There’s always something to howl about

Google Plus = MySpace Redux?

If MySpace (current valuation, $30 million) is the Facebook of the past, then what does that make Google Plus?

I’m not sure. But, as an inveterate fan of all things Google, I hold some hope that Google will succeed where other platforms have failed, or are failing.

I share Greg’s skeptical view of Facebook, which has struck me from day one as a kludgy mess. I find it virtually useless for business. It strikes me as AOL-like in its attempt to separate itself from the Internet.

Facebook wants all things to be Facebook. The Internet wants to be free. Google wants to help us more effectively find things on the Internet. Those are radically different visions of what it means to organize information and minds.

Google does all this at great risk, since making things more accessible, more open, and more transparent also lowers barriers to entry for competitors.

Google Plus seemingly moves in a different direction, by providing the tools by which can interact in a “social framework”. The trick will be to keep it all more free-wheeling than is possible on Facebook, give users more control over how information about them is shared, make it easy and intuitive to use, and make money at it.

Here’s where Google has an advantage: because it is the means by which people already search and organization information, that means that social networks can be brought to bear on that information, such that search results, for instance, can be influenced by your network.

For businesses, that means figuring out to make their business a part of various social networks can really give them a leg up if, and when, Google Plus takes off. And, unlike the pointless Google Wave and dreadful Google Buzz, I think it just might.


4 Comments so far

  1. ryan hartman July 15th, 2011 9:49 am

    Pretty sure this plus thing is for real. Finding out all kinds of interesting applications and already seeing some rankings bumps via tight integration into our sites.

    peep: to see how ruffled up my panties are.

  2. John Rowles July 16th, 2011 7:47 am

    >Facebook wants all things to be Facebook. The Internet wants to be free. Google wants to help us more effectively find things on the Internet. Those are radically different visions of what it means to organize information and minds.

    Not so radically different anymore, it seems:

    Google+ is an attempt to corral the ad dollars earmarked for social media that presently flow almost exclusively to FB. In order to make that work for advertisers, Google is following the anti-privacy path that was so clumsily blazed by Zuckerberg, only they are being a lot smarter about it, considering how little attention these fundamental changes to its privacy policy are getting.

    Maybe that is changing and the article linked above is in the vanguard of that unwanted attention. We will see, but it looks like “Don’t be Evil” is once again bumping up against a business reality, and once again, millions of users could not care less about the privacy issue — including me as I try out Google+.

    Frankly, since I friended real estate agents early on before I knew better, real estate agents trolling for business or votes in some popularity contest are the primary reason I don’t bother with FB much anymore.

    I’m trying to use Google+ as a do-over where I only “friend” (“plus”? “circle”?) people who are — get this — my friends.

    The default attitude that every platform on the Internet has a “business” purpose in real estate strikes me as the modern version of newbie agents being taught to work their “Sphere Of Influence” in agent mills.

    Sure, you can walk up to everyone you recognize in the grocery store and palm them your business card and you can use social media platforms to virtually do the same thing — just recognize that both are equally annoying and, I suspect, equally useless at garnering enough business to make it worthwhile.

  3. Vin July 19th, 2011 12:51 pm

    I’m really pumped on Google+. It’s clean, simple, and has a lot of potential. I do, however, believe that it is separating itself from the internet similarly to Facebook. Think about it; you can now do everything you can possible need online right from Google. Images, video, documents, social, and search are all in one spot. It’s almost as if Google IS the new internet.

  4. Damon August 25th, 2011 2:31 am

    Hey Damon,
    Nice name by the way. Don’t meet many Damons 🙂
    I thing google plus is going to catch and take off among bloggers, professionals, networkers, businesses etc. I think facebook is going to continue to dominate for the moms and family type connections.

    I am on G+ and I think the circles concept is the biggest distinction. You can easily compartmentalize your life and share things with certain groups without other groups looking.

    It will be interesting to see how it plays out for sure.