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Say hello to the first ad on Google+

Last night I was shocked to see not a suggestion to join a community or attend an event, but an ad for a product. +Guy Kawasaki's What the Plus book was suggested to me so I would "get the most out of Google+." Helpful? I'm sure it is. But it's a product that competes with other books and how to guides for navigating here. While Guy may be a Google+ evangelist, that book is his product and by downloading it, free or not, it benefits him directly. It's marketing plain and simple. Placing it on my home stream where I'm not supposed to receive any ads is not my cup of tea. Actually, it's fucking bullshit.

This is coming right off the heels of me receiving an email from Guy asking me to download his APE book for $9.99 as a "one time, non-EvanG+ email" because I signed up for his EvanG+ mailing list. Was I promised that a message like that wouldn't happen? Yes. Was I marketed to anyway? Yes. I made a post right after signing up about how there appeared to be a financial motive behind this mailing list as it drove traffic to his site, but he assured me that he it wasn't him promoting himself, just Google+. Yeahhh....

Listen, I'm sure that book is helpful, but I'm finding this whole evangelist thing to be more and more disingenuous. It's not #TheEndOfTheWorld , but Google+ advertising a product definitely brings us a step closer.
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I'm sorry. It's just fucking bullshit and being an evangelist doesn't make you untouchable somehow.
Here!  Buy this book that was obsolete the moment it was printed!
I bought a book called Fuck Off.  It's dedicated to that guy.
One swallow does not a Summer make, but I agree with you on all points.I was surprised when this ad showed up for me as well. #IAmDisappoint  
I've seen this too! I didn't mind it coz I thought it was about G+ so maybe it was just a helpful ad (like the ads when they launch a new G+ feature, i.e. events). At any rate, +Guy Kawasaki might make a post explaining this. Or maybe the G+ peeps. On a different note, happy holidays +Carter Gibson! Don't get too drunk, LOL ;-)
When your business is being an evangelist your products don't get a pass somehow. We saw what an evangelist he was for Apple, and he'll leave us for the new shiny one day too.
I'm definitely not a fan of this, +Carter Gibson. Not so much for the specifics of it, as you say, but for the general precedent it sets. disappointing :(
+Melissa Solito haha, I won't get TOO drunk ;) But I would love to see Guy explain it. Because it's very, very sneaky imo.
An Evangelist.. you mean like Pat Robertson or The Mouth of Sauron? No, no thank you, I'll be fine. 
I'm with you on this +Carter Gibson. I don't even go to my home page these days.  I like the "clean look" of my Profile Page and then I snoop where and when I like and use Notifications as a kind of G+ Navigation system.  I have always liked to feel my own way around and I, too, am nervous about the Evangelist thing.  Which is why I revert to my own writing pages.  No ads.  No sell-er.  No buy-er.  Just writing...

Happy Holidays +Carter Gibson and Cheers for the New Year.  Since the world didn't end, does that mean we can start over?  As in we are all One Year Old now???
I'm actually not that bothered by it as long as it stays one somewhat non-intrusive ad or recommendation. Perso as I mentioned on +Samantha Villenave's post about it, I would prefer in the future that it was a Google Play store recommendation.
That's an unfair comparison +Charlie Ellingson. Not to mention, Google has repeatedly assured us that would be no ads on Google+. I know what Google is, and I also know that I'm the product. Just because +Guy Kawasaki has done a lot of great things for Google+, and trust me, I believe he has, that doesn't mean he gets to promote his product. The expectations were set, and that ad broke them.
noticed it as well, but to be honest, I'm not a fan of that whole column, so I tend to ignore it, plain and simple.
I hope it's not going to turn into a full advertising wall, else Ill be out of here pronto.
+James Williams Well if that's the case, why not rotate ads by others?  To be force-fed the same ad is to me, stupid.
+James Williams - That would be most appropriate. But, seeing as I had both an expectation that Google+ wouldn't have ads and that Guy wouldn't market to me (especially on his EvanG+ emails), I'm not happy.
I wonder if it's paid? I wouldn't be surprised if Google was displaying it for free since they get a big benefit from it too?
One ad, that's an ad for something free on how to use a service... Yeah When they start spamming you with advertisements from people your circles have circled and you're not even a fan of like Facebook, then worry.
Yeah...I uncircled that guy for good reason.  To have to see his crap being peddled to my face is annoying as's the same as having a person blocked and seeing all their reshares anyway.  Futile.
It could have been worse. Like an ad for a book about Facebook.
+Bobbi Jo Woods Humbly disagree although he has made contributions.  My thought is the greatest attention-getter (for better or worse) was The Scobe.  But that's beside the point; if any product deserves space it's a text on the environment.  Better than an Angry Birds plug any day.

Wait.  What?  Sorry I missed your gentle sarcasm.  I await my punishment in the flogging chamber.
+Zack Davis - The issue being that even that breaks my expectation Google+ made for me that it would be ad-free.
I unfollowed him recently over all that.  Ridiculous.  Not the right balance, if Google needs to (and it will) monetize G+.  It needs to be seen  (I think) as more impersonal, not as someone trading on his privilege to get his junk out front.  Which is completely how that comes across.
Just to clarify then.. you're equally mad at both Google and Guy? What was that old saying... don't bite the hand that feeds you?
We all understand that the book is free, right?
At the end of the day, he is an acquired taste. One that I don't quite enjoy. I didn't like some of the marketing when What the + or whatever it was called was still in dev. It is what it is.
I must have missed the posts by Google saying there would be no ads on G+.  To me this is unobtrusive.  And I have no issues with them making money to support making G+ better.  

I would have a problem if the ads came in my stream OR if they are promoting +Guy Kawasaki's book without him paying them.  Then as +Bobbi Jo Woods states, I expect that they will rotate the ads to include videos/books and er cartoons that promote G+
I guess that is a no. Umm it says right in the picture "Download the Free ebook"
Additionally, I find this puzzling as that book is out in paperback. He's also got another co-authored book coming out in January 2013.
I don't see any reason to be mad with Guy, really, +Carmelyne Thompson.  You'd be a fool not to take that opportunity if Google was handing it out. I can't imagine any of us not doing the same. Google's the one who made the promise not to advertise. 
I hate that argument +Carmelyne Thompson. It's really frustrating to feel that I can't criticize Google+ because I'm a Suggested User. I disagree with that because, in the end, I'm a HUGE proponent of Google+ and I want it to be the best place possible. Google knows that about me. I'm completely allowed and reasonable to bring up pain points occasionally. 
+Joseph LoRe The fact that it is free, which most if not all of us understand, is besides the point. The convo is about whether it was appropriate. Not the cost attached to it.
Um, +Carter Gibson 
There have been ads on g+ for a while now.
When google started insisting on populating my #whitespace with suggestions for games from outside companies (that get paid by web-traffic) they pretty well screwed the no-ads rule.
Your outrage is untimely : ) 
Who's going to be next on the ad parade I wonder...?
How is it an advertisement? Is this any different than posting a link to a manual?
+Joseph LoRe - It's completely different. It showed up for everyone, not just for people who had him circled.
+John VanRoekel - That's a good point, but I would argue that it's different since events, communities, and games are al part of the Google+ experience. 
Again - how is this different from posting a link to a manual - He is the G+ evangelist after all. He is out promoting the service and it makes perfect sense for his Free book to be posted as a suggestion just like trending topics or people I may know or any other free suggestion G+ puts on its pages...
+Bobbi Jo Woods I met Guy when he was flogging Apple Newton to the corporate set.  Not much has changed but our hair color.  [his seems darker]
I think it's a very good book to market for free for the Goobies or newcomers:
This is not an ad as such, but a helpful gesture - that's how I see it.
Explaining in easy terms what Google+ is all about.
We have been asking for something like this for a long time...
its no bad. is about g+, I dont have any ads.
Better yet - how do you define this as an advertisement if it is a free book? I doubt +Guy Kawasaki paid for the space - I doubt Google is able to monetize it - so what makes this an advertisement?
Brace yourselves, the ads are coming
Advertising of all types, although not desirable here is probably inevitable.  
Ads can be for free things. Ads can be for paid things.

This is an advertisement for a free thing.
+Aaron Wood so then by that logic everything above it is also an advertisement.
+Carter Gibson as business needs change and Google realizes how much they are spending to support what I consider the best social media site, I have no issues provided the caveats I mentioned above.
If it were written or co-written by Google tech writers, then it could have maybe been deemed a manual but even that is on shaky grounds. 
+Carter Gibson This guy isn't making money on this book, the game companies make plenty, so I would say that this cherry was popped a while back. 
Besides if he can't get an exemption just for being free, then neither can they.
+Stacy Frazer _"right after this message from BAE Systems.  Your friends in Defense."_
I uncircled him after seeing him saying bad things about someone who had 100 followers not wanting to buy his book. Very much not cool in my "book."
+Joseph LoRe, no, those are parts of the platform. This is for another party's product.
+M Monica True that.  Although without people like +Denis Labelle we would never find the small details that drive us a little nuts.  (all plugs free through the end of time.  Wait.  What?)
I'm actually completely shocked by the response here.  What the hell did you guys think was going to happen when you're using the product of a company who's only revenue stream is advertising?  I'm more shocked it hasn't happened before.  

Truth be told I'm happy for the people who pay for ad space.  They keep these products free for us, and keep the development of the system moving forward.  

As far as setting a precident +Carter Gibson, they did set a precedent   You use Google Search and you see ads, you use Google Apps you see Ads (if free account), you use read your favorite blog you likely see google hosted ads.  

I'm not sure why anyone thought the precedent was different on a product that 100 million people are putting in their preferences on.  

Google is an Advertising company people, and it will always be that way, so get used to it or find the next network to be disappointed with.
How no money can change hands and still be an ad

Google doesn't have to be able to monetize it for it to be an ad. Since completing my book, several programming contests have contacted me for free copies to give away to winners.

1. The contest is getting it for free.
2. I'm not paying anything because it the publisher paid to ship them.
3. Though no money changed ads, it was a mutually beneficial ad.

My content as a prize made the contest more attractive to entrants. It also made them aware of my content. Having more entrants made the contest a greater success and more prone to have good content to choose as winners.
+Joseph LoRe, sounds like you're a G+uyvangelist. :) Do you work for him? Get his coffee? Sing his praises? Pick up his dry cleaning? ;)
+Michael Cummings because they promised us no ads.
Then again they promised no censorship, and that was a lie, so there you go.
+Aaron Wood I can see that you have run out of valid arguments and are now resorting to schoolyard teasing. Nice. 
+John McLachlan that is what I'm preaching.... if you value the service a company provides, you will allow them survive by providing that value.  You like a service?  Pay for it.
+Joseph LoRe, my teasing is much more high brow than that.

Also, he's not a Google employee is he? He might be singing the praises of the platform, but until he's a paid employee of Google, I don't think his thoughts should be shared in the sidebar. I don't follow him, therefore I shouldn't have to see his content.
I'll just pass on that +Ronnie Bincer and I got a direct comment from +Vic Gundotra when Ronnie spotted this same "ad" several days ago and posted about it. Vic said that it was not an ad (at least as far as they were concerned), but rather just sharing something that was free and that they thought was useful to Google+ users.

Of course, any of us at all familiar with marketing know there is a very thin line between a "useful announcement" like this and an "ad." As +Carter Gibson has already stated, even though this book is free, it helps build Kawasaki's brand, and leads to opportunities for him to sell his other products. And did he pay for it? Perhaps not monetarily, but certainly in all the PR and "free evangelism" he's provided Google+ through his EvanG+ campaigns. So it's hard to not see this "ad" as a reward to him for that benefit.

I'm not contesting Google's right to put whatever they want to put on these pages, but I have to agree that since they've been pretty public about promising no ads in our G+ streams, something like this may not be the wisest move on their part.
Agreed. (Short and to the point because you said it all.)
I'm so used to ignoring the right side of G+ that I'd probably scroll right by it without even noticing. As a matter of fact, I may have done that!
+Michael Cummings This is an excellent question!  What do people expect from Instagram?   Plus has been positioned as a product intended to slice across all Google Apps to provide a dimension of collab and flexibility.  

No one has really come out and said what the business plan is for Plus.  No stated monetization plan exists (in the 10-K as of Jan, though the next one's due in a few weeks) for other products like mail, WP, spreadsheet, etc, those products have met with a few adverts.  Some more than others.

Is there a good chance we'll see ads here?  Yes, though I hope not.  Using the algorithms related to adsense in Plus context would be kind of creepy and could frankly have a very negative impact on use of the tool.  So yeah, excellent question and I hope a shareholder takes it to the next phone meeting.
+John VanRoekel its going to happen eventually.  They have payroll to pay, and investors to make happy.  Its business.

I don't care about the whole Guy discussion going on here.  He's a polarizing figure so say what you will about him, but on the topic of advertising, we should expect to be advertised to if you're going to use a service for free.  If they are not showing you ads, the alternative is that they sell data about you to other businesses to advertise to you in other ways.  
+M Monica I agree with you completely. I may not be as careful as you are but I do value privacy and a company's promises should be kept. 
Hey, I wonder if I can put an ad to my Google+ posters in the sidebar? They promote G+, right? Heck, I should let people download the art for free.

Then they can visit my Etsy store and order physical copies just through the word of mouth my free download program brings. :)

+Michael Cummings What you say is 100% correct.
Unless google has made statements to the effect that G+ would be ad -free.  Once they do that, then showing ads is a breach of trust.
Besides, google makes money off of + already as a traffic-driver for their other services.
+Aaron Wood I would love to see there a link in your profile page? Also is there a link to your store? I loved the I am sure your other stuff is brilliant. 
Wow... It's like kids in a playground here...
I'm sorry, but I don't care if +Guy Kawasaki is a good person or not: All I know that he's written the bloody best book about Google+ so far. His personality, fame or history are of no interest to me.

How many of you have actually read the book?

I have read them all. All the sane books written about Google+.
Because I'm writing my own but slowly, and I'll wait at least a year to publish.
Why? So many features we will be getting...

The G+ community has been clamouring for a good guide to Google+ since September 2011: Now it's here and it's free - what more do you want?

I've seen most of you to ask for a feature like this in the past and finally when we get something but it's not written by an anonymous Googler, it's no good?
Huh. Sour grapes.
+Jaana Nyström, Google should produce their own, up to date, guide on how to use G+ if they want people to learn how to use this service. :)
+Aaron Wood Do I have permission to capture an image and share it along with a link to your store?
Hope that's not directed at me +Jaana Nyström because we both know that I love to help and know that What the Plus is good. That's not what in upset about. 
Heh, I saw that yesterday. I made a huge post about it then decided it wasn't worth making a big deal because +Guy Kawasaki did a great job with his book. Then I deleted the post :)
+John VanRoekel Google did say that. Repeatedly. Do a quick Google search and you'll find it. I'm on mobile now
Let's say it is an ad. Google Search ads never bothered me. Based on that and if they ever add ads to G+, I think they'll do a fine job making sure it's not annoying. The problem here is everyone doesn't like the author of the free book. A free book that'll be useful to new users. Had they written the guide themselves... no one will care there's a box suggesting the free guide. :)
Maybe I can have ads for my G+ HangOut Penis Surprise Escort Service showing for everyone soon.

You need a surprise penis in your public hangout? I got you covered. 
I saw that. I imagine he just decided to give it away since the UI has
changed so much it is semi obsolete to sell but still helpful. He has given
it to me twice. I think Google is just highlighting it. More like SUL than
an ad?
+Aaron Wood books stores are filled with guides not produced by the maker of whatever the guide is about. If someone already made a good guide, why not use it? Does +Guy Kawasaki benefit from it? Yes. Does Google benefit from Guy's klout? Yes. Do we benefit from more noobs having a better clue of what is going on? Yes.  Should other competing guides be shown as well? Perhaps but that would just take up more space and probably confuse the issue. 

I think I am with +Jaana Nyström on this one. Is it an ad? yes. Do I care? Not as much as I care about the bazillion other more annoying things here such as the hopeless notification system. 
+Carmelyne Thompson
The problem isn't that it is annoying in it's self.  The problem is that google promised "No Ads in G+"
This makes that a lie, from a company that isn't supposed to do that sort of thing.
+Jaana Nyström When Gina T. came out with her Buzz book and when +Andrew Maxwell came out with a book on Evernote, it soon became clear that the model for "books" on internet apps is one of constant catch-up and is not served well on paper.  I would always question the depth of a book written by a tech personality - much as politicians have little time to know the details of doings "at home" techno pundits spend so much time telling others their POV they oftenhave little time for solid research of their own.

That said, I look forward to your effort regardless, and hope you will send an early final copy for review!  Loves me some Google.
I said in this post that I liked the content and that it was helpful. I have an issue with any ad. Not the content. That book is a product plain and simple. My beef with Guy specifically comes off the heels of being told to buy his OTHER book from evang+ emails.

So. My issue is the Ad. Not the content. 
Noooooo, I don't want ads on G+. That's one of the reasons I like G+ over Facebook.

Fuck this Shit. 
ok people NO ADS on G+ went out the window with the SUL because the SUL is ads. Ads for people. Their brands value goes up the more people who know about them. Period. Several of us in this thread have benefited from those ads at one point or another. I could see the complaining if this was fundamentally different such as an ad for Coke etc. but it isn't.. 

I think +Dan McDermott might have hit the nail on the head with his comparison to the SUL. 
+John VanRoekel well another truth in this matter is that I'm sure whatever statement they said came with a fine print with an expiration date.  Then how many people actually know about Google stating that?  Yes, there are a lot of influencers who probably know that, but they have all gathered their audiences.  They now mean less to G+ than they did in the building phase.  Everyone is equal here now as they have reached the point where this can be monetized.  

Social Networks are cash poor endeavors, and why only ones who are venture backed or big company funded will ever have a chance to reach critical mass.  How many years did Facebook run on investment money?  Has Twitter even made a dollar in profit yet?  

Yes, Google has other motives here with G+ than the other big two, but they will not continue to float a product that is continuously losing them money.  

Gmail is a fantastic product, and most people bitched about the ads and just what information Google was mining off of us to serve those ads, but eventually people realized they were non intrusive, most of them were relevant and useful, and in the end they were using a badass service for free.  

Why do you think Google has been so tight on releasing an API for G+?  Probably because they see how out of control the Twitter ecosystem got and that a majority of the traffic was taken away from one of the only places they could eventually put Ads.  On the Homepage.  

Its coming friends... you will see Ads here eventually.  Maybe not tomorrow.  Maybe not in 2013, but it will show up eventually.
Did Google ever promise they wouldn't put ads on G+? I can't remember if they did or not. It seems that "ad" appeared from everyone as I also saw it earlier, but haven't had anything to do with Guy or whatnot...
Request citation to Google statement that says, "We will never advertise on Google+".

Simple and fair request, right?
+Michael Cummings You forget that I have been pointing out that goolge broke the "no ad's" promise almost right out of the gate when they started advertizing games : )
I just like to see that people are finally pissed off about google breaking their word, even if it did take forever.
We talk and post about new features and our opinions of them all the time. I'm surprised to see the ones that do it the most say "Oh be quiet no biggie!" 
+John VanRoekel its all good and fine to be upset... shit thats how change happens.  I'm just saying that no one should be surprised by this.
They should be surprised because Google said there wouldn't be ads, they consider this an ad, and they made no post about rolling ads out. Sure ads may come one day, but I still don't like it 
hands out pitchforks and torches

Hehe no pitchforks. I'm not that mad :P
+Carter Gibson did they explicitly say "NO ADS" or did they say something to the effect of "We will never place an ad in an intrusive way such as in your stream"

I want to see documentation of this "No Ads" talk, because I honestly don't believe it... I've never heard of them saying this until right now on this thread.
I think Guy should be able to do what he wants.  But I also think posters, as curators, should be able to "see" what they want.  There are those who might disagree with this because since it's a "free" platform there has to be some give and take.  On the other hand, those who have been with this platform from the get-go have, in a crucial way, given something to's not all we take and they give so "ads" have to be part of the equation.  I hate ads and I would pay not to have them.  This is only one of the reasons I left FB.  And it is the main reason I have my own web site...although I am completely aware I may have to change that one day.  That said, I have never, not once paid attention to any add anywhere on line...  Never.

How about a "Guy Kawasaki wants to send you an Ad?" or "Carter Gibson wants to send you an Ad?"  If that happened I would probably say Yes!
And +Carter Gibson, I will say I agree with what +Cliff Roth brought up.  You have benefited yourself from having your face over there on the right sidebar in my and everyone elses #Whitespace.  I'm sure you realized that.  I'm happy you and I actually met in person, and then became G+ buddies, but I would beg to say that I still would have ended up following you because I saw that you were an influencer via Googles Suggested Users.

They advertised YOU to me and everyone else... 
+Ronnie Bincer I disagree this place stopped being 'ad free' as soon as there was promoted content.  The SUL or the HOA's to watch like the one with Conan. Etc Etc. 
Maybe Google+ beat Facebook to the - $1 to market to you and shove something in your face regardless of the fact you have no associations with them - punch?
(+John Baker : thanks for the words of appreciation.
It's a teamwork effort -> wisdom of the G+ crowd.)
+Rory Swan - coming to is the key. He also said that the book promotion wasn't an ad. 
I should note that everyone is bringing up really great points and I like reading them :) 
I seen that ad this morning too. This is just more of the beginning if the end here."I warned y'all but know one listens to me" lol
(Insert jumping the shark emote here)
Connecting people is part of the experience +Michael Cummings and since I'm not a traditional product, that isn't an ad. I do like what +Cliff Roth said about the suggested HoAs though. Really really good point. 
+Carter Gibson with that logic, then the Guy book is not an ad as it is part of teaching people how to use the product. Its a free manual that just happens to be written by someone who doesn't work for Google.  If Google paid Guy to license the book without his name on it would you still feel this was an Ad?
I think I read somewhere up there in the comments a line of thinking to incorporate ads: you only receive ads of people you have circled

That actually seems like a decent idea to me. Follow that up with the non-intrusive "Ads you might like..." aka "People you might know".
+Aaron Wood Google has their own up-to-date Support & Help site:

Unfortunately it does not help you in all the areas.

Take a look at the Google+ Discuss Community or the Google+ Support Forum and you'll see why: I am there answering questions all the time with many others: The questions cover a lot of grey areas and details missing from Google's support site.

Why? Because to explain all you'd need to write a book...

If I could make everyone to read this book, I would. In their own language.  I would get it updated every time there is a #googleplusupdate .
Because the book gives the IDEA of Google+ and how to use it to the best of your advantage, not just the cold facts.

This is something we have wished for, now we got it. How would you present the advice otherwise?
Send everyone an email? A pop-up?
Im tired of that freaking ad. And that book is probably already outdated. And this "ad" comes and goes, its still not a permanent fixture on my page.
Look at the motive. That's the key. All of us saw people who put up a pic two Julys ago and posted a cat pic or whatever and haven't been back since. Why? They didn't see things of interest to them. So Google promotes pages, communities, people and now a free book to try and get them in. If Guy is willing to give away his book and a few people read it and get hooked on this awesome place that caused all of us to get to know each other and if a few people who read that free book get turned on to Guy's writing and buy one of his other (highly acclaimed: ALL 4-5 stars books then good for him. All of the promotion by Google on G+ is designed to draw people to things and people that will interest them. The more people on here the more awesome it gets. I have no problem with the book promo. I also have no problem with the email he sent us about APE. He sends us 50 emails with good content for free then sends one about his new (5 star - 164 reviews) book that is also good content then so what? 
I really don't see why anyone is making a big deal out of this. Those of us that spend a lot of time on the web and have done so for many years are already conditioned to not look at advertisements. I noticed this "ad" yesterday afternoon. It's a big deal for the simple fact that it's new. Nothing else.
So here's a funny request.  Can someone link me to the ad landing page?  I'd actually like to read the book now after all this free advertising he's gotten for the book ;)
I'm going to finally read it too. Guy's sitting now probably laughing at all the downloads from this thread. lol
I actually read it waaaay back when it came out. It was nice at the time. :)
+Jaana Nyström For newcomers it's a great tool. UI's have changed, general concepts have not.
+Jaana Nyström. Maybe. I still think a nice video series done by the Google people would be better. After all, who knows the platform better than the people who made it? :D
Unless he is constantly updating it, I can't even see how the book is useful at this point.  G+ keeps changing, rolling out new features, fixing bugs, etc.  I mean, it's not going to have a comprehensive section on communities, is it?

I am not mad -- I just find Guy's approach unlikeable.  It's smarmy.  And his posted stuff is pretty damn superficial.  So, no big loss. 

I do think G+ can do a lot better than Guy :-P
+Jaana Nyström, nope. Still not an employee of the company. You wouldn't package a product with instructions written by someone else would you? :)
+Aaron Wood I don't understand what you're after here: Please explain. I plain words, to a Blonde.

If you think that the Japanese instructions are translated into English by a Sony employee... Well, you've got a surprise coming.
+Denis Labelle, THAT'S what they should be promoting! :D

+Jaana Nyström, the instructions are written by the company, then given to people to translate, yes. But the words are written by the company that produced the product.

At least it's done that way if the product is manufactured by a large enough company. Which, I feel Google is.
+Jaana Nyström The book is being promoted to newbies.  G+ changes quite quickly.  The question is a valid one.

But if you so intensely dislike what I have to say, please do feel free to block me.
+George Sepich 
`.¸.´ Happy
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨EndoftheWorldDay!
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ 
Oh George... I was SO hoping to make it through the apocalypse without hearing that song again. ;) lol
+Cindy Brown a large part of the book is about the essence of what makes G+, G+. That hasn't changed only the features have. So yes the feature portions might be outdated but the core isn't. 

+M Monica well said. On the other hand it was asking about circles which got me talking to other people on the service in the first place. I am more of an accidental early adopter here. I usually prefer going in once the place is settled. That is why I rarely return to a lot of places like Pinterest which I got invited to fairly early on but was bored to tears by the joint. Or Twitter (still boring as anything) Or now the New MySpace. I barely go there because it is a confusing place (makes this place look much more intuitive by comparison). I like things to be relatively simple to use and make sense. 

That is why I love this place, after the initial circle confusion, it has been the simplest most intuitive network I have seen. 
+John McLachlan it might be the end of the "independent" world of Google+.
+Carter Gibson a lot of opinions I agree with you. In  +Ronnie Bincer's post is a short explanation from +Vic Gundotra and from my point of view it is something between Advertising, SUL and Support for the Google+ Community. Because the book is for free and it it "sold" as an Help Book for Googlers it is not suitable to make real conclusions. Some more examples would help to understand the system behind...
+M Monica well said. 
+Vic Gundotra we looking forward to further examples. This no advertising, promotion banner is a very interesting topic. Thank you:)
The point isn't to criticize the content of the book which is admittedly good for new users. The issue is about ads, what they are, and the expectations we had about them. I echo +M Monica wholeheartedly 
There are two ads right now on my stream page...  you might like  f3v3r Magazine (??????) and You might like NOD3x (?????????????) neither are the slightest bit relevant nor have I ever heard of either. Why is Google recommending these?
+Jaana Nyström it tells us that +Carter Gibson is not a bot;) He is a human and from that point emotions are normal. In this comment stream there are slightly different opinions and it shows us that this topic is a very difficult for Google... 
I never said anything bad about the content of What the Plus +Jaana Nyström and thought my post did a successful job addressing the topic of advertising and promotion rather than the book itself, though I am admittedly not impressed with getting an email from Guy to BUY his other book. But again. Not about the book's content :) this is a topic worth talking about and I love the different opinions. 
After some thought about this, and going back and reading some of the interviews with G+ staff over the past year, with their sometimes clearer, sometimes more ambiguous statements about ads on Google+, here's my take:

1. I think it will be a long time (I won't say never) before we'll see open-to-anyone-who-will-pay ads on Google+. I think this for these reasons:
  a) Google+ is enjoying it's reputation as the ads-free social network, especially as Facebook and Twitter scramble to cover every available inch of their spaces with ads.
  b) Google is not under the pressure that those other social networks are to monetize in their social space. For the competitors, their own space is all they have. They have to put ads there. Google has plenty of other places to put ads. Not only that, but I would contend that since the privacy policy update earlier this year and the continued integration of all Google products with G+, that G+ pays its way for Google in the rich data and connected user experience that helps enhance their targeted advertising on Search and elsewhere.

2. That said, I think we will see from time to time "promotionals" in the sidebar like this one, but they will not be placed for payment, and they will be promoting people or things relevant to Google+, as Guy's book is.
+Pam Adger I just looked and I have you might like travel and auto. One is an ad for Infiniti cars. I might not like that since I can't drive.
Hmm I am still completely ad free (if we are discounting page and people 'suggestions' )
+Mark Traphagen a very optimistic view about the needs of listed companies. Quarterly financial information are the bar and who knows exactly the influence they have on the decisions of Google...
+M Monica - No, you want to see me go balistic, you tune into the show tonight. {: This has been on the topic list since earlier this week when +Ronnie Bincer first pointed it out. And the item right after it is about AdSense and Google+ Pages.

I'd go for the "help guide" argument more if it wasn't for the fact that Google+ has a help guide. You can conveniently find it by... um... er... oh yeah! Under the Gear icon. Highly intuitive.

+Rory Swan - Where did they say ads were coming? In the interview that +Bradley Horowitz conducted where he ridiculed Facebook for having them? In +Christian Oestlien's announcement earlier this week about how AdWords Express would "only show these promotions where they're appropriate - not overwhelming people with random ads when they're trying to spend time with friends"?

Don't get me wrong. The book is great. I highly suggest it. I even think its not inappropriate for Google to suggest it or Guy. But I think there are better ways to do so that are more "plus-like" than how this was done.
+Allen Firstenberg  re: ads coming (or not). I tend to agree with you. While you can't really find any explicit statement from a Google rep saying "no ads, absolutely none, never, ever," you do find these statements being highly critical (and even mocking) of other social networks that do have ads right in their streams. For me that reinforces my inclination that they will put off showing ads for a long time...OR they will find a creative way to do less-intrusive ads (maybe something like Facebook's Promoted Posts?)
+Frank Schulz let's remember they already got through one stockholder meeting cycle without having to monetize G+. I'd be curious to know if they are educating stockholders on how G+ benefits the revenue stream without showing ads on it (which I believe it does)
+Mark Traphagen - I'm not actually opposed to ads. I think the real Google innovation was being able to deliver advertising that was relevant to us in a non-obtrusive way. That is the win-win that we've come to expect from Google.

But the WhitespaceBar isn't that. The space is minimally relevant, and not a day goes by that I don't see someone talking about how it delivers contra-relevant stuff.
One thing I noticed, is it really an ad? Usually ads should surround it self with some text like "Sponsored", "Advertised", etc . Sooner or later they are going to do what Facebook did with sponsored stories, it is just a matter of time.
+Seth Goldstein and I wrote what I think is an absolutely brilliant book on Google Plus and then decided not to publish it.  Let the Marking Mavens, Google Gurus and Social Media Experts enjoy the sun.  I will continue to help people where I can.  I was amused to see that Guy, even after having written a book, was having trouble navigating around a hangout a while back.  He is a great person, I am sure it is a lovely book.  +Carter Gibson why don't you get off your ass and tell the story of how to build a community in the new contextual two way media that we have in front of us.  I think you would do a great job.
Ugo Cei
Big drama about nothing. The so-called ad is (or should I say was? I can't see it anymore) a direct link to the PDF. Google and +Guy Kawasaki are giving you a present for Christmas and you complain? What has the world come to?
And now, our rage spent, we clusterfuck ourselves back into complacence. 
Proving to once again that all google has to do is keep their mouths shut for a few hours, and we will go away.
+Ugo Cei they gave us the equivalent of last year's socks or tie. ;)
Oh, and I stand by that even though something is helpful and free it can still be advertised. 
+John VanRoekel I am following you just for that comment...I hope you post shit publicly. 
+Rory Swan there was more from Vic in that interview:

"We will show ads when they are searching or restaurants, not when they socialize that there’s a good restaurant with their family.

"We closely track user behavior. Cannon came out with a new camera. Previous if you searched we would show you articles. But if you use Google plus what we surface is commentary about the new camera, if someone in your circles who’s a cannon enthusiast mentions it we will show that."

First of all, keep in mind that this is from a live blog of an interview. It is NOT a transcript. So at any point we have to allow that the blogger might have unintentionally misprepresented or left out an important clarifying word or phrase.

That being said, what we have here still does not make it crystal clear to me that we are going to have ads in Google+ in the way that everyone seems to assume (i.e., Facebook ads: always there in the sidebar and only vaguely relevant). Rather it sounds to me like G+ might implement a plan to only show you an ad at certain very relative moments, when the context of what you are saying in G+ shows that you are in a "moment of intent."

Notice his example about the Canon camera. That sounds to me like he's saying that they will show you promoted (i.e., paid to show) Google+ content in SEARCH relevant to the camera when you are searching for a new camera, because they know (from Google+) that you and your friends have been talking about the new Canon camera. 

Of course, maybe Vic is talking about ads inside Google+. (It's hard to know because, once again, this is not a transcript, just a condensation, and also remember that Vic thinks of G+ and Google as very much one thing.) But let's say he is. So maybe the idea here is that because you and your friends are talking about Canon cameras, Google would insert into your stream a paid-to-promote content post by Canon. That would be less like an ad and more like something that might actually be useful to you.

This would be way more effective than Facebook's method of targeting ads, which depends mostly on static information (what you've liked and what's in your profile). It looks like Google+ is planning to target based on what you're actually talking about; what you're saying you're interested in. Of course, some will consider that extra creepy ;-)
Dude (+Carter Gibson ) you've been a little agitated lately.  It's Christmas/Chunukauhahha/Spaghetti Monster Season.  Do I need to send you some spirits or that really good cough medicine?

Holla back.
Ugo Cei
Yes +Aaron Wood, but if you don't appreciate it don't download it. Complaining about free stuff is not that elegant.
And by the way, if that link is an ad, so are all my pictures I post here that you can download for free.
+Ugo Cei I can choose not to see your pictures. I cannot choose whether or not I want to see that ad.
Ugo Cei
Excuse me, I didn't realize your eyesight could be offended by the mere sight of a link to a free eBook, +Aaron Wood. I will tell Vic to be more considerate of your sensitivity. I will also refrain from posting my photos to any community that you might be a member of ;)
+Rory Swan Wow - Speak your mind...I love how blunt you are - besides one word in that - boom, boom, boom....
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal.  Perhaps carve?
+Rory Swan Your boob sucking statement would have held more weight if you hadn't left out the other part of what Vic said because it didn't fit your opinion....
+Rory Swan did you see my last comment above with the rest of Vic's statements from that interview? What do you think of my take on it?
+Ugo Cei, you do that. :) Also, I'm not a member of any communities, so go ahead and post whatever you'd like. ;)
+Rory Swan I am not disagreeing with your opinion....only that you chose to show +Allen Firstenberg a piece that fit your opinion. He might have not researched further and gone on the show tonight without all of the facts. Taking that piece out of context is what I disagree with...not your opinion about Google. 
Haha I'm allowed to be agitated. Blame Instagram and ads! And besides +Jim Preis most of my posts are still happy and Secret Santa is feel good all the time awesome time :) 
My point is on my head.
So, I read the thread. I didn't know that G+ was supposedly going to be ad free. If so, promises mean nothing in a post. Show it in writing with a privacy policy, or updated TOS or something. That's my take on the matter.

As far as the book, it doesn't bother me personally, because I know in my heart that ads and monetization are the engine of social media. This is moreover a matter of ethics and I personally don't see anyone as a friggin "evangelist" like someone is holier than thou on G+. I just see another person. Other people see him that way, I don't. That's the problem; he's "untouchable" or something. If the book helps, then advertise it. Just don't put it in my stream, and suggest other books beside it---people that aren't suggested users and may not be the next coming of Messiah. Don't put anything personal which I didn't +1 on the web when I was logged into Google. Maybe they can have a featured space with different arts and such that all g+ peeps can advertise on. Who knows. Just don't be frigging annoying. I prefer no ads at all, but I know that will never happen.

Oh man. I just listened through the actual recording of Guy Kawasaki's chat with +Vic Gundotra at SXSW. Everyone has been going off some very sketchy live blog quotes, but what Vic actually said is very clear and not what people think. I'm writing a blog post about this now that I will publish soon.
+Mark Traphagen I listened/watched that interview as well... and I got to be in a hangout with Vic (in his home) where Vic told me directly "Nobody wants ads in their social space!" when I asked him if the #WhiteSpace  would be used for ads... that was the day the WhiteSpace got rolled out.
Listening to the interview, I realized that people who believe that Vic had said "there will be ads in Google" were really misled by the unclear grab quotes in the live blog of the event often cited (and linked to earlier in this thread). When you listen to the whole thing it is so stunningly, crystal clear that Vic is saying NO to ads in the G+ stream. He's saying exactly what I've been saying all along: Google+'s "ads" are in Google Search! How does that work? Because if you use G+ and are logged in when you search, you get personalized recommendations from friends and experts you follow on G+. If I'm following Vic correctly, he's saying that they believe those recommendations so improve your search when you are in the "moment of intent" of making a purchase, that Google search becomes more useful to you, and thus their ad revenue goes up.

From all the way back in July 2011 I said this is why there did not ever need to be paid ads on G+, and now I feel vindicated. Now back to that blog post!
+Mark Traphagen isn't ads in the stream different than ads in the white space? I have issues with the former, not the latter. 
I'm a walking, talking SUL ad!!!
+Mark Traphagen Forgive me for being unforgivably dumb, but if you, for instance, or +Ronnie Bincer or +Carter Gibson or anyone else were to have a book that you thought was useful to Google Plussers...could you put it where GK put his???
+Rory Swan forgive my wording...I understand...I only meant that I don't think anyone else would have the same privilege as GK.  I don't know whether that makes it an Ad or not.  I feel so odd writing this, because I don't believe this is the case...but if I (or you) were to send out a post advertising something all over the place, isn't that what some people call spam?  In every other way we have choices...we can uncircle...we can block...but this is different.  On some websites this would be "paid" advertising to have such a privileged spot...
I find it odd that people vilify anyone on G+ who is successful or popular. There are a few people who I think are completely undeserving of Google's promotion or placement on the SUL but I figure their personalities will eventually be the yardstick by which they are measured. Life is inherently unfair and Google decision makers have the right to play favorites if they want. It happens all day long. Quit whining about doesn't exist....
+Pam Adger I think people are just trying to figure out what the policy is or isn't...which they have a right to understand...
Policy...this isn't about's about people being butt hurt because someone got special treatment. Policy may have been the original intent of this thread but that isn't what it is now. And did anyone go and read the TOS? Does it even mention ads or the lack thereof?
+Rory Swan well clearly there is something going on here and I think +Carter Gibson raises a valid point in general about what is or isn't advertising, what is promotional/what is self-promotional, where it goes/where it doesn't.  As +Pam Adger points out, life isn't fair...and therefore it is entirely fair for anyone to query about it.  I think it's part of what G+ is...
+Mark Traphagen Thanks. It's an excellent post and hits all the key issues. They're making money on ads already, so I don't see any compelling financial reason to need them on G+.
Exactly +M Mallory - this may go down as one of the most brilliant moves in marketing ever. 
Harvest Data here...
             Sell it over there...
Basic Farming Methodology
Well +Rory Swan lets each buy a hat and some day one of us will have to eat theirs ;-)

For purposes of definition: by ads I'm meaning space that is open to virtually anyone to pay to put a message with a call to action. That's what I'm saying we won't see in the Whitespace.

I won't rule out some ability of pages to pay to promote themselves, but the ads I'm ruling out are ones that can pay to promote non-gplus products or services. 
Great article +Mark Traphagen and understandable to those of us who don't speak the lingo.  BTW...I have a big hat collection, including some I'm not crazy about, which I freely offer up for future hat eating...
I read this whole thread, and I'm still trying to figure out what I did wrong.  What I think I did was write a good book about using Google+ that Google decided to give to users to help them get the most out of Google+.

By the way, if any of you want to write a book, have I got something for you to read: APE.

I'm sleeping just fine in case you're wondering...
+Guy Kawasaki you didn't do anything wrong...people are just trying to figure out what the policy is about ads/products/promotion/marketing on this platform we think belongs to us!  We claim ownership of it!
This is just another cloning of a feature of Facebook that drove people to g+ in the first place. We didn't want AD spam there & we don't want it here.
Be different Google. Stop copying Facebook. You are far better than that
+Ivo Bozic No it's not. It's just one little promo by Google+ of a free Google+-related book. It is not open ads. Go try to buy a ad in the Whitespace. You can't. Then read my post linked in my previous comment. There will never be Facebook style ads here. 
+Mark Traphagen .. no one cares if it is limited to search .. that's your perogative whether or not you wish to search for a product. If I don't want ads in my stream or whitespace but get them anyways .. that will piss me off. I as many others WILL start looking for a network that is not a mere copy of Facebook
+Ivo Bozic maybe we're losing something in the language difference, but I'm having a hard time following what you're trying to argue. The point of my post is to demonstrate that Google+'s highest officials have made it clear that they will not be advertising in the Whitespace because they don't need to. You are exactly right that it is my "prerogative whether or not [I] wish to search for a product." And Vic and Brad in the interviews I cite both agree that that is the right time to show you an ad, not when you are just being social.
Obviously some of you are pretty offended by this apparent advertising.
I'd be curious to know how folks feel about the advertising technique whereby someone gets the chance to "win" someone, but only if they share a post advertising some service or product, effectively resulting in people spamming their own circles. the last one I saw is this:

Grand Opening of INSIVITY.COM + $2000 GIVEAWAY

I am incredibly happy to announce the official launch of Insivity ( Insivity stands for "Insane Inspiration and Creativity" and consists of a collaborative effort from some of the most talented and inspirational photographers, graphic designers and illustrators in the world who are here to share their knowledge and passion with all of you...for free!

Aritsts include:
+Jeremy Cowart +Chris Burkard +Elia Locardi +Ken Kaminesky +Richard Bernabe +Catherine Hall +Dean Bradshaw +Patrick Di Fruscia +Jay Patel +Varina Patel +Alan Shapiro  +Brian Matiash  and many many more.

As part of this grand opening, we are giving away a Wacom Cintiq 22HD tablet (MSRP $1999) to one lucky winner. All you have to do is sign up for the Insivity newsletter ( and reshare any one of our announcements on Google+, Twitter or Facebook.

To me getting this in my stream repeatedly this seems much more intrusive than a little graphic on the corner of my screen.
Just my opinion. Thoughts anyone?
I say this. I think the link to a free book that shows you how to use Google+ is not as annoying as the author of this post makes it out to be. for those upset over the idea that someone like +Guy Kawasaki got special treatment you may want to use more logic. Who else would Google promote if its not someone who not only uses Google+ but wrote a book about how to use it. If you feel left out then write a book about Google+, otherwise stop whining.

+Ivo Bozic I think you need to take that tin foil hat off. Hows about you accuse Google of doing something after they do it and not make assumptions because you know what they say about people who assume. 

+Mark Traphagen Excellent article. Now if people only made the effort to educate themselves before they spew silly comments they apparently know nothing about then maybe things would be a lot better around here. 

And my last point. Maybe Google did make it sound as if they would not put ads on here. But then again we don't own Google, Google+ or anything else around here so Google can say and do what they want when they want and if you don't like it you have the ability to delete you account and move on. If you had the power to move from Facebook to Google+ you can do the same thing and find another site that makes you happy. But you need to get out of your head that you somehow think you have been violated in some way when using a "free" service. Free, dont forget that. It's free. But honestly stop this whining already. Especially when the reason for the whining is insignificant that it makes no sense why all the whining in the first place.

Get over yourselves. 
How is this any different than meeting +Guy Kawasaki on the street and having him say, "Here, take this free book".

I really don't think that anyone would flip out and start whining and texting all their friends about the horrible man handing out free books on the street.

Most people would either say thanks and accept the book or no thanks and politely walk away.

I'm just glad I don't have to wait for the chance that he'll be handing out free books on my street.  All I have to do is click, download and read.

And if I get the chance, show my gratitude.
Personally, I don't think it is an ad. I think G put it there as a manual for those who want it. 
What I don't understand, though, +Carter Gibson, why would you be made at Guy. He didn't put it there. He doesn't have to explain it. Google put it there. You should ask them for an explanation. I think this rage is misplaced.
+David Belliveau .. It's massively different as on the streets  you can tell Guy to go get stuffed & never see him again .. On G+ that book plug just stays in your face ..
Lynch him!  Hang'em from the hightest tree.  The scoundrel.
Omg enough it was a tiny ad or whatever. It's a free service. Do you honestly think Google isn't going to monetize Google+? Do you want this to be around then there needs to be $ for Google in it.

Honestly good ads that are relevant and non-obtrusive shouldn't be that bad. Honestly nothing is free. Especially Google stuff. 
I think the salient point in this is that the lower right hand corner of the home page is a great place to get +Carter Gibson's attention. I myself never would have noticed the 'ad' because I mentally block out the entire whitespace because there is nothing useful ever there. 
I've thrown in the occasional ad, trying to promote myself.  No one noticed.  : )  Damn that guy, "GUY" What's he got I ain't?  
+M Monica don't forget they need to open profiles to non-human entities. I am reasonably sure only one out of 5 FB profiles are actual humans. Of those many are the same humans under different aliases. FB isn't even in the same league as Google. I think people sometimes forget which one is the underdog. 
Throwing my hat in the ring with +Cliff Roth , +Carmelyne Thompson and +Jaana Nyström (among other). +Guy Kawasaki didn't pay for the placement, and his book is free and incredibly useful for people. As others said before, don't see how this differs from the SUL - +Google+ making suggestions to users for things they think (whether we all agree or not) would enhance the user experience. 

And on another thread of discussion above, if people haven't seen all of +Aaron Wood's work, they should check out his Etsy site ( - he's a G+nius. And no, that was not an ad, I'm just an +Aaron Wood evangelist ;). 
Actually +Allison Sekuler .. that was an ad that's as annoying as any other. No one asked for it so stop pimping shit no one wants to hear about
+Tri Do Where in the world did you get the idea that Guy is being paid by Google for each download? Nowhere does he say anything like that.
Tri Do
+Mark Traphagen. Sorry if I had interpreted Guy's words incorrectly: "an act of kindness and generosity by Google..."
+Tri Do - think he just meant he thought it was nice of Google to put a link to his book there for folks to get it for free. 
Tri Do
+Allison Sekuler , Thanks for correction. I didn't know his book is free everywhere.
+Allison Sekuler Thanks for the comments. My book is for sale on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play as well as in bookstores as a printed book. It is not free everywhere. It's free only here.

Google, in order to help people use Google+, is providing it for free as an ebook. The nature of this arrangement between Google and me is confidential.

I am amazed by the anger this offer has created. I view this, however, positively because it means that Google+ has reached a mainstream standing when such a discussion occurs. 
+Guy Kawasaki, most of the people angry with this are the old guard. You know, the same people that were all in the beta back in the "good old days." ;)

Not exactly mainstream. :)
Thanks +Guy Kawasaki - just saw it for sale in the international lounge of Toronto's airport a few weeks ago -  The folks on G+ are lucky to be able to get a free copy.

Edited my comment above to rephrase more precisely :)

+Tri Do - see Guy's comment for clarification - not free everywhere, just through that link
+Guy Kawasaki I thought it was a link to buy your book. Google confuses me...I already own it and it is a great resource. 
+Chuck Cortes .. I said when the ridiculous Whitespace came that ads were coming .. This is not a new thought I conjured as a result of the book promo .. Come back to this post when paid ads inundate your space with shit you don't want to see .. You call it accusation .. I call it foresight ..
Google never said it will not place Ads,it just said they don't have to completely depend on Ads here unlike other networks.
Being on SUL is similar to this kind of promotion and I remember you thanking google for this.
Say and preach the same.
I couldn't get past the Crapple propaganda on page one.
Here's what I said on Guy's reshare of this post. Consider it a closing argument of sorts :)

There are a lot of opinions about this topic. Mine is different than +Guy Kawasaki's. The comments on my thread both agree and disagree with the comments here. Personally I consider it a promotion, paid for or not, free book or paid. Do I think it's helpful? Yes, absolutely. Did I feel that Google broke my expectations of it by featuring a product and not "Someone I might know" or a Community I should join? Yes, absolutely. Would I have been as upset if Guy didn't send me an email on EvanG+ asking me to buy another one of his books? No.

In the end my disappointment is both in you, Guy, for sending me that email after assuring me that EvanG+ wasn't for that and in Google for putting a product in the sidebar. It's unfortunate that it was yours Guy, but I would have made the exact same post about any product.
What an interesting read: I went through all the comments here.

I'm a Finn and so I'm blunt in what I say, apologize already in advance.
This is meant to be just an example.
In Finland we have a saying:
First take the log out of your own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to take the speck out your brother's eye.

A comment from Carter earlier on this thread:
- Haha I'm allowed to be agitated. Blame Instagram and ads! And besides +Jim Preis most of my posts are still happy and Secret Santa is feel good all the time awesome time :)

+Carter Gibson the Secret Santa stuff that I keep seeing in my stream is starting to get on my nerves.
I don't really know what it's all about and I feel bad because in a way I think I should participate in some way.

Tell me, does it include Amazon in some way? If I have understood correctly (tell me if I haven't):
Is this initiative not, in fact a nice ad and more revenue for Amazon?
How does your message differ from the Google / Kawasaki message?
I'm sure you'd be more than happy to see Secret Santa suggestion somewhere, denying it is useless. :-) Sour grapes? 
You being on the SUL, should you not refrain from promoting your stuff, like you chastised Kawasaki doing in his email of APE?

But, that's what every marketer / Plusser does if you sign up for their email.
I could mention a few.

The difference is, Kawasaki's book is actually very helpful even if the UI has changes because it teaches you about the IDEA of Google+ and how to use it to your advantage. And it's free here, for us. Elsewhere you have to pay for it.

I'm really sorry if I'm out of line here, just trying to understand.
Don't take this personally please, Carter! :-)
This is all good.  What I love is that when I went to bed last night the convo was strong and when I woke up this morning the convo is still strong.  To me it speaks to all of the reasons that I signed up from the get-go: to have a wide-ranging, unfettered, civilized conversation with diverse people about anything and everything that invites agreement and disagreement alike.  For me, as a writer and designer the most important thing is the opportunity to make the platform as much my own "home" as is possible here.  We are all G+ evangelists, including those who dissent and are accused of complaining.  Agreement and support are essential.  Dissent is vital.  Without it ambivalence is sure to follow and where there is ambivalence there is nothing interesting.  Whatever anyone 's opinion is, there ain't no ambivalence to be seen here.  Thank God for that.  Onward to 500.
+Rory Swan That's exactly what I was wondering about:
Who gets money from the actions of Secret Santa?
Is it bad or good, should we let them?

Or should we say:
Nay - don't advertise on Google+!

People living in glass houses should not cast any stones.
Point of clarification, no one, other than Amazon, of course, is making money off Secret Santa. We have not set it up as an Amazon affiliate in any way.
People who only spout platitudes should be banned from the Internet. 
+Michael Baker As that is clearly aimed at me, I might as well say that people who post no original content should be banned from the internet.
Ho Ho Ho +Tom Moncho and everyone else.  I don't know why, but this post makes me smile.  See what you hath wrought +Carter Gibson?  You little Christmas devil, you...
I noticed that several people mentioned something about ads in their streams. What you see in your stream is based on who you circle so if you are seeing ads you don't want to see than perhaps you need to be more discerning with whom you circle. 
+Cliff Roth what do they mean by "ads in their streams"? Spam? They certainly aren't paid ads.
+Mark Traphagen hold on, I will have to skim through the comments. I might be just hallucinating it or remembering wrong. 
+Cliff Roth I've read through the whole thing. I think you're thinking of people who mentioned seeing other types of promos or suggested thingys in the Whitespace, similar to the Kawasaki promo.
+Mark Traphagen i believe you are right. One of these days I will learn not to comment on zero sleep. 
+Mark Traphagen as soon as I learn it. Maybe Google will suggest a book with the cure in the whitespace.....
Only 139 comments left people. Use them wisely!
The average person does not & will not read a manual to use any product. If Google think that new people need this book, then they made this network too complex to use. A few tips on an official g+ resource page should be all you need for noobs. The rest they should be able to figure out themselves. Software Design 101 ..
If you don't want ads of any kind move to the Arctic circle...You won't see any there...This just in, Google and Facebook are in business to make money.  What is the monthly fee you're paying to you use Facebook and Google+? Exactly...Come on, back to earth...
If people think Google is planning to make money from Google+ with traditional ads they are mistaken :) 
Fascinating thread to read through. 

+M Monica  - I know I have been super quiet over the last few months here (for a variety of reasons) but I just wanted to say that I loved every one of your comments here. Well stated. 
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