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(Network World)   Even Google's CEO has been scared away from Ghost Town+   (networkworld.com) divider line 37
    More: Obvious, Google, CEO  
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6695 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Jun 2012 at 9:47 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-24 09:55:18 AM
I find this appropriate.

Barriers to entry in social networking are pretty low...except for that pesky "critical mass" bit.
 
2012-06-24 10:18:11 AM
Amazing how even a G+ thread seems to be barren...
 
2012-06-24 10:19:10 AM
Google bungled this at the start. I personally find myself irrationally unable to "join" Google+ because of the crap they pulled when it launched.

I realize they aren't going to kill my accounts and make my Google e-mail and other account features inactive over some minor slight (or in error) to their TOS, but I still don't want to risk it.
 
2012-06-24 10:30:20 AM
I know they have to beta test somehow, but I think they screwed it up by limiting the invitations too much or for too long. Anyone who was really excited about joining couldn't get in until the excitement faded a bit, and those people's non-tech-geek friends, who weren't particularly inclined to join, never did, because by the time it was easy to join, the people who got into the beta were already bored because none of their friends were on, and it had the reputation of a ghost town.

They're competing against networks where everyone can communicate with all of their friends already. The product isn't going to be appealing if it doesn't provide a similar level of interaction right from the start. Getting people to join would be hard enough, without telling people they can't join.

Also, the mobile support initially sucked, and the last time I used the app it was slow as hell. If they could have succeeded anywhere, it would be in not being as bloated as Facebook (similar to how Facebook originally was compared to Myspace).
 
2012-06-24 10:42:36 AM

whenIsayGO: I know they have to beta test somehow, but I think they screwed it up by limiting the invitations too much or for too long. Anyone who was really excited about joining couldn't get in until the excitement faded a bit, and those people's non-tech-geek friends, who weren't particularly inclined to join, never did, because by the time it was easy to join, the people who got into the beta were already bored because none of their friends were on, and it had the reputation of a ghost town.


It was completely trivial to get an invitation. What makes it a ghost town is that it offers no value over Facebook. Who, unlike myspace, continues to improve the service.
 
2012-06-24 10:42:51 AM

whenIsayGO: Also, the mobile support initially sucked, and the last time I used the app it was slow as hell. If they could have succeeded anywhere, it would be in not being as bloated as Facebook (similar to how Facebook originally was compared to Myspace).


One really cool feature of the mobile app is that you can see what people are posting nearby. If they put this on the desktop version (Google Maps can locate me with GPS level accuracy with My Location turned on) then this would really give them a leg up on Facebook.
 
2012-06-24 10:59:06 AM

gingerjet: It was completely trivial to get an invitation. What makes it a ghost town is that it offers no value over Facebook. Who, unlike myspace, continues to improve the service.


Funny thing, since Facebook's competition, MySpace has cleaned itself up quite a bit, and it's once again becoming the place for bands to promote themselves without K1Ng D0UcHeN0ZzL3 v0N KrUnK posting sparkly anigifs everywhere.
 
2012-06-24 11:07:40 AM

theorellior: MySpace ... [is] once again becoming the place for bands to promote themselves


I use it for this a lot. If I hear about a new band, I usually check them out on MySpace to listen to a few songs to see if I'm interested enough to buy an album or two. It's pretty good for that.
 
2012-06-24 11:12:09 AM
The only two or three people I know that regularly use Google+ are socially inept assholes. Just the type I don't wish to keep up with. I created a profile, but I can't see myself ever really using it. It is sad too that I don't know if Facebook or Google is less trustworthy.
 
2012-06-24 11:19:09 AM

theorellior: Funny thing, since Facebook's competition, MySpace has cleaned itself up quite a bit, and it's once again becoming the place for bands to promote themselves without K1Ng D0UcHeN0ZzL3 v0N KrUnK posting sparkly anigifs everywhere.


It never stopped being that. As soon as Facebook took off, it was the place for musicians. Has been since day one.
 
2012-06-24 12:18:14 PM

sure haven't: It never stopped being that. As soon as Facebook took off, it was the place for musicians. Has been since day one.


It started out that way, and it's that way now, but there was a good four years where MySpace became nothing but a cesspool of shiatty spam accounts, attention-whore hookups and Icy Hot Stuntaz flashing wads of five-dollar bills. Sure, there were still bands there, but they were lost in the public perception of bling-bling and kEwL SpELiN D00Dz.
 
2012-06-24 12:58:55 PM
gingerjet: What makes it a ghost town is that it offers no value over Facebook. Who, unlike myspace, continues to improve the service.

Oh, come on, you must be trolling or employed by Facebook. Facebook is a terrible Facebook, and the functionality and service there have been going downhill sharply for the last two or three years. It's just gotten steadily slower and more annoying. I can't remember the last time I heard someone IRL talk about Fbook without biatching about how crappy it is now, and that's not because all my friends are old -- most of my employees are college undergrads, and they complain about Fbook all the freaking time.

Facebook is the crappy bar that everyone goes to because everyone goes there. Almost nobody wants to go there, but it's where you know people will be. And it's hard to find a new place that's actually better, and it's a lot harder to convince other people to start going there instead. So we keep going back to Fbook, looking at the menu and how crowded it is with idiots, and hating ourselves for going back.

Although, when we can, we go less often.

Google+ had a lot of problems (and probably still does), but the main ones seem to have been:

- No one believed it was really going to be better than Fbook. The hype for it was inept and tone-deaf. It should have emphasized that it was Fbook without all the stupid Fbook crap, not that it was new and shiny.

- Everyone knew that most of their friends would still be at the crappy bar that is Fbook.

- They failed utterly to capitalize on things that made a lot of people give up on Fbook, such as Timeline.

- Google's products have been going downhill sharply for the last couple of years, too. GIS sucks goats now. Gmail has gotten clunky and Cute and awful and slow, with reduced functionality and added chrome no one needs. Completely incompetent interface design. So why would people be eager to commit to new Google products?

The Google 'doodles' and basic supremacy of its web search are what they have left to bank on. Anytime a corporation needs to invoke the "core competencies" mantra, you know they're in the toilet, because that means they've forgotten what they're good at and known for.
 
2012-06-24 01:12:58 PM

RandomAxe: gingerjet: What makes it a ghost town is that it offers no value over Facebook. Who, unlike myspace, continues to improve the service.

Oh, come on, you must be trolling or employed by Facebook. Facebook is a terrible Facebook, and the functionality and service there have been going downhill sharply for the last two or three years. It's just gotten steadily slower and more annoying. I can't remember the last time I heard someone IRL talk about Fbook without biatching about how crappy it is now, and that's not because all my friends are old -- most of my employees are college undergrads, and they complain about Fbook all the freaking time.

Facebook is the crappy bar that everyone goes to because everyone goes there. Almost nobody wants to go there, but it's where you know people will be. And it's hard to find a new place that's actually better, and it's a lot harder to convince other people to start going there instead. So we keep going back to Fbook, looking at the menu and how crowded it is with idiots, and hating ourselves for going back.

Although, when we can, we go less often.

Google+ had a lot of problems (and probably still does), but the main ones seem to have been:

- No one believed it was really going to be better than Fbook. The hype for it was inept and tone-deaf. It should have emphasized that it was Fbook without all the stupid Fbook crap, not that it was new and shiny.

- Everyone knew that most of their friends would still be at the crappy bar that is Fbook.

- They failed utterly to capitalize on things that made a lot of people give up on Fbook, such as Timeline.

- Google's products have been going downhill sharply for the last couple of years, too. GIS sucks goats now. Gmail has gotten clunky and Cute and awful and slow, with reduced functionality and added chrome no one needs. Completely incompetent interface design. So why would people be eager to commit to new Google products?

The Google 'doodles' and basic supremacy of its web ...


Agreed....Picasa has gone shiatty too since they've integrated it with Google+ and tried to make it more fancy than it needs to be.
 
2012-06-24 01:16:14 PM
The saddest are the people who just refuse to believe that G+ is dead in the water and get all defensive about it.

Accept and move on, people.
 
2012-06-24 01:18:30 PM
Google+ will be shut down in a few years like some of their other failed projects, maybe sooner.

Good riddance too. Stick with what you're good at Google and stop trying to be everything.
 
2012-06-24 01:35:04 PM
Even Google's CEO has been scared away from Ghost Town+

I'm sure his mystery illness has nothing to do with it...
 
2012-06-24 02:01:34 PM
Google+ is confusing as shiat.. The first launch version wasn't bad, but it still wasn't very user friendly. It didn't have a "just jump right in" user interface.. I spent hours figuring out wtf all those god damn circles meant, how to organize them, how to privatize things and finally maintaining it all.

Then the redesign which just made it look like an Apple like Facebook ripoff for Hipsters with an unnecessary amount of just random empty space on the right of updates because someone at Google thought status updates with a static size would be cooler than dynamically resizing..
 
2012-06-24 02:39:24 PM
Gmail, Google documents, Google storage, Picasa, etc are all part of G+.
 
2012-06-24 02:49:26 PM

Electrify: One really cool feature of the mobile app is that you can see what people are posting nearby.


No, no, "cool" isn't really the word I'd use to describe this feature. More like "useless".
 
2012-06-24 03:32:23 PM
Gee, you mean threatening to take away someone's personal email account isn't a good way to launch a social network? Color me shocked!
 
2012-06-24 03:45:53 PM

HempHead: Gmail, Google documents, Google storage, Picasa, etc are all part of G+.


Not really. That's just marketing-speak. They might be integrated with G+, but Gmail is going to outlive G+.
 
2012-06-24 03:56:05 PM

Nemo's Brother: The only two or three people I know that regularly use Google+ are socially inept assholes. Just the type I don't wish to keep up with. .


This +1,000,000
 
2012-06-24 03:59:31 PM
static.someecards.com
 
2012-06-24 04:30:44 PM

LittleMissStubborn: The saddest are the people who just refuse to believe that G+ is dead in the water and get all defensive about it.

Accept and move on, people.


There a lot of tech- and science-related podcasts that seem to prefer G+ to most any other social
networking site, so that might end up being the niche that keeps it going for a while longer.

Personally, I think its snobbery, but that's not fair to those who prefer G+ I guess.
 
2012-06-24 04:41:35 PM
One thing that could have really helped G+ is the ability to easily import all of your data from Facebook. I don't know if there would be any legal or technical hurdles to that. Probably. But it would have been great if you could just give G+ access to your Facebook, and have it automatically migrate all of your status updates (retroactive times stamps), photos, friends lists (with invite emails) and so forth. The biggest reason why I stopped using my G+ is because I just didn't want to start over from scratch. If everyone on Facebook could have just packed up their Facebook data, moved it over to G+, and continued on there seamlessly, I think it would have been far more successful.
 
2012-06-24 04:50:29 PM
LesserEvil:
I realize they aren't going to kill my accounts and make my Google e-mail and other account features inactive over some minor slight (or in error) to their TOS, but I still don't want to risk it.

I didn't "realize" that at all. After I heard it could happen EVER, there was no way at all I was going to risk it, since I use gmail and have been blogging for years with Blogger. As far as I was concerned those stories were poison.
 
2012-06-24 04:55:00 PM
If I posted personal pictures (almost) none of my friends are there to view them. But I spend _much_ more time on Google+ than Facebook.

Why? I can follow people (400+ right now) - mostly software people, Android geeks, political pundits, etc. It's more like a one-stop blog rather than a 'social' site. Instead of clicking through 10-20 different blogs, I get everything in one stream. And the comments on the posts are generally pretty high quality -- it's attracted a pretty smart crowd so far. Call me crazy, but a good discussion about the last Amazon EC2 outage is more interesting to me than 'Bobby Joe likes Starbucks'.

I think a lot of people are turned off when they sign-in and go, where are all my friends? That's the thing -- it's not about friends! Find a topic you're interested in, find people that are influential on that topic and add them to your 'Following' circles. Or add an entire circle, Google has made this really easy by allowing others to package and publish their circles -- so if someone has a circle named 'Landscape photographers', you can start following them all at once.

So stop judging it like it's Facebook. It's comparing apples to oranges.
 
2012-06-24 05:26:40 PM
My impressions so far is that facebook is posting pictures of your cat and kids, and letting the world know what Applebees you are currently eating at.

Google+ right now is about finding people who post a lot about your interests, and following them. Which you can do, if you spend some time poking around. For example, Wil Wheaton has a very active google plus stream.

So, yes, in comparison to facebook, it's a failure. But when I veiwed more as an RSS feed, I think it has some amount of success, as it's not a constant stream of personal vanity messages and "I need some wood for my farm game" requests.
 
2012-06-24 05:42:51 PM
As others have said, the two can't really be compared. I go to Facebook to see what boring crap my friends are doing, or to post boring crap of my own. I go to Google+ to connect on a complete other level with mostly strangers. The few real friends I have who are active on Google+ tend to be tech geeks or hobbyists (photography) who don't tell me about what they're eating for dinner or how tired they are. And I don't spam them with pictures of my daughters or try to be profound when I've got a liter of scotch in me.

In short, Google+ isn't going anywhere. It isn't Facebook, it won't replace Facebook. Maybe that sucks for Google, but it's not like the thing is a failure for that reason. It's got its uses.
 
2012-06-24 06:26:03 PM

RandomAxe: gingerjet: What makes it a ghost town is that it offers no value over Facebook. Who, unlike myspace, continues to improve the service.

Oh, come on, you must be trolling or employed by Facebook. Facebook is a terrible Facebook, and the functionality and service there have been going downhill sharply for the last two or three years. It's just gotten steadily slower and more annoying. I can't remember the last time I heard someone IRL talk about Fbook without biatching about how crappy it is now, and that's not because all my friends are old -- most of my employees are college undergrads, and they complain about Fbook all the freaking time.

Facebook is the crappy bar that everyone goes to because everyone goes there. Almost nobody wants to go there, but it's where you know people will be. And it's hard to find a new place that's actually better, and it's a lot harder to convince other people to start going there instead. So we keep going back to Fbook, looking at the menu and how crowded it is with idiots, and hating ourselves for going back.

Although, when we can, we go less often.

Google+ had a lot of problems (and probably still does), but the main ones seem to have been:

- No one believed it was really going to be better than Fbook. The hype for it was inept and tone-deaf. It should have emphasized that it was Fbook without all the stupid Fbook crap, not that it was new and shiny.

- Everyone knew that most of their friends would still be at the crappy bar that is Fbook.

- They failed utterly to capitalize on things that made a lot of people give up on Fbook, such as Timeline.

- Google's products have been going downhill sharply for the last couple of years, too. GIS sucks goats now. Gmail has gotten clunky and Cute and awful and slow, with reduced functionality and added chrome no one needs. Completely incompetent interface design. So why would people be eager to commit to new Google products?

The Google 'doodles' and basic supremacy of its web ...


True, FB has gone downhill with each update. Every time you learn the system they come out with something completely different and mess up all your settings. G+ does not interest me at all as my need to be on FB is dropping fast. As some people have said FB is probably a fad and it is fading as real life is more important and your entire life on and offline does not have to revolve around it.
 
2012-06-24 07:48:08 PM
Ill tell you one of the biggest reasons "smart" people don't use google+

Lets say you have an android phone. Your gmail is attached to it, you've put all your contacts on your account so that it syncs automatically, you're using the calender etc etc

If you go astray of googles (sometimes ridiculous) rules you could have your account closed. Then what happens to your phone/mail/calender?
 
2012-06-24 08:04:04 PM
Their caution to the wind attitude towards data collection by any means along with their insistence on combining a Ghosttown+ account to your gmail account scared me off, nope at this point I think I actually trust facebook more then them and even questioning whether or not to keep the gmail account at this point.
 
2012-06-24 08:40:31 PM

gingerjet: whenIsayGO: I know they have to beta test somehow, but I think they screwed it up by limiting the invitations too much or for too long. Anyone who was really excited about joining couldn't get in until the excitement faded a bit, and those people's non-tech-geek friends, who weren't particularly inclined to join, never did, because by the time it was easy to join, the people who got into the beta were already bored because none of their friends were on, and it had the reputation of a ghost town.

It was completely trivial to get an invitation. What makes it a ghost town is that it offers no value over Facebook. Who, unlike myspace, continues to improve the service.


An invitation wasn't the hard part. After the initial rush, google were blocking people who had invites and wanted to join. I admit I dragged my feet trying to get in on the beta but by the time they opened it up for real, the buzz about it was dead. The cool kids were already bored and telling people to not bother.
 
2012-06-24 09:07:21 PM

snowshovel: My impressions so far is that facebook is posting pictures of your cat and kids, and letting the world know what Applebees you are currently eating at.

Google+ right now is about finding people who post a lot about your interests, and following them. Which you can do, if you spend some time poking around. For example, Wil Wheaton has a very active google plus stream.

So, yes, in comparison to facebook, it's a failure. But when I veiwed more as an RSS feed, I think it has some amount of success, as it's not a constant stream of personal vanity messages and "I need some wood for my farm game" requests.


Oh, so it's not a less successful Facebook, it's a less successful Twitter.
 
2012-06-24 10:03:58 PM
And yet everyone has that one friend who insists that Google+ is the shiz and only posts their photo albums there...

I look forward to the day Google+ goes the way of Orkut/Wave and Google starts cluelessly dabbling in yet another business they don't understand.
 
2012-06-25 02:04:38 AM
I've added all my FB friends in G+. Yet I keep up with them in FB and almost no one is posting in G+.

The ones who are posting? Marketers posting about why G+ is better than FB.

Not a sustainable model.
 
2012-06-25 09:40:35 AM

LittleMissStubborn: The saddest are the people who just refuse to believe that G+ is dead in the water and get all defensive about it.

Accept and move on, people.


It's handy for putting public opinion on record, especially on topics of expertise. So, I put all my business and tech opinion there, and it comes up in colleagues' searches. In that way, it's a big success.

I'll keep everything else private in Facebook until things change.
 
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