> “I clearly knew that I had to do something, and I failed to do it,” he said. “A CEO should take responsibility. I screwed up.”
I think Eric screwed up in a deeper way that this quote admits. Google+ came up at a time of broader dissatisfaction with other social networks, particularly Facebook. From both UI weaknesses and social perception, I initially saw G+ gaining a lot of interest among disparate folks I'd loosely label "influencers". And _all_ of that interest was shot dead due to attempts to own identity by enforcing the use of real names.
There are very real reasons why "average" people need alternate identities online. In some cases, it's mandatory professional separation; your work persona shouldn't be conflated with your author persona, shouldn't be conflated with your close-friends persona, etc. Circles were interesting, but solved a different problem.
In this regard, I think Schmidt's big failing was analogous to the fable of the golden goose: he killed any chance Google+ had by trying to seize the golden eggs of online identity. This delayed G+'s adoption enough that Facebook in particular was able to react, improving both its then-primary web UI, make some privacy improvements, and significantly shore up its public perception.
 Not counting the rabid social-network and/or Facebook haters, whom cannot be satisfied.
> I never heard about it from any of my friends who aren't
> reading sites like HN.
To this day, his Google+ profile picture is the same photographic proof that he had to send in to convince them of his name's legitimacy. His rationale is that if his profile gets disabled again, he can just point to his profile picture.
I cannot even start to describe the hate I had for G+ from that moment on. It only got worse when a friend of mine used an absolute fake name to register an account without any problems. What an UI experience. And if they didn't have insisted on "real names" it wouldn't have happened.
More than ten years ago, I signed up for Adsense - it didn't work. Despite using my Google account for a ton of stuff, I kept getting obscure error messages. When they changed the interface about 3 years ago, I tried again. This time, the UI sent me into a Kafkaesque endless loop. A few months ago I tried again, this time I was put into review and haven't heard from them since. I'm certain there is some horrible, deadly flag somewhere deep in the metadata Google keeps of me, but I have no way of finding out why or what to do about it.
The frustration Google casually inflicts upon its users is infuriating, and I'm not only talking about this account stupidity.
My S4 updated from gtalk to hangouts, and I loathe it. It now crashes quite regularly, sometimes multiple times in a single chat session, and included a stupid button that starts a video chat on my phone, a feature I have never wanted and never will want, but manages to get fat-thumbed, or randomly turn itself on when I am trying to communicate with someone.
I had to install a .deb to use it in Firefox on Linux.
I think hangouts killer feature is in the browser.
I'm not a Google+ user (at least not by choice), but as a redditor for 7 years that chart seems to show the correct trends (as far as reddit's growth is concerned, at least).
It's also done much to kill that -- the interface is abysmal (actually, so is G+, but that's another story). Even some early G+ support channels which were mediated through Google Groups got killed off. I'd posted some detailed feedback early on (2011) which, so far as I can tell, has been nuked from the face of teh Intarwebs.
Reddit isn't the end-all be-all, but it's damned good. And it carries far more regard and respect than its size would suggest. News items I'm reading about G+ discuss a total staff of over 1200 devoted to it (now largely being reassigned). Reddit's still in the <50 headcount as far as I know.
And yeah: I'd love to see global search (including comments), better tags, better moderation tools, a more powerful wiki, longer self-posts (10k char limit is a bear), and a bunch of other stuff, but it's really quite a useful site as things stand.
Much as HN, despite a pretty limited UI is, largely based on community and dynamics.
More generally, reddit is lots of user generated content that gets page views. What makes facebook's user generated content so much more attractive? The user graph? Have they figured out any good way to monetize that?
I'm pretty sure reddit hasn't rejected a Native American's name.
I imagine at that point, the "Google identity" dictated what kind of "Internet neighborhood" they felt they had to situate their social network in.
But thinking about it that way, it seems clear that rolling out a product based on "what Google needs to offer" rather than "what people want" is recipe for failure.
If they had started with the concept of "we're going to build a unified social layer for all our content-posting platforms and then integrate that into a Facebook-like environment" it likely would have gone far better for them than what they did, which is the reverse (build a Facebook-like environment and then use it as a unified social layer for all their content-posting platforms).
Btw. there is even a new MySpace. Is someone using it?
That issue hit quite a nerve, and it's been commented on at length in some of the news discussions. Ron Amadeo at ArsTechnica most especially:
The social network hasn't gained the massive userbase it would need to rival Facebook, and the aggressive integration strategy has been universally hated by users. As Google gets bigger and bigger, it faces harsher scrutiny, and few things the company has done have been more disliked than Google+. According to the report, Google+'s YouTube takeover was seen as "a rocky move" even inside the company...
As a brand, Google+ is about at toxic as you can get.
As I'd previously commented answering Eric Schmidt's "My biggest mistake at Google was not anticipating social": No, Schmidt, your biggest mistake was failing to realize that vast hoards of highly detailed and categorized personal data are not only an asset, but a tremendous liability.
Take the EU for instance. It might well be possible that, given Google's dominating position in the search and advertising markets, it is illegal in the EU for Google to _force_ people to give up an essential part of their online privacy. (Using your dominating position to force others to forego their rights.)
Usually, the EU takes some time before it gears into action, but if found at fault, the EU will make a company change its ways. So maybe somebody at Google caught the "bad vibes" coming out of Europe and decided it wasn't worth it.
It was also hated by people who had real names that some damn fool at Google thought were fake like Native Americans. You would think with a search engine they could figure this out. I am so glad we went with Office365 because I can only imagine what would have happened when half the student body's accounts got frozen.
That said, your other point needs to be trumpeted to any companies thinking about taking a run at FB. The reality is that FB has its annoyances, but overall it is good enough that it's not worth losing all my posts, photos, etc. that have become a "life mosaic", as well as, my network of friends to move to another site - and I don't have time to maintain more than one social network. The situation reminds me of enterprise vendor apps that my employer uses. Overall a particular app may have its warts, but it covers most use cases alright so that we aren't tempted to go to a competing app.
Another way of putting this is that most people don't need pseudonyms, but the people who need them really need them. Search for .e.g. "google outed me".
Google missed the boat on that, big time.
It was an understandable, safe, and wrong decision at the time.
Facebook's commercial power was widely attributed to the fact that for the first time, wide swaths of people were using their real identity online. With the investment that Google put into +, the risk of having another sea of MetalHead444s was high.
I'm just unhappy that they didn't take any really bold steps to differentiate themselves from Facebook, and instead went full Microsoft by attempting to replicate the UI.
That's such a good way to describe a bad decision. The accumulation of decisions with those characteristics will sink any company.
The only explanation I can fathom was that it was a decision motivated by engineers and marketers rather than by anyone genuinely concerned about user experience.
The decision was purely from On High, i.e. managerial. It came down from the highest levels.
I think the best use of executives is to support people in the trenches, because they're closest to the actual work. That support can include thoughtful questioning, advising, and mentoring. But when it becomes controlling, it often gets ugly.
I just happened to chat today with a guy who built a large and successful construction company up from nothing. He said that his philosophy was always to hire good people and support them. Eventually it was running well enough that he got bored with it and sold it to the employees. He's now starting an incubator for manufacturing businesses because for him the fun part is helping people get things going. I think he'll be successful, because handing down decisions on high is entirely uninteresting to him.
I have friends from the pre Internet online communities (telecom gold and Prestel) who would probably not even know my real name as we went by handles I even have a dedication using that name in a booker (think uk version of the Pulitzer prize) shortlisted authors book about that time "cybergypsies" by Indra Sinha.
I know it's easy to project actions on others, but really, that was a BAD decision.
That has to suck: knowing something is rotten but having to stick with it due to external constraints.
That is it. There are hundreds of other services for instant/asynchronous messaging, photo sharing, etc. but only Facebook knows everyone in my life by the same names I do.
I can discover and communicate with anyone I might have heard about in my real life on Facebook because (and only because) they use their real name on Facebook.
Discoverability by real name is the point of Facebook. There are certainly other social networks (i.e. Tumblr, instagram, HN) that people use as online personas separate from their real identities, but Google pretty clearly wanted a piece of Facebook's pie. Pseudonymous Google+ would have been an entirely different community. Maybe a more successful one, but not in the same space as Facebook at all, and not what Google was trying to do.
Interestingly, people use Tumblr as a much more intimate venue, in part because you just can't hold that many people's pseudonyms in your head - at my school, only fairly close friends got to know each other's Tumblr URLs.
Yup, and it's also it's greatest weakness. Hence the abandonment of Facebook by millennials to communication mediums that are inherently private—SnapChat, Kik, and anything else that doesn't put their behavior on the Internet, Google-able in one hop by authority figures.
Facebook is great for middle-aged people with stable (boring) lives who want a digital scrapbook to share with similar people. Hence all of the photos of people's kids.
(a) It threw a small but vocal corner of the internet into an uproar. Now many, many of those people were smart and had really thought about the issue and the problems it would cause, but the sad truth is that a vast majority of people really didn't care.
(b) Pretty much anything throws a small but vocal corner of the internet into an uproar.
I was an early adopter of Google search back in the late 90s but I'm not that bothered about what they're doing with plus (I'd rather they were handling it differently but I'll take it or leave it).
I do see that some of the people who are objecting are potentially significant voices - I tried to reflect this in my post by saying they were people who had thought this through - but sadly having a good point doesn't mean that you'll always win the argument, particularly where massive commercial concerns are involved.
Their go to market strategy was essentially the same as the Chinese government-run construction companies that build an entire city from farmland, cut the ribbon and expect a stampede.
Getting it right is complicated and I couldn't do it justice in an HN comment, but generally I think they should've focused on a specific winnable market and grown from there.
Real Names, the SEO takeover, and the YouTube Anschluss were really only the icing on the cake.
The first drove me to kill my personally ascribed account and create one under this nym which I use in a few places online. The second largely dismayed me. Things looked up briefly a year or so back as search got more powerful and enough interesting content had accumulated to provide some actual utility to the site. Last May's redesign, the War on Words, and the YouTube Anschluss were all pretty awful.
That ended with mass-market availability, but it's provided steam to roll on for a while.
Google had an initial base which was, I think, the seed around which it could have grown a community but blew it by releasing publicly too early.
Among other failings.
I also think the real name policy is one of those things that we give too much weight too in analyzing the service. Lacking pseudonyms is not the reason "average" people have not used it.
The effect at G+ was that there was a very narrow sweet spot for intelligent conversation -- you needed a large number (~1000 - 10,000 minimum) of followers to generate real traction, but past 100k, the ability to moderate threads was highly tedious. Lauren was (and is) heavy on the one tool he's got, the ban hammer, blocking people. The reasons often aren't that the individuals in question are doing anything particularly wrong, but that the dynamics given the other people likely to come to the thread will simply go haywire.
Or you end up with accounts such as The Economist whose posts are interesting but comments are invariably almost totally inane.
Google exhibited (and continue to exhibit) a profound lack of understanding of real community.
That carries over as well to G+ "Commnities" which are a complete fucking abortion.
The reality is that once a service hits a certain critical mass it's almost impossible to extract. Facebook, like Windows, is now a permanent fixture in the tech community, and like Windows, it will only go away by slow, eventual deterioration made possible only by the gross incompetence of the company providing the software.
People don't care how much better your software is, the inertia will keep all but the most tech-savvy on the inferior solution as long as it provides basic semblances of expected functionality.
As far as I know most people are fine with using their real name on Facebook, so real names on Google+ would not have been the big problem, it was real names on Youtube made a lot of people angry.
Also, now that people can comment on Youtube with Google+, the quality of discussions hasn't improved, it's merely become different inane stuff like "Hey x, check this out" and other excerpts from chat-like conversations that have nothing to do with the video playing.
I don't think that anyone will argue that pseudonyms are important to the average user. However, they are important to a small but influential group of users. The type of early adopter that otherwise could've driven G+ upward.
I would attribute Google+'s failures much more to their abysmal launch strategy, which massively restricted otherwise-excited users from ever joining Google+ until it became a barren wasteland.
The end result was every article about Google+ carried with it some form of controversy, negativity or problem. Joe average might not care about the real name policy at first, but they do care when they're told it's broken, sexist, racist and dangerous.
I'm not saying the real name policy didn't hurt Google+. I'm sure it did, but I think it could have weathered that storm if it wasn't weak in much more important areas like their launch strategy.
Or worth being influenced by…
Forcing me to use real name means that I suddenly must be super careful about everything and control everything the same way as I control work. Not worth it.
On the other end my siblings, cousins, school friends and some more all kept their AOL/hotmail/yahoo mail or other chat service nickname, which for a reason or another was a nickname.
I think it really depends on how, when and for what someone first came to the internet. If it was for fart jokes, or activism, real name policy is a bummer.
Had Google skated around the identity issue AND enabled an ecosystem of 3rd party APIs similar to how Twitter developed, I think G+ would own the entire social network ecosystem by now. Instead, they've got a small piece of the pie, which some will claim is more valuable because it is full of "real identities" and completely controlled by Google, but to my mind is far less value because it intersects only a tiny cross section of society who use it.
For G+ I've got to go to the damned site (which is a browser bloat pig) to follow stuff. Which I avoid if at all possible.
Gundotra continued that drive until it became clear that the userbase would (and did) revolt.
I was just clarifying that the invite-only stage didn't last more than a year.
Slower, with a solid core community, would have been far better for G+ IMO. It opened up too fast.
Not only didn't it have a gelled community, but there were far too many UI / feature glitches and omissions. Many of which persist to this day.
You can easily switch between main account and nym account and you only need one password.
That's a non-starter for many of us, as it's still available: to hackers, national security, subpoena processes, etc. See Bruce Schneier's recent Stanford talk.
If the fact that Google needs to know who their customers are isn't acceptable then people need to find other services. Google can pinpoint us pretty much anyway they are just being upfront about it in my opinion.
That's the crux of the whole problem, G+ is so heavily associated with being a social network connected to real identity that having it manage the profile system is untenable.
Nevertheless, I think the biggest problem google made with g+ is thinking that it was necessary at all. Social can be important but not every major tech company needs their own brand of facebook, it's just not necessary from any perspective, even a business one. Microsoft made the same mistake when they tried to out-google google. That sort of thing is dumb, and indicative of excess vanity. Let google be google, let facebook be facebook. If you think you actually have a better product offering that overlaps with some other company, great, put it out there. But don't set it as your google to stand toe to toe product wise with all the other tech giants. Concentrate on your own strengths, don't try to be something you're not.
The problem was that they screwed up so very much with it. It was far too opinionated, and at the same time obsessively asked permission for every agonizing detail. They soft-pedaled it and then backtracked on the promises implicit in this soft-pedaling.
Just such a complete mess.
To me, the big failure was (1) failing to let users properly manage their identity with pseudonym-anonymous aliases and whatnot and (2) failing to let content-posters manage their spaces. Let Bloggers and YouTubers and whatnot have better control of the moderation of their comment threads.
However alternate identities also allow for click fraud things and so on.
We don't know exactly why Google guys wanted so much to eliminate faked identities.
They have Youtube (where you can upload videos), Google+ Photos (where you can upload videos and stream as well), Google Drive (where you can also upload pictures and videos in addition to creating standalone Google Docs).
It would seem to make more sense to me that there should be a Drive where I store Photos, Videos and Documents, or there should be standalone Photos/Videos and then a separate service for Documents.
To me, these services should exist separately, but Google+ should bring them all together - meaning I can decide, from my photos/videos/documents what to post to Google+. If I want to post a video to the general public, I should post it to Youtube.
Obviously people may have different use cases (consumer vs. business) - but as someone using Google services as both a consumer and business, I find the tools confusing - and it seems to be even more confusing for my Mom.
For example, have you ever tried to schedule a Google Hangout chat? As far as I can tell, there's no way to do it from Google Hangouts. You need to first sign in to Google+, then go to Google Events and create a new event, and then you have to specify that it's a video event.
Is it a use case they just don't care about? Is there no one at the company who's looking at this setup and thinking, "wow, this is confusing and we can probably simplify that"? Or is my brain just getting too brittle to make sense of it?
And I can't figure out how to show traffic WHILE displaying directions or a location that I searched for. Seems like such a simple, commonly used thing... "Where is this place? What's the traffic outlook for the routes there?" Sigh
I still don't understand how anyone actually consumes G+ content in non-trivial amounts. The irony is that Google Reader was all about consuming content, but nothing was learned from that.
When I think about scheduling, I immediately think about Google Calendar or Google+ Events, because that's where I would go to schedule any sort of event (with a video call or otherwise). Both of those places support adding a Hangouts video chat to an event.
It was social connect before. Now it's unified login. Next it's going to be whatever. Sounds awfully like .Net in the old days.
I think this is common to many people with strong opinions and the confidence to act on them. Marissa was very similar: some people absolutely hated her, while others really respected her.
The stream is interesting if you add enough people and organizations, but I find I can go for days or weeks without checking it. I know some people spend all day on G+, but it's unclear to me why.
Between FB, G+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a host of other comment boards and social network wannabes, it seems to me this market is absolutely flooded, and sooner or later, social network fatigue has got to set in and cause people to seek something that's more nimble.
Maybe there's an opportunity here for some kind of meta-network that ties together several of these sites. I would like that. A single stream, one login, see all your texts, photos, and updates at a glance. Then you can drill deeper into the particular social network if you care to take the time.
See, I don't use any of Google's 'let us manage your plaintext data' services except for mail (because email travels in the clear anyway, I'm not too bothered by that).
If they would enable me to store my phone, tablet & app settings, Chrome passwords and backed-up data on their servers, encrypted on the client with a key known only to clients I control, then it'd be a killer feature for me.
Indeed, if they would bake crypto into their products such that all data were encrypted to the public keys of the intended recipients, then I think that they'd be going a long way towards making the world a better place.
But as it is, there's no way that they are laying a finger on my WiFi password, my web site passwords, my photos or any other data I create and do not intend to send to the world.
Also, if you're this worried, you really owe it to yourself to put in a little effort on your email. Email is often not transmitted in the clear, especially if you're using gmail already, and if you would just switch to a desktop client and IMAP or POP3 access, you can PGP to your heart's content.
Is the crypto behind Chrome's sync anywhere near as good as that behind Firefox's? Not last time I looked.
I'm also aware that email often travels via SSL—but it's always cleartext to the sending and receiving hosts. I don't see that I'm suffering an especial risk with Gmail, since someone will always have plaintext versions of all mail I receive; I would be were I backing up data to them which I would never back up to anyone.
At least the docs claim that it's only saved on your device. You can believe it or not. There may be a way to verify that it's not being backed up with your normal Android data, but I'm not sure.
> Is the crypto behind Chrome's sync anywhere near as good as that behind Firefox's? Not last time I looked.
It's never been not good. Maybe you're thinking of back when they didn't have the option to encrypt all your sync data locally, just your passwords? It uses Nigori and the source is all available.
This is a little old, but it compares browser syncing security: http://gregoryszorc.com/blog/2012/04/08/comparing-the-securi...
> I'm also aware that email often travels via SSL—but it's always cleartext to the sending and receiving hosts
Fair enough, but if you're using PGP, those hosts are only the actual sender and recipient (and anyone the recipient shares an email with, of course).
I want to control my data. Any data that gets stored at rest needs to be stored with PGP at Google's end and only I hold the key.
Until they can guarantee that and someone audits that and proved it to be true then I'll consider letting my data move off the device. Because fuck the NSA.
You'll probably find this interesting, then: https://www.facebook.com/help/photosync
Google+ Auto Backup is still far ahead of Facebook's solution for me, though, because of its superior online photo editing and automatic touch-ups.
That Google+ never quite managed to take on Facebook is obvious. A much bigger and intangible cost, IMHO, is the falling trust in much bigger Google products like search, YouTube etc. as Google+ was shoved down user's throats.
To wit, I don't use Google+, but thanks to its bundling I've also stopped logging in to any Google service on my laptop except on a strict need-to basis (for e.g. log in, update Google Drive doc, log out...or turn GPS on, use Google Maps, turn GPS off).
I have however not seen many people near me, be so annoyed at this as I am. The most complains I hear about is the YouTube pop-up (that never seem to go away); Calling you out on choosing to use your real name instead of your YouTube-nickname.
I'm an AdSense publisher, so occasionally I need to log in to see how much they've been screwing me. I just have an alternative browser for that.
This has been the unfortunate consequence for me as well.
I think Marissa Meyer gave Google a half hour notice.
Giving company time to shift responsibilities to other people and all that. Spending day or two explaining things to whoever will take his place.
Leaving right now should be nuclear option if you have no other choice or was treated very badly.
That page also weighs in at ~12MB.
I wonder whether big is so desirable, after all. I notice that the quality of the comments has declined, especially on the news streams such as NBC etc. Whenever they put a news item on the G+ stream, there ensues a whole bunch of inane, pointless comments by people with made-up names, silly avatars, etc. The original G+ population seemed more intelligent.
From rating an app to commenting on youtube, to uploading on youtube, the content is posted to your mandatory Google+ account by default.
Remember the girl on Youtube who sang a song about how much Google+ sux, then the Youtube co-founder also said it sux? Those reactions should have been of major concern. Not unfixable, but you can't ignore teenage girls singing songs about how much your product sucks!
They don't, that's why people are reading into it.
You wouldn't hear about something like the head of fraud detection at American Express leaving his job. I've seen it before (not at Amex, but other large companies).
When a major exec leaves in my industry, everyone is talking about it on Monday, and lawsuits often ensue if they end up at a competitor.
There are things execs do that line employees don't that can presumably make a CA noncompete binding, like, for instance, accepting significant consideration specifically in return for a noncompete. But I don't believe seniority is itself a factor that can make a noncompete binding.
Seems like the skeptics were right, no? And this is coming from a big fan of Google. Great company, but this didn't work out. Interesting that they give Vic credit for Circles. I thought it was someone else's idea, no? Great idea, they just didn't follow up on it.
It's a longer-than-twitter public broadcast messaging system/social network/photo sharing/single sign-on/half a dozen other things.
There's some great ideas in there. Having a subscription style feed of people I want to follow, and their long-form posts (including deep linking) is much more interesting to me that twitter. There's been some absolute gems posted on g+ that simply can't be represented on Twitter. But it falls down because all these important thoughtful posts are buried in my regular social feed.
Everybody seems to like the circles ideas for organizing our connections, that's a great idea I'm surprised still hasn't been really replicated by FB. But then I can't assert different public names/faces to different circles. So my work circle sees me the same way my demoscene friends. But I'd rather use a formal identity for my work friends and a goofy presentation of myself in the demoscene (with an old crazy picture of me from a party). But I really can't. Unifying my identities, along with my logins, wasn't a good idea. And thus I don't really use g+ for social network stuff because neither I nor most of my contacts don't really want to pay the switching cost from FB/linkedin/whatever else. So literally the major initial message for what g+ is when it was launched, I almost entirely don't use or get anything out of. I say this as somebody who really doesn't enjoy FB all that much, but recognize its importance in connecting me to people I know and want to keep in touch with.
and it goes on and on. Lots of good ideas, mucked up by bad execution and a muddled vision that doesn't map well to most people's needs. It seems like the pieces of the product that are the best bits, are the ones that are not as deeply buried into the morass. Hangouts is pretty good for example and usually works like I want it to (I usually only message people). But now I hear voice, which I use all the time, is about to get bungled up with hangouts. I bet I'll hate whatever the integration looks like. There are tons of people I use voice with that I have absolutely no desire to tie up with my google+ identity.
The integration is too tight. Rather than being a bunch of well branded products, all under a unified umbrella, it's like a bunch of products were stuck in a blender, ground up and then half-baked into a some kind of...whatever it is.
I think if you can't point at a product and describe in a brief sentence, it's too big of a concept and that will start infiltrating your development of the product. What is google+?
Why not "google+ personal news" and "google+ social network" and "google+ chat" and whatever else? Each of those is focused and simple and disjoint enough not to cause confusion.
" How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form? His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! -- Great God! ... I had desired it with an ardor that far exceeded moderation; but now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart..."
I wouldn't put it that way.
A way to manage multiple efforts in one place could easily have been appreciated.
The problem was G+ was an effort to mold/carve the multiple accounts people had with Google into a single Facebook like thing. And it worked by pushing people through no-opt-out rather than pulling people by giving them something flexible and desirable. You had to turn your Gmail into a G+ account, you had to turn your Youtube into the same G+ etc.
It's true that rolling this stuff into one thing resulted in a complete mess. But it's important to notice it wasn't just a combining, it was a bondage-and-discipline style imposition.
It started in the wrong place, a Facebook converted into a commentary platform instead of vice versa.
Totally agree with this. I made some effort and still can't figure out where photos I post to google+ go. I used to use the picassa page which was pretty good about making albums and sharing, now I just use Flickr.
They've got some of it, but it doesn't quite work (for me at least) because of small gaps - like the fact that Chromecast works with Youtube, but not with Google+ Photos - thus in order to use Chromecast to display the wonderful video I just took, I have to essentially download it and reupload it to Youtube. Google+ Photos likely leverages the same tech as Youtube, but they're clearly being developed separately and that just seems silly.
Other people have put the fault on designers - to me this is a failure of product management and ultimately management to pull together the various forces that I'm sure exist within Google. And I don't think that was easy and that's why I say that Vic has some measure of success.
Google+ is, for me, almost really good - but it falls down in enough places that I would consider switching, for instance, if Dropbox came up with a full office suite to match Google Drive (which they seem to be working on).
Facebook has something called "Lists" to organize your friend groups which is very similar to circles on google+.
I get that it would be an added layer of indirection, but to allow each user to have multiple subject personas for posting and let others subscribe to said personas might have been more useful. As it stands, I err on the side of caution and post privately to the people I can best guess might be interested.
Don't Pages let you do that?
For myself my inbox has essentially two folders. Inbox and Archived. My facebook lists is just friends and my google plus circles is just whatever the default is.
I don't want to think about who I'm sharing things with. I either share it with everyone on a social network or send it as an email to specific people.
But, instead, I find I just share everything I care to share public. I think what people share is part of how they present themselves, and if I'm always in the context of being myself, with my real name and the same picture, then I'm going to share the same set of stuff.
Put down the crack pipe and step away from from the whiteboard.
If I can subscribe to feeds, and set a preference for specific individuals on those feeds, I get a vastly superior information product. You can roughly approximate this via search in G+, but only roughly.
The lack of ability to follow people's topical posts (that is: show me +JohnDoe's post to SomeCommunity) was simply idiotic.
Reddit, subreddits, friends, RES dashboard, and RSS feeds give me much of what I was hoping for from G+. And a hell of a lot more utility.
You can, if people create them -- Google+ calls named feeds "Pages". You add the Page (originators categorization) to the circle (receivers categorization) you want, and that's how G+ supports classification from both ends of the communication.
Nor can I subscribe to a Community, but only highly ranked posts (useless without downvotes), and/or of people I find compelling.
The Pages route is too many levels of indirection to be successful. Google and Silicon Valley understand that one click can be too much friction, let alone multiple, among several individuals.
I've never subscribed to a page. Hell, what a "page" is is utterly opaque to me (with 25+ years of tech experience).
G+ had a number of useful tools, probably Hangouts at the top of the list, but "Hangouts" UTTERLY FAILS TO COMMUNICATE TO ME what this is. "Group Video Chat" does. And that's what it is.
I've said before and I'll say it again: that should be spun out as its own product, and ultimately be geared to take on WebMeeting and related products.
Edit: Additionally: reddit has ubiquitous RSS. You can tag '.rss' to virtually any URL that's a valid Reddit page (front, subreddit, user, search, URL search etc.) and get a feed based on that. You can also subscribe to specific posts, which is pretty awesome -- through reddit's own notifications system (which blows Google's out of the water).
Group Video Chat is a function of Hangouts, but its not all what Hangouts is -- in fact, its the second key feature noted in most Hangouts marketing. (Hangouts integrates iMessage-style individual and group messaging and group video chat and live broadcast video, "Hangouts on Air").
> I've said before and I'll say it again: that should be spun out as its own product
It pretty much has been for a while -- its got its own mobile app; its directly linked for actions from Gmail, etc. You can get to it through the G+ interface, but its not really tied to G+ as a product (vs. platform) now.
> and ultimately be geared to take on WebMeeting and related products.
That's actually one of the many marketing angles Google and its partenrs (Vidyo, etc.) are already taking with Hangouts and offerings integrating with Hangouts.
"Maximum Leader Page declares total victory of Google+. Workers to report to railyard at dawn for reassignment."
It wasn't really going to work, much like the Bing. There were simply too late to the party as were Microsoft or Yahoo to 'modern' search engine.
I only hold Vic responsible for messing too much with the web design of Google+. Jesus, no one changes underwear so often as they would UI.
In the end, the failure of missing the social bandwagon solely relies on Eric. Because Vic was working on the mobile side (I think) when Facebook was kicking in.
Last week! :D
My response at the time: No, Schmidt, your biggest mistake was failing to realize that vast hoards of highly detailed and categorized personal data are not only an asset, but a tremendous liability.
Or as I put it: "Schmidt: My biggest mistake is still not realizing my biggest mistake"
Ergo, there are some pretty strong opinions about Vic.
These aggressive downvoting sprees also seem to coincide with that change in HN stewardship from few weeks ago.
People can reasonably differ, of course, but I don't agree that barely any negatively scored comments deserve to be there. I look at all the negatively scored comments, and the vast majority are either not substantive, not civil, or both.
It's true, though, that some substantive, civil comments are getting unfairly faded out. We're asking users to give those a corrective upvote when they see them. This is a longstanding HN practice. It usually only takes one or two corrective votes to get a good comment back to par, so every user can make a difference.
Overall, this experiment appears to have succeeded in addressing the epidemic of highly toxic comments. That was our main goal, because those had increasingly been poisoning HN. That doesn't mean, though, that every other effect has been good. If rallying the community to do more corrective upvoting doesn't turn out to be enough, we'll eventually take other measures.
All: please don't add comments complaining about downvotes, though. It just adds noise.
Here's why: when you gray out a comment to the point of illegibility, as is happening more and more, that only makes me want to read it more. So I end up paying more attention to downmodded comments, not less. Somehow, I don't think that's what you were going for.
I would rather have the option to judge comments on their content, and not their color.
I've more than once wanted to create a browser plugin that basically hides the voting system from the person running it. i.e. all comments are the same color, and top level ones are sorted randomly on the page - there are some hot-button issues where such a feature would be valuable.
I really don't see any of grayed out comments in this thread as toxic, leave alone as highly toxic. There are some lame jokes and one-liners, but they could simply be put at the bottom of the page without a slap on the face that is the gray color. Comment authors can see their negative scores and that's a signal enough for them to mend their ways, don't you think?
As for this thread, the faded-out comments I'm currently seeing are not toxic, but they also don't seem like good HN comments (defined as: substantive and civil) to me either. People can reasonably disagree in these cases—that's why we're encouraging the corrective upvote as a community practice.
I am just a light user of G+, FB and Twitter. That said, I enjoy G+ the most.
How come all these "internal memos" always leak? Is it fine to share an internal email without getting in trouble at a public company?
In some cases, the wording is changed so HR can lock down who sent it out, and then discipline that person.
Normally some one has a line they want to run and have their friends in the media to spin stuff to its the same in politics.
Well, he does have a sense of humor. They sure built it, I see many obscure names ranking on search engines...only to see an G+ empty page (along with a Youtube one--also empty. Looks like the Android signup process.)
Sorry but that will never happen. If you're lucky they remove the '+' at some point.
Into a world already dominated by MySpace and with plenty of other social network contenders. Including Google's own Orkut, Buzz, and Wave.
Google will try to recover now :)
It's not dishonest, it's just shorthand. Context, dude.