[hcs-d] Google+

Jim Danz danz at fas.harvard.edu
Wed Jun 29 13:47:43 EDT 2011

On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 1:33 PM, Julia Hansbrough <
jhansbrough at college.harvard.edu> wrote:

>  I wouldn't automatically discount their use of asymmetric networking as a
> blunder -- if it's going to compete with Facebook, it's going to have to
> offer a slightly different take on things, and that's not a bad way to
> differentiate.  Plus, a similar model's been proven to work before, back in
> Ye Olde Days of the web, with -- go ahead and laugh -- LiveJournal.  Though
> it's all but dead now, the site was one of the first huge social network-y /
> blog platforms, and it was incredibly slow to die -- people seemed to like
> that friending wasn't always mutual, and you were asked to set the privacy
> level on every entry before posting it.  (Interesting article with some more
> about this:
> http://33bits.org/2009/09/09/livejournal-done-right-the-case-for-a-social-network-with-built-in-privacy/
>  )
Fair analysis.  It's a real change from FB.

> <-----Original Message----->
> *From: Jim Danz [danz at fas.harvard.edu]*
> Sent: 6/29/2011 10:14:03 AM
> To: tpak at fas.harvard.edu
> Cc: hcs-discuss at hcs.harvard.edu
> Subject: Re: [hcs-d] Google+
> On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 12:13 PM, Ted Pak <tpak at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> > https://plus.google.com/up/start/?sw=1&type=st
> > Thoughts on Google's latest attempt at social?  Anybody here try it out
> yet?
> >  Current or ex-FB employees willing to say it's meh?
> Sign me up (if ex-intern counts as ex-employee). Google+ is meh
> because it's basically Facebook.* The only difference is that the way
> you connect to people is more confusing.
> > I had two "friends" on it (or whatever they're called)
> Case in point. Even if they weren't up against the challenge of a
> world whose mental model of social networks and their vocabulary comes
> from Facebook, they'd still face the fact that there isn't even a
> natural noun. Circle-members? What? And honestly, I want to go
> ahead and say that they got it wrong with the asymmetry. It's more
> complicated to understand (see: Datamatch's move from asymmetric to
> symmetric matches, Hoon et al 2010) and doesn't allow for effort
> re-use (one person makes a group and everyone in it benefits).
> Comedy over-the-top complaint: Say you heard about Google+ verbally.
> You might think it's "Google +". Well, if you Google "Google +",
> you're just Googling Google. Looks like + is either not supported or
> not interpreted as a literal character, but I give them credit that
> they at least hardcoded "Google+" to work.
> Serious complaint: Google is the way that I get things done online,
> whether that's emails that need to go out, or searches that need to
> happen. I really, really, really, don't ever want a glyph showing me
> how many "Notifications"** I have from my Circle-members. That's
> where I think that Google is coming close to being a bit evil with
> this. If us using their tools for productivity rather than
> socializing isn't profitable enough for them, they go make them social
> so we'll be more engaged? I don't want to be engaged by my search
> engine. I want it to take me to the answers that I want.
> Just saw Joe's note. Agreed on principle that FB could use some
> healthy competition. But it'd be nice for that competition to smell
> less like a clone. And, yeah, apart from the fact that Google will
> have to be more conservative with privacy because they're a bigger
> company and have blown this in the past, I see no reason to find this
> less evil than FB.
> * Well,
> * they're probably called something other than notifications to
> minimize literal FB copying
> > It seems like early press is quite positive--that's already an
> improvement
> > over Buzz.
> > Ted
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