In response to +TechCrunch's article by +Alexia Tsotsis "Google+ is Walking Dead"
Ever since The New York Times posted an article proclaiming Google+ to be a “Ghost Town” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/15/technology/the-plus-in-google-plus-its-mostly-for-google.html
) I keep wondering why in the world people try to measure what’s distant from their reality with a romanticized idea of the supernatural?
But then neuroscience helps us explain: it’s the human need to find explanations for what they can’t understand. The great astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson recently told a story of a policeman who was driving his car and reporting in to the station that he was following a UFO. There it was, a luminous point in the sky zigzagging on his field of sight. Later the footage he’d taken and the GPS coordinates of his car explained it. He was driving along a sinuous road and he was following Venus in the sky.
Today, I was baffled to read an article on TechCrunch (http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/24/google-is-walking-dead/
) saying that Google+ is “Walking Dead” because +Vic Gundotra
, former SVP of Social at Google, had made news with his resignation.
The article raises anything but hard evidence for its claims, instead using lots of vague hearsay and shortsighted speculation:
“What we’re hearing from multiple sources is that Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform. — essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.”
Anyone paying attention would have noticed from the beginning that Google built Google+ from the ground up to be a platform to connect all of its products. Some people initially complained about YouTube’s integration with Google+, but now it’s a done deal and it’s just an example.
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are so different from one another that people who say they directly compete are at the very least myopic. Let me write it here so that I can help simplify it: on average Facebook is where you connect to your friends, Twitter is where you broadcast stuff and Google+ is where you connect around subjects or more appropriately perhaps, passions. Of course there are overlaps, but in a nutshell this is it. Plain and simple: it’s like comparing an apple, an orange, and a banana.
“We hear that there’s a new building on campus, so many of those people are getting moved physically, as well — not necessarily due to Gundotra’s departure.”
This is the equivalent of “I see a UFO”, but Vic is just Venus, let’s move on. Let’s recall that when Hugo Barra left Google and the Android leadership team to join a Chinese company, lazy journalism was quick to proclaim that Android was experiencing serious issues. History speaks to this one. Executives moving to other challenges and companies is a very natural and even desirable thing to happen.
“As part of these staff changes, the Google Hangouts team will be moving to the Android team, and it’s likely that the photos team will follow, these people said. Basically, talent will be shifting away from the Google+ kingdom and towards Android as a platform, we’re hearing.”
But wait, who said the Google Hangouts team is diminishing the Google+ team by moving closer to Android? Another UFO.
“We’ve heard Google has not yet decided what to do with the teams not going to Android, and that Google+ is not “officially” dead, more like walking dead: “When you fire the top dog and take away all resources it is what it is.” It will take copious amounts of work for it to un-zombie, if that’s even a possibility.”
Frankly, this kind of idle gossip is not reporting and merely insults people’s intelligence, I hope everyone sees it the same way. I would love to know at the very least if someone working for Google actually said this. In any event, claiming that the platform is going to die without being part of it is such a silly thing to say for someone writing about technology.
“We’ve heard that the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook may have been a factor in the phasing out of Gundotra’s grand experiment. There was a perception that Google had missed the “biggest acquisition in the social space.” Though another source tells us that Google knew what was up with WhatsApp but simply didn’t want to pay out for it.”
And, it is also well known that consumption of chocolate is correlated to being awarded nobel prizes. But smart people would say “correlation isn’t a proof of causation”. The game of big acquisitions is a game after all, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Google has several wins, like YouTube and Waze and can afford some losses. I never heard of talent leaving a company because they missed an acquisition.
“In the long run, the issues with Google+ didn’t especially stem from the design of the product itself, but more from the way it interjected itself into your day-to-day Google experience like some unwelcome hairy spider. Perhaps these changes will scale back the grating party crashing?”
To all Google+ skeptics out there, I would like to say that for me comparing Google+ with Facebook is the equivalent of comparing The New York Times with New York Post. In any case, lazy journalism is bad no matter where you find it._
thank you +Jen Halpin
for inspiring me to put my perplexity on paper, love you! #googleplus #andthen