google searched for hotels in Boston. “What if you want a good steak in Toronto, how do you source out a good steak?” Same responses. “So regardless of what you’re interested in, sourcing someone or something you already trust trumps Google?” The answer was yes. The following conversation took over half the room and about an hour, with different sides and different arguments moving. But I left with one significant take-away:
Not a single person in the room left without agreeing that Google could all but fail to exist in five years.
One thinks the eyes of the world are on Google.Me.