The transactive society which I have heralded as the hegemonic form of social interaction organized by capital is good enough for Google, which seeks to establish itself "not just" as an ubiquitous search engine but as the world's leading transactor. It, like other massive players in the transactive society, banks most heavily on brand and can only accomplish its business model by relying upon -- one could even, in a fit, say "exploiting" -- the economies of scale generated by the default instinct of the average consumer and the marketing technique of adding to ubiquity a cultivated sense of inevitability. NYT reports:
Twist, indeed, for what is a transactive society without, as I've said, transaction fees? Well the fees need not be overt. It is a clumsy way of making a score off of each transaction -- people complain, competitors offer whatever your rate is except just lower. More savvy is the Rupert Murdoch approach, which understands that the "fees" collected can as often be emotional or devotional as financial -- and with the understanding that those habitual or addicted or loyal transactions may be surrounded with very narrowly tailored and constantly refined marketing advertisements, increasingly interactive, increasingly appealing not quite to goods but to goods sold as embodied identities, or to services, or to emotions and identities themselves. A customer need not even buy the first thing advertised, linked, and clicked. Because if you can get them to go to MTV or wherever, you can, perhaps, get them to buy a cross-promoted product advertised at MTV's site -- or if not there, then the next, and/or the next, and the next. There is no bottom.
Google's aim, said Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive, is to make it easier and faster for people to buy products advertised on Google — thus attracting more advertisers. "The goal here is to make it be one nanosecond from the time the customer decides to buy to the time the transaction is complete and the product is on the way," Mr. Schmidt said. [...] But for merchants, the service comes with a twist: Google will waive some or all of the transaction fees for companies that buy advertising from it. That may give the service a leg up on competitors like PayPal and several smaller companies that help online merchants accept credit cards.
The hurdle for Google is recalibrating customer defaults. But the victory that awaits is massive.
"You have people in your most valuable area and suddenly you are switching them off your site to something no one has ever done before," said John Bresee, the president of Backcountry.com, an online seller of sporting goods that has been testing Google Checkout. [...] "If they convert at the same rate, and the fees are lower, we will put up the biggest Google Checkout button you have ever seen," he said.