I’ve been asked quite a few times for my thoughts on Google+, so thought I’d blog two thoughts on it so far.
The Mystery Box Effect
I’m a big fan of J.J. Abrams’ work. His TED Talk really resonated with me and I’ve discussed it with others many times. If you haven’t seen it, go watch. (And, if you were ever annoyed by Lost, all the more reason to watch it.) Many people have written about Google’s exclusive/invite-effect methodology with their new product launches such as Google+, but I like what I might imagine J.J. Abram’s take on it to be: the allure of the mystery of what’s inside the Google+ box is (initially) much more powerful for many than the unveiling.
I was frustrated that my husband Regan got into Google+ a few days before me. I felt left out of the party and then felt mad that he didn’t even tell me he had got in until I was complaining to him about not being able to see what it was like inside. I desperately tried finding ways of getting into Google+, even emailing a contact at Google who was enjoying his fourth of July weekend. Ha.
Once I got in, I wanted to enjoy it and get into it, but it felt like arriving at a big party at someone’s fancy new house that you barely know. It’s your first time there and you realise you’re early (even though you thought you were late) and no-one you can hang out with is there yet.
(Disclaimer: before it sounds like I’m putting my foot in my mouth: I’d rather hang out with my husband in person!)
At the same time, you know there’s a raging party going on across the road at the old familiar (and somewhat annoying) hang out. You waver between ditching this party (will it become big what what kind of party will it be?) and going back to the familiar. You wonder about the logistics of meaningfully trying to socialise in two parties at the same time…
In the meantime, it seems the only conversation at this new party is about dissecting all the features of the new house and how it can be used for business purposes. I’m getting fidgety…
The allure was more powerful than the unveiling.
Simpler is better. Always?
I was a big fan of +1 when it was launched. I’d mulled over the flaws of “liking” things and +1 felt so clean and simple. It worked perfectly for webpages I wanted to recommend to others but all of a sudden, it felt so clinical in Google+. Why? Links aren’t personal, status updates are. It feels cold and impersonal to click +1 on someone’s status update saying they’re off overseas, have a new job or started a new relationship. Facebook seemed warm and fuzzy all of a sudden in comparison. It’s amazing how much of a Facebook mindset you bring over to Google+.
Perhaps Google wants to push us back to commenting – rather than just lazily clicking a generic button when we want to add meaningful feedback to someone. That would be nice. I think?
I’m torn over +1.
And I’m not so excited by having yet another button (which often means clutter dominating content) to add into blog designs.
Get actionable tips to grow your website
Thoughtful weekly insights (no hype!) on improving your website