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    • Chris

      I'm getting requests for a place to ask questions of the G+ panel. The unbelievable rise and fall of that network is quite a conundrum, no? Especially when you consider all the people weighing in who LOVED it. Anyway, if you have questions of the panel, ask them here and I'll see if I can get answers. 🙂

    • CygnusX1

      Chris, I may need to cut back on the coffee, but my take on the decision to bin G+ because of privacy lapses was that this explanation lacked credibility.

      If G+ was leaky, then other things being equal, you would fix the leak rather than throw the bucket away.

      My suspicion is this was a cover story to disguise the real reason, which was that Google simply wasn't seeing any material revenue streams emerging from G+. The platform was not monetising its subscriber base to sufficient degree.

      Ironically, this is one of the many reasons why users did like G+. There was not the sense that you were being used as data-fodder for someone.

      I would be interested to hear what your panel thinks of my "non-monetising" theory.

    • kwthom

      I'm probably not the most eloquent person in the room, but from the users (as opposed to influencers) wouldn't it seem like the goal is to NOT be the next...oh, I don't know - let's use MySpace as an example?

      How does this get prevented - another 'closed' environment like Cake, FB, et. al. or all the noise I hear about diaspora* and like-minded attempts at decentralization?

      I may have a follow-up, but start with that.

    • louisgray

      A successful service often needs three things: Relevance, Community and Evolution. (Simply said... being on topic, having cool people, and continuing to be updated)

      For the panelists, what drew you to G+ in the first place, and what would you have done differently?

      Disclosure for those who don't know: I work at Google and was on the initial Google+ marketing team in 2011.

    • louisgray

      What I've seen from communities on the Web is they translate from real world connections or spawn them. Did you find that Google+ drew you to people you already knew, or did you instead find that you discovered people on the service who are part of your network today?

      Same Disclosure: I work at Google and was on the initial Google+ marketing team in 2011.

    • louisgray

      In January 2012, with Google+ a few months old, I hosted @Daria at the Plex. She was fantastic. In fact, after her performance, including a rousing rendition of our all-time favorite hit, +1 me, SVP Vic Gundotra found me in the hallway and thanked me for inviting her. I remember his comments verbatim... "I had no idea... she was so good."

      @Daria was amazing. I'd like to ask her to tell her story of getting inspired by the network and writing this song. She was always such a delight, even as we'd add her to live hangouts with others interested in the platform.

    • CygnusX1

      You hit on possibly the defining difference between G+, Facebook and others.

      That is that it allowed you to make new contacts and along lines of common interest. The Communities aspect was, for me at least, such a rewarding way to expand my social horizons, ask questions, learn new things.

      As I have seen said elsewhere, Facebook is really rooted in a "friends and family" perspective and, whilst very nice on its way, it does not really grow one's social footprint.

      Quite why G+ had this edge is probably down to a bunch of things but for me the UI is a large factors. The way the G+ functionality worked encouraged a outward looking experience. I am sure I am not the only one to find the Facebook UI rather ugly, cumbersome and unpleasant to use.

    • CygnusX1

      Chris, in a related post you speculated about someone buying the G+ platform off Google.

      That's a really interesting thought. What would you think it's value might be as stand alone offering cut loose from Google?

      Even more interesting - what if current subscribers could congregate together to buy such an entity? As shareholders, in a way. Or perhaps "Cooperative" might be the better term? It might be a modest outlay per subscriber.

      Oh well. Back to the world of dreams.

    • CadeJohnson

      long ago I had a FB account and my network arose from real world. But in the decade I was on G+ even though I made nearly a thousand friends, a few of whom I'd consider to now be close friends - I have never met another G+'er face-to-face. But they are all welcome in my home any time. We will not simply go our separate ways.

    • Shewmaker

      I was definitely attracted to Google Plus because of the ability to discover people who I did not know. Of the thousands of people who signed up for the Scrivener Users community, I am sure that I did not know 99% of them on the day I started that community.

      One of the main reasons that I continue to engage on Cake is that I can communicate with people who are not known to me about things which are of mutual interest.

      Incidentally, I liked the G+ as a hub strategy. I liked having a URL for a profile page in the original (2011) G+ platform, in which I could provide more information to people who I trusted. Less information to those with whom I was acquainted and even less to the general public. I liked being able to decide between public postings, circle postings and topical postings (Communities and Collections)

      The one thing that I did not like was that Google seemed to be more interested in growing the number of G+ accounts than it was in making certain that people understood the difference between the FB "friending" paradigm and the G+ "broadcasting" paradigm. To many people left G+ out of being confused about how it worked.

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      Fascinating, James. I've been loving your posts in various places on Cake about your experiences with G+ and here.

      This is similar to how many people use the radio or television. They do not listen to every broadcast which is shown on a given station but rather select the programs in which they are interested.

      This is an area where I feel that Cake has a problem. The reason that my profile does not display my posts is because there is no segmentation of subjects in Cake's profile feature.

      I do not want to subject people that are interested in Literature and Latte's Scrivener application to a discussion on the L.A.B. colorspace because that is not the reason that they would want to view my profile.

      It's extremely perceptive and helpful for us as we think about how to improve the service.

    You've been invited!