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“The Idea that we could build a social layer across everything is difficult for people to understand until they use it. … People continue to see the duck. If you continue to look, you’ll see the rabbit that we’re pulling out of the hat.” - +Vic Gundotra
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72 comments
 
terrible thing to say! Telling a user they don't know what their problem is :P If you're building a product... do you really want to defend your product by telling the user they don't know the usage?
 
It is disingenuous that to reply to the article you have to log into either Facebook or Twitter.
 
"So don't hold it that way." ~Steve Jobs.
 
+Tony Flemmer agreed. But it doesn't speak highly of how intuitive a consumer device is in that case. Especially 'yet another social network'phenomena we have going on nowadays .. The product better have a clear usage and benefit. Google wave didn't take off no matter how much I liked it... People clearly couldn't figure out a good use for it and that explained it all
 
G+ is definitely not a ghost town for me. Have these "ghost town" accusers added anyone to their circles? That's may be what +Vic Gundotra is referring to. Have interests, find people that share similar interests(or are just interesting), add to circles, interact. Pretty easy.
 
I like Google+ far better then Facebook. I also don't find it to be a ghost town. You are right. Add people, comment on things. People will add you. Easy.
 
+Steve Warren I do agree with that. If you're not a content creator, but a content commenter (i just made that up) it does look dead. I comment and discuss way more than I post. Good point.
 
It sounds like +Vic Gundotra counts just what's posted on a user's public stream versus their comments on pages they follow. Ones I follow are mostly organizations that don't post much in the evenings or weekends.
 
I like G+, I like Google, but all the other social networks I use regularly (facebook, twitter, tumblr, linkedin etc) talk to each other either directly or through a third party like Hootsuite. By comparison G+ feels so isolated. If I was to post on any one of the the above I can direct the same post to appear on any or all of the other networks or even on my own website, but if I want it on G+ I have to post it separately and it's much harder to direct traffic to it. I'll continue to use it because as I say I like G+, but unless it develops connectivity outside of the Google-verse I don't think it has any longevity.
 
Ha! Google+: a ghost town? You're kidding right? I used Facebook since its inception, but never experienced the level of interactions I've had using google+ in just a couple of months. Ghost town? Only if you're telling me that all the people in my circle are GHOSTS can you be right.
 
It all depends on your circles. If you just port over your FB contacts, then you might not get much activity, but if you are following the right people, there is a ton of great activity going on over here.
 
I didn't use FB and I get enough in my stream from pages I follow. I don't want G+ to be what I heard FB is, a place where people post what their mother's second cousin's neighbor's niece bought at the mall daily.
 
"A recent Comscore report shows users spent an average of 3.3 minutes on Google+ in January compared to 7.5 hours on Facebook"
lol. I spend like 3.3 minutes on G+ every hour.

Like I've been sayin for a while, and Vic confirmed, G+ isn't really meant to be a social network. It's the basis for the New Web. You see, in real life, you don't only socialize in specific places and no where else. You socialize wherever you are at the time. With the new Google, you will just socialize wherever you happen to be on the web. Eventually it won't be a "social network", it will just be the internet. This is more natural than separating "social" from everything else.
 
+Arvind Gautam I don't think in the case of Google+ it's so much that it isn't well designed, but rather that people are used to using social networks in a certain way and don't realize that G+ is something different. While Facebook is organized around people you know (and people they know, and so on, and so on), G+ is organized around people who share your interests. So in that respect, I think the comment "Make sure you're using it correctly" might be appropriate.

G+ is very well designed for what it intends to be, but it's not FB and isn't meant to be used like FB. If you use G+ like Facebook, or like Twitter, you're missing the point.
 
+Tony Flemmer I never used it because (1) it was originally for college kids and I'd just recreated my account at a BBS I telnetted to in college and its drama llamas all fled to FB and (2) Farmville and all the other games FB addicts play are of no interest to me. I turned off notifications for games here on G+ when some kid added me and sent an invite.
 
Maybe Mashable and all the other media organizations should add Google+ among other social networks in their lists of articles for sharing. If they really care about G+, maybe they should get more involved. Many Google+ users are more likely to engage more if there are better options to share Internet materials directly from their sources.
 
+Alejandro Arevalo Either tilt your screen to the right, or tilt your head to the left. The duck's bill makes the rabbit's ears.
 
I have found G+ is excellent in technology and experience sharing with people outside the closer sphere. Hangouts will just explode when people come cross the border of how they go about using it with comfort and routine.
 
+Daniel Messer - Thank you for adding another perspective :P It's hardly bad at all to tell a critic how to use something.
 
The base issue is time... Personally I found it hard to justify the time to figure out what was up with Google+ and only dabbled in Wave too. Flickr used to have a similar "figure it out" attitude about their interface as well - it can be frustrating for users and will exclude many who will get sad, angry or insulted!.
 
Another point - if the interface wasn't designed to be used to connect with people you know why are there circles for friends, family, acquaintances? Seems to me it can function around and satisfy both - but, like Skype, I find very few people I know personally willing to venture this far out on the edge, with time this may improve but until then I guess I have to be a part-timer!
 
+Matt Burns I would agree with the idea that G+ is a completely different animal than facebook. The intent is different. The "networking" is different. I'm just saying that if new users don't find the presentation intuitive then something is lacking in the way the intent is being communicated. This is exactly what +Cheryl Binstock mentioned as well (from what I understood). Users don't want to put too much time in figuring out a new something... and why should they? As they see it.. nothing is missing in their lives without G+ .. so what will motivate them to figure G+ out?? This is true of everything.
 
+Cheryl Binstock On G+, "Friends" is one particular Circle, of which there can be many. It's one particular interest, as is "Family" or "Photography" or "Trekkies".

On FB, everyone is a "Friend". You can put your "Friends" in groups, but everyone is still a "Friend" because that's the basic assumption on which Facebook is built. It's designed to network with people you know, which is part of the reason why it's a bit difficult to find people outside of your networks.

It's a different paradigm. People in your Circles aren't your "Friends" unless they're in your Friends Circle and therefore share that interest -- your friendship. Your relationship to other people in your Circles is defined not by your relationships in real life, but by your shared interests. Can G+ be used like FB? Sure. But then you wouldn't be "using it correctly". You're wasting its potential. And if you're just using it like FB, why not just use FB?
 
I really like Gundotra's response, his illustration of the duck, that was fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Google+ community develops.
 
I am concerned so many spurned G+ over the name debacle, which whilst unfortunate, seems to pale in comparison to the litany and severity of Facebook feux-pas. I am told that the name issue was very serious for many, and I can see that, but I feel leaking my personal information repeatedly for the whole world to pick over is far worse, which is one big reason I'm planning on sticking with G+.
 
I am very pleased with G+ and still have high hopes for it. I like the technology better than FB and am glad it is so interconnected with the rest of Google. Although, I would greatly appreciate if G+ tried to be more interconnected with the rest of social media world, like Hootsuite & Yoono.
 
Goodbye mashable, you used to be interesting - let us know when you choose to be again...
 
Google+ is a bit rubbish, truth to tell. NONE of my friends use their accounts, preferring Facebook instead. I don't imagine G+ catching up with FB anytime at all, really. Google has too many things on the net and they're all disconnected. It needs to haul all its services into one handy, well-designed location that links laptop, smartphone and services. Stop trying to emulate FB. Be better than Zuckerberg! Bring out NEW services, USEFUL services. PROTECT our personal data. Screen apps before they go on Google Play so that we know they're not malware and that they will advise us when they're accessing the web and allow us to permit/deny it from the homescreen.
 
Google plusis an innovative platform that offer many opportunities to develop ideas,news and informationswth the instrument of search and to create new opportunities of job and profits:the potential of platform is very high,so it s necessary to invest time to learn and find the best solution.
 
If you don't like it, get the F off! The real users of G+ know that it's way better than Facebook and Twitter (combined). It is better in so many respects! If you don't know how to use it, then blame your slow brain and go flush it in the toilet.
I have actively used all the rest, and I'm better placed to tell: this is the FINAL WORD.
Spend some time to discover it. Forget about your lame friends from high school on Facebook. Try to populate your Circles on G+ with new people across the globe.
If you're actively logging in to Facebook and Twitter and continuing the same boring shite and only come here once in a while to say how useless this is, then you'll never discover the potentials.
So, how do you know that Google+ is the best? MAKE SURE YOU'RE USING IT WELL.
 
+Lion Fisile I'm sorry you feel that way, I hope people continue to choose G+ on it's merits not because people beat them over the head with it. Facebook and G+ are different, as is twitter et al. For many of us G+ is a git of a ghost town, our friends don't use it much, we have very interesting friends, some of whom are what you might call "people across the globe". I'm sad they haven't joined us yet, but I will keep plodding on here, and hope they come back here again. If history repeats itself, which is usually does, Facebook will continue shooting itself in the foot, and it may continue to cause people to reconsider their choice of primary social network. I dislike Facebook because of how they treat users, so I don't use it much, but it has critical mass, and it's hard not to get drawn in, and remain there when the majority of my friends use it. It has become the proverbial black hole of the internet, or maybe neutron star at least.
 
+Arvind Gautam +Matt Burns I have come to believe that the perfectly intuitive application is a myth, and a very dangerous one. Intuitive things are intuitive because they fall entirely with a predictable usage pattern. Things any more complex than putting a square peg in a square hole aren't intuitive (and even then). I believe it's more about how easy something is; not just easy to use but easy to learn. Easy to learn isn't intuitive in the sense people use that term today, but easy to learn means that once you've been shown how to use it, it stays with you because it's not arcane. Take gestures on the Mac. Definitely not intuitive, but very easy, and most folks I know love them. It only takes a couple of tries to understand it and it makes sense. I would say that's the mark of good features, it's easy to learn, easy to remember and easy to use.
 
I wasn't beating anyone in the skull... Just stating the fact (howbeit in a blunt language).
Personally, I started to experiment with G+ when Facebook suddenly locked me out of my accounts and subjected me to limit one with a phone number! I lost a lot of my personal data on Facebook because of their stupid manipulations. And they completely closed one of my prime accounts without any reason. I tried to contact them, and they never responded. Anyone can report you on Facebook. It could be over some political comments you made, and bam! there goes your account. Being on Facebook on the most part is a waste of time. And with Twiiter, you cannot be as engaging with a post or comments as you could with G+.
I feel stunned when people keep saying how great Facebook is, and how Google+ can't beat it. Are you freaking kidding me?
 
+Matt Burns I'll tread lightly here... sure it's novel to spend reams of time flipping through countless scrolling entries to uncover the good, bad, the ugly and the downright rude... it takes a lot of time and is often not spent any better than on Facebook... But I won't F off as +Lion Fisilie suggests - cause I'd like to try and appreciate the set up and determine if I want to participate. Those who have adopted G+ and established themselves have invested the time and energy obviously, and I'm certain there are good reasons for that. However it adds no sense of welcome to be insulting - whether it's the users or the founders!
 
Lol. I hate it when people quote me to associate it with anything negative. I'm a nice guy ya know? Just don't take me literally sometimes and you'll do just fine. I really wasn't telling any particular person to "F" off. It was just being rhetorical and obviously not intended to serve as an insult. Once again, I'm a really nice guy. If I offended anyone, I apologize. It wasn't on purpose.

P.S.
That was easy wasn't it?
If only Rush Limbaugh could learn from me, maybe he could do a better job with his apologies. 
 
+Cheryl Binstock completely agree with you on this. The user needs to be able to see the value directly in a product to be motivated to use it. In a multi-faceted product like a social-network.. sometimes it's hard to pin down the exact benefits. But I also agree with +Alex Turner that perfectly intuitive applications are a myth. I do believe though.. G+ has some way to go before it reaches a 'good' intuitive point where the user doesn't have to read a guide-book to understand how this is different and better than facebook.
And for any others who think that people who don't get it should stay away... well apparently Google doesn't agree with you! Hence their pitch that this is a product that should appeal to ALL of the populace. Considering that's what Google's actual intent is - they do have work to do here.
 
Hey now...!

LOL.

Ok.. I change my mind: don't go away people. Please stay.

LOL. (as if I am the King of the world).

 
+Lion Fisile wasn't pointing you out in my post.. too many people have said the same thing ;)
 
Oh ok +Arvind Gautam
Just making sure. But seriously though: you just need to ignore a lot of comments or else, you'd never want to be on a social networking site. Expect the good, the bad and the ugly. Take what suits you and disregard the rest; but don't thrash all simply because of a few bad apple. Some people actually get a kick out of the response they get when they post thrashy and outrageous comments. 
 
he he! it's fine +Lion Fisile I've been around the internet long enough to know not to take things personally! ;-) or people too literally! I'll keep exploring - it's likely we'll meet again and I'll see your soft fuzzy side at some point! LOL!
 
+Matt Burns "Can G+ be used like FB? Sure. But then you wouldn't be "using it correctly". You're wasting its potential. And if you're just using it like FB, why not just use FB?" -- because in many ways Facebook sucks, as many have pointed out and I'm looking for alternatives. I have a Page there in addition to my profile and find the changes on the site are beginning to make FB less attractive. So I'd see an advantage if I can use G+ to connect with friends, family, work, my community, AND the outside world in one cohesive tool that can be fun, interactive, current and all encompassing! One that easily allows multi-media uploads and link sharing - If I can recommend it to others even better - I need more "positive" proof though before I can do that! :D
 
Both Facebook and Google+ are walled fortresses that only have THEIR monetary interests in mind. They have quite literally stolen the basic idea of blogging for greed. It's that simple! So, get on board with one, or both, and just muddle along like the sheep we really all are. I wouldn't be on either if I had a choice - but I don't because I'm an Internet marketer. I'd rather concentrate on the blog that I've ignored since attempting to master both of these non-intuitive platforms. Meanwhile, I'm contributing to making others rich (FB and G).
 
+Stephen Dow why the hate? E.O.T.D. They're both just tools! People are encouraged to use them... not forced. And if your job requires you to use them... well obviously because it provides some benefit to your business in some way. Businesses have a way of being pretty dispassionate about such things.
 
I have no hate at all Arvin. I've just been in marketing for a long time, and I'm simply giving my opinion as to what these two entities really are. I also thought I clearly stated that I am using both? However, I don't have to like it.
 
+Cheryl Binstock I perhaps should have phrased that comment a bit more clearly. I meant that if you only used G+ like Facebook, then you would be wasting its potential. I personally think that G+ makes it much easier to communicate with people I know. The only thing that G+ is lacking, of course, is users. It doesn't matter how great the features are if your friends aren't here.

But if people keep thinking that G+ is just Google's version of Facebook, then people will never switch from FB to G+ precisely because everyone they know is on FB. People need a reason to use G+ that isn't affected by the lack of people they know using the service. And G+ has that, in that it allows people to connect more easily with others who share their interests, and that it integrates all of Google's other services.

People need to acknowledge and embrace that G+ offers something that FB doesn't. Only once more people are using G+ for these other reasons can it become a viable alternative to FB in terms of social networking with friends.
 
Actually, this conversation itself is a great example. Everyone here is interested in G+ to one degree or another. We're all interested in technology news, which is why we're following Mashable, or at least read a Mashable post on G+. No one here has to actually be following Mashable or have anyone else in this conversation Circled in order to post their comments.

I see lots of posts on FB from friends of friends which I would like to comment on but can't because I'm not friends with the person who made the original post. Even though we share the same interests -- at least on one particular post -- FB requires us to be "Friends" before we can participate in the discussion.
 
I really like the design of Mashable's website as well as its Google+ page. I also find Mashable to be one of the best sites to read tech-related materials !
 
+Mashable +Pete Cashmore, i agree with +Alok Meshram, don't sell your souls. you have the legs and the following to be in charge of yourself. the last thing people need are the big networks to ruin our online source of news.
 
really guys? I'd sell my soul for $200 million :D
 
Maybe, after selling Mashable, Cashmore could invest it to start something more innovative and wonderful !!
 
I'm guessing Google+ will become a dead "duck" before it turns into a rabbit.
 
We'll have to see +Anup Verma. Being already heavy into Facebook marketing, I can see that FB has many weaknesses. I also see some possible ways Google can redefine "networking" with this current platform they've constructed. However, whether they will be allowed to evolve it fully (e.g., because of FTC rulings and possible patent suits) and/or whether they truly "know" what to do with it, remain to be seen. Meanwhile, I think most of us can only do their best to see how the G+ beast develops. It's my job as a marketer - like it or not! Just saying.
 
+Stephen Dow But I didn't say anything about Google+. I was talking about Mashable.
 
Sorry... I "meant" to respond to +Dipankar Mitra. Long thread, and I'm doing too many things. A "duh' moment!
 
The big problem is I have the same friends on G+ as I have on FB. So it's all a little repetitive. Also can't seem to get G+ up on #Hootsuite..which is where I do most of my socializing.
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