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I'm worried about the future of Google. I never thought I would be.
Jeanne Alford's profile photoMarush “Luci” Denchev's profile photoBilal Ibrar's profile photoMike Keller's profile photo
lol - I find it ironic that posting a link to CNET is something that appears important. Why bother if +Google+ is the ghostland that the media keep trying to force us to believe it is ?
G+ needs a mana pot, stat! ;)
lol... really? Move along, nothing to see here.
The disgruntled ex-employee lashing out at his previous corporate bosses does not make for a convincing case. IMO Guess CNET has some corporate goals of it's own?
+Simon Cousins I don't argue that it's a wasteland ... I argue that Google's too concerned with chasing Facebook.
You'd almost think there was an organized anti-Google campaign in progress, eh?
It is not like Google has given up everything else for Google+, Google+ is evolving. I am sure they are working on other products as we speak and you have to rewrite what you have written now about Google maybe within the end of the year :-)
Enjoyed reading you take Ben! Thanks for sharing.
I think Google will be just fine +Ben Parr. :]
Don't worry about the future and get ready for Google 2.0.
+Ben Parr is trying so hard to be the next Superstar of tech, like the clown, +MG Siegler - by bashing Google. Has Google lost its magic? No, journalism lost its magic. [You bash Google, you get pageviews - Don't click on that link]
Google AR Glasses now those are going to be magic. When those hit this article will just be stupid.
+Vinoth Ragunathan I don't think any one can be equal to MG, Ben Parr has the right to make an opinion, but I think if he had a talk with Google executives, he may change his views.
And he posted this on what network... Who's chasing who...
"I argue that Google's too concerned with chasing Facebook." - Is that a joke? Is that why Facebook copied 95% of +Google+ features? Facebook stopped innovating back in 2005.
I think we're too concerned about all of this. People got us thinking that G is chasing FB....I'm not quite sure they are.

The point is, most of Google's stuff is running pretty smooth and are upgraded with new stuff. The only thing different imo is that Google is getting bashed from all sides right now...
Sensationalist headlines are funny ! I wonder if +Ben Parr posted this to Facebook ?
The tallest trees take the most wind, right?
It's difficult, if not impossible for such a mammoth corporation not to have changed very fundamentally since its inception - this struck me recently when Google adopted (very punitive) charges for its map service, hurting the innovative tech company group to which Google once proudly belonged.

They have no choice but to be concerned with Facebook's power, it's potentially a serious threat to their future in many ways - but when that concern morphs into its raison d'être, and focus, innovation and originality are the casualties, then the problem is more serious than it appears on the surface.
I was a bit amused that he linked to one of my G+ postings within his article.
+Ben Parr It sounds like your argument is that Google shouldn't chase Facebook, but you also state in the article that they have no choice but to compete with them.

You lament the "magic" that created your favorite products, but I would say that Google's "magic" had already dissipated before Google+. They brought the products you mention to market with a whole lot of time and money wasted on failed products.

Seems to me that +Larry Page has simply attempted to focus the company as a whole. Less all over the place. There has to be a balance of freedom to create and an overall vision.

I do agree with you that none of my "real life" friends are on Google+. It is so tough to get them away from Facebook. It's hard to even get my family to view picture albums of my daughter on Picasa ("Can't you just post it on Facebook?"). Having said that, I much, much prefer the community on Google+ than on Facebook. I have much more interesting friends here, and want to read what they post much more than anything I see on Facebook.

I also think the overall product is just better.
Head to head Google to Facebook comparisons are nonsensical. Even less sensible are attempts to directly compare Facebook and G+. I keep saying this but the mainstream doesn't really understand -- G+ is a component of the entire Google ecosystem, is is not appropriately viewed as a standalone product.
Let's take a moment to think about the quality of the replies here. I can think of no other social network product that consistently has the quality of replies and comments as illustrated here. The replies that get posted to articles outside of Google+ usually (and quickly) descend in the troll-fests with "First' and all manner of abusive or just plain inane comments. Google+ is, for me, the first place I go to for intelligent, varied, conversational, inspirational and other similar content. Facebook does not give me that, nor does any other social network experience. I contend that Google has created something wonderful that continues to evolve and frankly I see little to no similarities to Facebook. I looked at my Facebook page this morning and 90% was ads, commercials and other cr*p in MY stream. I then went to Google+ and found the usual rich and fascinating content that I continue to see every day. So, again, I contend that Google+ is evolving by virtue of the community and the only thing Facebook offers is volume of people, 99% of whom I will never encounter or interact with. They are utterly different and Google+ would do well to simply learn from the mess that Facebook has become.
You said "Google's fighting spirit is admirable", that means Google continues trying to find new ways to innovate and to shape its ecosystem in this new social internet landscape. Maybe all ideas are not what we expected. But would we give up because of that?

And what about Microsoft? Why only now has MS discovered Nokia? Its MS (and Nokia) way to try to survive these new times.

Facebook was indeed a good idea and it has its merits. No doubt about it but, there is plenty of room around the corner for those who find new improvements to the user experience in the NEW internet we know noawadays.
+Omar O'Hara I'm with you on that, the main problem nowadays is, there are too many self-proclaimed journalists on the loose especially in the tech field. Only opinions, no objective news without a liitle color. But we read what we sow and that is blogs disguised as journalism. I really would like to know how much of the writing staff of the top ten tech sites have studied journalism, can't be that much...
+Google adds value to our lives (search, android, gmail, gdocs, chrome, calendar etc etc), don't compare it the great time-sink social network.
Also, your summary say : "Google may still be raking in the profits, but the mojo behind Gmail, Chrome, News, Translate, and Docs has started to fade in the face of stiffer competition." - I didn't see mention of any competitors of these services in your article. Wow, a summary that isn't touched upon in the article!
Poor journalism, +The Onion seems more reliable nowadays.
I'm really loving the changes Google has done as a part of Google+ and come on +Ben Parr, you don't have to be worried about the future of Google. There are better people to do that. You better be worried about your future as a noteworthy tech writer!
Whenever Google failed, they were keen enough to face the truth..Wave as example. I am not worried about their future
I loved one comment on the original blog. "Facebook is becoming the platform that powers the web? People actually get paid to write this crap? Unbelieveable" .
The worst parasite is a tech blogger who doesn't understand tech or the end user much but still blogs anyway.
Haha, all the media companies are trying to convince people that Google+ is a ghost town, pointless to use, etc. I have been on Google+ since it has launched and everyday there seems to be more and more activity, and better integration with other products. As time goes on, I am feeling more and more convinced that Google+ is the answer to social networking... it has a little bit of everything in it for everybody.
I've bookmarked this post, just in case I ever have any doubts about Google. Thanks all for sharing your positive thoughts.
Ben, you're a genius. What a way to rally the Google+ troops! Bravo.
You worry is unnecessary, Ben. Oh, and why are you even using Google+ given your opinions in the article?
Oh look more link bait. Rather simple formula by now. Want hits to your site? Write an article claiming Google Plus is a failure/wasteland or any number of other such nonsense. Yawn.
Ok read through the comments. Google doesn't need to chase after FB. FB is undoing itself. They continually make their UI clunkier and clunkier. No matter how many times I have turned off notifications for their stupid games I still get them. They still can't seem to tell what I find is important and they jumped the shark when they ruined their messaging system by trying to integrate IM with the regular messaging.

Don't get me wrong I use FB on a daily basis but only to connect with friends. As a branding platform it leaves a whole lot to be desired.

I don't thing FB and G+ are in the same game anyway. FB is like an interactive Scrapbook where G+ is my world online.
I was sitting with a host of folks this weekend at a conference. I heard one espouse loudly that Facebook is dead. Another felt strongly that Google didn't have a dog in the social media fight. Finally another said that they didn't see the point of Twitter. On that Saturday, Marilyn Hagerty, the 85 year old freelancer who reviewed the Grand Forks Olive Garden went viral. It caught the Twittersphere by surprise and launched a host of negative and snarky responses.

Bottom line, it's still the wild wild west and we all have opinions. But we also all have so much to learn.

To borrow a word from Anthony Bourdain's tweet regarding Hagerty, I'm loving seeing the "snarkologists" opining on the death of something that is barely even born.

Ben, I appreciate your candor and you are right to ask the questions you ask. I'm sure Google's team has something up their sleeves.
I work for a bulgarian web development company and we had to develop a social network. When everything was up and running nobody wants to visit it despite the fact that all the cool things Facebook and G+ have now, our network has it from its beginning 2 years ago. EVERYBODY is on Facebook. You have to spend millions and millions to advertise your product and even I'm convinced 2/3 of my friends won't be. I currently use Facebook to catch up with the latest news and updates but G+ to find really cool stuff.
I still have hope for G+.

Personally find it much more useful than Failbook
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