GigaOm reports that Google is looking to recruit a “Head of Social”. I welcome the move and present a few questions Google should be asking of its new hire:
- In 2008 and 2009, we let people believe that iGoogle was our social platform. In 2010, we placed all our bets on Buzz. Is there any way we can integrate iGoogle and Buzz?
- What should be Google’s ONE social homepage? iGoogle? Buzz? Profile Page?
- What do we do with Google Friend Connect? We need an answer.
- How do we leverage Google Social Graph API?
- We added social sharing features as an afterthought to Google Reader. Later we invented Buzz. Now, Buzz largely consists of Google Reader shares, where you can easily comment and like them. Except that you can’t share from Buzz to other networks, like you can do in Reader.
We need clarity on how to move forward with these products so that there’s no overlap and distinct product roadmaps.
- We realize that Facebook wouldn’t have grown to its present gigantic size without frivolous but sticky apps like quizzes and games. Stuff like this can be added as gadgets on iGoogle, but not on Buzz.
We need to consider where and how we can provide sticky apps that attract mainstream users.
- How do we let developers monetize their apps for our social platform?
- We have a millions of people using Orkut in Brazil and India. How do we consolidate these into the Buzz umbrella?
- What incentive do we provide web publishers to use our social platform? Can we leverage our core search results page to highlight results from our social platform?
- Facebook is a one-stop-shop for discussions (Buzz), photos (Picasa), videos (YouTube), friend network (Profiles/Orkut), and sharing (Reader). We are all over the place, with a different set of active users of each product. How do we consolidate all of them?
These questions may sound tough and embarrassing. I hope they’re not avoided, because Google is in a tough and embarrassing position. A blind-folded approach isn’t going to help. And we desperately need Google to challenge Facebook.