Google minus

Infrequency is the new black.


3 months is a long time between updates. Much longer than I had intended but I have been busy.


Today, however, fuelled by good coffee and free wifi, Imma post something.
Since my last post there has been one very significant change to the social media landscape: Google+. It’s long been predicted, denied and debated and finally it’s here. But is it any good?


Well, frankly. No. It’s not.


It does bring some nice video-conferencing tools to the table, and makes photo sharing much easier (maybe too easy?). But I was really hoping for more from Google.


I know that it’s all about the marketing but the first thing that bugs me is the terminology. Circles? Really? Just as the world had got the hang of following, friends, groups and lists Google wades in and crowbars a new term in there. And you can have different types of circles. And those circles can intersect.


Sorry Google but in trying to simplify a complex issue, you’ve made the problem worse. The reason for Twitter’s early success was it’s simplicity. Ditto with Facebook. They both loaded up on users because their initial offerings were very easy to use. Google+ looks user friendly with it’s big icons but it’s trying to to do much.


I can’t help thinking they would have done better to conentrate on the bits where they can gain a competitive advantage. The Google+ button is one of those. Maybe if they’d started with a kind of virtual bookmark sharing system which is easy to use then people would understand it better. The reason this is important is because the main issue, in my experience, is with getting people to sign-up in the first place. Why would anyone want to sign up to Google, requiring yet another password to be committed to memory when they are being offered the same thing as they get already from Facebook? Would it not be better to encourage people to sign-up to a service that is genuinely new and useful. Then, when they are on-board, start to add the tools that they get elsewhere and try and keep them there for longer.


That’s what I would have done.


I really am barely using Google+. And I do this for a living.


Would love to hear your thoughts.


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