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"Google doesn´t get the recognition it deserves for G+"
"G+ is not a social network, but a social layer over all Google services" states Google´s +Ade Oshineye in an interview with Dutch newspaper ´De Volkskrant´ where he tries to counter the criticism.

His point "It improves your experience with all Google services without a conscious experience." It´s primarily designed to make sharing of search results, websites, articles and other content easier. You can easily start a discussion about a YouTube movie or whatever you find as the G+ bar shows up everywhere.

Sharing has been studied by Google and they found that sharing everything is counterproductive (read FB´s model is wrong) and sharing with selected circles is the solution. Even when friends or family are not on G+ sharing still works through email. When they react it will still enter G+.

Some other tidbits from the interview: 50 million people with a Google + account use it daily. Per month there are a 100 million active users

The Comscore figure showing that people spend only 3 minutes a day is countered by +Ade Oshineye by comparing G+ with a take-away: "you don´t rate the take-away service on the time you spend there"
"G+ is like water, without noticing it you use it and it´s part of your life."

He claims that companies regularly use G+ for hangouts and most of the usage of G+ escapes our view as it´s done in limited circles.

The challenge for Google according to Ade: "We built something lots of people use, but we don´t get the recognition for it" Poor Google!

_all quotes are translations from the Dutch text in
Giselle Minoli's profile photoAde Oshineye's profile photoMax Huijgen's profile photoRaymond Upenieks's profile photo
All good points. If you want some idea of how pervasive Google is, trying spending a day without using a single G service of any kind.
That's the point: "He claims that companies is regularly used for hangouts and most of the usage of G+ escapes our view as it´s done in limited circles."
Yeah, yeah, we've heard all of this corporate boilerplate before. The evidence just doesn't match with these claims of "active users".
+Lionel Lauer you are dead on right about that. Not just any Google service, but I cannot imagine a day without G+. What would be the point?

+Max Huijgen thank you! I'm relieved that there are some positive stories out there for our beloved Google+!
Not only does "most of the usage of G+ escapes our view as it's done in limited circles" I think a lot of it also happens in notifications and comment sections such as this, also escapes our view and the attention of many observers.
I take a lot of experience and knowledge from G+. every day. I find a group of people here from all over the world, that makes my life different ;))
Many of us who post publicly by default would be surprised at how much non-public activity happens on G+. I have a couple of close friends who I'm sure would be 100K+ follower G+ superstars if they posted publicly. Both of them have amassed thousands of followers purely by word of mouth.

Ha! Hi +Dede Craig! Speak of the devil. ;^)
"Sharing has been studied by Google and they found that sharing everything is counterproductive". Read: They still need better filtering for the Public channel.
+Ade Oshineye is right, there's a lot of usage through limited sharing, comments, etc. that you can only observe if you're doing it. The crossover that everyone outside Google can observe and measure occurs in conversations like this one. Just don't confuse this interaction with total usage. My message to Google would be: No whining about being misunderstood if you don't share the info. (Personally, I'd let everyone stew over it for a good long time.)
I know that the public posts are only the tip of the iceberg.
Allow me to borrow parts of a remarkable comment by +Phill Hocking on a thread by +Robert Scoble today, it warrants the attention in this context —

"g+ is the final (and most important) piece of the puzzle they were missing before. wait for it... identity and reputation xD [...] they can now use your digital identity in order to identify who you are and what you do based upon g+ information. +Robert Scoble probably uses google search signed in, and i imagine that he gets similar ads to me by his area of interest. but now if you read the fine print, google can have their advertisers pay to be the results that he sees at a higher rate than those that i see."
"the context that g+/+1 button adds in this regard simply makes ppc so many millions of times more relevant than it was before that not only is it more targeted, it can be unicast instead of broadcast. g+ never was intended as competition to facebook/twitter or another 'social network' but simply a way to contextually take their already massive #BigData play and make that data relevant by combining it with an online identity. i have been LMFAO at every stupid industry blogger saying google is losing the social war, g+ is a ghost town, and never will compete with facebook. they won the game years ago, and now their dominance is so uncontested nobody else ever will have the capability of catching up."
+Alex Schleber Are the right metrics being used to provide this "evidence?" This is not at all evident. Applying the same metrics that are used to measure facebook's success may be reasonable, but not without justification. I've not seen that justification.
+Max Huijgen, nice find. At least it is an article talking about whT G+ is or does.
Is it just me or is there more time news inches spent in the classic playground Google, Facebook and Twitter are fighting after school. Make sure you bring Pinterest along too.
All these services at their core have interaction because they operate from one central place. This pseudo-comparison frenzy, based on questionable metrics is getting old and tired.
We all know some people here and there who mainly post to circles and who are very active. Some of my favorite posters very rarely post Public, if ever.

But in that last report about how bad Google+ was doing, where they checked a few thousand profiles, one thing made me think about that tip of the iceberg everyone seems to agree on. A very large number of those profiles they checked that had very few public posts, those posts generated very little engagement. (+1's, comments, reshares). Which would make one think they don't get much more engagement when posting to circles.

Maybe the people we know who mainly post to circles are the exception to the rule, not the tip of the iceberg.
"Piep-piep-hallo, piep-piep-hallo, Calimero
Piep-piep-hoi, piep-piep-hoi, Calimero
Piep-piep-nou, piep-piep-nou, Calimero
Op zijn koppie staat een eierdop

"Zij zijn groot en ik is klein
en da's niet eerlijk"

Sorry, I just couldn't resist :-)
+Alex Balcázar if I look at all the people in my inner circles (all circles except the "watchlist") roughly 90% of them are posting "limited" only. The other 10% are people like +Max Huijgen who frequently post a lot "public". I myself post only app. 5% public and all the rest "limited" for several reasons. And looking at the number of followers I have, I guess I could count myself in some way as an "average user".
I post all Public. I have no reason to censor myself or filter my content. Others may have reasons.

As far as sharing searches, I find that idea a bit absurd, even though I am testing

I am not really interested in what others are searching for online -- only in what they find of value. Thus, I am interested in their sharing links and posts and comments.
+Alex Balcázar you make a point about the public posts not having +1 or comments. I think that is actually a good thing as it reflects "human" interaction based on interest.
It would be very easy to machine code +1s on every post but to what end?
Not everyone can be the Justin Beiber of G+ and not every post can be interesting but it was to at least one person as they wrote it.
Also people use G+ in different ways -
1. As a blog (how many personal blogs get a gazillion likes/+1s but people still feel compelled to write them),
2. Post about stuff they find interesting and want to share with potentially kindred spirits
3. Meet, yes meet, other people regardless of location, education, background and culture.
4. Conference "face to face" via hangouts.

Most of this G+ social network is dead seems to biased towards the fact that this is not a "broadcast about me" network. It allows for and encourages asynchronous reciprocation.

Ah! Fine post, a nice read. I should read up on things more like this. I so want G+ to replace facebook,and I can't help but seeing it can. But in these words, it seems almost irrelevant and not the point at all. But then again; they say they want to handle sharing of information to each other with a different approach than Facebook. So clearly, they want Facebook's role in that, no? And if they want to achieve that, they must also cover the other things Facebook does for users. So far, I'm seeing no sign of this (events, groups, other friend's activity), although some of these, I can easily live without. But events and group functionality? It's no where here yet. Sorry if I'm off-topic, but just from what is said, that's what I'm thinking :)
Am I in your watch list, +Wolf Weber? :P Because I only use limited as sort of a PM.

+dawn ahukanna I may have not explained myself clearly. If you were say, following me and I only posted to circles, you'd be in one of them or you would obviously not be following me. Chances are you would interact with my posts here and there.

And I think, chances are you would also interact with my posts if I posted to Public every once in a while.

That people who very rarely post public get very little interaction kind of proves they don't get much more when posting to circles.
I am perplexed we are still talking about this? G+ can be utilized in unlimited ways by innumerable people. There is no wrong way or right way thus metrics and assessment is moot. Can't we just enjoy it without having someone analyze it to death! Come-on +Max Huijgen look out the window and just enjoy the ride with the rest of us. :-)
An excuse not to fix G+ instead of marching forth in dead silence is better than nothing I suppose.
Agreed +Cebastian Rosing G+ needs a lot of work. People that use G+ get absolutely nothing out of listening to how pervasive Google is when that statement could be made without the existence of G+ at all.
Cute little G+ bird. I will do whatever it tells me!
+Alex Balcázar "watchlist" is only a name for the circle I place recently circled people to find out (by their posts and interaction) in which of my circles they match best or if I uncircle them again. BTW, you left "watchlist" weeks ago :))
+Alex Balcázar I started off by posting mostly to Circles for months, and grew my presence that way to a manageable level. These days, I post a strong mix of public and limited items. I think there are many right ways to do this. However, I think there's a bit of an art to a decent experience here... you have to post to people who like to talk with others, people who will not just wait for the next post. ("Talk with others" = share text, share media, or participate in Hangouts.)

One thing we aren't dwelling on here is the sure knowledge that there is a Facebook level of G+, a "nether region" full of lols and partial-sentence texting. (It needs a much better term than what I just used, because it's not all negative for its similarity to traditional FB interaction.)
Well then, +Wolf Weber, I only use limited posts as a sort of PM. So I lower the percentage of people in your circles who mainly post limited.

But hey, feel free to put me in the same bag as Max. I'm deeply honored.
I'm willing to bet that all these measurements about the time spent in G+ is simply time in the stream. I personally, almost, never use it as it's simply too time consuming.

Coupled with the thought provoking nature, of much of what I read here, I simply don't have the time to devote to posting my own content. Private or public. +Ade Oshineye and +George Station are right that conversations are what's not being picked up by the measurement processes, whatever they be.

I'm personally on a 4 day conversation on one of +David Amerland's post. Just yesterday I joined in on his very next post, which had already been posted 4 days ago. I've been trying to join another 2 by +Peter Strempel for the past 3 days. But, the the contemplation and thought necessary to comment upon his writing, require so much discipline, diligence, patience and time. So much to do, so little time. These are just off the top of my head. In less than a month I've already interacted with almost everyone on this thread, and am following almost all.

There's so much to discover/decipher/debate here that it's almost impossible to keep up with it all. G+ is literally consuming all of my spare time, down to roughly the nano-second. To boot, I'll bet I'm not even counted towards any usage at all. Not even a minute. YEAH RIGHT.

Thank you +Max Huijgen for the post.
It needs a much better term than what I just used, because it's not all negative for its similarity to traditional FB interaction

Among other reasons, +George Station, because we have no way of knowing what conversations people have on FB. I, for one, have relatively intelligent conversations there. And I have tons of incredibly stupid conversations here. Which I love.

If we do not know what goes on in limited posts here, let's not pretend to know what goes on on FB. It depends on who you friend.
+Alex Balcázar I see what you mean but I think that the opposite is the case.
If you share posts limited to circles, there is more likelyhood of interaction as the topics tend to be focused to the interests of the circle members and all kinds of group dynamics comes into play.
E.g. I'm in a circle where we discuss the details of motherboard component design (I can already hear the groans😉) and there is a reason why this is not public because it is not of general interest. However, I could and have spent hours discussing the nuances. This is a french cafe discussion that would never make any page in a newspaper (no interaction on public post). But this type of interaction is important to me as a person.
This type of social interest conversation and interaction is important because it enables these connections regardless of traditional boundaries e.g geo, work, cultural.

Can G+ be improved? Absolutely! But the focus should be to oil the wheels of interaction and collaboration regardless of the scale.

+dawn ahukanna But methinks I would never have met your lovely self had we not interacted on some public post having nothing to do with the details of motherboard component design...because you are the sort of person who is curious about many other things as well...even though you might never admit it. ;)
+Arthur LeCuyer How can time spent not be precise when it comes to Google+? I'm sure a thing like time spent here is very easy to count, weather it be private discussions, time spent in Explore, in the notification-bar. I mean, as long as we are in, the time should be accurate enough, wouldn't it?

I think the problem lies in, that only 50 million use it daily. 100 million a month, out of these, how many see a ghost-town, and just leaves? Add to that, if 200 million accounts are activated (last I heard), then 100 million of those are barely used, wouldn't that effect time spent here on average? Because 100 million must see a literal ghost town. Or simply never check it out (maybe because they opened a gmail-account? Or bought an Android running 4.0?).

Not to insult you in any way, I'm just curios as of how time spent here, can be misalculated; I spend a lot of time here, and even a lot more productively than on fb.
It was just a comment on the "how it's calculated" :) But as it is right now, I can kind of see how that number is somewhat true enough
i.e. I have Facebook open right now, and I always do, when a computer is on. All of my other friends do the same thing. And that's 600 million users right there almost every day, when they are near a computer. It can easily add up to 7 hrs on average.
And +Giselle Minoli comes and answers for me. Much better than I would have, obviously, but she does. So thank you.
To +Arthur LeCuyer's point, does his ( or anyone's) time spent reading, composing, reviewing and editing posts/comments get included in the famous average 3 minute G+ time spent metric?
+Giselle Minoli, if memory serves me well (it doesn't always) my first encounter with you was a comment you made on someone else's extended circle post. However, like you however I post publicly, apart from some geekfest topics, as I chosen to use G+ as a personal, not professional space and I would say in person anything that I have written here, so no "hard cheese" 😄.
+Cebastian Rosing That's my point and you seem to have missed it. I haven't posted anything, at all, much less public in approximately a week. Also, no shares or re-shares. So all that can be measured is my +1s which I do often use but can be used entirely out side of G+. So, otherwise, I can see myself not being included as one of the 50 million. That is my point. I doubt i'm being counted despite spending hours a day here.
With all due respect to everyone explaining how they use their limited posts: it is irrelevant, just as it is irrelevant how I use my limited posts, obviously.

We are talking about 150 million users. Or so they say. How we commenters in this post use the circle is merely anecdotal.
I just realized I could use Google+ in a very different way. Thank you +dawn ahukanna, that's from your words :)
I cannot relate to you who spend hours on creating original content, I see +Arthur LeCuyer point, if this is what he meant. Blogging, researching, experimenting and so fourth. That's a very good point!
So +Alex Balcázar ,even limited to public posts, what would be a legitimate measure of engagement and sample size to do some kind of meaningful comparative analysis between the networks? That data woukd be fascinating to analyse and figure out.

Anecdotally, facebook is number 1 in number of user/company accounts, activity including machined "frictionless sharing" (not necesarilly direct interaction), twitter is influential in a different way but has large numbers and the G+ trailing in behind newcomer Pinterest.
Hello there +Alex Balcázar... +dawn ahukanna I wish I remember, but I personally post limited so very rarely and Yes, even though I do comment often on people's Limited posts, to my mind, and, Yes I could be wrong about this, most of the people I know do post Publicly because that is their (and my) mission on G+. So that's why I assumed it was in that arena that we met, but you could be right. No matter what, it was most certainly not on a motherboard component discussion where I would have been less than completely useless.
+dawn ahukanna I found the report I was mentioning before (can't recall who did it, but I'm sure someone here does) of 40,000 profiles better than a sample of people who are following +Max Huijgen. mong many other things, because as it has been stated before, he is no average user, not only for the follower count but also for his posts.
C'mon G, don't be shy! You know you, +Giselle Minoli, are bursting to say something about motherboard component design.
+dawn ahukanna I know motherboards have daugherboards but why don't they have sonboards? And where are all the fatherboards?
+Arthur LeCuyer I'm really sorry to have to tell you this but it's a well known fact that women are smarter and All computers have female personas!
I'm sure +Max Huijgen would like us not to hijack his post and stag in topic so I'll end today's lesson on that note.
+Arthur LeCuyer thanks for the laughter diversion.
+Alex Balcázar Yes, you have a good point about our collective knowledge of Facebook intelligentsia. There's a stereotypical "Facebook wall conversation" just as G+ is stereotyped by media outbursts and poorly-framed blog posts. I'm going by what I see friends and family (and many students of college age) do on FB, which mostly is to write as they do in text messages. While I try to "raise the ante" there, I also do some one-liners because I know most of my friends/fam well enough to get away with it.

Later, you comment that +Max Huijgen is no average user. I wholeheartedly agree, of course, but how could we know this except anecdotally?

Finally, I suggest that what we do on a small scale is not irrelevant to G+'s evolution and fate. These conversations, public and private, are what we bring in response to the "ghost town" charge, and I hope Google is making Googlish sense of it in some way.
We know Max is no average user by comparing his public posts to the posts of the other people we are following.

Britney Sears has over 3,000,000 followers. Her followers have, statistically, much more weight on what G+ is. Now go and find an intelligent conversation under one of her posts.
+Alex Balcázar It would seem that there are many people who think that the creation of "intelligent conversation" on G+ is a waste of time. Happily...I am not one of them! Good night everyone...have a lovely weekend.
+Alex Balcázar, you know it's not fair to bait people, especially on #GeekPrideDay. LOL.
Before I cause any more mischief and this has been fun (not sure where +Max Huijgen dissappeared to), I will bid you all a good day, good evening and good night.
Reading through these comments I am once again realizing how many people that have circled me I am missing their real content since many likely post limited. That also cause me not to circle them back until I come across them in some other manner such as a post shared with me or in a comment section on a public post.

I fully understand why some of my followers don't post publicly for several reasons. Some I can tell are in regions where a public post likely is not a good idea even if it isn't really "private." Others I think are simply put, "private people." My most general posts, my visual art and blog posts I spread far and wide publicly for the obvious direct it to my website.

When it comes to more political, economic and social discussions however I do post to one circle only and although it I post public it is a small circle (many people commenting here are in it). Which then returns back to the original point of how is that measured in real value of G+?

I'll refrain from out and out bashing Facebook (although it is no secret I disdain it) but I wonder if besides the obvious machinations that went on behind "the worst IPO offering in a decade" (Bloomberg) that the reason for its rather spectacular fizzle is everyone had to admit what is known. "It don't make no real money."

With that everyone have a good evening, morning, night wherever you are and a good weekend.
+Alex Balcázar Yes, Britney may have lots of followers and zero substantive conversation. That however does not dimmish the relevance of the possibility for extreme discourse here.

I've had exactly one real discussion on FB over the course of 2 years. In one month I've had dozens of complex multifaceted dialogs with dozens of participants. I've also read scores more in which I've had no direct participation or interaction, except for the occasional +1.

Just one post by +Peter Strempel can consume days of thought, inquiry and contemplation on my part. It starts first with reading his opening comment, which is usually an entire well thought out dissertation upon the linked subject. Then comes the reading of the link itself, which is usually very enlightening and thought provoking. Peter wouldn't post it otherwise. Almost always these articles will come with comments which expand upon and further the scope of the premises. Then I get to read the comments to Peter's post which adds still further enlightenment. Often there will also be other links to take things into broader and more far reaching territory. Then, if and when I'm able to digest and comprehend all of the above, I have to formulate a response worthy of the intellect of the various participants, as well as my own.

Well, I hope you can see the point, that while all this time is spent, it doesn't necessarily show up statistically. Not at least by my observation. I think +Max Huijgen does us a great service in continuing to bring this topic up. Anecdotally, or not, it appears that time usage is not being analyzed properly.
I prefer to think of Google+ as both a social network AND a social layer for the Internet.
+Arthur LeCuyer All that time you spend, the immaterial labour I wrote about elsewhere, is the thing that neither Facebook nor Google has been able to monetise, so it's no wonder it doesn't show up in statistics. No one has a reason to go looking for it, to quantify it, and to present it as a saleable product. Yet, I think, without it, G+ would be a shadow of itself.

A somewhat maudlin aside. It seems to me that striving for something clever to say is counterproductive. The passages in my posts that have created the most intense responses have always been those I thought of as afterthoughts, obvious points, or inelegant, incomplete syntheses. My point is that what seems obvious or low-brow to you may not seem that way to others.
+Mike Elgan I have no idea what you mean in distinguishing between network and layer. Care to explain?
+Peter Strempel Yes. The users' perception is that Google+ is a destination site, a distinct place where they go and do social networking. That's the social network.

Users also encounter the Google+ stuff outside Google+. They see it in Search results, on YouTube, in Gmail and many other places. They see +1 opportunities, etc. That's the social layer.
+Alex Balcázar That would be quite a feat, relying on public posts of any kind, and a comparison to Britney Spears, to determine that +Max Huijgen isn't average. I think we'd have a better chance by comparing his public posts to those of the Google employees and execs who use G+. Taken together, they might tell us a lot about this conversation's original topic...
+Peter Strempel You point out something I had only thought about in passing and in abstract. I'll post something just for the heck of it without much thought behind it and it gets a large number of +1s or comments. Conversely something I've thought about a lot or in the case of creative work put a lot of effort in may or may not receive a noticeable response.

I do see +Mike Elgan's point about social layers although that returns back to monetizing and how is that quantified. Lately due to thinking that it's time for me to make some changes to my own online business concerns I've been thinking really what do all these SEO et al social web experts know? What are they basing their craftiness in getting hits and advertising revenue/sales on? It's smoke and mirrors really...I've never paid one since what information is available is accessible to anyone but I know people who do.
+JR Snyder Jr It's easy for me to condemn what I don't understand, JR, but it DOES seem awfully like witchcraft the closer I look at the methodologies advocated for ANY online marketing strategy.

I'm not saying none of them work, just that I fail to see how anyone can know HOW they work. Personally I suspect online advertising reaches only a relatively small number of consumers who are already looking for information to inform purchasing decisions.

Conversely, the David Ogilvie strategy of brand building and awareness might be the name of the game here also: making specific brands front of mind for billions of people so when they do make purchasing decisions, that brand awareness influences decisions almost subconsciously. It's a longer-term strategy that shows almost too much foresight and too little 'next quarter profits' focus to be really American, but it does create for the ad agencies/Google a steady long-term stream of revenue.

As for the observation about stream of consciousness stuff compared to the polished, nuanced narrative, it is unarguable that ideas in the raw always precede the most elegant expositions, and sometimes they don't need polish. That's particularly true for those odd ruminations that have been bubbling away in the subconscious for quite some time, but are not recognised as the product of much thought by the self -- only by someone else stumbling on them at the right time.
Having a natural suspicion +Peter Strempel of all these people who overnight became experts on the social web, SEO and advertising it's not hard for me to not necessarily condemn them but think of it as witchcraft.

Brand building over a period of time and building trust and awareness I think works on a large and small scale. It requires effort and consistency in performance and in the long term with the disruptive ecosystem of economics and business we are experiencing now I believe it is the only strategy that will work as we move into a different economic/business climate. One of America's worst exports has been consumerism and the resulting "next quarter results" thinking. We are no longer the sole country whose business operates in that manner, it's a global phenomenon a result of American MBA Marketing Culture. My thought is the system has to crash before many American business blockheads change their strategies.

On the other point many a good idea or creative work has been ruined by the attempt to polish it and make it elegant or fine art. The trick is to know when the raw is meant to stay raw and "as is" since its roughness is part of the essence of its substance. The second thing is to also know when something is polished enough and when we go too far with our attempt to make it elegant lose the real meaning. Far easier said than done oftentimes.
Agreed, +JR Snyder Jr . Couldn't have put this better: '... it's a global phenomenon a result of American MBA Marketing Culture' of which I'm a scion myself, though these days I find it more useful as a grounding for finding the flaws in the thing.

Do you remember Joy Division? I am listening to New Order again recently, and discovered that the best of it is also the closest to the Ian Curtis evocation of existentialist angst, while New Order's 'greatest hits' are actually a little too polished and free from confronting, jarring themes. Just as you say, some rough edges are almost necessary tio elevate the mundane from the insightful.
+Alexander Becker +Gregory Esau hmmm... re:the +Phill Hocking statement, 1) if Google "won the game years ago", then why bother doing G+ at all?

And 2), I fail to see how this is supposed to leave us with any warm & fuzzies, Google certainly didn't start this "field trial" by saying it was going to be a mere ploy to harvest user profile data. Heck, they could have had that for cheaper by just upgrading the old Google Profiles to be more integrated with Gmail and/or Reader...

No, this smells of revisionist history to me, and of Google moving the goal post in response to whatever they need the data to show. I get it, once everybody's bonuses were tied to Google's "success in social" by Larry Page, failure was not an option.

Google simply could not afford (vis-a-vis their shareholders) to "get social wrong" a third time after Wave and Buzz. So now G+ will forever be in some sort of zombie state, not dead, but not really alive either... kind of like MSN in that regard. They'll claim any number of users as well if asked (except no one is asking anymore, are they?).

For anyone who believes that this system is really state of the art... well, we had most of this in 2009 with Friendfeed, plus all of their genius search/filtering stuff that actually worked reliably; OK, Google took @ mentions from Twitter, and upvoting of comments like Disqus and other things have had for ages, except that you can't even do anything with those votes after the fact (resort, pushing to an activity stream, asf.), all of the benefit goes to Google.

Is that really the best anyone thinks we can do for discussions? What we should happily settle for, and sing the praises of, just because it has "Google" stamped on it?

+Peter Strempel My higher education began in the early seventies and I was in the last group that went through what was then a liberal arts education with the idea that we would go work for a company or business and be trained and manage the business in its own particular unique ways. I chafed in the 80s as MBAs walked in with the concept that it didn't matter if it was a widget, a gadget, a service, a whatchamacallit, everything was a product to be manufactured, marketed and sold "just in time." It took what was left of any heart in business and firmly cemented corporatism in the US at least. Even then I could see in my own limited way that it was the beginning of the end which I don't think was a bad thing now we seem to have finally arrived at that tipping point. My instincts are that we are at the very beginning of a revision of the free market (and yes I think free markets will win over any regulated socialized markets) but how that plays out is yet to be revealed. I find it an exciting time in that sense.

Actually I liked Joy Division and certainly was exposed to their music and others of the post-punk era appreciating them and New Order even more. The music that followed which they influenced, especially U2, The Cure and "alternative" music captured me much more but now you mention it that music was more polished and "studio" than Joy Division and New Order was the beginning of that I suppose. As an aside I thought at the time Billy Idol's transformation from raw punk to polished video artist rather incongruous.
Oh, and just by the by, as indirectly pertains to those untold millions of presumed private sharers, go look at the (U.S.) "Trending" topics right now, and you will find that the No. 1 spot "Lil Wayne" has a total of 12, count them, 12 posts with that topic since 8pm Central Time, until right now, 1am.

12 mentions in 5 hours is enough to get to the number one spot. On a system that is supposed to have 50 million daily "active users" around the world... bhahahahahahaha...

I wonder what it takes to get to the number 10 spot, 2?! But I'm sure Google will soon have a great, plausible, black-box explanation for this as well. For comparison, the No. 10 trending topic on Twitter right now had 50 mentions in just the last 10 minutes... (and no, this is not a pro-Twitter statement, if anything it is sad that Google has in such a short time succeeded in dumbing things down to Twitter's TT level).

How on earth is anyone going to claim that there are untold hordes on here? That they are all just hidden away somewhere. Let it be 10 times the number of public posts, my guess is it would still be next to no throughput. If they had such wonderful stats to present about actual G+ users (just private), they would present them.
+Alex Schleber And? If the engagement is so-to-speak underground "private sharers" then those items won't trend. Somehow I'm sensing a disconnect in your point about trending. Nonetheless...

I think the article is making the case for those private sharers and that the assumption is correct that Google is not looking within and missing its own network and users. Personally I relate this to Google disconnecting Reader from commenting and interacting with Buzz then subsequently G+. What a huge mistake that was and most of the people I engage in a thinking mode here came from that group originally. However I think it's a matter of time before they figure this out and in spite of his counterclaim the author is cynical.

I did enjoy being reminded about California City as well as a lot of those Inland Empire developments that were supposed to happen but didn't.
+Alex Schleber I've been working on a post structured around +M Sinclair Stevens's mention of the Madrigal post in her own thread, and I'm a bit taken aback that some of what you said above so closely echoes my own thinking. My draft is not yet finalised, mainly because I'm working on something else too, but I'll mention you by name just so you see it.
+Alex Schleber you are missing the point and looking at a tree calling it a lush forest. google makes all of their products create synergy with each other before they are even planned, let alone implemented or gain critical mass. this integrative thinking approach where their business goals are to create this synergistic feedback loop instead of a specific product or idea is why the game was won long ago.

if you don't understand that by now i really don't know how i can help you come to that understanding. more than willing to educate, but could care less about arguing or debating a point that +Robert Scoble and +David Amerland the two SMEs i respect much more than my own opinion which is saying a lot and objectively have more authority than i ever will know intrinsically before i put it into words.

+Alex Schleber from a reply i made to +Eric Rice post the other day:

i used stickam and tinychat years ago when nobody cared about conferencing. it sucked really fucking bad and crashed all the time and was jittery even when it was working perfectly. believe it or not, hangouts was not designed to be a cool feature for google plus... but competing against gotomeeting and webex for enterprise conferencing clients.

the only reason hangouts are so polished and successful is because google wasn't doing it for you, it was to compete in the enterprise conferencing market. the fact HOA the 'killer app' is on such a larger scale than any other publicly available service that it only proves what i have known for years. google is not a search/video/social company, but a content delivery company. the fact that i haven't had cell phone service in most of the last year but make and receive calls on an android device over wifi using google voice for free and nobody i hand it to can tell the difference should prove that google is taking on the telecom oligarchy.

the fact cisco even in their wildest dreams never would be able to compete with google in scale/developers let alone what is most important - ideas - should show you the way of things to come. in 30 years when you are watching google tv over google fiber and making all your cell phone calls/data usage for absolutely free will prove that controlling the delivery and priority of content that everybody consumes is worth far more than the old outdated business models of telecoms that just provide a pipe or connectivity to the greater internetwork.

wrote about this back in february:
+Alex Schleber
the fact cisco even in their wildest dreams never would be able to compete with google in scale/developers let alone what is most important - ideas - should show you the way of things to come. in 30 years when you are watching google tv over google fiber and making all your cell phone calls/data usage for absolutely free will prove that controlling the delivery and priority of content that everybody consumes is worth far more than the old outdated business models of telecoms that just provide a pipe or connectivity to the greater internetwork.

:%s/cisco/facebook (or twitter/pinterest/ other stupid trite service you all blog furiously about)


:%s/a pipe/an outlet for content sharing

:%s/connectivity/useful service

get it yet? again, the game.
+Phill Hocking you are conveniently not addressing the points I've raised, and instead drift off into colorful language. This is NOT a referendum on Google the company as a whole, or whether or not they have created good or even great products in the past.

As for those magical "synergistic feedback loops", you mean like Buzz and Wave? Or Google Notebook (which I actually had high hopes for at one time), or Google Video? Google has exactly one real hit and money maker, called Adwords (Adsense being a distant second), and it is used to finance everything else. I've written posts on Google's Android "moat strategy", and have been a GotoWebinar/GotoMeeting user for years (and pointed out that Hangouts was going to kill GotoMeeting circa July 2 of last year).

So you think you're telling me something? BTW, Scoble has been plenty critical of G+ and its "strategies" of late, e.g. here -> (and BTW, I think you're overdoing it a bit with the deference there...)
+Roelf Renkema i suggest you read the +Vic Gundotra comment to the +Eric Rice post i reshared regarding the same phenomenon last april. takes a genius to take that whole concept and break it down so simply right? haha.

kind of makes you feel dumb for thinking that the plebs would screw up your g+ experience or that vic and his team had not considered this before a single line of code was written, amirite? lolololol this is just too fun
+Phill Hocking in my original comments there was nothing personal about you, let alone any ad hominems. Which you proceeded to casually introduce, for reasons that are beyond me.

And now you've just called me an idiot, which means this conversation is over. Go take your meds, please.
+Alex Schleber note the difference between deference and collaboration? i appreciate people i can collaborate with and see eye to eye with. i antagonize and troll people who don't give me that same courtesy.

arguing is a waste of time and the only satisfaction it brings me is how heated people get when i am either lmfao at their escalating rage or sad/frustrated/disappointed at their inability to even entertain other's ideas because they are so busy screaming they don't actually listen.
+Alex Schleber nothing personal about you either bud, the ad hom was not a valid contention on my behalf simply a method of determining if emotions override your cognitive faculties like the overwhelming majority of folks xD
+JR Snyder Jr yes, which is why I used the word "indirectly". The point being, unless someone wants to claim say x20 the number of private shares (and as far as I have understood it, no one has claimed that, only that there were "more", so 2:1, or 3:1, or fine 5:1 appear more plausible to me), these numbers still don't add up to anything to write home about for a company the scale of Google.

BTW, Google could put an end to all of this speculation and just release one non-fudged number. Just once. Which, given the negative PR the "ghost town" meme surely represents, would seem to be the smart thing to do IFF you have a very positive number to report here.
+Phill Hocking you just said in essence that you personally attack those who don't "give you the courtesy" of agreeing with you. Some debate culture you have there. Q.E.D.
I think one point that is being missed in this digression is that I'm not sure Google, Facebook, Flickr, Scobelizer, Thomas Hawk, SEO "experts" et al really know how to measure any of this. We're in a brave new world that has yet to be properly quantified and when it is it will no longer be brave or new.

How do I know that measurements are difficult? I've been trying and so has my partner for five years to do it on my website, blog, video channels, feeds, email subscriptions to my sites, click throughs on ads. We can get a pretty good educated guess but really what tells the story is what sells and what doesn't and how much revenue is put in the bank.
+Phill Hocking calling people idiots is beyond the limit to reasonable debate. I haven´t deleted that comment, but I ask you to edit it out and abstain from further polluting this exchange of views. Personal attacks have no place here and although I hate censorship I do moderate comment streams if really needed.
"I don´t buy it" is my answer to the tip of the iceberg suggestion. If there was an enormous interaction going beneath the public visible streams Google would have quantified it by now in a statement like for every public post there are ten limited posts They never did as this would be a statement which couldn´t be made up because of the relevance to shareholders. I´m with +Alex Schleber here.
The visual accompanying this post is a wink to the Google doesn´t get the recognition it deserves It´s an image of Calimero which I gave a G+ label. Wiki: Calimero complex is used to denote someone who thinks the world is against him or her because they are an underdog.
That underdog strategy, +Max Huijgen, is now an almost given in Australian politics. It's kind like the line "i see you look at me to see me looking back at you to see you look at me ...'. I sometimes wonder whether the people who advise following such an obvious ploy for such an obviously successful concern are really dumb enough to think we're all dumb enough to fall for it.

But as +Alex Schleber said above, the Gundoplan includes shamelessly revising reality to match the present KPIs of the Gundroons (neologisms are all my own) and presenting the resultant fantasy scenario as truth to an anticipatedly gullible public.
+Alex Schleber lol who is to say debate trolling epistemology rhetoric etc are but still under development and refusing to adhere to thinking or strict frameworks I know are flawed and need to be improved is my function in this exchange?

Creativity and ingenuity requires constant development. Socrates was killed for his beliefs but essentially is the father of epistemology. Think he gave a fuck that he was right and everyone else was wrong? Or did he die for his principles and beliefs that were deviant and contrary laughing at how retarded his contemporaries were?

+Max Huijgen i think the previous statement directed at alex is just as applicable to you as him. If you don't appreciate or welcome views or statements contrary to your own ideas and views about flawed and subjective social dynamics such as etiquette and courtesy that are anthema to discourse and debate I suggest you make your posts limited or in a blog that requires content moderation for comments.

I have as much love, respect, and appreciation for you as anyone else I know irl or online, but refuse to allow emotional subjective social dynamics affect my contributions to ideas that are deserving of my attention.

Much love buddy I'm not attempting to be disrespectful, but to me the most disrespectful thing one can do is refuse honesty for the sake of tact.
+Phill Hocking it´s very simple. You´re a guest on a public thread I made. As such it´s up to me if I welcome you.
edit I have deleted the most offending comment by Phil as he refused to edit it.
I try to create interesting debates, but calling people names is not what I want to see as that intellectual climate needs to be protected from every attempt to vandalize it.
It´s up to you to edit your ´you´re an idiot´ and make an excuse or I just delete a number of your comments as they disrupt a sensible discussion.
+Peter Strempel I was a bit surprised by the initial comments on my post as I assumed that the visual and my ironical tone made clear that I didn´t buy the interview. apparently not.
If there is a solid case for the added value of G+, different from the public posts which are clearly behind all reasonable expectations I would expect Google to mention it.
If the bean counters are really happy with the low engagement broadcasting model and the hidden usage why defend the ghost town image?
If the bottom line of G+ is good enough for the Gundroons why bother defending the G+ image. There is something rotten rotten in the state of Google.
+Max Huijgen world of difference between excuses and reasons broseph.

Excuse would mean I felt my behavior was "wrong" and my reason I clearly defined is being incendiary and provocative has it's own value of betraying ones true feelings.

"truths like roses have thorns about them. Severe truths are expressed with some bitterness as you do not gain a man's effective criticism without it." -HDT (paraphrased)
Right on, Max. Absolutely correct about setting expectations.

BTW: I will confess that the Calimero visual had me scratching my head for a minute yesterday.
It's always fascinating to see the distance between what I said, what gets reported and people's interpretation of the article.

The core of the interview was our belief that the Google+ project is primarily about improving the entirety of the Google experience for all our users. That goal is reflected in the metrics we use.

Unfortunately people seem to keep coming back to zero-sum narratives and colourful metaphors which aren't grounded in the source material. For instance this article : is one of the few that seems to have been written by someone who actually read the Comscore report:

I'm looking forward to seeing +Heleen van Lier's contribution to this discussion.
+Ade Oshineye thank you for sharing your point with us as well as the links in your contribution. I'm also looking forward to see +Heleen van Lier's contribution.
+Ade Oshineye Thanks for bringing your comment and the references. What if we read them and learn something that informs our views? :-)
Hi +Ade Oshineye would you say that my rendition of the interview doesn´t correctly reflect the newspaper article? Or is the problem with the interview itself?
I left out the whole ´Ghost town´ introduction.
I was on my phone earlier today. I'm now back on my desktop.

The point was that some meaning always gets lost and added in translation. I once wrote a blog post and foreword about that phenomenon: and machine translation is a completely different beast to human translation.

Then there's always the small changes in tone and meaning when a conversation with a journalist becomes an article that has been edited by people who weren't present.

By the time people read the article it's been translated several times: my words in English => Dutch notes taken by the journalist => edited into a Dutch article => read in Dutch => translated into English => read in English. Once things have gone through all those steps it's hard to say what's been added and removed.
But to answer my question +Ade Oshineye do you feel i did you injustice with my rendition of the interview and if so what would you like to change?
It's hard for me to say. I think your translation of the quotes sounds accurate although only Helene can say for certain. I'm not sure I used the metaphor of a takeaway restaurant but I definitely made the point about the tap. It's infrastructure. When it works you don't notice it but when it fails you notice its absence.
I took the takeaway straight from the interview so based on your feedback as well I would say my English version is an adequate rendition of your core msg as printed +Ade Oshineye
Like i said I left out the introduction about the ghost town as it´s a background most readers already know.
I've always liked Jeff Bezos's idea that if you do something different and new then you should be prepared to be misunderstood for a long time:

Eventually people start to understand it, you see others adopting parts of it then it becomes commonplace, well understood and even boring.
For what it's worth why I'm on G+ and active vs having a Facebook account and not logging often and at the beginning almost not at all.

G+ and every service related to Google offers a world inside the internet, I can do what I feel like including using the search to go outside of the G.

It offers circles that I want be active which is a key word, and get response or read other viewpoints. In Facebook I feel like I logged into an auto generated response machine. The topics don't seem to have any intelligent response (not all obviously) but Facebook is closer to the original MySpace.

Comments that have no relationship to a topic and a waste of time really.

In G+ the circles (and I'm still experimenting here) actually have content and response that relates to the topic at hand. If I feel like doing something else it's right here. News, videos and the list goes on ... social networking really hasn't been defined as what the framework of the society of the internet is.

I could go on and write much, much more but I'm tired at this moment, although I could and can find something that will engage my mind and still stay on the G. I can't say anything like that about Facebook, which seems more like an endless stream of repetitious and shortened Net Speak like cya,l8r etc.

Just my experience so far but after I entered G+ I keep coming back and isn't that point of it to begin with.
Basically G+ caters to a much more mature audience +Raymond Upenieks although this could be a temporary effect. it´s used less than Facebook and posting public is more of a barrier so posts are on average of a higher quality.
I feel that my experience validates the statement that G+ is social layer. Social networking is a very loose term to begin with roots going back to dial up BBS's in communication and technology. Before the Internet was readily accessible the digital communication channels routed through the BBS.

BBS (bulletin board service) for those that don't go decades back became a small world, as each
was very specific to regions in the real world. Very cozy and the structure was moderated to keep
users from going out of hand. When the Internet became accessible these worlds became a
universe and that started the redefinition of worldwide social communications.

Does G+ cater to a more mature audience? Yes, I would agree with that statement and it does this by not sharing everything as the original topic here states. The amount of sharing allowed in G+ for all
intents and purposes becomes the moderator.

The failure that I feel is the downfall of intelligent conversation on sites that are pure
social networking is the lack of moderation. If every application,game or whatever a site has
to offer is lumped or connected directly to conversations, the site becomes one big party. The joy of that
party starts to vanish very quickly leaving only so many half finished thoughts.

Now with G+ as a social layer, the structure leads to conversation's and topics that have
completion from viewpoint. but still offers the services of (in this case) Google. I personally feel that is best framework/structure to actually achieve the goal of social activity,participation and interaction.

Technology and the use of it changes daily so I do expect G+ to look at the areas that work and those that don't and slowly tweak G+ to offer a better experience. The definition of social networking is in constant revision but that also applies the real world.

Everyone will find a different way to G+ and I have to thank you +Max Huijgen for starting this conversation and topic as it is a very important , if we don't echo the parts that we as users feel succeed or fail then how can change be implemented?
You will notice this topic fell silent +Raymond Upenieks but that´s part of the natural death policy of G+. After 100 comments nobody gets an update of new posts anymore so they always die at that point.
Well, since I was born I did things a little differently so .. but in my original comment I was very tired so I had to expand on that thought. If even one other person read it was worth the time, and if nobody read but myself...I completed my thought/opinion on the topic.

Many thanks +Max Huijgen for the information, I'm still exploring +G.
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