July 8, 2011

"Having read many claims that ‘Google+ will kick Facebook’s ass,’ I’ll go out on a limb..."

"... and predict that Google+ will fail miserably," says Henry Copeland.
[I]n social networks, the users are the product. Users’ habits and passions and commitments to each other are the life-force that makes a social network grow. Just as you can’t build a tree from a bunch of boards, you never could have constructed Facebook or Twitter or eBay or LinkedIn or Wikipedia top-down with a bunch of prefab components....

Google’s diffuse-by-invites strategy works fine for a tool like Gmail, which is evaluated purely as a feature set, but it won’t work for Google+. Evidence: my friend Dan Gilmore, who as an innovator and former reporter for San Jose Mercury News should have more Google+ connections than anybody, went onto Facebook to look for friends who might also be using Google+. With no luck.
That made me go check my gmail to see if I had an invite, which, it turns out, I did. I joined. I'll check it out and let you know what I think. It's like Facebook, but it's Google, right?

39 comments:

BlogDog said...

Gooface.

Lucius said...

The Gestapo is like the NKVD, isn't it?

FedkaTheConvict said...

Nope; not for me. I don't use Facebook and the last thing I want to do is give Google more of my personal information.

Pat Bay said...

Remember Froogle?

Coketown said...

I googled it, but still have no idea what Google+ does. I imagine it will go the way of Froogle and Google Notes and Google Wave and Google Buzz and Goog-411 and Google Video--straight to hell. They could pull a YouTube and just buy Facebook. I'm sure a $1.6 billion mistake gave them an appetite for a $100 billion one.

TerriW said...

I'm on the fence about google+ right now.

On the one hand, FB just has that almost-complete saturation that really makes it work -- my great aunts are on FB, for God's sake.

I've now spent years tracking down most of the people I've known throughout my life (we moved a lot when I was young, so this was no easy task), and I'm not so keen on repopulating a new social networking site ... unless it really brings something awesome to the table. And, so far, I'm not seeing that with Google+. At least, not yet.

Geoff Matthews said...

Facebook did the limited invite-thing. You had to be at the right school to join.
Call it snob appeal for people with email.

fivewheels said...

Always trust content from xkcd.

"You should join Google+!"

"What is it?"

"Not Facebook!"

"What's it like?"

"Facebook!"

johnvert said...

Let me go out on a limb and say that all social networks are a fad that will fade. Facebook lost over 6 million US users in May.

Juba Doobai! said...

Google, like Facebook, is Democrat-controlled. As Lucius says, "The Gestapo is like the NKVD, isn't it?"

Mary Beth said...

I've been hoping for an invitation but haven't gotten one. I think I would like it because there are some things I don't post about on Facebook due to who some of my friends are - friends of my kids, for example. (Before anyone says it's weird to be friends with them, I only friended the ones that sent requests to me. I find the cool videos and new memes and share them.)

Facebook lets you customize status updates and hide them from or just show them to specific people but it seems easier to just not comment on something than to go through my friends list to decide who can or can't see it.

Roger von Oech said...

I've been having fun with Google+. Their sign in profile session made me feel much more like an adult than the FaceBook one did. I'm much more of Twitter user than a FB one though.

I'll look you up Ann!

Fred4Pres said...

I am not into facebook. I am seriously thinking deleting my account. I do not like it. I do not discuss things in detail because I do not trust facebook to respect my privacy, so not like that friends, family and coworkers are all mingled together. Some worlds are just not meant to be connected.

So my prediction is business networking will be a growth areas and social networking will be a non-growth area.

FedkaTheConvict said...

Interesting read: How I Learned to Live Google-free


wv: bingedea

Yeah, I should probably Bing.

Carol_Herman said...

Don't use facebook.

Don't use Twitter.

But I know that Google makes its money mining data.

I'd hate to lose gmail.

Hate their upgrades. Stick with their "basic."

But, yes, they do a gangbuster job of not just mining data ... but knowing how to collect it, in the first place.

Unlike garbage, which needs to have a place where you bring the dump trucks. And, those places stink like crazy. Data mining is different.

And, it works better, here, than Word Press. Let me tell ya! It's like the taxicabs of old. When you had leather seats. And, room for your legs in the back.

Will Cate said...

@johnvert -- I hope you're right.

The problem with Google is they have the attention span of a gnat. They build a hundred little internet widgets, then they move on to the next hundred things.

I'm not at all convinced that they know how to allow online communities to evolve. Copeland is probably right.

KLDAVIS said...

I have never really seen a need to join Facebook (joined for a day, back when it was still limited to the Ivys, Stanford and UofC, but quickly deleted it), but I find Twitter and Google Chat to be great. May be the ideal demographic for Google+ but can't seem to get in. Althouse, if you have invites, I'd appreciate one.

KLDAVIS said...

Coketown,

Goog-411 was a massive success. All of the data collected as part of that product is what allows the Android OS to work by voice input. I was a frequent user of Goog-411, and as a result Google has an excellent sample of my voice pattern that is linked to what I was actually searching for from Goog-411...that data is now leveraged when I use speech to text or voice commands on my mobile. The accuracy of voice commands on my phone is simply amazing compared to previous iterations of the same technology.

Henry said...

The only person I know who has tried Google+ used Facebook to mock it.

edutcher said...

Not having gotten an invite, there are times being lowbrow is a mark of honor.

As The Blonde is wont to say, "I don't wanna be soap on a rope".

Lucius said...

The Gestapo is like the NKVD, isn't it?

No, the NKVD was a lot better organized.

Henry said...

One thing I hate about Google is single sign on. My business uses Google for document sharing, analytics, and a few other things. When Google bought Blogger I immediately had to start jumping through login/logout hoops to do different things in different contexts.

I've debated signing up for Gmail for years, but it isn't going to happen now. I just signed up with Zoho.

Single sign-on is identify-theft just waiting to happen.

Paddy O said...

I'm in it.

I feel like it's more like Google Wave than Facebook so far.

In the new internet age, though, getting on board this stuff is part of being one of the cool kids.

Paddy O said...

By the way, I don't think social networks are a fad that will disappear. Humanity has had a drive to socialize for millenia, and longer.

With the internet and social networks we can stay in touch with people across the miles, for our whole lives, and in a way which benefits those who are introverts, or prefer to write or talk, or who are geographically isolated. It's a great avenue to stay in touch with our various circles, weaving in and out when we need to, drawing the world a little closer.

I suspect Facebook won't last, but it'll be replaced by something else. Too many people are reconnecting and staying connected through social networks for everyone to suddenly feel worn out with it all.

zombie said...

I like the concept of Google+. It's like Facebook because you can share your posts with selected circles of friends or you can post public. This way you can blabber on about how you hate your job and your boss who's in another circle would not have access.

Right now Google+ is like Facebook with no friends. Hopefully this is a bit more successful than Google Wave.

kimsch said...

@Mary Beth email me at musingminds *at* gmail *dot* com and I'll send you an invite.

wv: chapsas

marybeth said...

kimsch, the email is sent. Thanks!

Dose of Sanity said...

Google+ has four major advantages over facebook.

The pluses, if you will:

Circles: Facebook status updates go out to everyone, circle updates go out to the circles you choose them to go out to. Quick way to separate work, friends, and friends of friends..

+1 Button: Easy way to recommend anything ON THE WEB back to your friends on Google+. For instance, I +1 this post. My friends now see it under my profile.

Hangout: This is THE feature that will beat facebook. It's video chat...with a group of people. It's cool, it's free and it absolutely dominates any option facebook has, even post-skype. (facebook video chat is limited to 1 on 1)

Post editing: You can edit, disable comments and disable resharing, if you choose. All great options.

Ann: Google+ syncs well with blogger. Before you jump ship, make use of it!

marybeth said...

I looked at the demographics that Google has associated with me and figured it was already too late to worry about what they know and don't know.

Dose of Sanity said...

p.s. If you dont mind a crazy liberal, I've got an althouse circle ready to go.

And if you need invite, I've got a few.

KLDAVIS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dose of Sanity said...

What's your e-mail? it wasn't visible off the profile.

KLDAVIS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dose of Sanity said...

Invite sent. They usually take about 24 hours.

KLDAVIS said...

Got it, thanks.

Linda Seebach said...

That would be Dan Gillmor (not Gilmore), who in fact appears as a Google+ example in Copeland's post.

Rick Lee said...

Oh yeah, now that almost everybody in the world is on Facebook, it's time for the cool kids to pull up stakes and move. I'd like to say it will fail because of the "network effect" power of FB, but who knows?... I'm done trying to predict these things. I poo-poo'd FB for a long time but now I see how wildly useful it is once everybody gets on there.

Freeman Hunt said...

I joined. So now I'm supposed to re-add everyone I already had to add individually on Twitter and Facebook? I don't see an option to allow Google+ to retrieve the data from those sites to make this easier.

bornagainpenguin said...

Hi, this is the place to beg for a Google + invite?

If so, please send me one at bornagainpenguin via Gmail! Thanks for the spam.... ;)

bornagainpenguin said...

Yeah, I'm not loving the lack of import here.

Of course I imagine that even if there were some they wouldn't work all that well. Too many oopsies on the part of Zuckerberg that would just cause frustration in less technical users.

Still as XKCD says, it's not facebook.

Thanks for the "spam" Freeman Hunt, I appreciate it!