Monday, March 2, 2009

Can we be GoogleFriends?

A few months ago, Blogger added a feature where one can follow a blog. This is similar to subscribing, but with the added inconvenience of broadcasting your reading habits to the world.

And I immediately wondered why this was added. I didn't wonder too hard, but I thought about it. And now Google has given me an answer. Google is building a social network. Or not. Maybe they wait for networks to form on their own.

But Google has a "Friend Connect" page that says it can, "Bring viral social growth to your website." And I don't know what that means, but it sounds unhygienic. But it looks like more is coming: "Social gadgets will keep these visitors more deeply engaged with your site, and with each other."

Like many of you, I have several Gmail accounts, as of today, three. Like a cat, I have three different names. (See Logan's Run, or read T.S. Eliot, if you're not into groovy Seventies sci-fi.)

And I try to keep them separate. But with all this linking, how long until my three googledentities find each other and betray me? As they did in Facebook (yes, I had my accounts in Facebook find each other once because I put too much information in my profile -- yikes!).

When I go to parties, I like to stand in the kitchen. Well, first I like to go through my hosts' VHS tapes to find their private bedroom videos and watch them, but then I like to go to the kitchen. I don't mingle. But the Web wants us to mingle. It says, "Hi, Bob, this is Carol. I think you know Ted and Alice." And then it expects us to hop into bed together. Which is okay with me. Just don't expect me to tell you my ineffable effable Effanineffable secret name. (Yes, and what out how you poke me.)