The G+ Fandango - The meaning of a Social Network and a Paid Network


I saw a post in my Linkedin feed this morning relating to G+ and it went something like this; "

There is something strange in that. The old G+ (Pre 2015) was not a bad entity, it had the circles feature which allowed insiders like Martin Shervington to develop over 5 million contacts. Consider how easily he could communicate with those people if he had the messaging or mass messaging features of Gmail (Gmail has a mass messaging feature) and hangouts inside his G+ profile.

Many others had huge networks but few tools to communicate inside G+. It had a messaging feature. You could interact, but it was not optimum, or even in line with Google's own products. Then they pulled all the interaction and hid most of the functional elements, why? YouTube has multiple messaging options; notifications, subscriber notifications, messaging, comments, discussion board and multiple sharing options. In YouTube the element with least user controls is your subscriber list - the monetized element.

If you use G+ communities for data mining, like I do, you get access to quite a bit of targeted contact data. You can follow profiles and if people connect, you have their gmail address - and everyone has a gmail (unless you're really stuck to Microsoft).

Gmail is a great tool.Hangouts is another excellent tool, well on par with Skype.Docs is fine.Notifications work across all google products.Blogger is not a bad tool either Picasa was functional.

Taking the tool kit of all google applications and applying them to a social network would easily blow Facebook and anything else out of the water. It definitely came up in discussion, so the question is not why did they kill it, but why did they think there was no profit in it. Answer; because they have all your key data already (that little spy in your pocket).

You could call the whole fandango bad management and leave it at that, but you're talking about some of the smartest people out there. G+ was not killed by any data breach. What kind of data is on G+ that you couldn't get from the "phone book?" Or is there some sort of mirror game going on...the less privacy you have, the more they shout the word.

That is another thing that gets me recently. The whole game of "privacy"is nonsense. I'm now double clicking on any 'public" webpage I visit... to the degree that I see "powered by Quantcast" (AI-driven Audience Insights, Targeting & Measurement - you couldn't make this stuff up.) on every corporate webpage I access...this one comes out in Spanish, possibly because I clicked through from BeBee.

Global corporations sell your data, that is how they make money. They have no concern for your privacy in any way, in fact "real privacy" would be bad for business. Doublespeak, double click and double dealing.

The ability of private individuals to mass message people was what GDPR was chasing.

It ostensibly addresses the "export of data" - that doesn't sound like privacy legislation, more border controls and commercial taxation. Nobody wants your personal sovereignty, they want their cut. They've also given themselves an obligation to investigate your compliance...plenty of historical references for that one.

Check this for more weirdness.

"The following cases are not covered by the regulation:

  • Lawful interception, national security, military, police, justice."

The very people caught with their hands buried knuckle deep in the cookie jar are given a hall pass.

There is a good Firefox browser extension which shows just how quickly your data gets picked clean.

Getting back to my main point. There is huge value in G+ communities. There was huge value (to the user) in Linkedin Groups. I'm not such a huge fan of Facebook groups, but the principle remains. Topic or interest groups are huge data drivers. BeBee had a chance, all of the exLinkedin group managers came over here and had high expectations.

What is the takeaway - read any of Phil's posts. He knows his shit.

G+ was not killed by any lack of interest from customers (customers lost interest after it devolved its functionality). Facebook was, and is, easy meat for anyone who really wants to build a "better" social network.

What you're watching is not the death of G+, but the understanding that groups of people with the ability to communicate across time and space is not what the corporatocracy wants. If you are an atomized, default single user, you are far more likely to buy your access.

There was a book I read many years ago that covered this ground quite well. Don't mind the title, he's not some commie dog intent on brotherhood, he makes the point that controlling access is the key. By removing the "social network," you're in back in the paid market for information, exactly where Google (the information selling company) want you to be.

I did read Javier BeBee's post on this topic. I tend to take what he says with a grain of salt. There was plenty of time to make the groups function work when Linked in was on its infanticide spree, there is nothing new now to think they will up their game.

The recipe for groups on Linkedin was very strong. In it's prime a million people were connected on the social media group. I think that enough of the brains behind those successes are still around to make it happen again.

Engagement is the key.

Take a look at the Rifkin book - remember it was written nearly twenty years ago and see how close he is to the money shot.

In the network economy both physical and intellectual property are more likely to be accessed by business rather than exchanged...In the era of networks, suppliers who amass valuable intellectual capital are beginning to exercise control over the conditions and terms by which users secure access to critical ideas, knowledge and expertise.
Jeremy Rikin (2001)
Now you don't have to explain to people how useless G+ is."
Author unknown