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Dylan Tweney
Founder of Tweney Media; former editor of VentureBeat; ex-Wired, PC Mag, Business 2.0.
Founder of Tweney Media; former editor of VentureBeat; ex-Wired, PC Mag, Business 2.0.


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Hey everyone. I've transferred my G+ identity to this one:

Google should have made the transfer automatically, so if you're following me here, you should now be following me there. But if that didn't work, FYI: I'll be doing my posting from now, and NOT
Dylan Tweney - Google+
Dylan Tweney - Google+
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This is handy. You can now transfer your Google+ circles to a different account -- useful if, like me, you have a G+ identity with Gmail and you want to transfer it to a Google Apps for domains identity.

Accordingly, I will be moving my G+ from to I think everything should continue working the same. Fingers crossed.
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“I think the number one reason I love Microsoft is we have a living founder and chairman who’s dedicated his life to making the world better." That's +Rahul Sood talking about why he loves working at Microsoft now.
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"There’s no way that value proposition can hold at 42 if someone else is doing it for 10. It can’t last. Or, everything I’ve learned about finance and business could be wrong. One of those two things."

+Bill Gurley talking about Groupon
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This is a smart argument by Scoble about how Google+ has a lot more vitality than people give it credit for.

It has convinced me to spend more time on G+ than I have been for the past few months.

Here's why I don't spend time on G+ more, however: One, I need client apps. Twitter has a rich array of clients for me to choose from and I like the ones I've picked (YoruFukorou on the Mac, and Carbon on my Lumia 900). G+ doesn't offer a single Windows phone client that I could find, and there's not much to choose from on the Mac either.

Second, login confusion. I have multiple Google accounts (on,, and a Gmail address). The only one I'm using G+ on is my address, because G+ wasn't available for Google apps for domains for awhile. Now that it's available, I could set up a G+ profile for, say, but all my followers are here. On top of that, I have to jump through hoops to make sure I'm signed in to the right account whenever I want to post to G+.

Third, G+ is just confusing compared to twitter and facebook. Circles, hangouts, etc -- I never know what I'm sharing and with whom, and there are too many options for which circles/feeds to follow. I suppose that drawback will go away with practice, but still.

Anyway, I'm going to give it a try. Let me know what you think.
What is the new social media ghost town?

OK, let me get this straight.

Since July of last year:

I've gone from 0 to 1.5 million followers here.

On Facebook at I've gone from 13,000 to 261,000 followers.

Yet on Twitter at I've gone from 240,000 to 260,000 followers.

I'm also getting more engagement on both Facebook and Google+.

Yet Google+ is derided in the tech press as a "ghost town." I think the data is starting to show that this is unfair and, well, simply wrong.

So, what's the new social media ghost town? I say it's Twitter. Follower growth has NOT kept up there with the other services, which is telling me something.

What is it telling me?

1. That while number of tweets have gone up, people are getting overloaded so they aren't following more people. Why is that? Because there isn't any noise controls on Twitter (Facebook's feed, on my screens, is a LOT more useful than Twitter's feeds).

2. I'm on Google+'s suggested user list, which is gifting me a huge number of followers. But I got up to 230,000 without ever being on that list here. Lots of people are signing up and at least a few ARE sticking around here.

3. Over on Facebook there are ways to get spread around more, and juice its suggested user feature (this is one thing Facebook does better than Twitter or Google+ since this list is algorithmic and doesn't show a single same list to every user), which gets you more users.

4. Facebook juices its subscriber numbers through lists. If you get put on a list with, say, 30,000 followers, all those followers will be added to your follower count.

Seriously, I know Twitter's not a ghost town, but it sure feels like that because of the usage model there. As it has turned into more of an "information utility" and less of a community it feels more and more empty.

A few other things?

I really hate Twitter's list limitations. On Twitter you can only put 500 people on a list. No such limitation exists here on Google+ or on Facebook. Also, on Twitter you can only have 20 lists per account. No such limitation exists here on Google+ or on Facebook. I don't get why they don't fix this, especially given that they say Twitter is an information utility.

Over on Facebook I'm really liking the ticker, which isn't yet integrated into its mobile apps. But these "attention signals" which show what your friends are listening to, reading, liking, eating, etc, are more useful to me than Twitter's tweet stream, especially when you consider that they aren't part of the feed, which means the feed has a lot less noise (over on Twitter I just saw Steve Wozniak check in on Foursquare, which is totally noise to me and is the kind of stuff I no longer see on my Facebook feed).

Finally, if you look at Flipboard and other readers like Zite, and Pulse, I am starting to like Facebook's display a lot more on those. Why? Because Facebook gives more signals through its comments and its noise filtering (which Flipboard then augments with its own round of noise filtering). I expect that when Google+ gets a real API and developer support (I expect that will come in late June at the Google IO conference) that it'll be the same.

This is a long way of saying: am I reading these signals right?

Is Facebook and Google+ going up in your world and Twitter staying flat or going down, especially when you consider time spent on each actually reading other people's content?
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These are Google+ profiles for VB folks
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Our short list of 10 people who are making a huge difference.
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Jim Balsillie, former (until this week) co-CEO of RIM: "We’re a very poorly diversified portfolio. It either goes to the moon or crashes to earth."
+Dylan Tweney of VentureBeat wrote an interesting article about the recent change of management at RIM ( He correctly mentions that "It’s not easy to see where the company went wrong". RIM, like other companies in tech history, is a victim of its own success.

An interesting generalization of this situation was made by +Kevin Kelly, who wrote about the need of organizations to destroy their previous success in order to create a new one (

While one product is perfecting its peak, an outsider can move the entire mountain by changing the rules. Detroit was the peak of perfection for big cars, but suddenly the small-car mountain overshadowed it. Sears was king of the retail mountain, but then Wal-Mart and Kmart's innovations created a whole new mountain range that towered above it. For a brief moment Nintendo owned the summits of the video-game mountain until Sega and later Sony built separate mountains even higher. Each of the displaced industries, companies, or products were stuck on a less optimal local peak.

[ get to a higher peak, the company...] must do business less efficiently, with less perfection, relative to its current niche. This is a problem. Organizations, like living beings, are hardwired to optimize what they know--to cultivate success, not to throw it away. Companies find devolving unthinkable and impossible. There is simply no allowance in the enterprise for letting go.

Seems RIM got caught in that same trap of local optimums, and that any future success for them requires that they go through a destructive phase first. This is not impossible, as has been proven by several industry icons: IBM and Apple are two prominent examples of companies that have made magnificent recoveries.

Kelly (in points to a suggestion by management consultant Tom Peters for organizations to appoint a “Chief Destruction Officer” (the article at is an interesting 2006 perspective). Kelly doesn't explain what such an officer should actually do, but he does state that:

Legendary, long-lived companies are intensely outward-looking. They can spot a global peak and distinguish it from the many false peaks. They understand that an inward focus, especially a narrow focus on being "world's best" in some matter, can work against long-term adaptation by blinding the organization from seeking new heights. Better for the long haul is an outward perspective that is always seeking alternative mountains to climb.

BTW - An insightful segment from a 2008 interview with then RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie shows that RIM wasn’t subscribing to Kelly’s point of view (YouTube: Interview with BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie):

Interviewer: “It's a matter of time before someone else [brings a killer product] - I mean do you ever think about growing RIM beyond something like a blackberry?”

Balsillie: “No, no (laughing). We’d (roughly?), die. We’re a very poorly diversified portfolio. It either goes to the moon or crashes to earth. But it’s making it to the moon pretty good, so we’ll stay with it”
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My column leading up to CloudBeat 2011. I hate the buzzwords and jargon surrounding the cloud. But I am starting to appreciate the reality behind that.
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