Facebook at the Intersection of Social, Business Lives


Despite the Internet's famously short attention span, Google has been the most buzz-worthy tech company for nearly a decade. Computerworld recently named the search giant the top e-commerce development of the past 10 years.


Yet, now Google appears to be in danger of losing that status to Facebook.


Once merely an also-ran to MySpace, Facebook is now being touted as "a do-everything site with the potential to devour the whole Internet," according to a Slate article. The article speculates that Facebook wants to become "an all-encompassing portal" similar to MyYahoo or iGoogle.


While that prediction sounded radical enough when first published in late June, it now seems almost laughably small-potatoes in light of the current speculation following Facebook's acquisition of Parakey, a Web-based operating system created by two co-founders of Firefox.


As blogger Simeon Simeonov points out, the Parakey buy positions Facebook to become a new breed of operating system that allows content to flow freely between the desktop and the Web. In one swoop, Facebook appears to have advanced beyond what Google has been doing with Google Apps and Google Gears.


Facebook trumps Google, which has been buying up apps, by opening up its platform to third-party developers and offering to let them make money by advertising. Translation: You'll see the "next big thing" on Facebook before Google.


What, if anything, does all of this mean for the enterprise?


IT Business Edge blogger Loraine Lawson isn't sure. Facebook will hold great appeal for the increasing numbers of folks who want to merge their business and social lives "in ways that are not intrusive, that feel intuitive and which are both highly productive and deeply satisfying," says ZDNet's Dan Farber. Translation: That's everyone under 30, some of whom will work for you soon -- or eat your lunch at their own startup.