I have always thought that Friend Feed was built to flip, and further I’d presumed that when imagining who’d acquire them they always thought it would be Google. But over time, no doubt, Facebook came to seem just as likely. So, whatever.
But, I’m stewing a hypothesis, call it: Google doesn’t get social. Google’s not buying Friendfeed is another small potato into that pot as are Talk, Wave, Docs, Profile, iGoogle…
Google and Facebook grew from distinct social cultures and their approaches reflect what social means for those cultures. Facebook’s, the social activities of ivy league college freshman, was a better starting point than Google’s – the collaborative open source graduate-school development model.
I’m not deeply committed to this theory. But there something different emerging in the Facebook, Elgg, and Linked-in model of sites – and maybe Twitter and Friendfeed as well. It is a thing that’s different from what you get in the forum or bboard model. And it appears to be different from what firms like Ning or Acquia are chasing with their group forming (Reed’s law) model.
Needs more thought.