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The New View-to-Follower (V2F) Ratio on Google+

With the rollout of the new "views" count on Google+ (see this short explanation by +Jaana Nyström, Google is now giving us visibility on the sum of your profile, post and photo views since October 2012.

One of the first questions people are now asking is what to make of the "view-to-follower" ("V2F" for short) ratio that is now possible to calculate. I'm guessing it won't be long before +CircleCount incorporates this into its excellent data slices, and that as a result, this ratio will become quite visibly associated with each of our profiles and pages. 

So, what does it mean?

My V2F ratio is 118, which is to say that I have 118 views for every follower. I've taken the liberty of pulling up a decidedly un_scientific sampling of people, which you'll see below, just to give me an anecdotal feel for what this V2F ratio _might mean. 

Here are some initial observations:

1 )  *Good Content*: This new views metric is aimed at generating more content on Google+. That's really clear. You can look at famous people, and if they're not regularly sharing good content, their views are relatively low. That really shows up with the V2F ratio. My guess is that Google with use some variant of this metric to start applying subtle pressure on those profiles that are being "featured" on Google+ but aren't applying much energy. 

2) Consistent Quality: Scan the list below and you will find that those with higher scores tend to be people whose posts get frequently and regularly shared - usually because they're good. That does not mean that those with lower scores had lower quality, however. I'm puzzled by why some very high quality contributors ended up with lower scores (though there are a couple of explanations below). Note that one thing I didn't look closely enough at, which I might later, is whether people who are regularly sharing animated gifs, quotes, etc. have higher scores. The small sample I did look at suggest, yes, they do, and that it may having something to do with how easy it is to share that kind of content here. Bottom line is that it appears sharing is the big driver here, and possibly having comments from a variety of people, no matter how light they might be. There is a question about whether posts that generate in-depth conversations from a smaller set of people have that same effect. 

3) Photos Score: Photographers tended to get fairly high scores, which makes sense as G+ is so visually-oriented. Photographer Nate Parker scored the highest V2F ratio that I saw at over 11,000. I'm still wondering if that one was a bug because it's so very, very high. 

UPDATE: There are some odd things happening with images and the new view metric. Images on Blogger can point to Google+ albums, so there are several cases where very popular bloggers who use Blogger in this way have very high V2F ratios. In other (rare) cases, Google is using the works of certain photographers as splash screens on Chromecast and that is driving huge numbers of views of the image, which are counted in the Google+ view. 


UPDATE: It's looking quite clear that views of one's videos posted on YouTube do not count in the total Google+ views figure. You can see this by looking at extremely popular YouTube channels that regularly have millions of views per video, but may only have a total of one or two million views here on Google+ profile. The only video views that count appear to be those from videos you share here on Google+. 


4) Being Featured Can Hurt: In a couple of cases, there were people with very high quality content, whose material gets regularly shared, but whose ratio is relatively low because they'd seen large growth in their follower counts in recent months. In other words, their views hadn't yet had a chance to catch up with their new follower counts. 

5) Commenting Still the Unsung Hero: Again, all this is anecdotal, but there are people who are excellent commenters on other people's posts, whose V2F ratio doesn't seem commensurate with the contributions they're making to this community. This is something that Google needs to address more broadly. 

6) Fame is a Curse: Well, it's all relative when it comes to this particular ratio, but famous people just seem to have a hard time and had all of the very lowest V2F ratios I ran across. While I didn't include them in the listing below, I also ran calculations for a half dozen or so people with followings in the 200-1000 range and the ratios were generally fairly high (1325, 381, 675, 270, 605, and 23). 

7) Hiding Numbers: In many cases, people hide their follower numbers so that it is impossible to calculate a V2F ratio. Once people learn that they can also hide their view numbers, that numerator may disappear in some profiles as well. 

OK. Those are just some short, and very preliminary, takeaways about what this new Views to Followers (V2F) ratio might mean. And, yes, I'm probably drawing way more conclusions here than are warranted. ;-)

Below is the raw data. For those who are listed below, please excuse my using you as part of the sample. I really hope you don't mind. Numbers are numbers and there are all kinds of explanations for them.  

And again, to be clear, this sampling wasn't scientific and wasn't even meant to be. I'll leave that to the Circle Count folks and maybe to +NOD3x

I just added a separate, new post going into why I think this ratio matters:
Hint: it has to do with ensuring opportunity in this network. 



+Trey Ratcliff: 598
+Victor Bezrukov: 32
+Michael Bennett: 275
+Daniel Schwabe: 170 
+Michael Bonocore: 202
+Nate Parker: 11,030 (not a typo)
+Sandra Parlow: 56
+Mark Traphagen: 227
+David Amerland: 53
+Denis Labelle: 47
+Mark Bruce: 1033
+Carmelyne Thompson: 228
+Jaana Nyström: 103
+Fraser Cain: 17
+Linda Dee: 477
+Dunken K Bliths: 378  
+Kevin Kelly: 19
+Meg Tufano: 36
+George Station: 20
+Vic Gundotra: 17
+Susanne Ramharter: 111
+John Kellden: 257
+Peter H. Diamandis: 5
+Jeff Sayre: 30
+Steve Faktor: 76
+Rajini Rao: 59
+Bruce Marko: 708
+Giselle Minoli: 36
+Wayne Radinsky: 423
+John Hagel: 79
+Jack C Crawford: 72
+Alireza Yavari: 78
+martin shervington: 122
+A.V. Flox: 14
+pio dal cin: 129
+Leland LeCuyer: 62
+Lee Smallwood: 215
+William Shatner: 7
+Mark Wahlberg: 9
+Rosa Golijan: 51
+Keith Urban: 2
+Nancy Pelosi: 13
+Al Gore: 2
+Sen. Rand Paul: 10
#engagement   #googleplus   #views  
Rυмι “Aya” Oтonaѕнι's profile photoSarah Joyce's profile photoQuentin House's profile photoBoris Loukanov (Борис Луканов)'s profile photo
I am not a long-time member of G+ and am not in lots of circles so how can I possibly have more than 24 million views? Does this include my blogs, too? I am really curious.
Wow, +Jane Peppler, that would put you at a V2F ratio of 32,490 which is by the highest of anything I've seen. So, it seems strange to me. 

+Eddie Kessler - since you announced this today, could this be a bug that Jane is seeing? 
An outstanding summary +Gideon Rosenblatt! I noticed that a views to follower ratio would be important, but you've really helped solidify that thought just now. 
+Gideon Rosenblatt a lot of us are looking at those ratios tonight. 

BTW, some of the factors you mentioned should be listed as possible correlations, but not causes, of the view count. We now have confirmed from Google that "views" are of profiles, photos and posts, no matter where they appear. Comments and plusses aren't counted in views. 

Posts get a "view" any time they show up on someone's screen in a stream, even if the person just scrolls past them. Photos and profiles, on the other hand, are only counted when they are clicked on and opened.

But here's where engagement is a big factor in your view count: reshared views count too. So if someone shares your post, every view of their reshare counts as a view for you. Also if someone plusses your post and it then shows up as a recommended post to their extended network. Any of those that get seen count as views for you.


I'm most proud that our +Stone Temple Consulting page, with just 2700 followers, has a 240 view ration score.
+Gideon Rosenblatt what a fantastic analysis! For every 5 cents I wanted to put while reading your post, I found your input worth $50 in each consecutive paragraph :-)
Absolutely, +Mark Traphagen. There's no way to show causation with this kind of sample. This is really just me exploring some ideas. 

Thanks for clarifying the bit about photos only being counted when they're opened. I'm assuming that the post in which a photo is shared still gets viewed in the stream, but the photo itself is only incremented when it's actually clicked on. 

The thing about engagement though is that it's not just a question of sharing, though I agree that that is probably the dominant factor here. When I and a bunch of other folks with decent-sized followings comment or plus one of your posts, it increases its relevance to a much broader set of people, thereby increasing the likelihood of it showing up in more people's streams - therefore bumping up the views. Don't you think? 
That's where I got the info I posted above, +Sergey Andrianov 

+Gideon Rosenblatt it's not "relevance" that drives the views so much as the sheer mechanics. A plus on a post qualifies the post to be pushed as a recommended post to the extended network of the person who posted it. Same thing for reshares.

+Yonatan Zunger also confirmed that embedded posts can generate views, as they are an i-frame view of the actual G+ content.

+William Welsh yes, anyone viewing your post in a community would count as a view, as those posts are actually "yours." That is, they actually reside on your profile, but are tagged to appear in the community. So those are legitimate views in a stream. But it would be unrealistic to expect that you will get 50K views from a 50K member community. In most communities only a percentage of the members are active and looking at the community's stream.
Thanks for that link, +Sergey Andrianov. I like this comment from +Yonatan Zunger

On the contrary -- I've found that the very best engagement is the stuff you get from an audience you've curated by hand. Part of the reason this is good is that it keeps people from focusing too much on follower counts (which can be hugely skewed by something like being on the SUL) and gives them a more "real" number they can look at. 

I think that this is what's most useful. I've never been on the SUL, for example -- all my followers came in very organically. And my engagement with them is great, both qualitatively and quantitatively. I'm really happy with it. 

You may find, if you've been building an audience the hard way, that your engagement numbers end up quite good as a result.
My dear +Giselle Minoli , we are unscientifically twins!!!!!

Thanks +Gideon Rosenblatt !  I'm sorry that numbers just never seem to MEAN anything to me!  I try, I really do.  I know, and can teach others, Statistics, Formal Logic, Calculus, Algebra...and I know I should care more, I know there is something I'm missing, but the complete joy I get from someone saying, "Wow!  I didn't realize that!" just overwhelms any kind of number eval.  I am hopeless in this regard!  ;') 

Even though I am a top-notch full-charge bookkeeper (or was, back in the day).  Meaning, I can DEAL with numbers every which way, even dollars and Euros, but . . . I just do not LIKE them!

In other words, some conversations matter more than others.  I remember you honoring me with a name I will not repeat or will sound prideful, but you know what you said and I still love it that you said it.  

I love learning.  I am hopelessly curious about, well, everything.  G+ is a special gift for me.

I rarely post.  Just what has "hit" me during the day that I would like to hear other opinions about.  I have no agenda.  I have very little to sell (but now my novel (Yay!)), and my ability to teach pretty much anything online (or help anyone who wants to teach something online).  That said?  My main joy in life?  Is just learning!

It feels to me its own reward.

I hope your efforts here lead to something to you.  

I appreciate you!
So, I guess my question, +Mark Traphagen, is whether my personal anecdotal experience maps to others' observations or actual data that people have compiled. 

I've noticed that when a post of mine gets a lot of comments, it tends to attract more people. Now, maybe what's happening there is that in addition to getting comments, it's getting plusses and that's what's driving it. 

But when I look at my general stream or even just streams of various circles, the posts at the top tend to be people I engage with the most or posts that have a lot of engagement from people I know. I just always assumed that that was some variant of the relevance algorithms at work. 
I find it disheartening that the inventor of the internet scored a "2." {Chuckles}
+Gideon Rosenblatt I see what you're saying, and that's really a very good observation. You're right. The present G+ stream algo tends to pop posts that are getting high and/or current engagement, such as comments, up to the top of your stream. So of course, those are going to get more views from you. So by an indirect effect of the algo, posts with more comment activity will tend to earn more views.
+Gideon Rosenblatt you all amaze me, and I second, pretty much word for word, my twin in spirit +Meg Tufano. Like her, I want to be motivated by numbers, but I am not. I am motivated by words, by ideas, by the human spirit. My continual worry about stats and any kind of "eval' with regard to how things are measured in this way is that people take it to heart and actually change what they are doing in order to shift the numbers upward for themselves. Do I understand this when it comes to selling something? Of course I do. Were I selling something, might I do the same? I'm not sure. I seem to have a lot of real estate developers and car dealerships and news organizations circling me. If ever there were a person not to circle if you were any one of those three things, it would be me.

But my real point is that I get the impression that the only way to really engage with any of these numbers is if one posts continually all the time. That it really isn't about any one individual person's authenticity it is about frequency...because with frequency comes the chance that there will be more "views," etc. etc. etc. I am truly (and I mean truly) in awe of people who can do that...but what does it say if you can't?

I worry about the subliminal suggestion that this is only valuable, or more valuable if the prime mover is a focus on numbers. a wordsmith...I will never be able to compete with the awesome +Nate Parker and I mean that. Never.

And BTW +Gideon Rosenblatt, I, too, appreciate you. You are a G+ Gem.
My ratio is 784 but I only have 785 followers. I don't post on communities a lot and I get reasonable engagement considering my follower numbers but nothing overwhelming. I suspect most of it comes from a small number of reshared posts by people with huge follower counts. I'd also add that it seems Google's algorithms will dictate this ratio to a large extent since they decide what you see when you click on "All."
Nice analysis, +Gideon Rosenblatt. I'd spend a while experimenting with these metrics, and looking as well at posts, etc.; raw view counts, views per follower, and views per follower per post are all interesting. Once the numbers are available over a longer period of time, you can start to look at things like views per follower per day (taking into account the shift in followers) and get a really good metric of your interaction density -- I suspect that may be one of the most revealing numbers of all.
Another thought you alluded to is that the ratio really has more to do with the activity of your followers than it does to you. If you have ever been on the SUL, you probably have a bunch of followers that don't ever actually look at G+.
1033 doesn't seem too shabby at all ;)
But I'm still torn between thinking this is an April Fools joke again!
I'm at 600 - which isn't too bad I think.   I do think this is of limited utility however, and may even be social manipulation. 
+Gideon Rosenblatt interesting reading and a lot of what you say about interaction etc is pertinent, these numbers, however, are easily skewed.  My V2F would be 1107.  Does this mean I have some great response to my post?  N O T -  it means that I was lucky enough to have one picture get picked up and featured on Picasa Web as a featured photo before Picasa Wed started to be pointed to Google+ albums.  That on picture has approx 25 million views and has skewed the whole system for me.  My normal view per photo ranges from about  500 to 1000 views.  Take all of this with a grain of salt.
Okay, I just checked in to G+. Interesting analysis, +Gideon Rosenblatt. I guess what I post is either not being presented to the Streams of most of my followers (therefore my view count is being suppressed), or most of my followers are seeing my content in their Streams but my content is simply not interesting to them. Either way, this does confirm my suspicions that engagement with my material has been very long for more than a year.

Now I just need to figure out which of these two scenarios is most likely. If it is the former, I have no control over G+'s algos, if it is the latter, then my time is not being well spent here!
+Jeff Sayre This may have to do with the activity of your followers, as well. If you've got a lot of followers who aren't active users, they won't contribute views.

I find that a campaign of going out and commenting on people's posts, having conversations, and so on, tends to roust up a lot more activity.
+Gideon Rosenblatt So the more I think about this, the more I'm inclined to warn people against taking the V/F ratio too seriously. Consider:

* Your number of followers hasn't been constant over time, so if e.g. you recently had an increase in follower count, this ratio will be artificially low.

* If you post 2x as much, then to first order you'll get 2x the V/F ratio. But more posts don't necessarily translate to better engagement. V/(F*P) may be a better metric.

* Your followers may well represent several different populations, with different dynamics -- e.g., if you've been on the SUL and gotten a lot of followers like that, but also built up a lot of followers organically, they're going to have very different behaviors, and a straight V/F ratio will essentially be taking the harmonic mean of the two. 

I think that at this stage, your best bet is to instead look at the aggregate view count (not as a ratio), or perhaps views per post. Once this data has been around for longer and you can start to look at its time structure, you'll find more interesting things still to examine.
I hope this isn't an elaborate April Fools' prank.
+Yonatan Zunger Hum. Thanks for that third scenario (variable). That makes sense. I do place comments in, as well as plus one, a number of people's posts -- daily. I think the ratio of active to inactive users might explain a lot. I wish there were a way to sequester inactive users, those who have not been on G+ at all in the last 4 to 6 months (as an example), from the active users. I think following counts would be radically different, at least for me.

Of course, Occam's razor might need to be applied. In other words, my content is more noise than signal to my followers. If that is the case, I might need to do a George Costanza and start posting the opposite of what I usually do. So, out with the high-quality stuff and in with cat photos! ;-)
ok, so now we have to calculate V/(F*P)  - since none of us have anything better to do.   Where do I find my P?  
+Jeff Sayre I find that +1, reshare, and comment counts are a good indicator for me of which individual posts are most interesting to my readers (as well as the more qualitative quality-of-the-conversation indicator) and so give me a good sense of what will boost readership as well. Then the view counts metric tells me about overall engagement health, in a fashion which effectively eliminates inactive users. It's a good combo. 
+Rob Gordon Hrm. We should really display that somewhere, but I think we don't. Although sites like +CircleCount might.

And I'd say that V/P is probably a better metric than V/F*P.
+Yonatan Zunger What motivated adding this number given that this group, including yourself, seems to have trouble assigning much real value? (I know we've been talking about a ratio but using the raw number is arguably even less valuable.)
+Ross Taylor I've actually found the raw number to be quite useful -- it's a better metric of the overall engagement strength of a profile than follower counts, or +1 counts, or pretty much anything else we've released so far. 

It's the ratios which are troublesome to interpret.
I find all of this fascinating, though much of this I already suspected. I expected photographers would be on the high end, and frequent posters as well. I suppose as I don't post often, but I do work on my content, that has paid off for me, one with relatively few followers. I've always felt good with the engagement I've had with everyone in my circles. I guess this is a bit of validation?

My ratio is 519, if anyone's interested in that sort of thing... (unless I have that formula wrong, which is always possible. ha!)
+Yonatan Zunger Thanks for the suggestion. I used to closely monitor +1s, comments, and reshares. When G+ Communities were still new, I did an extensive analysis and shared my results in this article (now slightly more than a year old) See, Google Plus Communities: Analyzing The Impact On User Engagement (

But G+ has continued to evolve and my article may not be as relevant any more.
+Yonatan Zunger I'm still not convinced. I guess it depends on your definition of engagement but this certainly doesn't seem like a breakthrough way to find the diamond in the rough or anything. Rather, it seems more likely to continue to make it harder to find unique content.

I'm, also, still having a hard time grasping where the numbers come from. My wife, who has never posted publicly on G+, has 140,000 views.
Thanks for the thoughtful responses, +Yonatan Zunger. I'm always so impressed by your willingness to dive into discussions like this. 

I think the main point in all of this is that there will never, ever be one stat that boils down the whole story. Life is just too complex for that, and that goes for online life as well. 

Your first point about jumps in follower counts was something I actually mentioned in the post. It was +David Amerland's ratio that made me take note of that. He routinely gets really big engagement around his posts - but he fairly recently got featured and his follower count grew quite quickly, thereby overwhelming the views as a ratio. 

As to the frequency of posts, that's a really important point. You could crank out a bunch of simple links with no original commentary, but: a) that tends to be lower quality and gets less engagement; and b) that burns people out and you get less engagement. I have no idea what the multiplier would be. But here's just a speculation: let's say that scenario 1) is lower quality, higher frequency posts and scenario 2) is higher quality, lower frequency posts. Let's assume scenario 1 gets 3 plusses and 1.5 comments on average, while scenario 2 gets 30 plusses and 15 comments on average. There's a network effect at work here, which is the key, which is to say that it's not just a 10x multiplier. It's much bigger because for each of those plusses and comments, the post ends up rippling through the network of each of those plussers and commenters, and thereby greatly increasingly the probability of the post being seen in the stream. (I'm not sure I have the mechanics of how the algorithm works right here).

And yes, the power of numbers like a mean or a ratio like this one is that, while it's simple, it greatly distorts much of the richness of what's going on within sub-populations, over time and many other slices. 

I really can't wait to see what +CircleCount  and +NOD3x end up doing with this stuff. And yes too, the "P" would be a great, great addition to the mix. I haven't seen that on CircleCount. Not sure where you'd get that. Also, since these views only go back to Oct '12 (?), that'd have to be taken into account to. So, yeah, being able to take time slices of this will end up being super valuable. 
+Gideon Rosenblatt First off, thanks for including me... And nice analysis.

I've tried to gauge similar metrics, but looking at the ration between total number of followers and comments and comments+reshares.
This new metric takes into account another aspect which has been ignored so far - communities. When you share in a community, the views are counted (+Yonatan Zunger  just confirmed this) , and my guess is that  typically it will come from people outside your follower base. I don't how one could track this...
In fact, it would also be an interesting measure (the "amplification power") of communities. Personally, I've noticed that often I get much more engagement from communities (often with fewer followers than my own follower count!), which I attribute to the fact that the subject matter is better focused to that community's interests.
Finally, another interesting thing to track (but much harder...) would be the relation (if any) with particular types of content and the V2F ratio (would cat photos increase your V2F ration ;-) ?).
+Jane Peppler you deserve every one of those profile views as you are truly a unique spirit on this platform :)
I'm very surprised how many views I have. I've looked at several friends who have many more followers and much better content that gets interacted with more than my own. I don't think either number is very useful though. It should be (views/posts)/followers. 

Just looking at your posts, +Gideon Rosenblatt it looks like you get a lot more interaction. More pluses, comments, shares than most of my own crap (and really a lot of what I post is rubbish). Yet, with more than 2x followers you have about half the views. I think the calculation is either broken or meaningless.
+David Kutcher you are possibly the only person who feels that way but I
thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support!
+CircleCount, thank you. I've just never waited long enough for that to process I guess. Either that or it's just been too long since I really played with the service. Thanks. I have over 1900 posts here. Phew.

Seriously though, can't wait to see what you all do with this. 
If you thought +Nate Parker was impressive, +Bruce Aldrich has over 82,000 views per his 31 followers, and doesn't seem to post anywhere but public. How does this work again? Great nack for hashtags? If you have a badge for your profile on an online magazine, would that up your count?
Great thread. +Gideon Rosenblatt I really like how you and others here are looking at this from complementary perspectives. 
Google should rank us on something else tomorrow - like how many times we use the letter "L" in posts or something.    Give us something to talk about all day
+Gideon Rosenblatt Thanks for this informal yet stimulating look at the new metric. I think this conversation forces us to consider the obvious:

The numbers have meaning, but for many of us the ratio is not the goal. Views don't seem to directly indicate quality of experience. But they have some kind of meaning and will affect what happens next on G+. There's a contradiction or paradox in that. +Yonatan Zunger, can you help resolve this?
+Gideon Rosenblatt I really do think that the profile badge is getting counted. I'm investigating this further. It isn't easy to find though.
+Gideon Rosenblatt I think I had a few highly visible posts that got reshared a few thousand times. I rarely if ever post limited or in communities. I don't share on any other sites even. My facebook is dead, I have a single tweet, I don't have instagram or tumblr or whatever else the kids are into these days. 

+Rob Gordon thanks for the headsup on tomorrow's popularity contest. I've gotten a headstart now ;)
+Gideon Rosenblatt (for when you come back ;-) )
Here is a different issue, one that has irritated me for a while on Google+

There are several people on Google+ who have been improperly  sharing other people's photos in G+. They  download the photo from somewhere (often G+ itself!) and upload back to their own profiles (instead of resharing or including a link to an external website, e.g. 500px).Besides being copyright violations (in most cases), they end up getting all the views. Sometimes they actually include the URL where they downloaded it from in the post's text when it's external. I've checked some, and not surprisingly, they have very high Vs AND V/F ratios. But not on their own merits...
When they reshare, both get a view, but this way only they get it. And when the post is external, should they really be getting a view?
+Daniel Schwabe and how do you know exactly that they took it from another user? Wouldn't the person they took it from be in the best position to determine that?   Also, how exactly do you know that "in most cases" this is a "copyright violation'"?   Where did you get this information?   You make a bunch of incorrect assumptions in your comment - that their views are "not on their own merits".   Unless the photo is yours, it is absolutely none of your business.
+Rob Gordon to be fair, there are people who do this and it's obvious. Linda Dee (long since blocked) is a perfect example of that. She spends her days surfing pinterest for things to copy and share here that she neither created nor gives any credit to her source. It likely is a copyright violation but the odds of the original creator discovering it and making an issue of it is pretty infinitesimal, especially with the low quality content we're talking about 
+Rob Gordon I can tell they took from another user in several ways
1. They say so themselves, even including the url to the original photo in the post's text (not as a link).
2. By doing a reverse image lookup. You can easily find out where the photo was posted, in many cases. If you check the post, they even keep the same filename. Very strong indicator to me...
Indeed the original author is the best person to determine that, if they are aware of it. Very often (I dare say, most of the time), they simple are unaware their work has been copied and shared in this way.
Perhaps "most cases" is an over-statement, but I strongly suspect that, since authors are not aware they photos were copied, they didn't grant a license. And, from my admittedly small sample, the original photo did have a copyright restriction.
My statement about "not on their own merits" is not an assumption, it is an opinion - which, last I checked, I'm entitled to have and voice.
And whether this situation and commenting on is my business or not, that's for me to decide. Thanks for your opinion.
In the US everything you publish automatically had a copyright attached to it. With that simple premise in law, you can sue if people copy your content to compel them to stop copying it. If you register your copyright then you can also sue for damages. You don't even need to put copyright on your images. I stopped putting it on mine -- it was ugly and pointless.
+Sir Holland Rhodes I just had a smear campaign and witch hunt run against me by some of the most despicable people I have ever met - online or off - and it started with the exact same false assumptions you see in that comment i.e. - that I was "stealing" from other members- but I have never done that here - never - not once.  

Then the lies and malicious false accusation just escalated to the point where they claimed I was "promoting child rape"  - this came about because none of their false "copyright" claims would stick so they had to try something new.  I have never come across such despicable in my life.

You just made an accusation about Linda Dee - saying "likely copyright violation" - even if that was your business, which it isn't - you just made that accusation with zero proof.  That is exactly how those dirtbags started with me.
So, you have a million followers and you get a million views.

That gives you a 1.

Do I have this right +Gideon Rosenblatt ?  

You have ONE follower and you have ONE view, and that gives you a 1 too.

And with that great insight into the one area of life that always sort of amazes me at its attraction, I say, adieu . ;')
+Rob Gordon I didn't make that accusation with zero proof, I just didn't share the proof. I used to know her, talk to her quite a bit, and she was very open about how she stole content to gain followers. Ask her, I think she'll admit it. She even used to put it on her posts ("Stolen from Pinterest" or whatnot) but now she just steals without giving credit. But you're right, it isn't my business what she does and I really don't care. I was pointing out the "problem" (if it really is even a problem I'm not sure) is rampant.
+Daniel Schwabe You just said two different things - one "that is is easy to do a reverse lookup" - which it is, relatively - and two - that the "original author is unaware" - well I think not only are they "aware": but they wanted their work to be shared.   They could do those same image searches if they wanted - and contact the posters to have them removed, or better yet put a reference link to there websites.   They don't need you, or any other self appointed Internet police for that.    The assumption you are making that people get follower counts or views by stealing copyright work is just wrong.   You could go to the best photo sites on the web, copy and post copyrighted work all day, and you would be lucky of a few dozen people followed you.   Not everything people do on social media is on the surfaces.
+Sir Holland Rhodes Yes, that is exactly how the witch hunt people worked with me as well - the would take a joke and twist it and before too long I was being accused of having a site called "hot sexy chicks" that I used to mock rape victims.     +Linda Dee always seemed like a nice person to me - she shares things I post and I don't mind a bit-  people use that word "stole" all the time in a light sense - not in the ugly criminal sense you are using.   It is perfectly legitimate to share things from public domain sharing sites - where almost all of the material has been posted by creators with the intention to share.
+Rob Gordon none of my comments about her were intended to paint her as a criminal (in fact, these copyright violations are civil, not criminal) or even a bad person.
+Sir Holland Rhodes ok,   but my experience with this was like nothing else I have ever experienced in my life.   It was like a game of phones - the next person would say something slightly worse based on hearsay, and then the next would say something even worse.  After a point, they would even just make up quotes "Rob Gordon says that 'photographers and artists can go f-- themselves' "     I finally had to get Google involved and filed a harassment complaint - which resulted in nothing more than a few comments being removed from some posts, but the entire incident was extremely damaging, and my only interest in the issue now is helping people victimized by false accusations like this.

Copyright violation is a serious concern, and artists and photographers deserve to have their works protected if that is what they want - but they also have the right to have their works shared if that is what they want and an assumption of illegal behavior shouldn't be made unless you are absolutely positive.
+Rob Gordon Look, I'm not trying to start a smear campaign. I can well imagine the aggravation you had to face, and it's not pleasant. And I have more to do than police Google+ for copyright violations.
 I agree that sometimes it is difficult if not impossible to find the original owner. (as I can see is the case for many of the images you have shared).
 I also appreciate people who do "curatorial" work - there is much value to selecting among the huge quantity of material being made available, and people value that (I presume this is what you are referring to).
What I don't get is why not simply share it by including a link to where you found it? Why go to all the trouble of downloading it and then uploading it to your stream in Google+?
Indeed, if you hover over a photo in your stream, it shows "Rob Gordon's Photo"  - which is inaccurate. Whether it's right or wrong, it shows that Google+ assumes that any photo you post directly to your stream is assumed to be yours.
My whole point is that Google+ provides different ways to share other people's content such that both you and the other person get whatever benefits you expect (followers, views, counts, etc... - to me what each one is expecting is their own business).  I assume anyone who posts something expects something in return...
And my comment was just amplifying Gideon's analysis on possible interpretations for the V/F ratio.
And, if you read carefully what I wrote, I said "_possible_ copyright violation" exactly because I don't know the specific facts. The reason I mentioned it was that there are a lot of people who are simply unaware that there is a copyright, and it is not simply because they find something on the web it's fair game to be copied and reshared. And I did not mention (and hence accuse) any person specifically. As you pointed out, such accusations can only be brought up by the owner themselves, if and when they feel like doing so.
+Rob Gordon Oh I absolutely understand where you're coming from and I certainly can't blame you for taking this kind of thing seriously. Accusations can lead to really terrible situations like it sounds like yours was. 
thank you for the mention !
i have to correct something - this number is not contains the photo views amount.
i can explain if you interesting :-) +Gideon Rosenblatt 
+Daniel Schwabe Since you are already investigating my posts you should know that it has been picked through pretty thoroughly now  - including by IP experts who came to defend me in the whole ugly affair - so I am not sure how to interpret that "as I can see is the case for many of the images you have shared".

As it happens, I get many of my images from feeds, not from website - not that it is anyone's business - and if I use an image intended for social sharing to make some other joke I don't feel obligated to say "found on dump a day" or "banned in Hollywood".

I have heard every permutation of the arguments it is possible to hear at this point but here is the main issue.   With all the "instructions" I received, no one could tell me exactly how much "due diligence" you are supposed to do before you post some stupid joke pic.  You can never be totally certain something doesn't have a copyright violation.  In fact, some photos are marked as copyright and still intended to be socially shared.

So instead of looking at my profile, look at your own - and have not done so so I don't know what you post, but are you 100  percent certain you have never posted something where someone might be claiming a copyright - even the photo on some meme site?   If we put a team of lawyers to look at everything you have ever posted, would they find anything?
+Rob Gordon Feel free to look at my posts yourself. I think we've made our points, and I don't wish to hijack Gideon's interesting discussions. Have a nice evening.
+Rob Gordon due diligence? minimal if any (in fact, legally it's better for you if you don't because then you can rely on the license afforded by the site/feed you found it on)
+Sir Holland Rhodes the people who organized the smear campaign against me didn't understand the laws governing their own profession   Giving attribution, or a source link is polite behavior in some cases, but none of that will protect you legally if you are sued - nor is it even possible to know with complete certitude that something you find on the Internet doesn't have a copyright claim somewhere.  

 In practical terms, it is extremely unlikely that you will be sued for sharing on a social site, and if you were it almost certainly would be thrown out of court unless you are making money off the image.
I can't say for certainty, but it have observed posts with zero engagement (let's call them motivational memes) receive hundreds of plus ones within an hour of posting. It piqued my interest, but it couldn't trace any evidence of foul play. But my suspicion remained that there was a room somewhere with a dozen people with a dozen profiles each, tapping away.
+Jack C Crawford Nah - people give plus ones to that crap.   If we don't remove them right away from the entrepreneurs community people who posted them will whine about how popular they were and complain that we removed it. 
+Gideon Rosenblatt excellent post and there is one more nuance to it. A V2F followers that is disproportionately high (i.e. a massive number of views for a relatively low follower count) is also a good indicator of broad reach. 
The statistics are a bit odd.  I barely have half the number of followers, yet twice the number of views,+Gideon Rosenblatt.  
Can it be something related to posts that made the "What's hot" list or to community posts, somehow?
Like lots of statistical measures applied to people, there may be things that will be true in some way in the aggregate that will not necessarily be valid in any particular case.  While I'm nowhere near Nate Parker-land, feel free to judge me by my 707 V2F ratio as a "good engager" -- but, like +Ron Grooms and others, the number is skewed: one of my photos oddly has more views than I do (because the lightbox view count started a bit before the "October 2012" start date for the new view summary number).  But please don't judge me next year when you see my V2F declining over time because the effect of that one photo is averaged over a larger base :-).  It's always tempting to study the outliers, but I suspect it will be more productive to categorize people according to your interests and to study more homogeneous subgroups while discarding a few of the outliers.
+Gideon Rosenblatt Thanks for the mention  and FYI we're hoping to have our first iteration today ;)
I think my boyfriend +John Hostile may have solved the mystery of why a few select people have insanely high view counts: Chromecast! Apparently having one of your images show up in the Chromecast image stream counts as a view, so people like +Dave Sparks and +Romain Guy and +Patrick Smith have some seriously mega numbers.
I think that this metric is quite useless.
Take a look to this guy
his average is in the order of millions.
Who has a blog on blogger receive a boost. Each photo he upload on a blog post goes to a google+ album, too. And each view there counts for profile views.
+Markos Giannopoulos found other exemples. I'm not sure it's an april fools', it looks to be real, using real data from who knows sources.
It replace +1s, which was an highjackable metric. And it's a more highjackable metric.
Just found this excellent thread +Gideon Rosenblatt. As soon as I saw the new counter yesterday, I immediately thought of this ratio.

I also anticipated the same benefits you mention on the post; virtually all of them -- pointing to a possible way to ascertain quality of the profiles/streams. So, I agree with all you said.

However, I think there is one more point that needs to be in mind regarding this ratio, and its potential to show lack of quality: people that may be very good at driving traffic to their streams via marketing ruses will get a high "views" count; and then they have a mediocre stream, and few people will add them (low number of followers).

These will have a high ratio, but for very different reasons than the high ratio of, say, Nate Parker.

So I think that the absolute number of followers would need to be taken into account when looking at the ratio.

For now, I'm personally happy with my 140 ratio as a starting point for it to grow upwards! Benefiting from the fact that my presence on G+ is for photography :)))

+Alex Lapidus Have you seen this thread?
+Gideon Rosenblatt as the Views presumably also come from engagement on Blogger and YouTube, the amount of followers is not a decisive factor here, methinks.
See for instance who has 27 million views, but only 4000 followers. Her YouTube channel is extremely popular though.
+Jaana Nyström nothing Google has said (or my conversations with Googlers) has led me to believe that Blogger or YouTube views are counted. +Yonatan Zunger care to comment on that?
+Mark Traphagen as I wrote in a previous comment, Blogger looks to be counted since images uploaded in the post are stored on G+.
Youtube look not to be counted, instead.
How about YouTube comments, they are posted to Google+ in most cases?  The video follows...
+Jaana Nyström, yes, I actually pointed to your article at the very outset of this post. ;-)

And I haven't seen anything either about this representing YouTube and Blogger views. In +Yonatan Zunger's post (referenced above), he makes no mention of that. Though, +Christian Caldwell, he does note that a view is not triggered by looking at a hover card for a profile or page, so I would suspect that it's unlikely to be triggered by a badge view either. Just a guess though. 
definitely looks like objects in Blogger, which are stored in G+ Photos, are counted, as +Andy Page is rocking out. It would also explain my own profile views, since most of my blogging is on +Blogger 
With Blogger images, I could see a case then +Maurizio Ceravolo _if_ those images are seen as an actual impression on G+, as embedded posts are (becasue they are an iframe into the G+ server).
+Mark Traphagen what do you mean they're an iframe? Blogger images are direct image links, but to content stored in Google's Picasa/G+Photos
+David Amerland, that's a good point, and +Lee Smallwood, you might want to pounce on that too. I really do think that this is related to reach. See my fourth paragraph on frequency in response to Yonatan's comment above. When people have breadth of engagement, the visibility created by engagement around a post should, in theory, dramatically boost its visibility in the stream. It's a network effect. 
Wow, I have a Ratio of 150,000 ! 483 Million Views and only 3,100 followers. 

That's pretty crazy!
This is so wildly over thought. Not by you +Gideon Rosenblatt, but the concept itself. It turns a social network into a hawkers bazaar.
+Andy Page, I was just looking at your average stats from CircleCount (1 comments per posting, 0 reshares per posting,
2 +1's per posting), which are relatively low compared to others w/ much higher ratios. Some questions: 
Are you very active in communities?
Do you share a lot of images?
Have you been featured a lot on "what's hot"? 

Just trying to track down some possibilities...
+Gideon Rosenblatt 

1) Only have a few small private communities
2) I post some images onto our blog which is quite popular (
3) Not to my knowledge.

My site gets around 8 Million Pageviews per month. Not sure if images like favicons, banners etc that are stored in Google's Blogspot/Picasa/G+ count as views etc?
Thank you, +Andy Page and +David Kutcher - that makes for a pretty convincing answer. Note that on a related, but different, question, I'm asking Yonatan whether sharing an image in a post here on Google+ increments the view twice (once for the image and once for the post). I'm asking on his post pointed to above. 
+Gideon Rosenblatt we've just completed phase 1 (live now - post going out on NOD3x page)

3 metrics:


And we're working on phase 2 through the night :)
Well, if this 'views count' counts blogs, that explains my outlandish 24 million viewers at least partially. I haven't really copped to being the creator of the "Caray, Caray!" Spanish telenovela blog which has had 8,508,757 views as of this moment. But that is just 8.5 million, where did the other 16 million come from? Certainly not here at G+. Curious
And to +James Barraford, +Meg Tufano and +Giselle Minoli, I must no step back from the madness of numbers for a moment to address more of a meta point related to your comments above. 

I actually don't do run a social media consulting practice or anything. I just like unsolved puzzles - especially ones that revolve around humans and their interactions with large information systems. This is a perfect example, and so I can't help myself from digging into it. ;-)

So here's the meta observation: 
People are crazy sometimes. The risk of focusing on numbers like this is that it will generate undesired behavior. I already saw someone responding to this V2F number by saying he was going to get rid of all his inactive followers (even though that's not technically possible). I can also guarantee that there will be people who will read this and conclude: yay! more cute caturday gifs! And the sad thing is that a number like this has no problem incrementing itself without regard to quality. 

People bend in response to the things we measure. We do it with companies and stock prices, for example, in ways that are really horrible for society and for the company itself. So, blind adherence, slavery to a number is just dumb. The question in my mind is: are there useful piece of feedback that we can glean without changing our underlying mission for being here? 
Yes, +Gideon Rosenblatt, all my blogs (including the embarrassing
telenovela blog) have many pictures housed at google. So each view of a
picture in one of those posts counts? Whoah.
+Gideon Rosenblatt In the old days (before yesterday) the +1's from my Blogger posts were reflected on my business page +Gplus Expertise because they are linked.  Blogger and Youtube are connected to Google+, so I don't see why they wouldn't impact in the same way the views...
I'm not criticizing or anything, just trying to get to the bottom of this, too.
I have some answers from the Googlers but still got many questions left unanswered, +Mark Traphagen .

My Page has + 30K followers but over 15 million Views: Part of that must come from the Blogger blog.

Like +Andy Page has just demonstrated, Blogger & YouTube have a HUGE impact if you have a popular channel.  
+Gideon Rosenblatt YES! The only question any of us should ever be asking ourselves is whether our own individual behavior is authentic. I have never been against cat gifs or anything else for that matter. Cat gifs may be completely authentic for someone. The problem is that an insecure person who craves the numbers created by such posts might inauthentically alter their own behavior in order to chase someone else's numbers.

This is a shame, and reminds me of the old argument between the great film director Sydney Pollack and Hollywood. Hollywood insisted that the reason it makes so many car crash-laden movies is because that is all people want. Pollack countered that people don't make movies...and if you make good films they will go see them. He was right...witness the strength of the independent film movement. It takes courage to make something that doesn't follow the formula of a "hit," - such as cat gifs!

The problem with these numbers is that our host doesn't value different outputs. Everything has been measured in the same way. Any artist, poet, painter, writer, musician, etc. knows you can't do that. The platform was built in a technological world using a very specific language. That's too bad, because those who use it are multi-lingual! :)
I think the distinction that is starting to emerge here is that it is the view of the image or the video itself that matters, +Jaana Nyström. I was interpreting what you were saying above as somehow a page view of your blog adding to the increment of a view, but actually it's any images that may be on those pages. Seems like what we're also seeing is that a video view on a YouTube channel works the same way. 
Well said, +Giselle Minoli. The platform is content agnostic in order to take into account the wide variety of tastes. In the end though, I think it does come down to authenticity. 
H/t +David Amerland for pointing me here.

So, I'm torn. While I understand the desire to make mathematical sense of the numbers, it is a fact people can be / will be judgemental and measures like view counts (impressions) will influence even the most analytic mind.

Selling impressions has make a mountain of money for billboard companies. Often more than for the advertiser. I hope Google isn't moving in that direction. Look what it's doing to #facebook. 
Wow, so I did fairly well. Guess I need to read through and see what it means
+Jaana Nyström - I don't think that the YouTube views are translating into views here. Look at a popular channel like Smosh:
They typically get millions of views on a video  on YouTube but their total views here on G+ is less than 3 million. No way that the YouTube views could be adding to that. I think what's happening is that the video is incremented as a G+ view when it is watched here on G+. 
+Gideon Rosenblatt stated above: I already saw someone responding to this V2F number by saying he was going to get rid of all his inactive followers (even though that's not technically possible). I can also guarantee that there will be people who will read this and conclude: yay! more cute caturday gifs! 

I believe you may be referring to me! Of course, that is not actually what I said. What I did say was,  I wish there were a way to sequester inactive users, those who have not been on G+ at all in the last 4 to 6 months (as an example), from the active users. There was no mention of me getting rid of inactive followers. I can only get rid of people whom I circle.

This comment was in response to +Yonatan Zunger suggestion that, "This may have to do with the activity of your followers, as well. If you've got a lot of followers who aren't active users, they won't contribute views".

My point is that metrics, such as G+'s new V2F ratio (as you call it), are only as useful as the data on which they're built. If a given person has a disproportionate percentage of inactive followers, as intimated by Yonatan, then their V2F ratio is not as meaningful.

I also did make a intentionally sarcastic remark stating that perhaps I should try a George Costanza and post cat pictures, which would be the metaphorical direct opposite of my usual content. It was, after all, almost April Fools!

I truly do not care about the size of my follower count. I am interested in using useful numbers to determine how well my content is being received, how well it is resonating with others. As I have said many times in many posts and comments to others' posts, I am interested in high-quality engagement. This latest metric, your so called V2F ratio, simply confirms what I already knew -- the engagement I receive is low. As I believe the vast majority of my content is high-quality, this tells me something. Now I just need to figure out what that is!

If my follower count dropped by a factor of ten today but my engagement doubled, I would be happy. I'm interested in entering into meaningful conversations with people -- on topics that not only I post about, but also topics that others share with me. As you know, I have spent quite a bit of time debating and embellishing on a number of the larger thought pieces that you have shared. It has been time well spent.
No, it definitely was not you, +Jeff Sayre. It was on another share of this post someplace else. Someone I didn't even know. 

As to your point, see my comment above. I think the key to all of this is to get really clear about what one's personal goals are for this place and then figure out what metrics mean the most based on that. I really do believe that. 
+Gideon Rosenblatt This topic is so fresh for interpretation that I guess others must been suggesting similar things!
The "get rid of 'inactive' followers" idea was posted in a couple of places. It's not new, of course, just resurrected for this newly available metric. Considering that the "inactive" G+er may be in read-only here for a good reason, and may share stuff in other spaces (or even OFFLINE, ahem) thereby increasing your name recognition and reach, I've never quite understood that issue.
+Gideon Rosenblatt Agreed about personal goals. I will be making a big change in my social media focus in about two months -- after my field guide project is complete and sent off to the publisher.

One change on G+ that I'll be making is stepping back from moderating my Accelerating Tech community. Even though it has a few thousand members, and a dozen posts by other people made per day, most posts receive very little engagement. I spend too much of my G+ time managing that community with very little benefit to the members, I believe. I may close the community or hand it over to someone else. I'm not yet sure.

But, I've hijacked your thread. Back to topic. Moving on...
So then I could multiply my number by my followers and derive the total number of views of my whatever for that given time period, correct?
+George Station I think that "get rid of inactive followers" smells like a bad idea: they don't cost you anything, and you could potentially turn them into active followers. 

This is the risk of focusing on a bad metric: V/F would imply that low-readership followers are somehow a drain on you, which they're not. V or V/P is, I think, much better-related to your actual goals.
+Yonatan Zunger, while I see many issues with the V2F ratio (see above), I will give one spirited defense of it. It is simple and it does give those with smaller followings here at least some hope that their efforts do matter. I think that is really important for fighting the natural rich get richer phenomenon that happens in networks. So, I wouldn't want to dismiss it too easily.
+Bernard Vatant While I agree with your comment in general, I would not so easily discard +1s. I'd like to point out that many +1s are not lazy. Many of us (myself included) prefer to simply +1 to indicate acknowledgement or appreciation (and I don't blindly go around slapping +1s everywhere...). I find it better than adding a single/few word(s) such as "wow, amazing, beautiful, breathtaking, gorgeous, yeah, me too, I agree,etc..." which convey essentially the same message. I actually appreciate the conciseness of this form of positive feedback...
Wow all, did I just stumble onto another G+ postbook in a +Gideon Rosenblatt post ?

The content is so varied, and input so spectral, that I immediately suspect the number of views has diffused or no meaning. And when I see lower numbers from some of the greatest engagers I have met here, I know that higher is NOT better. Mine is comparable to +Jeff Sayre at ~31. But one of the most respected G+er out there, +Rajini Rao, is only a little higher. Here is what I think is going on.

The number of views indexes proportionately to how well your profile or page (or perhaps even posts themselves) is interlinked with other platforms across the Web. Anything, like a photo, that requires you detour away from one page to another, is inherently inflationary. Conclusion: Posting highly visual material increases views, having extraordinary follower bases, like Rajini, can equalize the stochastic noise just like high volume trading does in the stock market. 

This number is not going to be very useful for a lot of folks here, especially since traceability is almost 0....which makes it hard to tweak ones own behavior if a different outcome is desired. 
+Drew Sowersby interesting thoughts. When I first saw the plethora of posts sluicing through my Stream yesterday about this new feature, the first thing I thought is G+ is doing a +Klout. They're creating a visible metric that others will use to assess success. I envisioned people creating badges with their V2F number and prominently displaying it on their websites.

Perhaps we need to create a low V2F icon and display it as a badge of honor. People simply don't get us. ;-)
+Gideon Rosenblatt That's a good point - V/F may be a good ratio to look at when you're starting out, since then it will tell you about how well you're connecting with the followers you have. As you're around more and you have more variance in your followers per post, V would likely become more useful. 
Have you noticed that there are certain people who don't have the number of followers displayed? For example,@mattcutts doesn't show the number of followers... but only the number of views.
+Yonatan Zunger I might have missed something, but are you saying that G+ provides a V/P metric too? You reference that in your two most recent comments above. Is this just conjecture or an actual, current view feature?

I agree that V/P is more meaningful for purposes of tuning your activity. But, I also agree with +Gideon Rosenblatt that V/F is a nice broad metric that provides basic insight into your overall reach.
+Bill Hartzer That is a privacy feature that each person can set. You can make follower count information visible to the public or just to you.

{Your Profile} > About > People > Edit > Have you in circles

Some people choose not to share their follower counts with the world.

BTW, view count can also be made private. That is done in a different way -- via your Settings dialog box.
+Jeff Sayre No, but you can calculate it by getting P (e.g. from +CircleCount) and dividing.

I think that my current instinct is that, when you're starting out, you should look at F and V/F as measures of your follower base and how well you're engaged with them; then once you get big enough that your follower base is clearly no longer homogenous, shift to looking at straight V. (That's the number I tend to use)
+Yonatan Zunger That makes sense. I would modify that slightly by saying "starting out" may not be the only time in which you should approach any assessment in the way you suggest.

For instance, I started out on Google Plus in the earliest days -- July 2011 (or was it June?). Although V/P, calculated as you suggest above may be meaningful, the most relevant metric for me right now might be V/F. I've been working G+ pretty hard for almost three years yet my progress seems to have been shifted into neutral.

I was once on a category-specific SUL but, due to bad timing, soon after I was added I took a four month hiatus from G+ as I was doing intensive field work in the meatspace. I literally had little to no WiFi connectivity as I was out in the wilds of the Midwest (at least what remains). When I came back to G+, I found that I was no longer on the SUL, not surprisingly! :-)
+Jeff Sayre A good point. It may be good to think about what each of these metrics tells you and when you want to use each. 
I  have just 34,967 followers on G+ and 17,620,000 views which works out to 503.9 VF ratio. I am not on Suggested User List or Chromecast's screensaver.
I have 430 Followers and 266,979 Views for a 620.88 V2F Ratio ! But what does it really mean?
+Giselle Minoli +Robert Scoble My V/F number matches my IQ.... 87. 

This is far too Klout-like for my taste but if it makes people feel they are engaging then whatever.  Numbers that create definition are totally suspect to me. 

Many of the folks that I love(d) to engage with the most (Giselle, remember Joel?) are wonderful people only looking to shoot the breeze, chew the fat on something going on in the world, and disinterested in a numbers game. 
+Gideon Rosenblatt re:your meta-view comment, let's keep in mind that it would be very easy for Google to provide more relevant metrics that would "gamify" behaviors (=reinforce them, "make more of them") in much more desirable ways.

E.g. total comments on others' posts' count (how much of "are you a taker only?" are you?), (average would be more useful) reply comments on own posts ("how much do you actively respond/tend to your threads?"). Asf.

So far they have shown that they either don't get this, or simply don't care (not sure which version would be less desirable...).

/cc +Eli Fennell 
+Alex Schleber I would guess their response would be parsed by Big Data.  Big Data does  a lot of things right.  What I doubt it will ever do right is enforce human relations by brute force.  Facebook made the mistake of hacking relationships.  Google has been, if not less forceful, then they've shown more finesse and maybe been sheltered by a bit of obscurity.

 We see already that the "Facebook Era" is gone.  It matters not if it continues to be the top player, people are proving they need more, the trend increases the younger you look at, and will probably do so for their children, etc..., at least unless and until some temporal limit beyond which a human, even aided by technology, cannot surpass is reached.  That limit is defined by what can be done on social media.  I'd say if anything the battle there may shape up as Google v. Microsoft, since they still own the workplace, and the workplace is creeping further into the private life.  But it could be some other player entirely, or Facebook could have some Android-like breakout into being a successful platform owner, or Amazon could make some margin-shaving breakthrough that would let them subsidize a brute push into the workplace.

I'll stop here, before it leads to the inevitable Morlocks v. Eidelon comparison.
+Cameron Siguenza yep. Photog use case is preferenced by 10x up to 100x (at least up to now with the change to - finally - larger link share post images). E.g. Ratcliff has 15x on Amanda Blain (G+ friendly meme fare...).
...but back to the point (I rambled a bit), Google could do a lot of things, but they probably won't unless the data supports it.  Now and then, they'll take a risk that lacks data, but... they're a data company.  Them's just the facts.
+Gideon Rosenblatt Thank you Gideon.  Been a kind of mind-sparkling read!  I read the other post first (that you included above).  And the madness is a little scary, only because numbers do have meaning (despite the fact I do not like numbers vis a vis evaluating persons ).  

If you are someone who is feeling desperate for contact and significance, to discover that many more thousands of people are loving your writing?  Wow, what a score!

If you are someone who is feeling as though he or she has "made" some kind of world record, but only to discover that the numbers were inane and irrelevant to what you wanted to achieve?  What a downer...

In my experience, people generally exhibit undesireable behavior in pursuit of Mammon (money).  And to share what someone who gave me advice on how to get S+'s publishing arm going said to me, "If you have 36,000 followers and you sell that many books, you will have enough money to not work at all!"

I can say with gusto, NOT WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR!

That was a crazy thing to say to me as motivating because, by now, everyone has figured out that I do what I love to do (think, learn, write).  And, like those Spanish lotto winners, I don't think my life would change that much if I were to have gazillions poured into my lap.  (But OTHER people's lives might change (I love giving presents more than I like getting them.))

[Spanish lottery:

Why we do all this?  Mainly I think for the contact, significance and meaning; but also for the fun, comraderie and the unexpected surprise of new ideas, new views, new visions.

That's where I think the long-term enjoyment is in this endeavor, anyway.

+Steve Faktor answered my question as to why HE enjoyed G+ and his was an entirely different world view:  "That's a good question. I use G+ like others might use TV. It's entertainment. I enjoy a good debate with smart people, so I dive in from time to time, make some hay, then go away to do work or live life.  Plus, if I ever need any news on Google, this is the place to get an feedful from the faithful flock."

I don't know his numbers, but I believe he is paid to write his opinions, an entirely different subject, but one which needs to be addressed as having a different "clout" (sic) number that does not fit into the Google numbers necessarily, but which SHOULD be counted. "Views" compared to "paying customers"–Why am I thinking suddenly of the Red Light District in Amsterdam---sorry!–Unintentionally making a metaphor out of selling our bodies, but?  There is a real distinction:  the free ride vs. the paid one?  

Anyway, I don't know where this is going, but I hope it's not going into a popularity contest, especially not a popularity contest of who can attract the greatest number, at G+.  "A sucker born every minute," would soon ensue with circus acts to follow, etc.

I have people I love to hear from who have hardly ANY followers, but whose ideas and impressions help me enjoy my own life.  

Steve said "entertainment" and "debate with smart people" and that's fun and part of the ride too.  


No, never.

+Meg Tufano You know what..... +Steve Faktor is one smart, interesting, and funny guy. Folks here really need to check Steve out.
I never knew who he was until last week when he was coming onto our podcast. I didn't know what to expect..... but I'm here to tell ya that Steve is a dude I would love to hang out with in the real world. He bumped my IQ from 80 to 87 in that hour.
+Alex Schleber I have heard a Google employee mention on a post here that they were striving for something like that - that there was some ideal ratio of posting, commenting and sharing the posts of others that they seemed to want to encourage.   The problem was the person they were using as an "ideal" was an SUL person which struck me as a little self-prophesying.    

The worst fault line on Google Buzz was between those who saw it mostly for entertainment/ social and those who liked it a kind of popularity contest.   With the launch of Google+, Google has gone firmly to the side of the popularity contest side - shared circles are one manifestation of that - this number is another.     Google had its shot at the "right kind" of popularity -  a topic based approach,b but they didn't take it

For myself, I use Google+ two ways - the TV/Entertainment and, through the Entrepreneurs Community, for business.  Both are under challenge right now.  Increasingly, the "post whatever you want" approach is more difficult and has to fit into a culture here that could be becoming more restrictive.

More and more, what I do here doesn't feel like "mine" - it feels like Google's and you never know what move they are going to make next.   Even if done with good intentions, they could change something here that makes it no longer "fit" you or unravels a ton of work you have done. 
+James Barraford I've been following him for a while now.  What I like about him is what I like about you and pretty much what I like about anyone, if I like them:  he's HONEST!  
+Meg Tufano Honesty isn't always appreciated but its better than the alternative. We need more Steve's here and less people trying so hard to reach the one million followers club.

Back to this numbers issue... do community posts count towards your score? I'm curious in the sense that over the past six months I've shifted to 95 percent community involvement as opposed to a 95 public post existence.
+James Barraford Ah, I can't help you.  I gave up on communities Week One.  Just did nothing for me.
It seems to my that the View numbers are updated once a day. So if you compare it to yesterdays accumulated numbers, you would get the View numbers in the last 24 hours. This would be comparable to daily organic reach in Facebook, or daily impressions for a Linkedin page.

You could then compare the Views in the last 24 hours to the numbers of your followers, i.e. a V24h/F ratio. To me that would be a more relevant way to evaluate the reach of a profile or page right now, than the accumulated numbers or ratios.
+Morten Myrstad that's what I thought, too. The difference in the view numbers between day x and day y will be very interesting. 

The problem is that we can't really say what exactly this number is. At least it's not the organic reach of Google+ since Chromecast is also in that game. It's also not the reach Google since the most Google products are probably not included (Google Play (screenshots of the apps, images used within the apps), Chrome Webstore (screenshots), Google Shopping, Image Search, Google News, Google Sites, Groups...).

I see the same problem also for the ratios. And I understand why +Yonatan Zunger said a few times, that the raw numbers are the most interesting to check, because it is not really bound to number of followers or posts.

Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure we will make some analysis on these numbers ;)
Good point, +CircleCount. But i would think that the "exact number" issue, would be the same for daily, weekly or accumulated numbers? If that's the case, I would rather stick to the recent periodical numbers KPIs than the accumulated numbers. When it comes to your second point, the "Google ecosystem" issue, how different would this be to Facebook Open Graph, where content and engagement originated on websites around the world, also influence engagement and reach on the Facebook platform itself?
+Morten Myrstad I would also like to have periodical numbers, but right now we have only the total of [Oct 2012 - now].

You are right, that facebook likes are also counted when done on external websites, but that was also the case for the old plusone that was shown for pages here. With the view count you can't define that so easily. 
It depends also on what you want to "say" with the view number:
- Is a billionaire worth to follow since he is generating a lot of views, which means he has great content? I would have said "yes, probably" but seeing Chromecast also as part of the counter it changes a bit my opinion. When I follow a Chromecast photographer, it doesn't mean I will get nice photos to see on Google+.
- Is a billionaire someone you should get in contact with for business? It depends on the business and why he is a billionaire.

I think the view number is showing on the first look that Google+ is not a ghost town, but on the 2nd look it's not really on Google+ what we see here in the numbers.
Brilliant & a must read
And then there is curious cases like +Thomas Knight, zoo keeper extraordinaire. For what I can discern, he has been inactive on G+ since late 2012. He only has 97 followers, but 578,930 views. This is a V2F of 5968.

Although I love what you have done getting the conversation started, I am perplexed at what the numbers are saying. Until Google provides more granularity to the number, views are not really offering us much.

Whatever Thomas is NOT actively doing to gain views is working, and that is a problem.  
Some things to keep in mind when seeing really high views from low-follower users (especially those who appear to be not posting much):

1. Views count whether they are public or private. So some of those accounts with few or no public posts could be posting a lot, but all to circles.

2. Images can drive up view counts immensely. They only have to be viewed (not clicked) to count, and there are several off-platform places where views of them count also:

a) Images on Blogger are hosted by the bloggers G+ account. Those views count.
b) Images viewed on a user's Picasa count.
c) Photographers whose images have been selected for the Chromecast screensaver: every time those come up on someone's Chromecast, that's a view. 

The latter one is suspected to be the reason behind some of the view "billionaires" we found, many of whom were Google employees. Google solicited photographers who were G employees for many of the earliest Chromecast screensaver images.
How do you suppose one wades through the muck then +Mark Traphagen? These are raw numbers, they need to be reduced properly to matter....sort of the way the brain eliminates over 95% of the stimulation around it.
+Mark Traphagen that's exactly why I think that any ratio including this number is misleading when you compare it to other profiles.

Someone can use the ratio to check the change for one profile over time, but creating for example a ranking with a ration views/followers or views/post doesn't lead to anything useful.
+Gideon Rosenblatt what I'm seeing here is the power of the reshare and focusing on High Quality content. My V2F is 219. From what I see in your list above it's all about people resharing your content into their own streams. I 9k+ followers and over 2M views, but only post once, maybe twice a day with many of those posts being completely original content to Google+.

High quality content that gets reshared gets more views. Always focus on quality content that adds value to YOUR audience. 

Appreciate your work on this topic.
According to +Mark Traphagen and others, basically anything that can be viewed, is counted as a view (e.g., photos, posts, profiles). I therefore retract my statement where I say the numbers don't really offer a story...they do. But it is limited. They may be a good qualitative signal indicating the level of bilateral engagement (a follower, and YOU). A feedback loop as such would be a good engine for producing views. 

A person that doesn't post a lot here will rely on importing views from the Web, but a person who posts regularly and engages bilaterally will general way of increasing his/her V2F. Another way would be to be a highly visual poster like +Derya Unutmaz.

I think it is rather easy to game the system here, which is why I would like to see more granularity built into the view metrics. 
Let me just add one more piece of perspective on this. It seems to me that people are spending a lot of time looking at what's broken with the new views metric, by concentrating on the anomalous cases, billionaires, etc.

I get that. And I spent a bunch of time trying to chase all that down myself on Monday (you'll see that I've provided updates within this post to try to explain some of this).

But here's the thing: sure, there is noise in the signal, but now there is more of a signal than we had before, and it is a signal that you can either choose to ignore or choose to pay attention to. If you choose to pay attention to it, you can use it to do a bunch of dysfunctional stuff (like spam or seek attention in ways that may harm the system for others' experience here). Or you can use the signal to help you find interesting people and people who ate worthy of more attention than what they're currently getting here.

That was the main point of this post and that signal has gotten a little lost on the noise.
I love your dedication here +Gideon Rosenblatt .  This is important stuff to be thinking about in a world of noise!  We want to find those things worthy of our time and effort.  As you know, I hate numbers period as related to persons (even though I love Geometry, Algebra, Calculus and Statistics (weird, I am, as Yoda would say)), but we do want to see if there is a way to take these numbers and use them thoughtfully, find the vital edge, as it were.  ;')  
+Gideon Rosenblatt while all true enough, in a well-designed system these things shouldn't really be up to so much interpretation. Google is really showing its lack of sophistication here.

Again, no one can exactly say what this is for, except maybe to combat the Ghost Town story line (even though it is also strangely reinforcing it in some maybe unintended ways...), and to maybe try to lure brands, which have so far shown preciously little interest overall (aside from some getting SUL deals...).
It's harder to game a system on indications, that it is to do it on measurements. And sooo many people see social media as some high score system to game for maximizing their ePeen.
I'd like to cut Google some slack here. There's simply nothing they can do, ever, that will not provoke an autoimmune  reaction from the crowd. The probe from Google, eg now through the View Count - and our making sense of it, and our going to the Conversation Market with our views, with our opinions, is all good collaborative sensemaking.
+John Kellden I wouldn't... :) it's amateur hour, and not in a good way either. I've provided examples (on some of these threads, there are too many to remember where by now...) of better metrics creating real incentives for desired/desirable user behaviors.

They didn't get these feedback loop issues from the start, and are now showing that they have learned next to nothing in 2.5+ years...

And "Collaborative Sensemaking" is wasted when its pretty much garbage-in-garbage-out...

/cc +Eli Fennell 
+Alex Schleber  I rely on you to keep doing Stick. :)

I do the Carrot. Between us, who knows?

I mean, we keep having these conversations right? If it would be completely useless, we wouldn't be here.
I think what sometimes looks to us like ineptness just might be more like "crazy like a fox." 

For Google, everything is a data experiment. When you are doing a controlled experiment, you only adjust one variable at a time. In my article I contended that releasing the view count was an intentional act in Google's User Behavior Modification (UBM) experiment. 

They put one number out into the wild and then see how we react to it (not so much in debates like this as in how much and in what way does it change our actual behavior on the platform).

When they have enough data on that, then they might throw out another variable, perhaps a little bit more detailed breakdown of views, or perhaps some other equally-vague general sort of information. It all depends on whatever hypothesis they are working on at the moment.

We are all rats in a maze here, folks. But at least the maze is interesting and the cheese is good ;-)
That is a very reasonable and likely scenario +Mark Traphagen. Many of us have likely played directly into their experimental hand. Now they have some suggestive data of where to focus early tweaks to this new feature.
Data-driven, interaction-augmented responsive experience design.
+Mark Traphagen that is true, but then how do you judge who an outlier is? am I an outlier? or just good at what I do? or a combination thereof?

without being able to factor out aspects of my views, such as views that came from images in Blogger templates that I've distributed for free, how can you derive any insight from my followers/views?
I agree that the new metric is limited on its utility. If someone has high views they are potentially_ interesting, but you still have to dig deeper. 
+Mark Traphagen I really wish we could come up with a metric which reliably determines if people are interesting. Then I could just filter my stream by it. :)
Hello +Yonatan Zunger. That made me Laugh. Out. Loud. If you could do that, you would die a gazillionaire! Please get to work on it. You will be flooded with VCs!
+Yonatan Zunger while a little less subjective, I think Google continuing to push content and people to you based on your perceived affinity to them (and their content) would be valuable. If you know I perform lots of actions (plus1, comment, reshare) Mark's content, and Mark does the same for Gideon's content, and that content shares traits, then perhaps if Gideon wasn't in my circles, Google might be able to show it to me knowing that I'd be interested in certain things Gideon is publishing? Not necessarily his profile, but instances of his content.

This is one of the reasons why I like seeing "Mark +1'd this post", and rather than "what's hot", I'd love to see more of this affinity content.
Believe it or not, I   am   working on an interestingness metric.  It requires a bit more than just the view count though...    :)

And we will never ever get to the stage where  +Giselle Minoli  +Meg Tufano  +Dirk Puehl  +Susanne Ramharter  and others can be fully assessed. Which to me is a good thing.  Storytelling at its finest, transcends any which metric.

The whole outlier dimension is very interesting, although near impossibly complex. That said, with +Mark Traphagen's very keen "dig deeper" advice, a whole lot can be at least somewhat gleaned.
Correct me here as needed, but I don't recall Google claiming that their suggestions would be interesting. Just that we might want to follow, or they're from the same domain (e.g. my campus), etc.
+George Station all of the Suggestions from Google/G+ I've seen in recent months were almost all dead/abandoned accounts, as well as some random (likely fake/spam) "models"/etc.

The dead accounts in particular seem like Google were desperately trying to get those users back into G+, even if it was just with a relative non-sense follow, and resulting "red badge" Notification somewhere else within Google-services-land... and hopefully a surprised "what's going on?" click through, which they would then probably promptly count as an "active user" for the month...
+Mark Traphagen The problem with your theory about Google being "crazy like a fox" is that Google could have just asked us what our interests were - instead of searching for "signals" and endlessly subjecting us to their social experiments.  

Every power user here has independently come up with a pretty similar idea of what this network "could have been".   A section on our profile for "interests" and a corresponding set of tags that could be put on any post.   Followers would "subscribe" to your interests - not to your entire persona.   Similar to the sensible design that Pinterest has.

The plus one voting system would then give a fair and democratic system for the best content to go to the top of our streams.   We would be able to post what we want, when we want - and our streams would contain the information we want.    Most of the major social problems on this network would almost immediately just go away.   People would have requested to see your posts on a certain topic, and they could just as easily unsubscribe.

I don't think Google will be going that route now no matter how many "experiments" they perform on us - they went with a much more Byzantine structure of overlapping communities instead - what a friend of mine from Twitter calls Google's "divide and conquer" strategy.

I don't think it is a safe idea to assume that Google will keep doing brilliant things and that Google+ will be the ultimate in just a few years.   I knew many people who thought that about Google Buzz until just before the shutdown announcement.

We cam only do our best to use this technology for what it is good at and try whatever hacks and workarounds we need to make it work for us - while trying to connect with the people we have met here on other networks whenever possible.   You never know what "moves" Google will make, and even if not made with bad intentions, they could still instantly destroy - or at least severely disrupt, everything you have built here.
+Alex Schleber They are absolutely horrible at it.   Facebook hooked me up with the sister of an old friend I had know almost 30 years ago - and we dated for a while.   Linkedin just recently hooked me up with someone I had done business with an even longer time ago.   No idea how they did it - but we both popped up in their "you may know" window even though we hung together  before email even existed.    Google, with vastly more data about me always misses the mark wildly.   I always find myself asking "who are these people?"
Hello sir, my acc has 1,019,245 views and 73 followers, which gives me a V2F score of 13962.26. Can you interprete the results please?
+Gunther Sonnenfeld Have you any plans for writing a book about this?  Please check out S+.  I'd love to work with you to make what sounds very wonky to a general reader into something that I can see is a brilliant insight into how this is all really working.

We're a think tank and a publishing house.
I think one of the key takeaways from the last several comments is that one of the most broken pieces of the G+ experience today is the "People" feature set. It's an odd mishmash of attempts to copy Twitter (suggested users) and Facebook (your "friends" from your Gmail account, regardless of whether or not they're active on G+). That in itself wouldn't have to seem broken if these two approaches were also complimented by something that G+ could be really (maybe even uniquely) good at: matching people by interests.

There are so very many reasons for doing this. It would be a huge service to society. It would improve the use experience here. It would help to distribute links within the overall social graph on ways that make it less concentrated, and therefore less fragile. I get the sense that internally there is this sense that this problem of illuminating the shared interest graph was solved 16 months ago with the rollout of communities. But my impression is that, for whatever reason, people tend to see communities as a way to find interesting content, not people.

The People feature on this network really needs some love at this point, done work to better illuminate the shared interest graph. I think it would be a huge win all around.

+Gideon Rosenblatt my gut impression (based on some conversations with people in a position to know) is that for whatever reason, the G+ project was never given the human resources so abundant at Google who could have done something like what you proposed. Sadly, while Google+ is disruptive still in a number of ways, it's full potential may never be realized.
What might be possible towards beginning to sway Google, is if we could gather a large enough group of G+ people - and figure out some of the missing bits that would simply make too much sense both for the mothership Google, and the AdWords dep, to remain un-implemented.

What graphs, and what graph traversals, and what convexity/optimizing potentials (given the 1 bn people turned content generators) are they already seeing?

What questions are they not asking? (of the data)

What dialogue are they not having? (with "us" )
+John Kellden I hate to be cynical, but I'm part of an invited private community where we supposedly get to make that kind of input. A year ago we actually had regular engagement there from top G+ people, and saw problems resolved and some suggestions implemented. Nowadays it's largely crickets. They promoted the people who actually gave us an ear to other projects, and now most of our posts there seem to just go into the ether.
That makes sense, +Mark Traphagen... An unfortunate consequence perhaps of this service having an indirect monetization model.
+Mark Traphagen +Gideon Rosenblatt I've gleaned similar - and although I've only a hunch about this - this might be part of a deep systemic fault of the Google culture itself, the doing everything according to the data, which can result in a very subtle circular trap.

"The data shows that..."

Meaningful connectivity (including optimizing AdWords services and Google Partners) can only be derived from augmenting answers that catalyzes meaningful, slightly different questions. Including questions asked on the full context of the data. 

access, augment, leverage

Is the shorthand advice I'd give. They're doing a good enough job with access, and a very poor job with leverage, since they are probably not developing the (space, place, interface, social metalayer, shared interest graph) guided by how it (the "network" itself) augments the data.

if only I would have access to more metrics, I could paint a more nuanced picture...
On the other hand, I have to realize that I'm whining about reduced access that is still light years ahead of most other social networks. 

While it's not what it used to be (ah the #goodolddays  when G+ was delivered by telegraph), there is still way more active listening and engagement by at least some Google staff here than you'd find elsewhere. (Has anyone ever heard of a Facebook employee responding to user questions on FB?)

Case in point was the incredible amount of response and information sharing by +Yonatan Zunger this week about the new view count. Without him, we'd still be in the dark about what the heck that meant.
And also just last night Google+ head +Vic Gundotra, while visiting in Dallas set up a public meetup where any G+ user could come and share with him face-to-face their ideas and suggestions for improving G+. 
+Gunther Sonnenfeld could you develop something that might sway them? From where I sit, given our great conversations, I already know you're doing tons of good stuff, so, sold already - but what could you have eg a couple of Google people experience, that would make them go all Demosthenes?  "Oh, let's just go and do what he says..."

Not wanting to put you on a spot - hut I am genuinely curious...
+Gunther Sonnenfeld Thanks Gunther!  I am deeply engaged in online education (been teaching college online and designing online courses online for over ten years).  But I insist that your book would be valuable (look at the response from your posting), but you need a "translator" for the general reader.  Let me know if you need me.
+Mark Traphagen re:" the G+ project was never given the human resources so abundant at Google who could have done something like what you proposed. Sadly, while Google+ is disruptive still in a number of ways, it's full potential may never be realized."

While I agree (and this somewhat squares up with Vic G's reported answers at the Dallas meeting that +Peter G McDermott attended), how does this fit with Google's contention that G+ was going to be an all-out effort, that it was going to be "the next Google", "Social Spine", etc. etc.?!

Some thing about all this has never computed for me, and it may have to do with the things described by +Gunther Sonnenfeld : There appears to be some sort of internal rift that is preventing the most simple, (outwardly) logical, common sense things from happening...
+Mark Traphagen I don't like to think of myself as the cynical sort...but perhaps in this case I am more cynical than you. I'm just getting back to this thread and reading these latest comments and I can't help but say that I have never gotten the feeling that Google was interested in people, whether those people are interesting or not. People are damnable entities - hard to figure out, impossible to pin down, wildly diverse, unpredictable (I really don't care that so many people think that anything and everyone is analyzable - t'ain't so...I have never met a predictable person in my life. Not one.), impossible to please, fickle, rude, pleasant, nasty, brilliant, stupid, educated, uneducated, curious, gentlemanly and gentlewomanly, uncooperative, disingenuous, jealous, envious, infuriating, maddening, captivating, disinterested, followers, leaders, ambivalent, moronic, wildly constructive, and wildly destructive. They will utterly screw up the best thing going, and clamor to be part of the most idiotic thing going. They will spend inordinate amounts of time on rubbish, while completely ignoring something that could change their life, their health, their happiness.

How in the world does Google tweak that? It's easy in the infancy of anything, to call meetings and, within all the excitement, profess to want to get it right. But then reality sets in and it's called people. Humans. And they are impossible. Great sometimes. Other times...not so much.

Helluva lot easier to pull out the pie charts and analytics. It's also why humans love their animals. Feed them. Give them a warm place to curl up out of the rain and they won't bite you.

Social media users? I suggest the beautiful melding of possibility hasn't happened here because it would take interest in people...not stats and they aren't the same thing by a long shot.
+Alex Schleber I have always thought some kind of "internal rift" is the most likely reason for what we are seeing there.    Try as I may, I will never comprehend the Reader decision.   They had the most influential people in the world using that product on a daily basis - any other company would have killed for that, yet Google dumped it without a replacement - a strange move if their mission is to "organize the world's information.
+Rob Gordon agreed, it felt like it was sacrificed on the altar of G+ (or trying to make G+ look better...), but then I don't understand what the talk about "limited resources" to devote to G+ is supposed to be all about.

Either it was the big/serious move, and you throw the kitchen sink of resources at it, or not, but then you don't seemingly rearrange all the rest of Google around G+. You can't have it both ways...
+Rob Gordon But that's the point... Google says it is their mission to organize the world's data and make it accessible and useful.

Notice nowhere in there does it say, "To help you organize your information and make it as personally accessible as possible."

Reader was a simple albeit well designed tool that did nothing without the user setting things up and organizing them. It didn't require their algorithmic magic at all. Worse, the crowd had proven utterly resistent to Google's efforts at "improvement". Maybe it was so good it didn't need fixing, but those aren't the kinds of things that interest Google. There was no way to apply 10x Thinking to Reader. Besides, with their analytics everywhere on the web, I doubt they sacrificed much data in the process.
+Eli Fennell it had a larger (daily active users) social network than G+ turned out to be... :)
+Jack C Crawford Just FYI, when I put out a FB ad for my novel (as an experiment (for one month)), I actually got many THOUSANDS of "likes" from Indian men (from India).  This makes no logical sense (the book is ChickLit).  And, eventually, I discovered that there is something called a "clickbot."  I'm not sure all the ways it works, but, apparently, advertisers "sell" clicks. I think Google has been "verifying" people for a good reason.  Eventually, as time passes, we will probably go through some kind of reputation revolution because the "clicking" business will need to be cleaned up.  Just sayin'.  ;')  (That whole area (advertising) is very different from what we're doing here and I'm not making an equivalence, but there is something inane about numbers that your "zero engagement" and hundreds of plusses should give us pause.)
+Alex Schleber Can you write about that?  Have you written about that?  I would like to study that!  +Eli Fennell says your point is a misconception, but it sure is a fascinating one n'atheless.
+Meg Tufano BTW very simple geo-targeting could have avoided the vast majority of those false clicks. Yes, Clickfraud sucks, but it can happen to you on Google Adwords/Adsense just the same if you don't protect against it.
+Alex Schleber This proves difficult with books (what I'm selling).  I'm taking courses and trying to understand the "market."  Books are such a different kind of thing from everything else.  The saying that wisdom is sold at the market where none come to buy comes to mind.  But I will not give up!  (But I do feel cheated by the click-bots!)
I think I might be something of an outlier here, my ratio is 1,931,378.
I'm kind of an internet recluse I guess.
All I need to do is get rid of one follower and I'm over 2 million to one.
Is there something I could do with this ?
+Jane Peppler My V2F ratio is 30,622 from my 6 followers. Content is truly king for your Google+ account on the internet. I have 183,732 views with 6 followers on April 23, 2014 A.D. 11:52am. 
The view count on one of my client Google Plus pages jumped from 250K to 1.5m in a week - has anyone else seen this?
+David Amerland That is my "strategery" (;')) on Linked-In.  I have a little over two hundred "links" and over two million connections.  
+Denis Labelle, not sure why I missed your comment here, but it's so interesting that I just had to pick up on it. You do post a la "Snapchat" - and I've never seen anyone else do it like that here on Google+. Would you be willing to share why you do it that way? I'm very curious. 
yeah, my VTF ratio is now 1,905,253
24 followers and 45,726,079 views
I dont know that it's so signifigant other than perhaps being the social media equivalent of way to many one night stands.
Thanks +Gideon Rosenblatt for this very informative post and the commenters are quite informed and illuminating as well. I have a VTF ratio of 46,837 currently now and have been working on ways to qualify it for projects I am working on. All of this helps!
+Gideon Rosenblatt i know this post is old af, but you need to see this: 23 Followers, but 540k Views, and they already got reduced by 400k. I was at 400k, when i suddenly got another 400k on top of that, but those got removed. The 540k i have now come from a time when i made around 6k to 20k views a day, for reasons i dont understand. 
I just checked mine, 52 million views up 4 from the last time, still only 28
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