So I just finished "Into the Plex" by Stephen Levy. It was an interesting window into the mindset at Google, and especially into Larry and Sergey.
One of the things I got out of it was how unprepared Google was to face new realities regarding the emergence of social media, especially when it came to how people were using it to find sites. According to the book, Larry and Sergey were basically gobsmacked that anyone would ever rely on personal recommendations from friends or family. They had such faith in their algorithmic approach that it blinded them to the emergence of anything else.
It was sort of like how Microsoft was blindsided by the emergence of the web. Unlike Microsoft, though, Google doesn't have vendor lock-in to draw people to its self-made system, and they seem sort of unwilling to really put it in your face (except at YouTube, apparently).
What do you think? Can Google get a grasp on social media and social recommendations or are they too late to the game?