Saturday, July 9, 2011

2 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Google+ (Flour vs Crack)


As many of you know, I am a social media consultant and I released a book on social media January 2010 called Social Media Branding in the Age of Obama. It’s my job to stay on top of anything social media related. Last week, Google announced a limited release of Google+ which is Google’s answer to Facebook.
Some of my clients immediately asked me if they should be concerned. Therefore, I needed to test Google+ so I could give them an answer.
Let me start by saying if I were a Google employee, I would find a dark place to hide. Don’t drink the Koolaid. Google+ reminds me of a very good 12th grade programming assignment. Thus, I am not impressed.

2 reasons why you should avoid Google+

1. Artificial Demand:
Google is a master at creating artificial demand. With Google+ it’s classic economics. They simply limit the supply to create an artificial demand. I even got caught up in this mess. Google is playing us all. Don’t believe the hype.

2. No “Wow Factor":
In 1999 when I did my 1st Google search and saw the results I said “Wow, this is sweet” and I’ve been a Google fan ever since.
In 2008 when I joined Facebook and saw the seamless connectivity to friends I said “Wow, this is sweet” and I’ve been a Facebook fan ever since.
In 2011 when I joined Google+ I said “This is all yall working with? WTH”.
Google+ copied Facebook’s interface and integrated accounts using their Gmail API. I am familiar with API integrations and it’s not rocket science. In addition, Google+ has a java enabled drag and drop feature that allows you to classify your friends into groups called circles. There is nothing new here.
That’s pretty much it. No “Wow Factor”. A group of talented 12th graders could have built this in a few months.

For those of you who are familiar with street drug terminology you have heard the word “gank”. As the NWA rapper Ice Cube said “Ganked means being took for your bank or your money or your doe or something…”. The slang word gank is a verb and a noun. According to doubletongued.org, Gank: fake illegal drugs sold as real. As we know, social media can be addictive like drugs and Google is trying to pull off a gank move. They are trying to sell us fake drugs.

Google+ is flour.
Facebook is crack.

What do you think?

For you soft folks, who get offended easily. Excuse the illegal drug references. This publication does not condone the use of illegal drugs.

43 comments:

Victoria said...

LOL. Re: 'not condoning use of illegal drugs'. As for Google+, I saw a video demonstration of it, and while I'm no tech geek, I mean expert, I agree it does appear very simplistic....but I still think you were a little hard on G+. Certainly only the Google geeks know this for sure, but perhaps Facebook 'lite' was exactly what they were shooting for. *shrug*

EHAM said...

Hey Victoria... Thanks for the comments... Yes "Facebook Lite"... Nice... But with the Billions of dollars Google has for development and acquisitions they should have come way stronger than this... As you know, I used to work for Yahoo!Google+ reminds me of a half azz, weak azz Yahoo! effort.

Chris W said...

Gotta disagree with you on the "FB copy" and with respect to circles.

Yes, this is something that a 12th grader could have thought of. But the fact is that FB neither thought of it or implemented it. The same goes for other social networking sites. Google has it implemented with Plus and it looks like it is opening up new capabilities and adding much more control for the end user.

API integration is actually harder than you make it out to be too. I know because I do it too. It can be easy at times, but when it doesn't work the way it's supposed to, you have a monster software compatibility hairball to deal with.

I would also point out that Google is actually making money. FB and Yahoo!, in particular - not so much.

So I wouldn't be too quick to trash Google Plus. It makes you sound like a FB Fanboy more than anything else. Google Plus might wind up being the next big thing. Or it might die a horrible death. We won't know for a while, but trashing it in this way is premature and ill-advised.

philena said...

I will have to agree with Chris W. These are illogical reasons to dismiss Google+ as "flour". I believe if Google structures this correcting, our Search Engine ranking will be higher with Google+ than with Blogspot. This has the potential to increase traffic faster for any social media expert not to realize. Facebook signed up with Microsoft/Skype. Let them stay over there. (SkyNet) Google is trying to put all their services under one roof more seamlessly. (The Umbrella Corporation)

If you could have created this same post in Google+ rather than using blogspot, then all that matters is "who's in your circles"

Jacob L Peck said...

First of all, kudos on the title of this blog, its controversial and should generate lots of traffic. I also disagree with your conclusions. My background is in sales and marketing. I predict that Google+ will be VERY BIG, initially for personal use and very soon for business. Many social media professionals have given it very positive reviews. It is still in Beta and I am certain lots of business related features will be added in the not too distant future. I have only been using it for a couple of days and the circles feature alone blows Facebook away for intuitive ease of use.

Anyone who is involved in social media would be a fool not to use Google+. Businesses could hold back for a while but eventually they will participate also.

Google + is a real competitor to Facebook. Ignore it at your peril.

Dirty Rotten Apple said...

LOL! This article is Gold!! I have been a Google addict for years and I can honestly say that you have made me aware and NOW I'm gonna be on the lookout!!!!

mrmalonson said...

For a service stil in beta, I think Google+ is pretty darn good. Not to mention it has a lot of what I want within reach (Google Docs, Gmail, Google Music, Picasa). For businesses using Google Apps, it's not a far stretch for them to collaborate and use a service like Google+. It's also a lot easier to sort and send messages by Circles.

In the end, we have Twitter, FB, and now Google+ feeds.

Google +1's are also beginning to eclipse "Tweet This". There's room for this service and I think Google will eventually get it right.

-JCM III
www.bdpala.org

EHAM said...

Chris W... It's amazing what a few Billion dollars and being an internet legend can get you... It gets you die hard fans who can't see that a product really isn't all of that.

APIs:
I have a Computer Science degree and I understand API integrations from my days at Yahoo!. Bottom line, it's not rocket science.

Circles:
Are you serious? You see some circle and now everybody is mezmerized by the circles. I can't even comment...

Is it premature to say that this product sucks? No, as of July 2011 Google+ sucks and I would say it on CNN. Will it get better and overtake Facebook? Maybe so, but I don't think so.

Bottom line. I respect your opinions. Thank you for the comments...

EHAM said...

Philena... True, Google+ has potential... But it ain't there yet.

EHAM said...

Philena... True, Google+ has potential... But it ain't there yet.

EHAM said...

Jacob,
True, businesses should not ignore Google+ because as more people drink the Koolaid the larger Google+ becomes... Nonetheless, the product is a cheap knock-off...

I appreciate your comments...

EHAM said...

Dirty Rotten Apple,
Thank you!
You are the 1st person who has my back. Everybody else thinks I am from Mars!

I especially appreciate your comments...

EHAM said...

MrMalonson,
I agree, having a link to my Google docs is convenient. But is this really innovative?

Thanks for the insights...

AngelasEyeOn said...

hey eric...

much as you know me to be an EHAM fan, i gotta go with the choir on this one - i think you're being a tad harsh on the g+ pronouncement. Regardless of the complexity or lack thereof in the mechanics, I think g+ thus far (as I've explored it), makes for a nice hybridization between Twitter and FB, the most comprehensive umbrella of related web-based ancillary services, a nano-second learning curve, the easiest platform to share your attachments and best user privacy controls -- which was my long way of saying it's TwitterFace, a non-tecchie like myself can share the widest variety of content painlessly and because it's Google, I can further develop any acquaintances i so choose using any of the other Google ponies in the stable with my hand on the privacy clutch (okay, now I'm mixing metaphors...) lol!

AngelasEyeOn said...

errr, make that *foot* on the clutch... it's late, okay!!!=:o

Anonymous said...

I agree with you and disagree. If G+ is a technology research project then I give it a failing grade for lack of innovation, technical chops, etc. However, my impression is that it is destined to become a business. As a business the 'sophistication of the technology'is not the key measure, rather we would measure how well the features (irrespective of technology) meet business needs. Then of course there is the issue of how much can you charge for it. Currently, I'm not prepared to give G+ a passing grade on the business either, but rather to wait til I see the vision unfold...assuming there is a vision. Google has been so awash with cash historically, that they have been known to throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks. Think: Google wave, Google Medical, etc. We'll see if this sticks...

mal (from BDPA post)

EHAM said...

Angela,
You have made the best argument so far. Nonetheless, Google+ lacks the wow factor.

Thanks for the comments...

EHAM said...

Hey Mal,
Excellent points and I agree with most of them...
Nonetheless, Google isn't a bunch of college students who are trying to come up with something new in the dorm room. Again, where is the wow factor?
Mal, thanks for the comments...

Gilchristsays said...

I just signed up, right before I read your article. Still trying to figure it all out so, if I see something that makes me say "Wow" I'll let you know. By the way, I was invited by two different people: one who is a daily Facebook user and one who has boycotted Facebook for at least a year. I'll keep you posted but definitely appreciate your comments.

LJWilliamsIV said...

I would say the Wow factor is the HangOuts, video char/voice/chat, Sparks feature, and the simplicity of G+.
In addition, you made very valid points. My favorite being:
"Google+ copied Facebook’s interface and integrated accounts using their Gmail API."
I believe Google did this due to the addiction we all have to FB. What this did was allow FB users to feel a bit more comfortable while on G+ but yet, experience the awesome features of G+. I would say it was a business move and a smart one.

I found 2 bugs in G+ but, G+ is in testing stages so, I don't fault Google. These things take time. I created three videos of my Tour of G+. If you watch them, I believe you'll learn a bunch and might cause you to rethink if G+ is Flour.

P.S. Sorry if the tutorial is long and not very organized as I wanted it to be free flowing in the event I may discovery somethings as well.
Part1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlSs2zNIrhw
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/wat​ch?v=oUKQ_b1v0V4
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/wat​ch?v=roATo40Ltio

AngelasEyeOn said...

I will be on the lookout for things that make you go "wow" on G+ and submit for your dismissal, lol! ;-) i am just kidding with you

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that since your a social media consultant, your business and lively hood revolve around Facebook and twitter. To that end, its in your best interest for Google+ to fail, or not take your market share. If they do, you have to do even more work learning a new system and establishing yourself as an expert and consultant for Google+. It is very apparent in your article that you are heavily biased against it.

LJWilliamsIV said...

Anonymous, I wouldn't say he is biased but, I would say that being a social media consultant, he simply feels he needs more of a wow factor to learn that new social media network and transfer his clients to it as well as advocate for it.

EHAM said...

Gilchristsays, sounds good... let me know...

EHAM said...

LJWilliamsIV Thanks for the comment...

Angela, I will let you know... :-)

EHAM said...

Anonymous...
If Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, LinkedIN, Foursquare, Tumblr and Quora all went out of business today, I would still be a social media consultant, consulting on what takes their places.

My existence is NOT dependent on the specific platform...

If Google+ happens to achieve a minor miracle and de-thrown Facebook, then guess what... I will be consulting on Google+ best practices... LOL

EHAM said...

Checkmate! Google+ Engineer says the same thing as me! NOT INNOVATIVE http://rethrick.com/#google-plus

The Vasher said...

This might be the stupidest reasons to avoid something.

I dumped facebook in 2010 after having an account since 2004 (!) because it became too cluttered and their privacy settings were a joke. There was no "wow" factor with facebook when it was first introduced. it was a simple, clean, controlled, easy to use interface, as opposed to myspace's cluttered gobbledygook.

And I don't see your reasoning behind google "creating artificial demand". That's whole point of most new consumer technology. There was no "demand" for tablets until the iPad, and there damn sure was no "demand" for social media before myspace, blackplanet, friendster etc.

On the other hand, thanks for your cute insight into early 90's west coast gangsta rap lingo and culture. It did not help you make your point.

EHAM said...

The Vasher,
Thanks for the comments...
Cluttered: What was so cluttered about your Facebook account? How about trying to limit the number of friends.
Wow Factor: I graduated from college in the 90s. No .edu email, thus I came to Facebook when all of my friends came to Facebook. The seamless connection to my friends made me say wow.
Artificial Demand: Do you understand the laws of supply and demand. Read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand then rethink and repost your response.
90 West Coast Lingo: I was making an analogy. Do you know what that is? An analogy is a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based.
The 2 sets of things that I was comparing were:
Crack analogous to Facebook
Flour analogous to Google+
Facebook being a real drug
Google+ being a fake drug
Let me know if I can further help you understand.
LOL

In all seriousness, I appreciate your comments...

The Vasher said...

I know what you were trying to say, and your rap analogy was as weak as wet dope.

(That was a type of analogy, called a simile. See, I can do it too! Also note the way how I sarcastically made an allusion to illegal drugs- just like you!)

Anyway, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Google+ because of what you perceive as simplicity. There is no need for Google to innovate here, only to compete, and building on top of their API is an obvious no-brainer (far be it for me to dismiss or criticise). With the way G+ has grown in only a couple days of going live, my early money is on Google. Besides, everyone pretty much knows Zuckerberg is running a shady operation, whereas with Google... well, at least the jury's still out on that one.

By the way, thanks for the tips on how to pare down my facebook page. I just thought it was better to destroy and rebuild in Google+.

PS - No .edu account, huh? Well part of the reason why facebook started falling out of favor with me is that they let folks like you in and burst my bubble. (But if I still had a facebook account I would friend you. You amuse me.)

The Vasher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EHAM said...

The Vasher...
I'm enjoy reading your comments almost as much as I enjoy responding... All in all we aren't going to see eye to eye on this...

Therefore, I would like to officially induct you into the Green Google+ Kool Aid Club...

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=9130098&l=f8d1233a47&id=514992904

Again, I appreciate the fact that people are using the technology and giving responses. Even responses that I don't agree with...

Thaddeus said...

Your presumptions about G+ are a bit early at the moment. All new interfaces including Facebook when it first arrived were very reminiscent of earlier designs. MySpace was very influential in the early appearance of Facebook. As a matter of fact, Facebook's initial appearance was designed to prevent the redesigning of the interface that made MySpace vulnerable to viruses and malware.

Is G+ going to annihilate Facebook? The jury is out.

Is G+ a radical departure from Facebook? No.


Neither of these questions, if you had asked them of Facebook upon its initial inception regarding MySpace would have been true either.I will say this about G+. It has tried (unsuccessfully at times) to be more open that Facebook.

Ultimately, where Facebook has failed is its desire to "replace or supplant" the Internet proper as the place to be, literally diverting traffic from the net. This building of fences to keep people out (or in) has been the death sentence of every type of service. See Compuserv, AOL, The Well, and MySpace for comparison.

I think G+ is trying to create something more open or at least appearing more open at first. I think the most successful of these tools will make an environment that supports the over-arching structure that is the Internet, not tries to "lock out" other players on the Internet.

How this plays out is anyone's guess and I respect your opinion regarding this matter. Please continue to speak out. Our voices need to be heard.

Thaddeus [@ebonstorm]

EHAM said...

Thaddeus,
I like your comments and I would have to agree. You are too correct about The Well, AOL and Myspace... In fact, Google made a business of sending people away, when Lycos and Excite were desperately trying to attract people to their portals.

With Google's brand and bank account, they really should have bought a "killer app" social media startup and leveraged that new technology. Android was an acquisition that has paid off big time. With Google+, Google tryed to build something from scratch with no innovation in mind.

True the jury is still out and anything can happen...

Thaddeus, thanks again for the comments... I appreciate them...

Nicole Hardesty said...

I didn't read through the other comments thoroughly so sorry if this point has already been made.

But you joined FaceBook in 2008. When it was in full bloom, news feeds, photo albums and instant sharing.
When FaceBook was born in 2004, it was a simple profile. ONE picture (no albums), no statuses, no news feed, no video uploads. Just a photo, and your interests and school. Over the years, FaceBook has evolved and grown into what it is today, but it by no means came out swinging. You have to walk before you run.

I think Google did just right by releasing this very basic version of Google+ and I honestly don't doubt that they already have a 10 year plan of what it will evolve into.

Even Google.com isn't the same as it was in 1999 and neither is Twitter. They've been live for a week. I need a better argument than "they haven't wow'd me yet"

Prometheus 6 said...

As you say, API programming ain't brain surgery. That's why the part that wows me about FB and G+ is NOT the UI...it's the tech that supports it all. Hiphop impresses me. MapReduce impresses me.

EHAM said...

Nicole Hardesty...
Very valid points...
However, as you know,
Facebook was a startup in 2003 with limited resources.
Twitter was a startup in 2005 with limited resources. Thus, they were not able to expand with advanced features even if they want to.
Google is a very large company with nearly unlimited resources.
With 10 million users in their 1st few weeks, there's no doubt that Google+ will expand.
Thanks for the comments Nicole...

EHAM said...

Prometheus 6
Thanks for the comments...

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