First of all, it shouldn’t be called GoogleMe, it should be called GoogleUs

Or GoogleWe, if the “Us” might get confused with U.S., thus making the product/platform seem a bit too American.

Now then, what the fuck am I doing up at 4:18AM dreaming about Google’s Facebook competitor? I can’t even blame this one on the dog.  She is blissfully passed out at the foot of the bed.  No, this one us all me.

Anyway, Google should not have let Apple get hold of Lala.   That platform had such amazing, untapped potential.  Now it’s just dead.   I continue to be amazed at how people can stare at all day.  Google could have had their social network built around music and modeled after Blip, if they had only grabbed Lala.  As far as I know, Google wasn’t even interested.

And now, with GoogleMe (whatever that is), they will invariably bite off more than they can chew by trying to catch up too much ground all at once.  Sad, really.   Oh well, I guess they can afford another failure.

Here’s what I would do.

Start with Gmail.  Everyone (almost) already has an account and contacts (potential friends).  Next, make it a completely separated interface.   One of Buzz’s great failure us that us showed up in EVERYONE’S Gmail, whether they wanted it or not.

This new thingy should be more like Google Analytics, a product comparatively few Gmail account holders actually possess, but one that they all have access to via their Gmail account.

So, first question, “Do you want to join GoogleUs?”   And your gmail address us already in the box; just enter your password and we’ll get started.

Next, “Here are your Google Contacts.  Who among these contacts do you want to add to your GoogleUs?”.  Check ’em off and send ’em invites. If they are already on GoogleUs, it’s friend request.  Next.

This is where it gets tricky, but also fun. Right now, the name of the game is games. But instead of Farmville or Mafia Wars, GoogleUs will give you the chance to immediately dive into a Blip-like environment.  And not just with music.  At the outset, there should be a separate “neighborhood” for a few broad interests: music, sports, travel, literature, comics, movies, etc.  And, to get things rolling, Google should not start too big.  My strategy would be to purchase and Flixster right off the bat and use those good, existing platforms to begin the project.

I find the movies aspect especially exciting.  We already know how the Blip architecture works for music: listen to a song (blip it), find others who have blipped that song, become “friends” exchange “props”, win badges, tweet blips, etc. etc.

With movies, you can’t watch the entire feature, but with the power of YouTube already under Google’s tent, friends could exchange scenes and trailers which are already available.  Then, based on an exchange of props, users win badges and are entitled to other perks.

Picture this same, community-building, yet quasi-competitive, model spread across numerous genres, enthusiasm and pursuits.  Yardbarker sort of has this set up for sports.  Epicurious has a lot of data for food.

Another thought is a neighborhood called “reunion” or some stupid shit like that.  Google Reunion would be the real answer to Facebook – specifically a place to connect where family and friends and just do all the inane stuff people do on Facebook.  This is where you could enter as much or little information about yourself and Google will help you find, and be found by, your long lost relations (whoopee).

All these neighborhoods are then oriented around a user’s central hub.  For each friend, the user will choose which neighborhood feeds from which friends will show up in the timeline of the central hub.  For example: Say old Uncle Mpomy is really into prog rock, like crazy into it.  You don’t want to see that.  So don’t check Mpomy’s “music” feed.  But he is, after all, your uncle, and when he posts pictures of his basset hound, well, you would like to see that.  That’s the friends & family feed.  So that one gets a check.  And if you’re both Phillies fans, then you check the sports feed also.  All that will then appear in your central hub.

So, of course none of this is going to happen.  Google is a company of engineers and they know better than to listen to someone who uses social media about what a social network should look like.  I only dreamed this thing up because it’s how I would like all my stuff integrated.  But none of that matters to Google.  Wave was a brilliant piece if engineering, but it was an horrendous application.  No one knew what to do with it.  No matter how amazing the application, if it doesn’t do anything (fun), then it will not be successful.

Drew Olanoff got it right when he said that Facebook is not a website, it’s an OS.  Google should start at the end, like the trial lawyers who start with their closing arguments.  What do people want to do?  What’s fun?  What websites and apps do people become drawn into and can’t stop looking at?  Once they answer those questions, they need to build a platform that will run those answers, in integrated harmony.  There is no way it’s going to happen, but I think it would be nice.

From the “Starred Items” in my Google Reader

It doesn’t matter who the author really is, just as long as you like the books.

Eloquent recommendations for your media consumption.

The issue of privacy has been much on my mind, especially after finishing Ken Auletta‘s fine new book about the monster from Mountain View.  Matthew Ingram gets you up to date on the Google convection in Italy and the fact that Google IS a media company.  And Danah Boyd reports from Harvard about evolving privacy norms in the context of teens using Facebook.  Let me put it this way: fifteen years ago, if you knew someone was opening, reading, and analyzing all your mail, would that have been OK with you?  But now you don’t mind?  The world is changing and so are you.

(SPOILER ALERT for links only)  Finally, Tamara from Caprica looks like a total bad-ass with her sub-machine gun because she IS a total bad-ass.  Annalee Newitz knows how good the show is.  Are you watching the best show on television?

Snow day is a great time to catch a buzz!

Not that kind of buzz!  Although I may have to take the dog back to The 700 for a Bloody Mary or four, considering that the city will be encased in 16 inches of snow.

But, more to the point, is Google’s new toy for keeping tabs on you, obtaining an absurd amount of private information about you, putting Twitter out of business.  Status updates on Google Buzz will be just like tweets, butt they will integrate with your already extant Google Apps, including mail and maps.  The service will also aggregate (GASP!) with Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Picasa (what’s that?).

The problem for me is an issue of branding.  My brand (Mpomy!!) is not strongly associated with all my Google junk – which lives under the moniker “Blogerantz” (what’s that?).  Aaaaaand, I can’t just start using my stuff, because that’s not strongly associated with my Google stuff.  I refuse to live in a walled garden.

Sooooo, it’s time to start to wrap up the Blogerantz thing.  It’s meaningless and will only confuse my Buzz i.d., which should, like everything else, be an Mpomy.  And since Google requires a 6+ character i.d., I present to you the new Google profile:


Exciting, I know.  This nonsense would not even be blog worthy if it was not for the cruel architecture imposed by Mountain View that does not (I repeat, DOES NOT) permit importing of contacts from one Google account to another.  I’m afraid that the same may be true for Calendar events.

So, with tomorrow’s snow day looming large, I have before me a significant data entry time killing project.  My only hope is that it doesn’t get in the way of my other projects that are already planned for the day.  Otherwise you email address may get entered as n  or worse.

Short stuff…

I’m very pleased to have wrapped up the Squarepuser / Artist of the Week project.  It was great to go through all of that stuff, especially the ’97 show from Shinjuku Liquid Lounge.  I’ve never seen that one posted, except for the torrent i got a year or two ago.  The torrent is long gone (off the Dime tracker, anyway) and I’ve never seen the show posted elsewhere.  The best part is that it came with no track listing.  That forced me to listen to these jams over and over again to get the song titles right.  Hopefully this whole exercise will tide me over until August.

The project is coming along nicely.  FBDN himself has proven a capable and attentive webmaster and the resource is really stimulating our collective creative juices.  The best part is that the sight is active, even if not terribly well visited.  We’re not exactly counting hits, but a quick google search this morning revealed that if you just put in the ‘fretbuzz’ we come up tenth – first page, baby!  That’s pretty strong, considering the (most likely) scanty readership.  This means that our updating (sometimes a few times per day!) is paying off.

I recently found an Aimee Mann bootleg from the Bachelor No. 2 / Magnolia era.  It’s a superb recording and there is a sense of commitment and passion in her performance.  So, that will get posted this week, along with my comments on this troubling artist.

The work week ended with an aggrieved father who attempted to strangle his daughters killer during sentencing.  I was waiting for me cases to be called when, on this other case, the Judge consented to hearing from the victim’s family prior to sentencing.  Big mistake.  Now, that’s what I call Courtroom Drama.  Everything was put under control quickly by the highly skilled (and much appreciated) Camden Sheriffs.  Nice work, people.

The next work week begins with the deposition of an officer that killed a 15-year-old boy who allegedly threatened him with a clothes iron.  Cop shot that boy dead.  I’ve go the kid’s mom as a client in a wrongful death / Civil Rights / Excessive Force (yuh think?) case.  So, I’ve got a lot of work to do today to get ready for this clown.  He’ll be well prepared.

Sci-Fi stuff of note includes Ronald D. Moore’s Virtuality which was on Friday night.  I haven’t checked it out yet, but maybe tonight if the work goes well.  I’m excited about sci-fi that is strongly connected to this world and this planet.  It’s a nice break from faraway planets and alien races.  Another project that appears to work along similar lines is Moon, which is getting a UK release next month.  I’m not sure if we’ll be getting this one in the U.S.

And, speaking of movies, we went with my mom to see The Proposal yesterday afternoon.  Betty White was HUGE!