Oct 14, 2011

Dismantling 'Internet Intellectuals,' Google+ and Other Dubious Concepts It's the Best Media

Dismantling 'Internet Intellectuals,' Google+ and Other Dubious Concepts

By: Matthew Creamer on AdAge

"One of the things about Google+ that was supposed to work us into a hot lather is Circles, the feature that lets us control who sees the stuff we post. This was not something Facebook had, until Mark Zuckerberg saw Circles and then rolled out Lists. Use Circles correctly and your boss can see your clever analysis of, I dunno, how awesome Google+ is without seeing pics from your weekend at the renaissance fair. Misuse it and, well, you might end up like Steve Yegge -- ordinarily probably a good thing, but this week not so much.
Mr. Yegge, a Google engineer, forgot to switch off public sharing when he used Google+ to post a 4,700-word scorcher on what's wrong with Google+. So instead of delivering a critique to fellow Googlers only, as he apparently meant, Mr. Yegge let the whole world watch a prominent Google staffer trash the company's latest major product rollout. In courageous fashion, Mr. Yegge left the post up there for a while, but it eventually came down. Don't worry, there are plenty of versions floating around. Here's a key snippet:

Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product. But that's not why they are successful. Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work. So Facebook is different for everyone. Some people spend all their time on Mafia Wars. Some spend all their time on Farmville. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of different high-quality time sinks available, so there's something there for everyone. Our Google+ team took a look at the aftermarket and said: "Gosh, it looks like we need some games. Let's go contract someone to, um, write some games for us." Do you begin to see how incredibly wrong that thinking is now? The problem is that we are trying to predict what people want and deliver it for them.
You can't do that. Not really. Not reliably. There have been precious few people in the world, over the entire history of computing, who have been able to do it reliably. Steve Jobs was one of them. We don't have a Steve Jobs here. I'm sorry, but we don't. (...)"
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