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I just wrote a long comment over on this article, which takes on Google+'s development by +Larry Page and +Vic Gundotra.

Wondering what you think of this? I don't think the negative press will stop and explain why in the comment area over on Techcrunch.
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Eric Everson's profile photoRunar Bell's profile photoMichael Babcock's profile photoVeljko Sekelj's profile photo
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Here's my comment, just for those who want to see it here:


The problem is that Google doesn't look at Google+ as a failure. A friend who works there told me it's Google's fastest-growing product ever. Which is true in sheer number terms but it hasn't done well in three areas:

1. Addiction of its users.
2. Affection by the press.
3. Love by its users or most of the "influentials."

Even if you don't care about the PR connotations of the bottom two (just read the above article for a proof point) you should pay attention to #1.

Facebook has its users addicted. Deeply addicted. Google+? Not so much. I'm followed by something like 4.5x as many on Google+ but get fewer people engaging with my items on Google+ than Facebook. That's evidence enough of addiction and lack thereof on Google+.

More troubling is that Google+ doesn't have good mobile clients, doesn't have an answer for Facebook's OpenGraph, doesn't even have neat things like videos and thumbnails in comments.

So, why isn't Google+ addictive?

1. Clicking +1 on an item INSIDE Google+ doesn't do anything. You can't see every item that I've clicked +1 on and they are way behind Facebook in adding web-based +1s to profile pages. Using Highlight I can see what "likes" I have in common with other people. That's totally missing from Google+.

2. Comments don't have videos and photos. These little things make Facebook's comments more addictive.

3. There isn't granular noise controls. On Facebook I can quiet down a single person, or single data type. On Google+ I don't have control of the noisiness of my feed.

4. Mobile clients aren't as well designed as Facebook's and that's a low bar, actually.

5. There's nothing to see implicit signals being through around the network like what Facebook has with its "ticker." I have found that the ticker is very addictive on my screen. I love seeing all the little signals coming down through that.

Google+ was largely started to protect the search engine and its revenue stream. Google and Facebook are both intent satisfaction machines. Old style is Google. We'd search for "sushi Palo Alto" and get a list of results. The new style is social "what sushi place should my wife and I go to in Palo Alto?" Increasingly the Facebook answers were better than the Google ones. Advertisers notice this and started moving dollars over to Facebook. Google went into freakout mode and Google+ is the result.

That said, I expect that Google+ will morph much closer to mobile, because Google owns Android. That's a real advantage for Google and one that I expect will be where Google+ goes in the future in a much better defined way than it has so far.

One problem is that you see just how hard it is to catch up when you give another company a six-year-head-start. Google is in a deep hole, and continues to be in a whole raft of areas when compared to Facebook. So, these "negative" articles will continue until those holes start getting filled in.

That said, I'm quite happy with the community on Google+. Generally I get really awesome conversations started there that go way beyond anything I've seen elsewhere. Part of that is that there's not much distraction, which Google's Vic Gundotra keeps playing up (but those lack of distractions are due to being in a few deep holes platform and system design wise).

Google needed to use its "big stick" to get to where it is, which is why more than 100 million have signed up for Google+. Now it needs to build a system that gets users to love it and talk about it in glowing terms rather than terms like "I just go there because Google forced me to." If it can get a lot closer to that this year then Google+ will do just fine and these kinds of articles will look just as quaint as the ones Techcrunch commenters used to write about Twitter and how lame it is that people are talking about what we had for lunch on that service.
 
News of Google's demise is unfounded. I wouldn't expect much else from someone who briefly infiltrated from Microsoft.
 
+Marc Jansen actually it isn't. I look at Facebook and Twitter more often now. Why? Because those systems have more users, more flow, and more addictive technologies.
 
It's ridiculous.
One disgruntled employee who previously worked for Microsoft, left to Google, got pissed because he was reassigned to a task he didn't like, then left to go back to Microsoft -- and SUDDENLY decides to write a scathing article about Google+?

Shut your yapper.
One angry employee does not equal the entire corporation.

I've been around several amazing people who actually work directly on Google+ and are doing great things for the platform, and they are incredibly driven and very empowered by upper management (+Vic Gundotra, +Bradley Horowitz, +Larry Page, etc) -- I hate when drivel like this gets spit out by media, but that's just how it is, I suppose.

Whatever drives traffic and causes a conversation.
/Shrug.
 
FFS the last time the guy posted on Google+ was September 2011. How can he possibly know anything about what is going on here?
What rock are these so called journalists living under?

TechCrunch seems to have more of a party line about Google+ than Fox News does about Obama.
 
This guys is afraid of change and goes back to his past - why take him serious? Why knows what really happend in his team?
 
Good response, Robert. Your comments are well thought out.
 
+Robert Scoble I would like to share your TC comment on G+. I could just cut and paste, but I would prefer your authorization. Better yet, you should really post it here.
 
I agree with Robert's comments. My own anecdotal research indicates that people come to G+, look around, post a couple of times, then drift away. I've personally seen this in amazing numbers. If I were Larry, I'd have someone's head for this! So what actually happened? Well, let's see, we've got Google Play on the black bar at the top as of today (wow, huh?). Googleplex lights should be burning bright on nights and weekends until this is turned around in a major league way.
 
Well, all i can say is that i am addicted!
 
I suppose that if I actually wanted to make a living out of Social Media, I'd be singing a different tune, but that's not why I'm here.

I get absolutely nothing out of twitter, and not much more than that out of Facebook. I'm primarily interested in learning new things and meeting new and interesting people, which is something that G+ allows me to do in spades.
 
I actually find that those features in general make Facebook annoying with a low signal to noise ratio, rather than being representative of engagement.
 
I think +Marc Jansen hit the nail on the head. Most of the nay sayers are people that want to find a way to make money out of Google+.

If they can't figure that out for them it is dead.
 
I am just curious why you are the authority on the subject +Robert Scoble?
Is it based on sheer numbers of followers? Or is there some other reason that you are the authority figure? Is it because we (the public) let you be?

In contrary to your comments above-
My name is Paul Jewkes and I am an addict.

I check it constantly. On my mobile, on my desktop it's all the same. I am way more interested in visiting my G+ than I am my FB. I know I will find valuable content on G+ instead of bathroom schedules and posts of "Oh crap it's Monday" that we get on FB.

Your #3 is false. There is noise control. This happens to be only the second post of your's I have seen in a long time based on the circle I have you in and the volume level of that circle.

#4- Facebook mobile app is awful. Slow, and heavy. I will rarely even use it. It's not my phone either...because my G+ app rips across the screen. No problem. Ease of use is a plus as well.

Don't even start with Twitter.
Other than feeling like I ought to be there, it's totally worthless to me. I don't think I even have the app on my phone still...
 
I read the same article and I was going to write a long retort but eventually realized it isn't worth it.

Faulty premise. I get the best engagement on G+ (intelligent discussions, cogent points, real comments) out of all my social channels. Silliness.
 
+Robert Scoble you make a lot of very good points. However, I have to disagree that Google+ was launched for "[t]he same reason a child snatches a cookie from the cookie jar". Search requires social input and without it, it starts to break down. Back when Google was launched, the context of links was enough to provide relevant information. This is no longer the case. If you look for a restaurant in a city you did not visit before, being presented with 300+ reviews for each of the 50+ restaurants is meaningless. You need to know what people with similar tastes to yours like.
 
+Robert Scoble Great comment! Personally, I prefer Google+ because it's A LOT different than Facebook. Google stripped away that psychological barrier that prevented me from networking outside my circle of friends. It's generally socially awkward to request a friendship on Facebook from someone whom you don't really know...(even if it is an acquaintance of someone you do know). Sure, Facebook, "kinda" fixed that problem with subscriber lists...but the whole system makes it so murky. Facebook's community was built off intimate real world relationships.

Google on the other hand is tackling it from the other end of the spectrum. Remove the "request friendship" barrier...allow everyone the ability to circle one another....and you have the most valuable and open social network on the internet today. The Press can have their field day bad mouthing Google+, but it's here to stay. Google is quite aware of how important social is...and of course they will do what they can to make it the best. Maybe it's not as good as big ol Facebook, but if they continue to do their own thing and make the right moves....there definitely is room for a better social service.
 
I do wish comments could contain photos/videos a la Facebook comments. But I'm not sure about the rest of your statements. G+ Android app is much better than the Android/iOS Facebook app, and the web app is better than touch.facebook.com as well. I'm just not sure what you meant by that - surely you don't think the mobile app is inferior to Facebooks?
 
What I don't understand is the slow development of the mobile Google+ client. For example how hard is it to add Sparks? It's just a saved list of search terms. I find on my phone I frequently search for those terms manually, when I already have them saved as Sparks on the desktop. Also I might be missing something but I haven't seen any changes to the Web client for months. Are they just not working on Google+ anymore?
 
I find G+ addicting enough that I have to be careful to get off it and get some work done! My circles are awesome, and my problem is too much really interesting content and too many new friends.
 
My biggest issue with comparing G+ to Facebook is that I don't believe you should be comparing them - its not how I use these networks. I use Facebook for friends and acquaintances (people I know personally) while G+ is for everybody else i.e. related to my interests (design, startups and technology).

So how can it be a war if I'm never going to stop using either of these networks?

It is a war only if you use all of them in the same way. But I don't believe most people do.

At most (at least how I'm using it) Facebook makes Path irrelevant for me and Google+ replaces Twitter.

+Robert Scoble those are valid suggestions you make, but I actually think G+ is moving in the right direction (yes its growing so fast that people sometimes have unreasonable expectations for it). Twitter is their direct competitor and they should keep that in mind - integrating G+ posts closer into their search business makes G+ a lot more valuable to the whole community manager , 'SEO' and 'marketing' types + there are so many of them (at least on Twitter) that they might given time switch the critical mass of users to G+.

So since I know my everyday interests are on G+ and on FB I just get friends posting funny drunken photos - to me personally that makes G+ a lot more interesting and indeed Google+ is the first networks I check in the morning and the last I go to sleep at night :)

I do believe you get more posts for the amount of followers on FB - but could it be because your target audience on FB is "broader" (more general users) - while on Google+ you might get more quality comments? Because its more the techies using it (in techies I include writers - people consciously blogging/posting topics that might interest others)? So again quality vs. quantity? :)
 
Also, I use the iOS app for G+ and it's not that bad. Once in a while it will make me log-in a few times but other than that it serves my needs.

It comes down to noise vs useful content. It's rare a day goes by where I'm not muting someone on Facebook or unfollowing someone on Twitter.

I actively seek people out on G+ due to the high hit percentage of quality follows.
 
+Veljko Sekelj Just wait until you start building real life friendships with the people on Google+ or your real life friends start coming to Google+.

Then what will your argument be? Google+ is just "better?" ;)
 
What a great response! I don't understand why so many people expect G+ to be as big as Facebook this early in the game. Also, while it's true that there is generally less volume of interaction here, I find the quality of interaction is far superior.
 
The biggest problem Google+ has is its trying to capture the wrong audience. Instead of trying to crossover into the Facebook/terriorty why not postion it as social network of well I guess knowledge. Make google plus a place to throw ideas and knowledge like a social TED or a commune based around tech/art/poltics. I mean that's how I use and probably a lot more.
 
+Michael-Isaiah Harrison they kind of are doing that, if you search for something on Google at the bottom of the results is a link to post a question about your search on G+
 
+Thomas Olson I don't get it. On G+ I follow people based on my interests (not necessarily personal acquaintances) - its like a stream of my daily news. I don't need to follow my friends on G+ if they're not posting about the topics that interest me + I have them on Facebook so I know probably that I'm not going to miss anything. If they also post about tech - I follow them on G+ too.

Why would you want to follow the same people on Google+, Facebook, Twitter? It just divides your time and usually people just post the same stuff everywhere. That can't be the point of all these networks.
 
I have to disagree with your issues though it could very well just be me. I use the Android client more than I've used any other social network client....including on the web. I wouldn't want to see videos and pictures in the comments. Its distracting from the content. In fact I think one of the reasons I like G+ so much is because its clean and its about text...not a bunch of pics and videos crammed together.

Sadly though what people seem to want to see out of Google+ or at least what the naysayers think it should have are probably the things that would drive me away. I especially don't want a network of "friends" over here which I blogged on about a month back.

http://pmcoder.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/i-get-google-now-and-apparently-so-do-others-facebook-may-have-a-problem/
 
Robert, you make very good points, although I disagree slightly on the one regarding mobile clients. I find the facebook mobile client buggy and slow, and much prefer the Google+ mobile client. (Native app) I'm running a Nexus One, perhaps the facebook app is better on iphone?

Hope someone influential at Google reads your posts :-)

And regarding negative press: Journalists write to get hits. I get the impression that they get more hits (at least up until now) by bashing Google+ than by writing positive articles about G+. At least based on the number of comments on those kind of articles I can remember.
 
+Veljko Sekelj People Want the All in one social network that does everything. I like that all my accounts serve different purposes. My Twitter is for following and chating with friends while my G+ is more of a News feed with social commentary.
 
this is the first time in months I have been back too google+. Outside of its redundant feature set I started to resent it more because Google is trying so hard to get me to use it. Facebook originally took off because it served a need but G+ was just a response. Not a response to consumer wants but a response to make more money.

Outside of all this google keeps releasing half baked products with crappy UI/UX. The iOS app is pure crap compared to others out there and for such a big company its amazing that they can't even pretend to try to make a decent iOS app.

The final thing i hate about G+ is the noise and the inability to just quickly scan the page to get to what I want. That is why twitter has been so effective... short missives you can quickly peruse through. Hell, facebook does this to a certain degree.... at least they don't have gigantic ass buttons all over the place.... </rant>
 
I think of it like this. A great many people ..(a number that I'm sure is growing) is sick and tired of being spoon-fed by the current tech giants, Apple and Facebook (and now, even Microsoft) . Tech requires thought and interest and sometimes even work. Facebook is drivel. It is the "Cartoon Network" of the Internet. G+ is better in every way. I don't care if it gets FB numbers. Twitter doesn't do FB numbers and it seems to be fine.
In 4 years, FB will be a hasbeen, like Myspace. G+ will always be there.
 
Coldewey's TechCrunch piece gave me déjà vu -- taking me back to the blather of late-90's Wired nonsense "essays". Perhaps the inane pretentiousness of the article is actually intended? But, April Fool's is still ~week away...
 
+Robert Scoble While I strongly disagree with #1 -- I think the content on G+ is much more compelling than that on FB, I agree that some of your other suggested improvements would make G+ better. As others have noted, it's easier to follow people with interesting ideas here than on FB, my guess because you don't need to tell all your other friends who you're following.

As was stated above, maybe one reason for G+-bashing is that the platform may not clearly benefit advertisers or other affiliates. Like Microsoft learned a long time ago by helping Developers, getting others involved can help grow market share. That said, lots of Android apps can post to G+ and I'm glad the client (the mobile one at least) is ad-free for now.
 
+Michael-Isaiah Harrison that doesn't make sense ;) you say that people want all-in-one social network and then you explain how you use Twitter and G+ for separate things ;-) If you use different social networks for different purposes and I do too - why would you assume that other people are different?

+Runar Bell I agree with you. On my old 3GS Facebook native app is a lot slower than the Google+ app which works well for me. Although "native" is not really correct here - both of these apps are hybrid HTML5 apps with a native wrapper.
 
+matt albert may I suggest you use 'Circles' to filter out the noise that you talk about? One of the reasons why I'm reading +Robert Scoble's post is because I have him in one of my circles that I tend to read on daily basis. I'm not a FB user, but I don't know if it has a filtering system like G+. Nonetheless, my point is that there are tools in G+ that you may not be aware of that will help with certain shortcomings.
 
+Runar Bell negative articles ALWAYS get more hits. We learned this in high school. A fight in the quad drew a crowd. Someone winning an award or doing a great science project? No one cares. Since the press is paid for page views the incentive is to draw a crowd.
 
+Thom Miller you must not have realized that about four months ago Facebook added "subscriptions." Now you can follow people just like on Twitter or on Google+. In those four months I've gone from 13,000 followers to 170,000.
 
"I'm followed by something like 4.5x as many on Google+ but get fewer people engaging with my items on Google+ than Facebook." and "Generally I get really awesome conversations started there that go way beyond anything I've seen elsewhere." Fewer people but better conversations? Are these connected?
 
+Evan Brody most of those advances are slowly being chipped away by Facebook and, anyway, most people don't really want to participate in conversations online. Most Facebook'ers just want to see pictures from their friends or family. That usage model is changing, though, and don't miss the change and its affect on Google.
 
+Robert Scoble I just got through a third of +Guy Kawasaki 's book "What the Plus!" It makes sense!
I mean.. when you look at it - Google+ (intentionally or not) is like sophisticated Google Groups! People of similar interests flock together and converse.
Facebook is all friends and family. Or basically mostly friends :) A known group. Diverse interests...but then most of my conversations there are about nothing in particular.
Oh wait..
I don't have "Conversations" on Facebook! But then.. I may not represent the majority :D
I have sorta broken my Facebook habit by now. I don't login to Facebook all that often. Just do when I get a notification that I got tagged or something. I have lost interest in the largely bourgeois feed there. Why bourgeois? Well... maybe it's just me.. but with all "Friends" and family... there's just a lot of talk about nothing special... or just photos..or vacations..or something that I probably know..or just isnt very new to me.

However much angst I may have against +Vic Gundotra for not giving good curation controls, noise filtering, what not (so much so that my 'specialty' circles of 200 people or more are all but useless most of the time with people chattering about EVERYTHING..not just the specialized topic). The fact is that I still find myself engaging here a LOT MORE than I do at Facebook.
It may be because Google+ had this whole Twitter-like follower thing going via circles...and yet having the ability to engage in complete conversations spanning more than just 140 characters before Facebook got it. At Facebook I had to be someone's FRIEND before I could contribute to their interesting daily life.

I think people are still not very used to the whole idea of how G+ is best used (interests...not just friends and family!) .. but that's only one opinion.
As teh article said though - I HAD become rather used to Google just being there...everywhere! I wasn't too concerned about it following me over the Internet. Facebook...well.. I would open Facebook in a SEPARATE browser (not just a separate window) just so its cookies would not draw sugar from whatever else I was visiting. But now I'm not THAT open with Google anymore... starting with Android - Where the "Instant upload" feature said - uploads to G+ ... well yeah.. not so comfortable with that - so disabled!

I HOPE there's something BIG coming to G+ SOON!!! It seems like it's been AGES since I've seen something new here. Like.. something proper-sized new.. not just a new comma somewhere or something like that. There's this whole bucket load of things needed here (a bucket the size of Texas mind you). +Vic Gundotra please pay attention!
 
+Paul Jewkes I was the #1 most followed user on Twitter for about two years. I've been covering the space for years, and have been building online communities since 1985. As to why I am an authority. Who said I am?
 
As regards #3, well, you do have a volume slider for circles.

Its a start.
 
Well, i find Google+ kind of a saviour. Facebook is vile by design, it's messy, complicated, changes on it's own, has way too many options nearly impossible to find twice in a row. And is filled with game spam. Just 2 days ago i re-added my IRL best friend on Facebook after some account deletions. For that i get dozens of notifications of new stuff in my Close Friends "circle", whatever they call it. I click, i see CityVille galore. I click hide all by CityVille, it doesn't work. I end up blocking my best friend because of CityVille.

Personally, except housewives and girls sharing silly stuff, my Facebook feed is pretty empty. Myself and most others just post a lot less. I moved to Google+ for most part, others just stopped posting. It's not that Google+ didn't take in my crowd, it's that social is not interesting anymore, or right now.

But i do find Google+ a great replacement for Twitter. Adding the right blogs and people gets me all the techy news and articles in a better form, with comments if i choose to read or comment and with no @ spam at all. For photography, either i'm dumb or Facebook doesn't find exif all that relevant. I suppose for most it isn't, but for photography fans it really needs to be there.

Facebook has the momentum of the river, that's certain. But it also picked up tons of trash on its way and for me it kills it. I keep my account to share photo links with those mothers from work, getting the cheap and easy ooohs and aaahs on some of them

Anyway, Google+ is for a tech savy-er crowd, a place i prefer to be.
 
+Thomas McGuire that proves you aren't a careful reader. Facebook has GRANULAR noise controls. Google+ can only adjust a whole circle, not on a person-by-person basis.
 
+Robert Scoble That's why I am asking you. You throw around those numbers like it makes you the authority. I am not being rude. Just asking.

Also- In reference to your cooment just now to +Thomas McGuire I think that means you aren't very creative. Like I said...I have kept you quiet for months now. :)
 
I use G+ and Fb for different things. Like a lot of people, Fb is primarily for family and friends. My time spent on +Google+ is slowly replacing the time I previously spent on Google Reader as I add more and more of my Reader subscriptions to G+ circles.
 
+Paul Jewkes Not in defense of anyone (like +Robert Scoble needs any defense! haha) .. But when you have that many followers and you yourself follow a comparable number - your social networking experience becomes pretty different from yours or mine (I apologize if I categorized you as a regular everyday user like me). Noise is a LOT more problematic at that level. Curation is a LOT MORE DESIRED at that level. ANY help you can get with features is just welcomed with open arms!
 
+Robert Scoble , it seems like the negativity around GOOG's approach are starting to get some deserved traction. You've made a big push to use this as one of the pillars in your distribution platform. Are you finding that you are backing away from G+ (or at least changing your approach to it) ?
 
I use both and don't see myself doing differently in the near future. FB = friends/family + news (pages) links/highlights; G+ = my own interests, sharing/following with people I don't know personally what is really important for me. The only thing I would ask G+ is to provide with better tools: I would like to have the activity log ( yes, the same as they have in FB) which allows to go back to "plussed posts", posts on which I commented, etc.
 
+Robert Scoble Klout is crap, it says i'm more influential then a parliament member. It says so because i signed up for Klout and that parliament member didn't. So it's basically patting me on the back for not ignoring Klout. Flattery gets them places, relevance being first.
 
Once again +Robert Scoble Why do those numbers mean anything? Why do you so proudly flaunt them? I would say...( and I am sure I will get slaughtered for this) I have as much experience on G+ as you do...

I guess I just don't use the service like you do. I don't want millions of people following my every move. I like to socialize...not try and become a celebrity.

I would say anyone that uses G+ on a daily basis is just as much as an authority on the subject as you are. You throw #Tantorums about the G+ service like your opinion matters... Once again I am not trying to be rude, but questioning why your opinion matters about G+ and others don't.
 
+Veljko Sekelj just going by the habits of people I know who use facebook as the the internet and use facebook login for everything under the sun, Maybe its not wise to use personal use cases to judge a whole group of people.

Has google said anything about why there is no Google+ Tablet app. That seems to be a big mistep when for the longest while Facebook and Twitter were getting complaints about not having Tablet apps.
 
+Veljko Sekelj I don't have a Facebook. Never have, never will. G+ suffices enough for me. If I want to hear what my friends are up to, I fricking call them. ;)
 
Let me just add something, I'm a google+ addict, but see my feed I rarely post publicly;
The fact is, I use it a lot with different circles of real friends ;)
And even for my friends, FB has become more of an instant messaging app than a place to share !
 
The bias of +TechCrunch says it all: you are only allowed to comment on their article if you have Facebook account. Why do they have such a limited commenting system? Why do they have such a silly commenting plug-in. Are they funded by Facebook? If you try to comment via Hotmail or any other service on the TechCrunch site it asks you to login to Facebook.
 
Wheel of Fortune probably has more viewers than Jeopardy. But would I want 2 episodes of Wheel and no Jeopardy on TV? I can't even watch one episode. FB is the Wheel of Fortune -- millions more viewers, but for me, G+ has higher quality content.

That said, +Robert Scoble , people are using FB to post articles and comments. I just think their social model is too heavily linked to IRL social connections, and that inhibits conversations because they can tie into all the personal stuff like family photos etc. And I know people can set up subsets of people for FB photos, so it's not quite as simple as I suggest.
 
Here is the other thing about G+

Not everyone posts everything publicly. Those that think it's a ghost town just aren't in the right circles or any circles at all. I see enough interaction from my circles that it addicts me.
 
I keep repeating that Google+ is NOT Facebook. I don't want Google+ to be Facebook. I use both, but very differently, and I find Google+ to be the addictive of the two. I have perhaps 150 friends on Facebook, real life friends that I know, and all my posts are private. I have 7800 followers on Google+, and I am a pretty boring average joe, and most of my posts are public.

Check out the comments on my post from yesterday: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103128232230617819686/posts/D92EsZPm9ps - most appear to be made by new users - moving from FB to Google+.

However, I agree Google has a long way to go - as +Robert Scoble mention - the noise control is for all practical purposes - non-existent.

We need post Categories, and the ability to follow Categories. Circles allow the author to limit a post to a known audience, and the reader to narrow down the sources. Categories would allow the author to target an unspecified audience with a specific area of interest, and allow the reader to select content both from circles and from public, based on their areas of interest.

But we have to face that Google still is working on it's new foundation. All of it's services are being tied into Google+. As that work progresses, Google is adding features to Google+ that Facebook just can't match. Search, YouTube, Documents, Maps, News, Reader, Translate, Blogger, Picasa, Play. IMO, we will be looking at Google leapfrogging Facebook.
 
+Michael-Isaiah Harrison have you been reading the other comments? I use these networks differently, you use them differently + a whole bunch of commenters also use them in a different manner.

I think users that "spread or clone themselves" between all the networks like +Robert Scoble are the exception not the norm. In a way its his job as an internet celebrity to have the widest reach possible :) And my interest as a normal user is to optimize my online experience to suit me and my time best. And for me it doesn't make sense to follow the same people and post the same things on all networks and then monitor all of them for comments/interactions. So I prioritize and my interests (and therefore G+) usually comes first and then come the photos/statuses of my FB friends which I might just check once a day.

On the subject of not using myself to judge a whole group of people - sorry but there I could not disagree with you more. I am my own best beta tester - I judge based up my own behavior as a user if something works or does not. Why wouldn't I?

+Thomas Olson you're lucky then :) I have lived in 5 different countries in the last 15 years and am sometimes too busy to catch up with everybody around the world. FB is still a nice way to have at least a pretense of staying in touch :)
 
+Robert Scoble Agree strongly that negative press draws a crowd, especially when someone big gets bashed, whether Google, FB or Apple. This explains some of the traction of the anti-G+ stories, the persistence of the Apple-Foxconn story, and the FB issues. Throw in the fact that old-school media like TV and print news view these upstarts as a threat, and you can see why they'd gloat when any tech titan can be taken down a peg or two.
 
I, for one, don't have any faith in Klout's scores. I am a certified nobody, yet I have a Klout score of 67?!?! Yeah, even I don't buy that.
 
+Singularity Utopia - They do, but they are not sitting on their arses twiddling thumbs while waiting for us to design G+ for them. They have proven before that they value input - but they can't design Google+ based on our whims alone, nor at the breakneck speed that we desire.
 
In response to: "I'm followed by something like 4.5x as many on Google+ but get fewer people engaging with my items on Google+ than Facebook" - I've followed you for some time now, and tend not to comment on things unless driven to it, which is rare. I imagine I'm not the only person with this mindset, but I feel it necessary to point out that people commenting is not the most important statistic.
Readership is difficult to assess in both Facebook and Google+ that's true and I don't know what you feel your most important metric is (and why), but personally I'd rather have more people consuming the material than less people discussing it.

I probably consume 70% of the material you publish (that's not related to cameras or golf or children), and have gone on to further followup on many of the stories, companies, and events because of posts you've made regarding these subjects.

I do agree with much of what you've said both on the tech crunch comment and on your past G+ post regarding some of the same issues (+1 search for example). I also sort of wish Google had taken the approach outlined by TC now that I've read it (though I do not regret moving the majority of my social interactions onto +)

Anyway, my point was simply to state that while this is the first time I've commented on something you have posted, it's by no means the only time I've consumed and followed up on the material.
 
+Lars Fosdal, totally agree about your recommendation: "We need post Categories, and the ability to follow Categories.".

Also, media enjoys good stories. And Google+ bashing is the story of the day. Give G+ time and space to continue growing.

I think one point people forget is the level of innovation and feature growth Facebook has shown since G+ started. Its always good to have more than one player in town. Users benefit the most in the end.
 
Alas +Lars Fosdal, we seem to have a vision of super fast design, product evolution. Maybe they should just open up the code and let users redesign G+, improve it, open source? ;-)
 
These long, boring analytic google+ vs. facebook rants are getting really old, very quickly. They are all pointless, and in themselves just prove that Google+ is very much alive and kicking, else they wouldn't exist. But enough is enough..
 
+Robert Scoble - Ref. your comment about Facebook subscriptions going from 13k 170k in 4 months. At the same time you went from 192k to 994k followers here.
 
+Hrvoje Humek OK, so use Kred http://kred.com/Scobleizer or PeerIndex http://www.peerindex.com/scobleizer/dashboard All three have their different problems, but I'm almost always listed amongst the top users. At SXSW I was listed as amongst the top most influential person on social media there: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/infographic-sxsw-2012s-most-buzzed-about-people-events-and-start-ups/ Fortune, Forbes, and many others have also listed me as amongst the most influential. I find that Klout is accurate when you know what it's doing, which is NOT studying real world influence. If you want to learn more about influence, you should read +Brian Solis' report on the topic: http://www.slideshare.net/Altimeter/the-rise-of-digital-influence

+Paul Jewkes it's very easy to scan the Internet to figure out why someone is influential, or not. The data is all out there.
 
Why FB sucks... GAMES... Game spams... the way everything on FB causes you to spam your "friends".
There have been two breakout games. "Words with Friends" and that new Pictionary one. Along with Poker, those are the only "interactive" games out there. All the others are the same crap. Play this game then spam your friends to get them to play.
You could spend hours and hours trying to clean your feed to get rid of it but game spam will get through. Then, let your guard down for a week or so and you'll be inundated again.
 
+Robert Scoble I have no idea why people are asking if you are influential. Frankly, it irritates me. But your responses are solid, so whatever -- seems like you've got it handled.
 
+Lars Fosdal true, but that's mostly because I was put on the suggested user list here on Google+. Before I was on that list it took me about six months to get to 240,000 users here, which is still impressive, but not nearly as fast. That said, the usage model is different. Here I follow people more because of their passion of different things. On Facebook I follow mostly people I know (that's changing a lot lately due to subscriptions, but still is a hard usage model to change).
 
+Sherilynn Macale it's a question designed to irritate. You can't really answer it. It's sort of like asking "why is water wet?" Well, I don't know. It's wet because it's water! :-)
 
+Robert Scoble i wasn't making a comment about you and your actual influence, which i don't question, just Klout as a service/product and it's silly "use me and i'll like you" principle ;) that PM i mentioned is also on Twitter, FB and G+ so he would have a much higher score, if only he gave a damn about Klout.
 
+Robert Scoble - Indeed. TBH, I don't Like or Subscribe to anyone or anything on FB. Edit: In many ways that is one of the obstacles that Google+ have to conquer too. Following and sharing in public = good thing here, and a "liability" on Facebook.
 
While the article had some good points, it also raised a lot of red flags with me in that it was so wordy and repetitive that I was highly inclined to tune it out. In my experience, when people talk or write like that it usually means they're trying to hide that they've got nothing of substance to say. ;)
 
The issue is people keep talking about G+ in relation to FB even though they've been designed with different intents and have evolved into very different beasts with different strengths. I think G+ is more of a broadcast and collaboration platform at the moment and not so much just a social network, which I think is pretty neat.
 
I like google being the underdog. Hopefully all this negative sentiment will take attention away from what google is cooking up. 
 
I experimented with something on the TechCrunch post. Facebook uses it's datr cookies on any Facebook Connect(ed) page. I'm confident that even after deleting my FB account, they are using that cookie to connect to my defunct account and scraping data on me, just the way Google vs Facebook battle is being fought. So I put an anti-FB sub in Google Chrome, bam! , the comments don't even populate now. Yes, I agree, the big stick method was needed to counter FB's penetration. Pretty much everything +Robert Scoble said in his comment I agree with. When Intel and AMD fight, it's good for everyone, I'm not so sure this fight is good for everyone though I can't really put my finger on who the loser in all of this is.
 
Apart from Scobleizer, the social tech press has decided to go for the jugular, ignore them, keeping iterating product.
 
Okay okay +Robert Scoble . I still argue what "influential" means, but to not go astray in the conversation here... my real point is that you are saying that an orange doesn't smell good when in fact some people think that it does. So why make it sound like a fact that it doesn't smell good?
 
I agree with +Vic Gundotra and believe him when he says that they're are not trying to compete with Facebook, that they're pulling all of Google's services together. It's not just about sharing pictures with your friends, it's about creating ONE online profile to manage. A for instance that drives it home for me is keeping my contacts and their information up to date. Seeing how they've incorporated Google+ info into gmail contacts makes me a believer. When all you have to do is circle someone and let them manage their own employment info, contact info etc... it makes life soooo much easier and my phone, tablet, laptop etc. obviously are always up to date. This is just one example that I seen and they've just started this approach. I think they are the only major company truly building a practical ecosystem that plays nice with others. Google+ has been out for less than a year. People need to relax a little and not over exaggerate the issue.
 
+Trevor Sharp good points. It'll be interesting to see if Google goes even stronger in that direction. One problem? I can have more than 10,000 contacts on Google Contacts but I can only have 5,000 circled on Google+. Hardly well integrated and, by the way, if you COULD add more people to Google+ you'd hit a major bug with Google Contacts where the system just starts breaking at over 10,000 contacts (I've hit that bug before and had to delete enough people to make it work again). This is why people don't "ooh, and ahh" over Google+'s strategy. It just doesn't feel good all the way through yet. Blogger integration is yet another problem. YouTube still isn't well integrated, either. Can Vic and Larry and teams solve these problems? Yes, but their infrastructure and culture is keeping them from doing so in a timely way.

+Paul Jewkes I just call them as I see them. I hit scale faster than most other users, which makes me an interesting one to listen to. I also see more things in the industry (I've interviewed more than 3,000 startups at this point) so have a viewpoint that is unique and influential. I'm sure your viewpoint is quite different. That's what makes the world go round.
 
Internet users are spoiled - that's what it comes down to in the end I think.

The guy that wrote the article has 10 posts on G+, of which the last one is more than 6 months old. Most of his posts are just links to what he himself wrote on TechCrunch without any interaction with other commenters.

Other people commenting the article and indeed +Robert Scoble's comment over there + especially those who concluded that G+ is dead or not made for people are themselves also not using Google+ (no, just posting links and using it as a bookmarking service doesn't count - and yes I checked their names on G+). They tried it with a few posts but then gave up quickly a long time ago.

So the question is - how can one judge Google+, Twitter or FB and keep judging them every few months without using them? And I mean really giving each of them a chance.

Why are Internet users spoiled you ask? How can anybody expect to get traction on their profile after just a few days/posts without any interaction with his commenters and by just posting links? Its like a new website you just launched. Unless you're +Britney Spears (who is not going to read this anyway) - why would you expect people to jump on your every word on G+ because they do it on Facebook? Did they do it on Facebook after just few days and your 10 posts? (even if they did - most of them were probably your friends and family - use case is different)

I think those expectations would qualify as a god complex ;-)
 
+Veljko Sekelj that's why I watch addictive technologies that "hook" people into services. Every new service has angst about it. I remember people saying Twitter was the lamest thing they've ever seen and people have always told me they don't like Facebook (even ones who now are big fans and on the service).
 
Ignoring the source (those goofy bastards at techcruch sure know how to stir shit up), my mom will never learn how to circle anyone. Facebook, with all of its bloat, is a standard bearer now. She has no interest in photography, wil wheaton or the stupidity of mg siegler. The lack of APIs are hurting and google knows it (hell, even apologizing for it). The hangout feature isn't as cool as google wants it to be. Even with that said, i still believe. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It is up to us, to post on the other networks to say "look what i'm doing over here". It will take time. Third party integration needs to happen, but happen smartly. No one wants to see a stream filled with what your acquaintance did on his virtual cow patty. Also, G+ does a fantastic job with the nearby stream and user discovery.
 
I am actually addicted to Google plus. I dont post much, or respond frequently, but I follow and read several individuals daily. Facebook for me is an occasional check in with friends overseas, once every-other-week. G+ first thing in the morning and last thing at night! So many interesting people posting interesting topics - and I get to feel a level of engagement I havent experienced anywhere else.
 
That was an amazing number of unsubstantiated claims.

"Google’s big bet was based on bad instincts, jealousy, and hubris —"
"Google should never have thought of it that way in the first place"
"Google was, against all reason, impatient to get into social."
"Which is why it’s so strange that instead of choosing to be the mighty river, they opted to strike as the hawk."
"What was Google+? A single product, made to compete with an entire ecosystem."

You sure know a lot about the inner workings of Google for someone who doesn't work there.

I'll try and sum it up in one: Google is playing the long game, not the "hawk" strike.
 
Ahhhh.,... If G+ accomplishes nothing but giving people cause to use and organize their other Google products like Contacts, email, calenders, maps, and many others then G+ is a success.
Prior to G+ all of those things existed as separate things, barely understood by most. Now, with G+ I'm encouraged to explore those properties and learn to use them to my advantage.
 
+Ashley Wharton that's cool, except I don't see enough of people like you here. :-) Plus, in my real world, both of Iranians and of geeks neither have moved here and both communities say they are addicted to Facebook. Gonna be tough to move them.
 
+Robert Scoble I agree with your scale issue regarding contacts; however, what I'm really talking about is the integration of the Google+ info into contacts that you have manually added in your gmail contacts not the one's automatically added as your circles at the bottom. I realize that many people have the same issue as you but by differentiating your contacts the way they are now it accomplishes 2 things... it makes a clear divide between people in your social circles which you follow and the ones you actually call or text on a regular basis and it keeps both regularly updated by the user. Definitely agree with the blogger and youtube issues but I'm sure they'll get there and I think Larry is the right guy to do it.
 
+Robert Scoble yes of course addictive always gives you an edge, especially if the market is still relatively new.

But FB started as a closed network for friends and family. The day you joined you found at least 50 friends on there, got pokes/likes for your first uploaded photo and people tagging you in theirs. So you got incentives to continue "playing".

You're right - this is much more difficult to recreate for G+. Google+ started as a public system (much more akin to Twitter or a blogging-mashup platform) where you could post privately but you were encouraged to do it publicly. Google did suggest you your first circlers based on your Gmail contacts list - but most of them didn't see the point of using more than 1-2 social networks (unless they're techies) and were apprehensive about posting their private stuff anyway... so instead they tried with funny videos/images/links - but of course 50 million people posting the same stuff doesn't really work ;-)

(And actually the fact that the photographers are doing so well on G+ might be the evidence that I'm spot on.)

But in the end what cooled everyone off a bit is the fact that they had to work for it , interact with new people and think about what they post. And this is not easy - you do have to be at least somewhat original.

But I still think that G+ is doing it right. I mean lets leave FB alone and really compare G+ with Twitter - Twitter was growing really really slow for a long time before it took off. Compared to initial Twitter growth, G+ is a rocket (not really surprising given who is backing it - but then again Wave and a few other things had the same backer).

And contrary to the popular belief in the media I actually think that Facebook saw G+ as a threat and thats why they went 360 on their privacy policy and introduced the ability to subscribe to FB profiles (+Mark Zuckerberg is a smart guy). Strategically a great decision. Twitter and status-type public messages are one thing, but G+ introducing comparable functionality (to FB) with the might of Google behind it - thats a whole new ballgame.
 
The problem +Robert Scoble +Andrew Yarnall is not the lack of addictive tools nor the problems getting the social graph covered by G+.
We are not talking about any problem getting people on G+, the challenge is to keep them there.
Why is Google failing? Because they can´t decide what G+ is. The design based on the circle model points to a meritocracy of shared interests. Loosely coupled circles could reflect multiple interests. I happen to be an intellectual as well as a hard core techie, on top of that I am a F1 racing nut. The G+ circle model by +Andy Rubin fits that bill perfectly. Not 1 on 1 relations, but interest driven connections.

However early September +Vic Gundotra panicked and asked people with >100K followers on Twitter to get in contact and he created the disruptive monstrum otherwise known as the suggested user list.
That´s not a meritocracy at all, that´s a pyramid with a few broadcasters and many fans whose comments are ´wow´ or ´can I get ur phone no´

Complete contradiction with the original model and ever since we suffer. For the top of the pyramid G+ is not as effective as FB as the tools and freedom to customize a brand page (people brands) are extremely limited.

+Lady Gaga s page/profile looks similar to +Britney Spears. Both PR teams are unhappy I guess. And broadcasting? How? If I´m dying to hear every word of ms. Gaga or every nipple slip of ms Spears I need to check their streams.
I´m pretty sure fans and PR team would love to tell you, but G+ can´t push a msg to more than a hundred people.

Looking at the original model: the loosely coupled, shared interest model, G+ is nearly impossible to use. Yes, we all fell in love in the first days of July with the intelligent, funny, diverse crowd over here, but 9 months passed, the passion is over and we want to see the fruit of this first love. The pregnancy was nice, but now we want to see the newborn and admire it.

Are all the small nagging issues fixed? No, if I click on cancel instead of Post this will all be lost. One of the zillion little things which are guaranteed to stop people making longer comments.

Want to read them back the next day as you vaguely recall making some astute observations? No way, if you don´t know the topic, you will never find your comment. You can only hope it surfaces again by someone commenting on it and a meticulous bookkeeping of your notifications.

No ´subscribe me to this topic´, no ´notify me of every post user xxx makes´, no opt-in for a notification if a page posts. Not even a way to show someone else your great comment as it´s neither searchable nor linkable.

I just mentioned a few of the issues, but there are many more. The conclusion however is that Google doesn´t know where to go with G+ and neither the fans nor the content people are happy.

There is no roadmap, no vision, no idea what tomorrow will bring. Do I keep hoping they will finally integrate some blogging tools and fix some of the daily annnoyances? Or do I give in the day that they proudly present the completely overhauled + button. It´s now red in case you missed that revolution.

I don´t know, but worse Google doesn´t seem to know. It really helps to have a sense of direction
 
+Max Huijgen and +Veljko Sekelj great comments. It's stuff like this that gives me hope for the future of Google+. It's hard to imagine seeing these kinds of comments on Facebook, even though I am seeing some good commentary there as well now that I turned off commenting by people other than friends of friends. Anyway, thank you! Agree with most of what you said and you are both right on.
 
Thanks for reminding me of the old post listing all the annoyances and lacking features of G+ +Singularity Utopia
Listed here indeed https://plus.google.com/u/0/112352920206354603958/posts/LmbcfSpqdoN
Unfortunately most is just as valid as when I wrote it. We read about the daily updates, but we are hardly closer in solving these issues which bother real people using G+. I could have lived with the old +1 button in exchange for fixing the broken notification system.
 
Looking for reasons that Google+ is failing is the ultimate strawman argument.

Google+ is not failing by any standard that is reasonable. To argue that it is is fallacious and I suspect for many pundits self serving. As +Robert Scoble says negative press is a good way to feed the page view advertising machine.
 
good read..but the original article seems to be oversimplifying the issues.
 
+Robert Scoble they'll get the message soon enough that the 20% thing can't go into production cause the world won't accept perpetual betas and they behave like MS once did cause so many MS people are there now, like Vic. I doubt seriously they anticipated being put in this horse race or that a death watch had already started. I'm pouring content into it and do so cause there's no f'ing Goat ads. Well, more than that, but unlike the #techmediameme I don't smell blood and haven't starting circling them with my own predictions. Besides, this was all said before by the former Amazon employee that wrote the previous Google blasting post. You know people there so do I and how they do. People think they're 100% more organized then they are. Just like MS was back in the day, if you worked they you couldn't believe they ever became a monopoly. It's like one day they get a subpoena and what the hell just happened. Boeing is the same way? 787 delays, of course or amazing they ever get a plane out a factory door.

If they listened to me, I'd say, API #1 priority above all else and start getting apps connected to it. This despite +Guy Kawasaki's interview with +Vic Gundotra. Try to add a G+ sidebar that shows recents posts, as an example. Or let's see why when I'm in Instagram can't I send a heavily vignetted photo to G+? Where they're stumbling is focusing on a celebs and follower counts and a few stars to promote while most are wondering whats going on.

That doesn't connect people and it just makes it seems more like nothing's really going on 'cept for HDR photos and a campaign by social photographers to kill Flickr.
 
For me Google+ is what LinkedIn should have been. If Google was going to go after a social network, it should have been that one.
 
Pfff, just try arguing G+ is not addictive - its 3 in the morning here in Germany, I have a meeting that requires me to get up at 7 and decide the future of my startup after turning down 2 angel investments in just 2 weeks - and what am I doing? Commenting on G+ all night ;-))
 
+Veljko Sekelj heh. I have three screens. Got Twitter, Google+, and Facebook open all at once. Along with Quora and Techmeme. I'm not going anywhere. :-)
 
+Max Huijgen I don't disagree with you regarding the challenge of keeping people here engaged. It is a valid point, and also agree with you that the roadmap is foggy at best.. But, I still think there is a problem getting people here. Word of mouth hasn't been that great, marketing hasn't been that strong. Third parties like zynga aren't going all in to attract new users. I have over three times the number of friends on Facebook than here. Most of the people in my circles I have never met in real life. If I ask my FB friends to check G+ out, they don't have time or twitter and fb are enough for them, or they heard about circles and said it sounded weird. The growth has been good, but not great. I'd like to be in a world where I do everything from google, but it will be a very long time before that comes to fruition.
 
+Robert Scoble yep...I don't have any game at that event, but would love to attend for that reason alone.
 
+Andrew Yarnall really the problem is not getting the people exposed to G+. +Robert Scoble doesnt like it, but Android is the dominant phone OS and every activation is a new G+ profile. If you would compare G+ (9 months) to FB after two years, you will see FB grew much slower.
Google is perfectly positioned to get your friends, even your mum in.
The problem is in the second part of your post: they don't have time or twitter and fb are enough for them
If Google would play the interest graph to the maximum your friends would be all over the place. Every forum in the world is threatened by what I always call the MOAF, the Mother Of All Forums´.
The moment Google gets its act together and focuses on getting this right there is no doubt G+ will be the MOAF.
 
+Veljko Sekelj Lol, I have a similar problem and just notice its past three in the night over here.
No, G+ is indeed a ghost town filled with people burning their midnight oil commenting the demise of it :)
 
+Max Huijgen facebook was competing with myspace and also was limited to schools for the longest time, hence the slower growth. The g+ account on android is opt in, and honestly i don't think it does much to attract new users other than make it easier.. It isn't like the screen explains it all that well. It is just signing up for the sake of signing up and getting more google in your life.. I just gave you my experience with trying to get people exposed to it. Those are reasons i am given. There is an exposure problem. No one cares, because they already have a full social network to bitch and complain about.

I understand the trepidation. Going all in and failing would be bad for google. They tend to struggle when outside their core competency - android excluded. Wave? Buzz? Orkut? Music? Slow and steady wins the race, or move glacially to prevent huge missteps and repeat past failures.
 
+Robert Scoble the thing is that you happen to see +Veljko Sekelj and my comments now, but we are ships passing by in the night. (quite literally).

There is a whole bunch of people here who are discussing G+ and discover like minded intelligent people. I read today ´if the UX had been better, we would never have met each other so there is some return on investment offered by G+´

It´s true that even with all its faults G+ still has the most interesting group using it, but will this still be true when the first person on the SUL reaches the 10 million?
I believe the priorities have been wrong. Vic panicked because G+ had to succeed. He was not allowed to follow the organic growth model and that has disrupted G+ and made a mess of the clear design. If +Larry Page had been a bit more laid back and give it another year to reach the 100 million users and build on the original model the first adopters would still be with us.

Now there is a real risk that ´we´ move on the moment we see a social network with a decent UX and proper blogging tools integrated.

After all, it´s loyalty to friends and family which make people stick with FB, but G+ is the place where you befriend strangers. That´s a huge catch: we can all move on without worrying about grand mum and our luddite friend. If I were a shareholder I would think twice about the value of a G+ profile as it will be much easier to leave this place than for most people to leave FB

disclaimer: I don´t even use FB and if my family and friends are hanging out there, they never told me:)
 
For the money, power, and minds at Google it is a failure. Sure, 100 million user, it better it's Google and it has a lot of existing email accounts. Like Steve said to Microsoft I will say to Google "Google has no style and a none engaging social platform." Facebook core is tech and psychology mark and team know what to build based on psychology after all, he is a son of psychologist! Facebook apps suck why? Because they won't users to log in on desktop for ads, but still have an app. The app is buggiest thing I have ever seen. Google+ was birth out of fear, not out of change. That's the wrong reason to build something and it shows.

Money can't replace good old fashion passion. Facebook is just tuned in and ramping up things fast. Anything Google comes out with, within days FB is on it. Mark takes what ever he sees like from the beginning and makes it better. Like Tony of Zappos says it's all about the culture. From the beginning mark didn't want to make it a company? Then why did he moved to Palo Alto and Inc the company. Dump the B.S. because open your eyes the line is driven clearly for those who envision the future and able to see it clearly.

Facebook is a great company and so is Google it's just not that social hasn't been since Orkut.
When you want the best to do something you hire the best to do it. Google's attempt to mirror FB was a cute attempt, but sorry who are the knuckle heads in charge of making this project? 500 mil for this get out of here, I'm not impressed coming from a giant like them who has so many resources. When it comes to search Google wins for now it's all I use. But watch out mark is a quick learner and knows how to mimic the essence of any platform and make it his own.

Google better buy up all those FB stocks for the IPO and take over before he does cause the FB team is not just smart very adaptable like a chameleon! Google is smart for putting them selves in the seat with Google+, but they need a better visionary with passion they don't have that in place judging from the scenery! Peter T said from day one Fb needs to hit Globalization to do it's complete jobs/execution with that being said Google stands in that way and they know it.


Think about it folks Pinterest comes out now facebook has interest list, Google Circle now FB subscribe etc photo gallery, layout .. Twitter now you can @ or # like crazy on facebook. They have for years taken the best things from other rising platforms and made it theirs.. The End!
 
I agree with the use cases and their consequences commented here. To me FB has the advantage of the non techies already in and it's hard to convince then to have another identity in different place while in FB the feed is still bringing news about your friends and family. I like G+ clear functionality better than FB. I have an SGII and FB works terrible on 4G. G+ works really better but sometimes I end up just seeing twitter because of performance. Things like the great photography community in the middle term will bring people here. Very difficult to see the long term. As Nike say Just do it.
 
skims quickly Just to address your point on loyalty +Max Huijgen. It may not be family and meatspace friends here (in the main), but that needn't remove a sense of loyalty. It just as likely to apply here - we've found people we can interact with, become friends with, look forward to posts from ... etc. Think back to the days of Livejournal - people stuck around for years after it had passed its sell by date purely because of the network of people they'd built. For the most part none of whom they knew, nonetheless they had a very strong sense of loyalty.

It's probably easier to replace G+ than Facebook because of the nature of the relationships, but that's in no way saying it's easy...

There's many things missing on G+ right now. Even on the interest graph there's many topics that simply aren't here, yet have thousands of blogs out on the web. There's a huge focus on getting numbers onto G+, but there's a distinct lack of focus on G+ itself. Six months after the API we still have read only - that's limiting for many. It's about interests, but in many ways finding connections on those interests can be excruciatingly difficult, compared to say, a forum.
 
Thanks for the ping, +Max Huijgen. Here's what I wrote in the comments in that article:
What if the competitive target for Google+ - at least in the short-term - wasn't really Facebook at all, but instead Twitter? Don't get me wrong, there's no question that it's Facebook that Google is most worried about over the long-run, but Twitter's "information network" is a much closer alignment with the core assets that Google is trying to protect.

The article is a good piece, but like so many pieces being written about Google+, it misses the fundamental strategy. Google+ is not about building a better social graph than Facebook. It's about building a good enough social graph to protect Google's control over the much more lucrative market for the "interest graph." You could call it the "shared interest graph" and it is being built interaction by interaction with all those plus ones, shares and comments now happening on Google+. Is it perfect? Nope. Not by a long-shot, but to describe this service as a failure is to fundamentally misunderstand what it is about.

My prediction is that Twitter will be the first to feel the pressure of Google+, and it will take at least two years. Only over time will Facebook feel it, and it will be because the company won't be able to own the interest graph (which is where most of the money will be made) - and that will be because Google protected it by launching Google+.
 
+Robert Scoble I think you confuse responsiveness with addiction. I have a different theory, based on anecdotal knowledge of my friends on both networks. My theory is that busy people use G+. People with time to kill use Facebook. The busy people want to passively consume good content, and don't have the time or the desire to participate. That doesn't mean they aren't using it. The people with time to kill using Facebook spend time responding, playing games, etc.
 
i get "keeping up with friends and the occaisonal useful tidbits on FB, i get cool new shit every day on G+
 
I guess I am rather worn out by all of the negative articles written by the "so-called experts". I am not tech- I love G+ and am bored to tears with Facebook. I am slowly converting friends over to my circles. Once they experience it they love just as much as I do. I am amazed every day by the content.
Google will survive the naysayers. So if your not happy without the constant knowledge of what your friends are doing every breathing second then go back to facebook- whatever..........I will be right here at G+ soaking up the great posts, the amazing photography, the many jokes, the planets, the sun, the moon, my family and friends.
 
+Gideon Rosenblatt I think I'd have to disagree that Google has any sort of "control" over the Interest Graph. Yes, they have some insights into it (by way of Search and Web History mostly, and now a little bit more through G+). But it's hardly a lock at all, because there is so little explicit structure. Quora for example has a much more explicit way of mapping this. FB Likes are more implicit. So there is no complete solution or dominance by anyone on this yet.

G+ COULD do so much more in this regard, but they'd have to really get to it and make some deep changes to G+.
 
So, is FB buying all of AOL, or just TechCrunch? Do tell.
 
+Robert Scoble The granularity lies in putting someone you want to dial down in your stream into their own, or a "less from these folks," circle and dialing it down. Voila! Mission accomplished.
 
While your comment is good and even handed, the site in question forces you to use a FB widget although you can sign in with hotmail, yahoo or AOL. There are things to fix on G+, but I'm far happier here than on FB. If this is a failure, it's a glorious failure.
 
Thanks for posting your comment here +Robert Scoble for some reason tech crunch needed me to sign in to Facebook to view your entire comment.
 
+Alex Schleber, you are correct. "Control" is too strong a word. Google doesn't control the interest graph any more than Facebook controls the social graph. Let's call it core competency instead.

When you include all that search data, Google has a much, much clearer understanding of our relationships with various topics than Facebook or Quora will ever have. It's much finer grained because it's not tied to an arbitrary number and structure of topical categories, but to the much more dynamic, flexible and diverse range of topics people actually search for. Google+ is allowing them to add a whole new layer of social "interest indicators" on top of that, to ensure Facebook doesn't steal the show on this front. But Google's understanding of our interest graph is just way, way more nuanced and complete than Facebook's because of their dominance in search. And that structural understanding will come in time as the company continues to extend its work in semantic search. Facebook's not even in the same league on this front. Their core competency is in the social graph. They're trying to move into the interest graph because they know that's where the money is. But Google currently has them beat hands-down in this core competency, when you look at the company's overall assets and not just G+.

Google+ is about protecting that core competency in the interest graph, and now extending it into something new - a shared interest graph. I think they're also using it to build an "influence graph" that will dwarf Klout, PeerIndex and others.
 
My earlier comments before I pinged you guys tackled the interest graph +Gideon Rosenblatt, +Alex Schleber +Matt Holmes so I wont´ repeat it here.
+Matt Holmes is right that we won´t move overnight as there is some loyalty but my point was its quite easy to jump ship the moment a better platform sees the light. If I can convince the 500 people who I find most interesting to go with me there is nothing which really keeps me here. For others FB is the place where their family and friend got stuck and they won´t move.
The crucial part is this: the early adopters are social butterflies. +Robert Scoble is just an example and at least he puts up a fight. From the 1600 people I circled on the last day of June, - all people all already well known from blogs, salon.dom and the likes, journo´s, vc´s, even die hard techies - only 1200 were still active when I checked in November. I no longer use that circle so I can´t check but my gut feeling is only 50% stayed on.
If these people find a new toy that is more satisfying they are gone. G+ survives because it´s just slightly better than the alternatives. That´s a very weak case.
 
+Gideon Rosenblatt in the discussion with +Alex Schleber I´m inclined to side with you if the question is if FB is better or worse in the chances go get a handle on the interest graph, but *Google doesn´t use the information it has.
Take a simple example: I´m Dutch, live in Spain and the Netherands, post in English only, love F1, have a deep interest in real tech and am an active debater on G+ itself because I want Google to succeed as I like the place.
To harvest these data all Google has to do is read my profile and analyse my posts and comments on the language used. Very basic, and yet Google is still not capable of coming up with relevant suggestions for people to circle.
They keep offering me hundreds of Dutch people who post 100% in Dutch, they never come up with some F1 addicts, don´t suggest hard core techies who talk about more than an app, and even fail to pinpoint the interesting people who like to debate.
So even without analyzing my thousands of posts and comments (I recently passed the 5000 comments here!) they could have done so much better.
+Gideon Rosenblatt is right that they have all the information at their disposal, but +Alex Schleber is right that they fail to do anything substantial with it. Gideon says ´that structural understanding will come in time as the company continues to extend its work in semantic search´. All I see it that they fail to use the currently available info, so why expect more of better tools?
 
It all goes back to my first comment, which unfortunately I can´t link to (how´s that for playing the interest model!), that Google spend 9 months not knowing it would be a boy or a girl. They need to make up their mind and focus: policies and committees will always fail to produce a compelling product. G+ is a sexless stillborn.
 
+Robert Scoble Earlier, you used to say "You get here more engagement than Facebook" and now just the opposite. Why this 180 degree turnaround ?
 
+Vineet Handa because engagement here went down per person and engagement on Facebook has gone up. That tells me people are more addicted to Facebook than Google+. Makes sense, really. In early days we were trying something new out. Now that the new car smell has gone away we've changed our usage patterns.
 
+Robert Scoble Isn't extrapolating your experience and using it to measure Google+ or Facebook somewhat illogical?

In neither instance are you anywhere near "normal".
 
please, do not use the word "we". you can speak for yourself, but not for me.
 
+Robert Scoble That gives me a sense and an idea of the context behind your recent posts and comments.

One thing I would like to say "Before G+, I never knew who yourself or +Guy Kawasaki or +Mike Elgan and many other people I follow here were". May be I was living under the rock (I do have Facebook & Twitter accounts). It's only G+ which let me read through posts of people like you. And get good KNOWLEDGEABLE content.Personally, I have never liked design of Fbook (that's what I have always called it) & I like the simple and sleek design of G+. Well, I do hope +Vic Gundotra and his team is listening to you & he continues innovating.
 
+Brian Sullivan OK, don't just use my numbers. I can't share them but Google and Facebook employees capture these numbers all the time and Facebook's numbers are a lot higher. All one has to do is walk through an airport, by the way. On my recent trip I saw Facebook open on nearly every screen. It's amazing just how addicted most people are to Facebook.
 
+Thorben Groth sorry, when I say "we" I'm talking about the overall usage pattern. I CAN use that because I've been here since the first night Google+ has opened and I'm watching the DATA. Google has failed to addict as many people as Facebook has, either in percentage of users visited, or overall. I'm getting fewer + 1s from a million people today than I used to get in the early days when I only had 50,000 followers. That tells me that engagement has gone down per person in a very real way.
 
My old thoughts on MS vs Google some 5+y ago when gmail was still something new: In years microsoft has digged a hole. Google is not better from MS on absolute scale but subjective scale. MS in on the level of -5, Google is on the level of +1. It is much harder to beat company that has positive overall image and product quality. [The same applies on any modern internet battles. Google has not fallen on some deep hole therefore still kicking and hard to beat]
 
... the competition is of course very tough. Nokia hasnt made any big mistakes either, they just made many small mistakes like not updating symbian, not paying attention to design etc etc
 
"I'm getting fewer + 1s from a million people today" is +1 really a meaningful way of having engagement and conversations?
 
+toivo ellakvere yes. Getting that kind of engagement IS a meaningful way to get engagement. It's not a conversation, but it shows everyone that the post was appreciated and read.
 
@robert- NO WAY! "+1" or "liking" is the absolutely wrong way of building some like graph. It is like ticking every step (boring manual work) instead of using pedometer (unnoticed and automatic). This is the current state but there has to be some other way of measuring what I like or what I prefer. Clicks on +1 are easy but on larger scale or in larger quantity this system breaks down. 2 x +1 per day vs 1000 x +1 per hour. This system might look very ridiculous in year 2022.
 
+Robert Scoble engagement for all the people on the SUL is extremely low. That´s why the SUL is killing G+. You know perfectly well you get a randomized flock of blueheads who add you at a rate of 10K a day (or did it hit 20K by now?).
Before you got on the SUL your engagement benchmark in comments and plusses was way higher.
 
All I can say is that I was addicted, but it has slowed down a lot. Maybe because I am a developer, engineer, and I like to tinker with things, and this platform places a big red stop sign in front of my face. I invested so much time during the beginning by developing extensions and apps to this platform, and personally, when I had 20K followers, it was a much funner place than right now with 80K. Before, I averaged around 100-200 shares per development posts, intelligent and nice comments, and right now 10-20 shares per development post, it seems like people are not reading anymore.

I ask myself, maybe because people started adding many people to their circles, and keeping track of posts is almost impossible with this cluttered stream. Circle management started failing on people with many circles, even the core Googlers themselves don't have more than a few circles, but many users have dozens and if not hundreds of circles. Keeping track of people within those circles becomes a challenge. I tried to solve the circle mess with extensions, but I later stopped developing it, because I am spending so much time fixing a mess which isn't mine, not many people appreciate the amount of time going into coding, so I just stopped.

Google should reinvent themselves instead of mimicking what other platforms are using. They should have a smarter stream to read posts which are interesting, popular, trending, important, etc. They should have a better user experience, not necessarily just eye candy. But it seems they don't understand this. Nothing crucial has changed since 9 months now, just some colors, simple visual touches, some features that many don't use, etc. It still feels the same as if it was 9 months ago but with a lot more people, and tools that do not exist from this growth that would help us manage them.

Basically, people are just giving up because it is becoming unmanageable. True story from the words on the interwebs.
 
I posted this on +TechCrunch circle but I feel like tis worth repeating here as well. I think the article is beautifully written but I disagree with certain aspects of the article.
For example the purpose of the +1 button "And what about on the user side? Well, it could easily be tied to other actions, since once you +1 the thing, Google doesn’t really care what happens next. You could forget you ever did it. Or you could tie it to actions like posting or liking it on Facebook, or sending it to your Tumblr, or tweeting it. Whatever you want." Why would users even hit the +1 button at all when they could just as easily hit the like button for Facebook or the Tumblr or Tweet button. The author assumes that people would just hit the +1 button rather than the other buttons or would hit the +1 button in addition to the other buttons but that assumption is false why would anyone care to hit the +1 button. The argument of the +1 button falls short I believe when every network has their own trademark button, the +1 button would then become ambiguous, confusing and unnecessary from the user side.
And as for "Now people are uploading videos to Facebook instead of YouTube." This is the natural evolution of social to incorporate video as Facebook is doing, If Google+ would have never came into existence, videos would move away from Youtube to Facebook, Youtube would have diminished slowly and progressively. Google+ couldn't have come any sooner, and it challenges the status quo that is Facebook, and we all know competition is good for users more than companies.
 
Clicking +1 on an item INSIDE Google+ doesn't do anything. You can't see every item that I've clicked +1 on and they are way behind Facebook in adding web-based +1s to profile pages. Using Highlight I can see what "likes" I have in common with other people. That's totally missing from Google+
Whats this then?
https://plus.google.com/111091089527727420853/plusones
 
Roughly one year later now +Robert Scoble, what's the report card... how is G+ coming along? 

1. Addiction of its users?
2. Affection by the press?
3. Love by its users or most of the "influentials"? 

How about other dimensions... everyone talks about technology, but how is G+ doing on the social side, how it's appealing to participants from a psychology/sociology point of view?  Addiction is of course mentioned, but that that's the result, and you can't implement a result.  What are the characteristics or features G+ needs to win on that front?

For point #1 for example, when +Max Huijgen talks about "top of the pyramid" and implies that G+ would be better as a meritocracy, those are sociological concerns.  Everyone wants to be recognized for their accomplishments, especially creative, and achieve their maximum potential (reference: Maslow's hierarchy of needs).  

For point #3, who are the "influentials", and how is G+ doing on that front?  I know it's fuzzy and the metrics may be different in different sub-communities, but we could look at a third party engagement ranking like +Euro Maestro's weekly Who's Who for a proxy (http://www.circlecount.com/euromaestrowhoswho/).

My observations:
- There are a lot of photographers in the Top 100 (a strategic sub-community and/or skill on social networks perhaps?)
- Many of the people there are promoted by Google.  (How's that going to fly against a sociology/meritocracy test?)

We like to discuss Web 2.0 sites like they're a collection of features and technologies, but discussing technology as the key metric for success (even with, or especially with, the addiction factor) would be an "emperor's new clothes" exercise.  

What percentage of meetings do you suppose within Google focus on sociology, rather than technology?  Based on the past nearly 2 years now, I'd be surprised if sociology came up 5% of the time.

“All of these problems at the end of the day are human problems,” he said. “I think that that’s one of the core insights that we try to apply to developing Facebook. It’s as much psychology and sociology as it is technology.” - Mark Zuckerberg

At the end of the day, any problems Google is having getting G+ to experience rapid organic growth is not just from, or mainly from, a lack of features or solutions.  You, Max and others have been giving clear and productive advice for years now.  The problem is that the key pieces of advice that are being given, on the sociological side, either aren't being heard or they're being completely ignored.  
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