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Thoughts on Google Plus: It's Unnatural



Sarah Lacy talking about Google+ on PandoDaily:

We simply don’t need another social network, no matter how great your circles are or how badly Larry Page wants to have one. 

Agreed. The problem, which Google really, truly does not seem to understand is that at the end of the day, they’re solving a problem which has already been solved. They may think it hasn’t, but it has.

It’s the same problem Bing faces in search against Google. It’s a fine product, but in order to get people to it, it has to be far better than the incumbent. Bing isn’t, so it will never beat Google. Google+ isn’t, so it will never beat Facebook (or Twitter, for that matter).

But Google is trying to cheat this system. By shoving it in our faces, they think that they can make their product catch on without the need to be above and beyond better than the incumbent.

I think we’ll see that this approach still won’t work. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter work because they evolved based on how users were naturally using them. Google+ is trying to make the users evolve to fit into the network they created. It’s unnatural.

Google Plus has another major problem, IMHO: It’s far too easy to build a follower base there. Which is not to say followers aren’t nice (really, they’re great), but there’s no feasible reason I should have 3,000 new followers in the past 30 days, when I’ve only posted five times since January 20, and my most recent post was Feb. 3. That is not natural, no matter how many circles I might possibly be in, and suggests spam issues. The way circles are set up now discourages engagement on a person-to-person level, because ultimately people and companies don’t want a follower, but a “relationship,” even if it’s one-sided. But to MG’s point, I’ll say this — I wouldn’t say the problem is fully “solved” yet. Keep in mind that people didn’t see a need for Twitter at first, and Tumblr came about in an already-crowded market. Google’s problem is that G+ is not different enough from other parts of the market. They didn’t need to make a new Facebook/Twitter hybrid. They needed to make Pinterest. — Ernie @ SFB

(via shortformblog)

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Zetas drug cartel targets Mexican social networks with executionOn Saturday, the body of Marisol Macias Castaneda, newsroom manager for a local newspaper in the border town of Nuevo Laredo, Mex., was found in a park.The 39-year-old, who frequently contributed to local social networking sites under the nickname “Laredo Girl,” had been battered, butchered and decapitated.Her head was placed on a nearby decorative cement pillar next to a hand-written poster as a warning to others who dare to discuss the crimes of the drug cartels online.“Nuevo Laredo Live and [other] social networking sites, I’m the ‘Laredo Girl’ and I’m here because of my reports, and yours,” it said.“For those who don’t want to believe, this happened to me because of my actions, for believing in the army and the navy.”It was signed: “Thank you for your attention, respectfully, Laredo Girl … ZZZZ.”The Zs are a signature of the dreaded Zetas drug cartel, a gang founded by military deserters who have become infamous for mass murders and gruesome executions.
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Facebook to form its own PAC to back political candidates


“FB PAC will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected,” said a spokesman via email.

Interesting choice by Facebook. What do you think the means to the end is here?

(Source: joshsternberg, via shortformblog)

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The Relative Sizes of the World’s Largest Photo Libraries
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