Tag Archives: Google

Google+ and Google’s real ambition

After found out Google announced Google+ is an identity service instead of a social network site on Thursday’s seminar made me feel uncomfortable yet within my expectation. Google gives us an apple, we accepted happily; but after we ate the apple, Google told us the apple is actually just an orange wrapped with apple skin… It made me feel online users are merely just  puppets controlled by online giants like Google.

Priit Kallas from Forbes has noted that Google+’s percentage dropped from 3% in the beginning of August to 1.8% by the end of August. Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt’s announcements about Google+ is an identity service has definitely put Google into a dangerous situation thus led to a significant fall in Internet traffic. Now the “Nymwars” is really start to sparkle and the public questions Google forcing users to use real name only because they want to sell their personal information for advertising.

However, to get into more details, with my previous blog taking a stance on Google’s co-operation with the Government. If Google+ is truly being served as an identity service, each user on Google+ may be watched by authorities. Google itself saying that by promoting users use their real names is to make online community more civilized and eliminate cyberbullying. This reminds me of having cameras in public space to prevent crimes, people’s activities are being ruled and limited by engineers and politicians to achieve their version of a utopian society.

” The people who most heavily rely on pseudonyms in online spaces are those who are most marginalized by systems of power. “Real names” policies aren’t empowering; they’re an authoritarian assertion of power over vulnerable people. These ideas and issues aren’t new, but what is new is that marginalized people are banding together and speaking out loudly. And thank goodness” – Internet pundit dahah boyd.

Winston Smith kept his diary secretly, but we get to speak up and challenge the Big Brother, it is only a matter of time to win over the “Nymwars”.


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Google+: after the instant fame!?

It has been almost two months since Google first launched the trial for Google+, do people still in the rush of experiencing the latest social network? After reading through several articles about the battle between Facebook and Google +, most statistics and arguments are in favor of Google+ is not that unique and perceived an average feedback after user-testing.

(Image source here)

Based on the visual analysis provided above, which is conducted by the EyeTrackShop using eye tracking webcam technology. It has revealed the visual pattern of how online users perceived both Google+ and Facebook when they use the sites. The heat map appeared on the left-hand side image indicated the attention span of a user spends on a specific area on a site. Google+ after all, is still a social network site, it follows the identical design style/concept and user experience pattern with similar social networks. As far as I’ve concerned on this issue, the chance for Google+ to win over online users’ votes is really minimal. From Google’s history with social network sites and the popularity of Facebook, online users would most likely to keep using what they already used to, unless the new born Google+ is something really special out there. As the two visual graphs provided, it seems like Google+ does not have a bright future as we hoped when it first came out. David Lux mentioned in his article ” Perhaps Google’s design strategy was based on the old proverb – if you can’t beat them, join them”. I view David’s opinion as a criticism of lacking creative design concept in social networks’ trend.

The competition between Facebook and Google+ is a battlefield and one of them has to eventually step back because the functionality they provided as social network sites for online users are identical. It would be redundant for individuals to switch back and forth between those two networks. Before deciding which one should win the battle, the following video gives a pretty good insight of visual statistics comparison between Google+ and Facebook.

Facebook vs Google+ – “What’s Trending” CBS News from Jason King on Vimeo.

Are you ready to vote now?

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The failure of Google Buzz

Google Buzz was first released in early 2010, however it did not receive much attention as Google+ did. Google Buzz aims to integrate Gmail and microblogging together for users to share photos, videos, links and status messages. The time it enters the social networking market was the time twitter and Facebook are dominating the world, there is no space for Google to have a new social network which does the same thing, and with epic privacy issues when it released. The number of people who are using this is really minimal.

I’ve never used and barely heard any information about this social network. Google Buzz now has launched its own mobile phone application and now the first priority they mentioned is “Share publicly or privately.” Its iPhone application also seemed to address the privacy issue problem.

Since Google Buzz has integrated with Gmail, and despite the fact that it can share multimedia files (pretty much all social networks do now…) It is really hard for Google Buzz to win over users’ preference over a could of social networks.

The new functionality it now adds is to allow users to tag their location, which can be viewed on Google Maps. Buzz now also provide create a buzz community on Google map and allow users to send voice messages to fellow users as well.

All these features Google Buzz now seems better and has integrated with the latest social network technology, but there is one aspect I want to address about social networking applications is their brand name. Compare with Google+, Facebook or Twitter, the word “buzz” in Google Buzz is really annoying and irritates me when I heard the name, let alone use it everyday. As a potential user, I am not attracted by the sound of this social networking brand at all.

For social works, apart from functionalities, UI design and user-experience, the marketing side is also vital when establish a brand from a scratch. So if developers want their app to attract users, they’d better give them a good name.

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