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There's been some discussion about the origin of the meme "when something online is free you're not the customer, you're the product". I think the following quote from William S Burroughs' "Naked Lunch" (1959) is very closely related:

“The junk merchant doesn't sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.”
Barry Shein's profile photoAlexander Becker's profile photoMax Huijgen's profile photoAlex Schleber's profile photo
P.S. "Junk" is slang for "heroin".
+ Thanks for the surface. Yes, the oft-quoted thing from "MetaFilter discussion thread by user MF blue_beetle"... while true enough, what it does not take into account is that users are already paying a service with their valuable, scarce attention, the only scarce resource in an info economy.

The first service that thoroughly gets this and offers users everything they've ever wanted in terms of respect for their time and data, wins. (We had hopes for G+ in this regard, but they were basically crushed for the most part.)

0) Recognition that the "free" user IS in fact the customer, and should be respected at all times.
1) Allow multiple accounts including pseudonymous, to keep things separate and/or private. Only prohibition is against sock-puppetry.
2) Complete per-user transparency and editability of the data dossier that the service is keeping on the customer.
3) Intelligent contextual ad targeting that works off of user pull request of some sort -> "Raised Hand" similar to search ads. No unwanted interruption advertising, period (it doesn't work anyway, and no one is measuring the negative reinforcer effects that flow from it).
4) Recognition that inelegant, crude UI/UX design is costing users real minutes and hours of their lives.
5) Complete data transportability, and recognition of all forms of user supplied data including comments (our content too) and Upvoting/Like/RT/etc. activity.
6) ... there's more, this just from the top of my head. Now excuse me while I go properly read this brilliant article... ;)

/cc +Max Huijgen
What's glaringly obvious, +Alex Schleber is that the second quote provided by +Barry Shein fits that theme like a glove. Let's hope for the best and the recognition demanded, because at the moment it's a bet against time.
+Alexander Becker true. I guess I better hurry the hell up then... ;) While I really like the metaphor (might have to use that quote in a slide-deck before long), I think the mind-altering effects of Social Media/etc/ services are not quite that powerful. Yet.

E.g. I feel that on here people's "allegiance to the tribe" circuitry is still a much stronger neural network driver than anything else. Hence the degree to which people react negatively to criticism of the G+ status quo, as well as criticisms of e.g. Android issues.
I'd prefer rational "allegiance to the tribe" though. If the tribe is getting too cultish, brains are being shut down; effectively degrading themselves. Nobody wants that because over the long term, a rational tribe is so much more worth.
+Alexander Becker agreed, however that tribal thing is not circuitry of the Conscious Mind/rational control. And for many, it is not even interfaced much with the control/planning circuitry, which is why they will get so out of hand.

I tend to think this is especially true in some "left-brained" (I know, i know, just as a metaphor...) geek circles, where there is little conscious connection to the feeling, etc. circuitry where this stuff lives. So when roused, there is almost no awareness/intercept.

There can of course be other reasons as well, but overall this is not to be underestimated.
True that it's not conscious, +Alex Schleber at least not broadly. But those who sense that pattern need to be careful not to spoil it and shift it to the "dark," irrational side.
Guys, we could consider setting up a mini forum with three members. I don´t know why we need G+ for this ;)
Alex your short list at 22:32 is a good one but I´m pretty sure +Dieter Mueller won´t agree with point 4. I hope he speaks out himself, but a bad UX wasting time is clearly not stopping people from using a service. G+ is the case at hand, but FB and Twitter are perfect examples as well.
The deciding factor is clearly not the UX and the proof is indeed in the pudding as we are repeating our discussions all over G+ instead of setting up a little forum for the few hundred people who make this place interesting.
Forgot the necessary mentions without every thread is doomed on G+ +Alexander Becker +Alex Schleber
The bad UI/UX doesn't prevent people from using it, even excessively so, but it certainly eats away more of their time than an efficient one — which again leads us back to teh original quote.

Obvious idea, +Max Huijgen; there's a lot of talk about the efficacy of pages and circles lately and we have a great case study here: Instead of using the system, the urge to leave emerges because of all the shortcomings, where it was this exact case which circles and pages are being sold for.

On the other hand, if it had been perfect in the first place, most of us would never have met...
+Max Huijgen :) 1) yes, the ball doesn't get moved forward all of that far each time. But that list was actually as concise of a list of criteria as I had come up with thus far.

2) The UX issue people won't be able to judge until they see it done right, and ask themselves how they ever dealt with anything else. That's a bit of a Steve Jobs-ish theme if you will...

3) I think the key will be in providing such a platform along with key effortless tie-ins of other places such as G+ and Twitter to draw more people into the discusssion without them ever needing to sign up. As Fred Wilson calls it "Don't forget your logged-out users"...
if it had been perfect in the first place, most of us would never have met... :)
I´m stubborn, convinced I can see the light where others see darkness and on average find limitations just a minor nuisance to be worked around, so although I have a better temper than Steve Jobs, the similarities are high enough.

There is however a reality about UX´es on which I agree with Dieter: if you offer enough of a reward in using a service people will be forgiving. And the reverse holds as well: the perfect UX can´t lure people in if there is nothing to be gained by using it.
The easy sign up issue seems to be resolving itself +Alex Schleber with services using Oauth and Disqus.
Like I said before, in this discussion and in many others, going back to the so called #nymwars — this so imperfect UX offers enough stuff to think about and ponder and suggest to improve for all the geeks present from day 1 on G+, as well as the opportunity for all those intelligent people to hone and show-off their ad-hoc skills and make friends in the meantime that the rewards are obvious, again.

If it had been perfect, it had been a ghost town indeed, +Max Huijgen ...

What archetype system do you think is played upon here, +Alex Schleber. And who is the architect of such a scheme?
+Alexander Becker :) There is "The Creator" archetype, which applies to all artists, inventors, asf. The Creator tends to create the Superpowers that are a facet of The Titan (hence the original Creator instance of "Daedalus", who designs the power of flight for his son and himself).

Problem is, Google got too bogged down in minutiae to go for the real "Superpower" stuff in many ways. If it's a lot of work, it can't be one...

I don't know if anyone had complained too loudly about it being too perfect, we would then have talked about more next-level stuff. Like this, it's been more 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

I agree on the serendipity of discovering the most UI/UX/System passionate people thereby, not sure if the same couldn't have been accomplished having a "Salon" / Group called "UI/UX" on a well-built Interest Graph system instead, and then seeing who participates the most. Granted, it took Google's enormous reach to bring a lot of people by to check things out.
Which leads to another observation, +Alex Schleber, not exactly a new one, but even in this context, quantity is required to distill quality.
+Dieter Mueller first of all this was meant as a sort of quick-and-dirty manifesto of things that the ideal service has to get right to give full credit to the Attention As Scarce Resource equation (and yes, G+ has obviously not gotten these points right, but that doesn't mean that someone can't down the road; I hate the acceptance/acquiescence in the kind of cynical positions you describe).

I predict that someone will get this right, and they WILL earn the rewards from the 20-40% of users that get it.

As to what to do with the data, there ARE good things that can happen when decent-to-excellent info builds on each other in a system that can accomodate this.

Early examples of this are Wikipedia (a bit too structured to move the ball forward in a looser, more "intellectual salon" style), as well as Quora, which unfortunately made some mistakes with being overly uptight and elitist (without too much real substance to actually support this).

They made some Digg-like power-user hijacking mistakes, underemphasized comments as feedback loops in the system, and turned way too many regular users off withe over the top moderators and the Wiki-style edits. No one likes to have their content/comments corrected by someone else. Asf.

Working on this right now... ;)
I feel these quotes from the TC post that got Scoble to write another half-way G+ obit/complaint comment are relevant to my argument here:

"...Facebook, of course, is not unassailable. It too will pass away. It is after all only the latest in a series of improvements on the general social network model. It has proven to be more flexible and resilient than its predecessors, but it isn’t immortal; even now there is a hum of discontent among users, low in frequency but just audible. Trust is an issue; ads are an issue; filtering is an issue. Will these issues destroy Facebook in the next year? Of course not. But as another saying goes, if you wait long enough by the river, you will see the bodies of your enemies float by.
Maybe the worst of it is that Google+ could have been so good. It could have been so Google. But a series of poor choices, misjudgments, and plain stubbornness resulted in the poor thing being sent alone and friendless into bloody battle with an entrenched and veteran opponent."
In light of our UX discussions here, I thought this was pretty funny. From

"1. Focus on the user and all else will follow. Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible."

It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
We do search
Hahahahahahahahaha.... Let´s see if I can find this comment tomorrow? One thing?
Now +Dieter Mueller that seems easy enough. Take the basics of G+ and add the tools to use this as a content platform. I have made long lists of essential stuff.
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