A public relations firm has to stay on top of, well, the public. One phenomenon, online social networks, has picked up so suddenly and drastically that everyone wants their hands on the best and biggest social network. To begin listing the hundreds of social networks that have been developed over the recent years would be painful (ask Alison if you want a comprehensive list). Even more challenging is that HMA Public Relations has the responsibility of learning how to use every new program because public relations is what we do, and we can’t fall behind, whether the network is popular or downright useless. After mastering Facebook and Twitter, the primary social networks whose links are found on almost every company’s website and every professional’s email signature, it is now time to start over and learn yet another social network site from the ground up.
They say they’re trying to compete with Facebook. I’ll believe it when I see it. For now, they’re struggling with Facebook’s massive growth and the challenge of being on a level playing field with them. Google, of all companies, is developing “Google Me”, a competitor with the 500-million-member Facebook, which is a household name with users from all over the world, ranging from young kids to their grandparents.
I have a lot of respect for Google. They are always trying to be the innovators, or if they’re not the ones who come up with something innovative, they’ll buy it and make it their own. With the social networking phenomenon, they are now faced with the challenge of competing with the outside world. Imitating Facebook will probably do them no good; they need to come up with the next best thing. It will be interesting to follow the clever engineers and product designers prescribed with the responsibility to take over the social part of the internet again. “Google Me” will need to be that ingenious device, or else Google’s claim to social networking—or even Google itself—will be in danger.