There’s a lot of buzz (no pun intended) around Google+ recently with droves of people tweeting for invites and sending invites. There has been a lot of comments and a lot of reviews but nothing has riled me more than this post by Charlie O’Donnel in the Business Insider “Why Google+ misses the mark.”
That’s basically how your friends feel about your invite to be in your Google+ Circle, except the opposite. You’re going to look like a dork that takes your social networking far too seriously. You’re the awkward teen who picks up their first date in the family station wagon.
I would like to say that the whole tone and reasoning of the post is so flawed that I will limit my rebuttal to the ones that I find to be the most egregious. He argues that brands have an identity and should stick to it. Google is an engineering juggernaut, Facebook is social and never the twain shall meet. Google stood for search for the longest time, Yahoo and Hotmail were for email, yet Google managed to get people to use Gmail and loving it.
There are many other examples pointed out by the comments to the article but the point is that companies, if they want to stay relevant should always strive to develop products that people want. And let’s face it, the dissatisfaction around Facebook has reached a point where a new player in the market big enough to handle Facebook is very much welcome.
It’s been awhile since I had to send a friend request over Facebook and imagine my surprise when the process became painful, all because my friend had her privacy settings on high. As if Facebook is punishing us for trying to protect our information.
For all the flack against Google and its infringement on people’s privacy, at least it’s pretty open about its missteps. Also, with Google+, the default is not a “share-all”, rather the permissions are explicit and not in fine print. And maybe, this is the time for that. In the same way that MySpace was unseated by Facebook, Google+ could do the same with its well-defined “Circles.” At the very least, Facebook should seriously reconsider its practices.
Because that’s what worthy competitors are for – to drive progress. By the way, since when were dorks un-cool? I think that dorkdom has reached an elevated status since Sergey Brin and Larry Page became billionaires.