[hcs-d] Google+

Ted Pak tpak at fas.harvard.edu
Thu Jun 30 00:26:08 EDT 2011


Re: Jim's complaint on terminology 19 messages ago.  Does Facebook own the word "friend"?  Why can't a friend on Google+ be called a friend?  You know, like a circle of friends, not circle-members...

Sometimes I think a major downer of social network evolution is the necessary redefinition of words that once had such a simple human meaning, like the word "like."  Or "poke."  New verbs like "tweet" and "google" aren't as discomforting, since no prior meaning is being lost with an invented word, but Facebook actually trying to sue people using variations of "face", "book", etc. in their product name--a little disheartening.

Should social networks be trying to enhance meatspace interactions, or supplant them as much as possible?  Won't the ones that try to be more graceful about responding to people's needs instead of redefining them inevitably lose the battle for users and disappear into the mist like MySpace and other ghosts?

Ted

On Jun 29, 2011, at 6:11 PM, Charles Herrmann wrote:

> Btw, ads for Google+ are popping up all over the place. They're beautifully done.
> 
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwnJ5Bl4kLI&feature=player_embedded.
> 
> On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 6:02 PM, EJ Bensing <ebensing at college.harvard.edu> wrote:
> Interesting point & article.
> 
>  
> 
> As someone who does give 2 cents about privacy, it might be nice if facebook made the friend list feature easier to use and a more central part of the privacy management system. If it had the same effect that LiveJournal’s privacy controls had on its users, then it could even open up a whole new ‘class’ of information (ie. More private) to facebook. Furthermore, the data on how people group their friends and a comparison of said groups common interests would probably be very valuable to advertisers. Facebook even already has the feature built in, but it is just such a minor part of things that I doubt many people use it. (I myself only have 1 group and that is to make send mass-messages easier)
> 
>  
> 
> In the end, I consider it unlikely that facebook would do anything to make managing your privacy any easier, even if it would be beneficial to them.
> 
>  
> 
> Also on the entrepreneurship/competition/ect. point, I think it is great that a company like google actually keeps trying to compete with facebook, since they actually have the resources and position to do so.
> 
>  
> 
> -E.J.
> 
>  
> 
>  
> 
> From: hcs-discuss-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu [mailto:hcs-discuss-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu] On Behalf Of Jim Danz
> Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 2:48 AM
> To: Julia Hansbrough
> 
> 
> Cc: hcs-discuss at hcs.harvard.edu
> Subject: Re: [hcs-d] Google+
> 
>  
> 
>  
> 
> 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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