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Avelardo Lopez (Mr. Suave)
My Take On Life
My Take On Life
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Waking Up, in the middle of the night.

Why did you wake up at 3 or 4 AM? Maybe God wanted you to take the time to stop and smell the roses. At 3 or 4 AM? Well, in today's episode, I take the time to explain how to interpret such moments. And how your reaction to waking up in the middle of the night...will impact your following day. Learn to be grateful in the wee hours of the day. And once you discover the peace they can bring to your life...your life will begin to improve.

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Why I didn't attend HS Reunion

Well, we all have stories to tell. But today, I wanted to reflect on why it is that I did not attend my 10 year high school reunion. In the process, I let some people down with something that I wished I could have done. I do hope that my fellow classmen/women...could understand. And perhaps forgive me for not being there amongst them.


Mr. Avelardo Lopez / aka: Mr. Suave

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I hate it when people spread rumors and lies. 

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Social Wars – Round 2

I just read an article on the New York Times which claims that Google's latest Search plus Your World feature "attracts critics". Insert cosmic sized “Duh” here.

Wow, Monsieur de La Palice just rolled in his grave. Twice.

The controversy over this new feature struck me as pure hyperbole.
From what I've been able to ascertain, some critic's alacrity towards the theatrical reeks of insular vision and explains some of the reservations they may have.
Let's break down the criticisms before we dive deeper:

Antitrust

First and foremost, while the antitrust flag is being waved vigorously, Twitter is the first competitor to bear it and speak out openly, though I’m sure more will rise to the occasion. Let us peruse its statement:

"Twitter has emerged as a vital source of this real-time information, with more than 100 million users sending 250 million tweets every day on virtually every topic. As we've seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter; as a result, Twitter accounts ans Tweets are often the most relevant results.
We're concerned that as a result of Google's changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone. We think that's bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users."

So let me get this straight...
Because my product (Twitter) is (what I claim to be) the best source of information and news, you, as an overarching news/ads/information agency (Google), cannot use your own sources of information to power your products, for you risk alienating people that want our source...

Really Twitter?! You're that much afraid? Well, it is comprehensible. And Facebook will also be losing sleep over it. Guaranteed.
Twitter and any other web property in existence is more than happy to receive the floodgates of traffic that Google's prime service provides, therefore they are inherently afraid those floodgates might change course, or worse, shut down altogether. And most certainly they will. Change course that is. It is not really about antitrust. In a strict sense, Google has every right to integrate its services how it deems fit if by doing so it doesn't block the user from accessing its rivals. Besides, the end-user will be able to toggle between personal/global. Meaning that the information crawled will be either from your own social graph, which you curate and control and/or the internet at large. Therefore SEO will still be very relevant, if even more so. As long as it doesn't downright censor some results for its own benefit, it IS fair game. Pertaining to Facebook, it has always had a rather acrimonious relationship with Google with regards to providing access to its prized data. So instead of continuing to try and persuade Facebook to open up the blue garden and provide such data, which is its bread-earner and therefore not in its best interest to share, Google decided to build its own product and collect its own data. Now that Google has a feasible social service after some decidedly painful failures, it doesn't need Facebook or Twitter to provide a social layer to search. Maybe those companies should build their search product from scratch to provide a custom search layer to social....Yeah, I know that won't happen. Also, it should be noted that there was an agreement between Google and Twitter, so that the former would have access to twitter’s real-time feed. It has since expired and now Twitter has partnered with Bing, as per its choice.
(https://plus.google.com/108189587050871927619/posts/ZJJhNqQpQiE)

Ergo when it comes to the antitrust argument, this integration isn't about the exclusive dealings of information (search results) because no competitor will be censored and the information they are privy to has been somewhat inaccessible to third-parties by their own decision. Furthermore Google can, has and will continue to crawl the available public data from direct competitors. If it stops doing this, then the respective maligned parties can call foul play.


Personal VS Global

Another concern a couple of critics and undoubtedly some users have pertains to privacy, owing much of that skepticism to the enterprise's past fumbles with the issue. But contrary to some perceptions, I believe there is no erosion of the public versus private dichotomy in this feature. And that is so by design. See, what essentially this integration means is that you will have a recommendation engine that pulls information your social circles have shared with you. Who curated those circles? You. So each personal search will be uniquely tied to each individual based on how they organized their interest graph and their social graph . Alternatively only those you provide access to your private items (posts, photos, videos, etc) will be able to see those same items indexed in their personal search. In essence this doesn’t break the circle sharing paradigm on which this social service is edified. It actually reinforces it. You continue to possess veto power over how your information is handled, and you gain a hefty benefit, for the relevancy in search results will exponentially climb. Imagine you are thinking about buying a new smartphone. You have a sea of options, but limited time, patience and money. You will certainly be googling it, maybe reading a couple of gadget blogs and consulting with a couple of your tech savvy friends. The question here is this: whose opinion will be the most valuable to you? The answer is rather simple; we tend to be more trusting of those we know, even if they aren't world class experts on the subject at hand, their opinion is more precious than say, some review on a blog by someone you don't personally have rapport with. But these people aren't always available when we need them the most. Social+Search fills this gap by providing you with the most pertinent results based on your web of trust, if you will. No two people’s results will be the same. Obviously Google will also have to allow personal filtering options; hence if you want to exclude or include specific circles in your searches, you’ll be able to.
It is consequently the inception of the semantic web, and it is the future. The entire internet will become your personal assistant, tailor made for you based on your needs and wants.

Market Histrionics

As I talked about before in an earlier post this move by Google is bold and quite shrewd. Nonetheless Twitter’s faux-naive reaction is nothing but rhetorical acerbity by a thespian whose play has been abruptly cut short. They knew this was coming. So did Facebook. Google stated such intent many times and they weren't the only ones to do it. Microsoft is doing it, albeit in a slightly different use case with its So.cl project. Facebook and Bing are kinda doing it (http://mashable.com/2010/10/13/facebook-bing-social-search/) and so is Twitter with its agreement with Bing. Ah, the chirping sound of hypocrisy. Admittedly all this inveighing sounds like fear to me. What truly peeves the competition is that right now Google’s prime real estate is the dominant player in the search space, so it will be very hard to compete against such a vantage point once this jump-starts another Google+ growth spurt. This service potpourri that is being concocted by the company will force these competitors to innovate or to, at the very least, achieve feature parity and provide a similar service with the same added-value to the end-user. In contrast, Facebook's more stolid conduct, i.e. silence, can be interpreted as an evaluation period. In the end though, they will better integrate with Bing, so it serves them no purpose to criticize an avenue they too will pursue. As we all know the crux of the matter comes down to two things: how much time each person spends on each property and what personas can be inferred from data mining all the information we feed these corporations. Those two factors obviously translate into billions of ad dollars.

The Middlemen

In all actuality it runs much deeper than what is readily apparent. What Google is incrementally and subliminally doing is cutting out the middlemen. Yes, and it is not an innocuous process. That is; it will really set some very influential people and entities ablaze. Think about it. By marrying G+’s most heralded features; blog-form posts, photos, business pages and hangouts to its premium search product they have just created the most powerful content distribution platform in existence. And the beauty of it is that the content you consume and disseminate will be the most germane to you and those around you because of this convergence between social and search. It is digital empowerment . People become their own publishers, their own gatekeepers, their own broadcasters – all in a streamlined and hassle free system if it is implemented in an intuitive format. Be it video, image, text or sound/music, if you create content you will divulge that same content using a platform that is completely free of charge. And that is what is truly pernicious for the middlemen, the free of charge part. There is no entry level toll booth. If you wish to create you can, to the best of your abilities. But creation needs propagation in order to achieve assimilation by the masses. And that’s where search’s biggest contribution lies – the yellow pages just got personal. The big publishers and media conglomerates will have to step up their efforts perforce in order to keep up. So I partially agree with Twitter; this is bad for the publishers, specifically those that don’t modulate their modus operandi to meet the requirements of a shifting meta-medium, but what about the users? To us this represents irrevocably some very good news.
This will promote competition, not stifle it like some advocate.
Google has just scored a major blow against its more direct opponents. Not a checkmate by any means though, but definitely a forceful knock-out. By providing added-value preemptively and using its position to leverage innovation not yet provided by its antagonists to the market place, Google has just secured itself a rather critical and inalienable advantage. Twitter and the like will resume complaining vehemently, and many more will come out the woodworks to do the same. However the underlying sequitur is that if they want to survive, they will have to up their antics. If you take a long, attentive look at the product stable the Mountain View company has, it becomes clear there are still lots of integration initiatives forthcoming. Humn…let’s see: real-time speech translation in conference calling, augmented reality browsing, real-time automated content generation, Google TV/Youtube complete synergy, collaborative facepalming, the possibilities are truly exciting.

Hello Web 3.0, it’s really nice to click you!

#google #search #facebook #twitter #socialwars
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