Category Archives: google

Google Plus, continued

In my last post about Google Plus I predicted a flop. I’m sticking with it.

The post, Google’s Management Doesn’t Use Google+ highlights one of the reasons why.

But also from my observations…

  • It’s been reported that traffic to Plus is down considerably from when it was newly launched.
  • Traffic and usage is down even given the tremendous push by Google.
  • I know very few people who use it. And “use” it is putting it nicely. Even fewer people I know actually USE it at all (as opposed to just having a profile).
  • I think I mentioned this in another post. Being in internet marketing I can sniff BS like this out. Google sometimes uses tricky figures when they brag. So while they brag about x million of users, like my previous point, how about usage? I bet most signed up and borderline abandoned, like me.
  • I was at a Google Learn session Wednesday about Google advertising opportunities. When the topic of Plus came up, I got a good sense from the room that attendees didn’t want to be bothered. I think that sentiment was felt by the speaker, who then switched gears to another topic. I think it’s telling.
  • It doesn’t look like even the active Googlers who I’ve followed on Buzz, Twitter, etc are eating enough dog food.
I know it’s a high priority, and Google is trying very hard to make Plus work. I just don’t see it happening.


Google+, My Prediction

It’s another flop.

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.
-Charles Mingus

From day 1, most of the posts on there are people figuring out how to use it. Tons of posts on how it’s sooooooooo much better than Facebook and Twitter, only if we can just figure it out some more.

Google has a sneaky way of bragging about things. How it’s the fastest growing social network. Ummm, both Facebook and Twitter didn’t have the clout Google has to begin with. They grew from nothing. I’ve seen this misleading hype from Google when Buzz launched and during the growth of their Chrome browser.

Google+ right now is an echo chamber. Early adopters (who all seem to hate Facebook and Microsoft) figuring out what to do with the new shiny object. Something that struck me with Buzz is my less tech savvy friends and family asking me “what’s this for and what do I do with it.” Exactly! I get the same vibe with Google+.

Supposedly Google+ is looking beyond simply a social networking tool and into an integration of tools like Google Docs, where collaboration is revolutionized. Sounds like Wave to me. What ever happened to that? Plus, again just by polling my non-tech friends and family, very few use Docs, Calendar, Reader, etc. Mostly all only use Gmail and search.

I’ll wait and see. I’m not very impressed so far. I think it’s going to end up on my list one day.

Google Failures

I love most things Google, but they have had their share of flops. I think my uber-love of Google is starting to lessen. I’m not sure I would say they are abandoning their “don’t be evil” mantra, but they have been childish and borderline deceptive in some of their recent PR. They seem to be overly-celebrating minor innovations to their suite of services–most of which have been available on other services for years. Also the accusation of Bing copying their results leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I’d like to expand on the list at some point and add in my layman’s reasons why these have failed. Some are newer, and some are predictions as well:
Latitude Check-In
Google Video
Google Answers
Google Catalogs
Print Ads
Page Creator
Audio Ads
Friend Connect

6/24/11: Google Health
6/27/11: Google PowerMeter
7/29/11: Google TV (prediction)
10/14/11: Google Buzz was a prediction (above), confirmed today.
11/2/11: Google Sidewiki was a prediction (above), confirmed today.
11/22/11: Google Bookmarks Lists
11/22/11: Google Friend Connect was a prediction (above)
11/22/11:  Google Wave was a prediction (above)
11/22/11:  Knol was a prediction (above)
11/22/11:  Google Gears
9/6/12: Google TV Ads
3/1/13: Google Reader REALLY!?!?
7/10/13: Latitude and Latitude Check-In, was a prediction (above)

Pretty Cool Use for Google Voice

For most of the time I’ve had a Google Voice number, I didn’t really know what to use it for. Friends and family already have my cell phone number, and having to ask everyone to change is just too much of a PITA. So I kind of just used it as an alternate (for selling on Craigslist, online ordering, etc).

My wife and I rarely use our home phone number for anything anymore. Therefore we didn’t realize that the phone was dead for more than a couple days a few weeks ago. It’s a VOIP phone, and the router needed to be reset. Hmmmm. Could we have missed any important calls during the outage?

Looking into it further, my VOIP provider (T-Mobile at Home) lets you set a forwarding number in case the phone signal can’t be reached. After some further research, you can also set it to forward to a number if no one picks up. Sooooo. I set the forwarding numbers to my Google Voice number, and then turned off that dinosaur we call an answering machine.

During the day, when we’re at work, I put Google Voice on do not disturb. That way the forward automatically goes into voice mail instead of ringing my cell phone.

So for any odd calls we get during the day, that usually used to end up sitting unnoticed on our answering machine, I get an e-mail transcript. I can e-mail the transcript to my wife if it’s for her, or deal with it if it’s for me. And manage the messages on my phone or from any computer.

Just some extra productivity dealing with missed calls to the home phone.

It’s also nice if we’re out to see who’s trying to reach us at home.

I’m debating switching my cell phone’s voice mail system over to Google Voice too. Although never perfect, I love the transcription. I rarely have to ever listen to the voice mails. I get the gist from the writing.

Google Buzz Update

Just like I’ve flip flopped many times with Twitter, I have with Buzz too. This time I made a final decision. I’m finished with it. I did not like the UI one bit. I didn’t know anyone personally who used it. And it doesn’t look like the “active” user base is growing. Active meaning people who use it, not just stream other feeds into it.

I’ve “decommissioned” my Buzz profile. Unfollowed everyone, etc. It’s not for me. I would delete it entirely if it wasn’t tied directly to the Google Profile. I’d like to keep my Google Profile, so I’ll just keep a blank Buzz account open until they kill off Buzz like they did Wave.

Where I can, I’m trying to go to all of the social media, bookmarking, etc. sites that I’ve tried over the years to delete my account. Just kind of to clean up any outdated profiles of mine from the web. It seems only about half of sites allow you to delete a profile/service. So abandoned ones will always remain I guess.

Since I mentioned Twitter… I stopped trying to make it work for me, but also found probably one of it’s best uses. Niches. I’ve become more and more a fan of MMA, and since MMA isn’t mainstream, Twitter is a great source of information from the fighters and MMA news outlets. I’ve stopped following a lot of the “gurus” (social media, marketing, etc.) as Twitter became a forum for a lot of them to be too self-promotional. So now I follow a handful of friends and associates, some news sources, and good MMA sources.

Bye, Bye Google Wave

Google announced today that they are no longer developing Wave. I saw it coming. No one I know uses it. I’ve poked around on it before, and it’s clunky, leaving  me with the “what the heck do I do with this” feeling.

I wrote about this before:

Buzz is next. It’s useless. I’ve tried several times to use it more, and each time I became more annoyed with it. So why bother? Also like Wave, no one I know personally uses it. I tried following some interesting people, but Buzz isn’t the format I prefer to read people’s opinions (blogs are).

I wrote about this before too:

Google has had some big misses lately.

Kindle for Android

I downloaded the Kindle for Android a few weeks ago and am just now kicking the tires. I’ve ordered a book, and I’m about half way through.

I didn’t know what to expect regarding the ease of reading on the small G1 screen. I’m half-way through a light read, and the screen size is not an issue at all for me. Neither is the mechanics of the app.

There were some e-book readers on the market already, like Aldiko, but the book selection stunk. Kindle has a huge selection of books, and ordering (and getting them on the device) could not be any easier.

I give this one two thumbs up. I will definitely be reading more books on my G1.