Burying the Google+ ‘ghost town’ myth once and for all: An open letter to the tech press.

Dear technology press, 

The brain-dead myth that Google+ is a ghost town is getting really old. It’s time to stop repeating a dumb and unexamined claim. 

It seems like nobody has the time or attention span to think anymore, so I’m going to break it down into a simple bullet list. 

The facts you’re missing are these: 

* The main metric for comparing Google+ and Facebook “engagement” is the number of public posts. 

* This is a false metric because Facebook makes posts public by default and Google makes posts private by default. 

* Most users don’t change the defaults. So most Facebook users post publicly (without knowing it) and most Google+ users post privately (without knowing it).

* Most Facebook posts are public, and therefore measurable by the “studies” ONLY because Facebook makes them public by default. 

* Most Google+ posts are not public, and therefore NOT measurable by the “studies” ONLY because Google makes them private by default. 

* Google could suddenly become very active in terms of public posts by simply making all posts public by default. 

* Google’s default is more respectful of users’ privacy. Yet the “ghost town” myth that you keep repeating is punishing Google for doing the right thing. 

So please stop repeating the same dumb claim over and over again. When you see comparisons between Google+ and Facebook engagement levels, all you’re seeing is Facebook’s cavalier attitude about user privacy. 

Love, Mike

(Pic props: The Friendly Ghost (1945) )
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