Last week I spent an afternoon down at Facebook, as I mentioned here. While at Facebook I met with Blake Ross, Direct of Product (and well known in web circles as one of the creators of Firefox). Talk naturally turned to the implications of Google’s controversial integration of Google+ into its search results – a move that must both terrify (OMG, Google is gunning for us!) as well as delight (Holy cow, Google is breaking its core promise to its users!).
Turns out Ross had been quite busy the previous weekend, and he had a little surprise to show me. It was a simple hack, he said, some code he had thrown together in response to the whole Google+ tempest. But there was most certainly a gleam in his eye as he brought up a Chrome browser window (Google’s own product, he reminded me).
Blake had installed a bookmarklet onto his browser, one he had titled – in a nod to Google’s informal motto – ”Don’t be evil.” For those of you who aren’t web geeks (I had to remind myself as well), a bookmarklet is “designed to add one-click functionality to a browser or web page. When clicked, a bookmarklet performs some function, one of a wide variety such as a search query or data extraction.”
When engaged, this “Don’t be evil” bookmarklet did indeed do one simple thing: It turned back the hands of time, and made Google work the way it did before the integration of Google+ earlier this month.
1:09 pm on Jan 24, 2012 (gmt 0)
"It’s changed somewhat – it now resides at a site called “Focus On The User” and credit is given to engineers at Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace..."
So they are all collaborating to poke 'ol Google in the eye. It will be interesting to see when (not if) this hack surfaces.
3:42 pm on Jan 24, 2012 (gmt 0)
From the FAQ:
Our code is open source, so anyone may turn this into a browser extension
Scroll down for the link to the .js file: http://www.focusontheuser.org/faq.php
4:33 pm on Jan 24, 2012 (gmt 0)
how about goog forcing / tricking new users into creating a G+ account
goog has slipped the G+ stuff in there so good new gmail users are unknowingly creating an account that will be out in the public facing web.
5:45 pm on Jan 24, 2012 (gmt 0)
Whether it's GoogleBook or FacePlus, to "focus on the user" means:
Phase 1: Lock them in
Phase 2: Mine their data
Phase 3: Profit
Pots and kettles spring to mind.
12:18 am on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)
>> Pots and kettles spring to mind.
Not exactly. Facebook is a social network and it has always been that. Users should have been aware that by creating a Facebook profile, you were signing yourself up to a social network.
Google, on the other hand, is trying to exploit its monopoly in search combined with their popular mail product to force users into a social network. Forcing users to use Google Plus is against the very grain of Google's slogan and supposed philosophy.
I think you can compare this to Microsoft forcing new users of their OS to use Internet Explorer as a first step.
1:27 am on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)
Resistance is futile.
I saw an interesting article on the effect all this SPYW is having on the quality/relevance of G search. Sarah Lacy wrote an "op-ed" at pandodaily titled "Google: Do Yourself a Favor and Just Come Clean Already". The URL is: [pandodaily.com...]
2:10 am on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)
Facebook is a social network
I thought it was a data mining business that makes its profits from advertising.
Must get out more.
5:15 am on Jan 25, 2012 (gmt 0)
@albo, the comments on that page contain the best defenses of Google I have heard so far: