Tag: Google Plus

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Sorry, Google

The laptop that led me back to the Google digital lifestyle is gone. Two days ago, a preschool teacher—who happens to be the same age as my daughter—bought the Pixelbook that I purchased in June 2018 during a Father’s Day sale. Subsequently, my wife and I swapped iPhones for Pixel phones and each a MacBook Pro for Google Chromebook. I added the Pixel Slate five months later. Funny thing: While I sold her MBP, I kept mine and iPad 10.5 for software testing. That decision was wise, although sticking to the Apple Way would have been wiser.

I love the Google lifestyle, but it doesn’t love me. Too many workarounds impede my workflow, which makes me more likely to consume content rather than to create it. Google’s Material Design visually appeals, and the UX (user experience) is more consistent than Apple user interfaces, where too many motifs compete and distract. That said, Android and Chrome OS crumple where I need them to be solid. Half-baked is the Android-integration with Chrome OS—not ready for commercial release is Chrome OS tablet. The tools I need most either aren’t available, or they don’t work well. Or worse, Google takes them away.

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Goodbye, Google+

Two months ago I posted to Google+: “On April 1, 2019, Google will ceremoniously announce that after conducting focus groups and consulting with loyal users, the company has reversed its decision to close down Google+. On April 2, 2019, Google will pull the plug as planned and tell us that we’re April Fools”.

There was no prank—and I was being facetious rather than prescient—but those of us who stayed to the end nevertheless were fools. The grand social media experiment is over. RIP, Google+: June 28, 2011 – April 2, 2019.

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I see Tumbleweeds Rolling Across the Google+ Ghost Town

As the New Year approaches, and I contemplate 2016, my online social space surely will change; my like-affair with Google+ draws close to an end. Nearly six weeks ago, the service “reimagined“, as a  “fully redesigned Google+ that puts Communities and Collections front and center”.

Since then, my Google+ engagement has dropped by more than 90 percent. I don’t find as many posts to Plus-one, to share with others, or on which to comment. Similarly, I see shocking decline in the number of responses to my posts—not something I actively seek so much as by which to judge interest in what I write and also to interact with other Plusers. After years of misguided critics calling Google+ a ghost town, the tumbleweeds roll.

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I Take Away Control From Google+

My personal site is in state of revival, as I follow through on a long-contemplated change to my blogging style. I let inertia hold me back. No longer.

Since July 2011, I reserved most of my personal writing for Google+ and built there a fairly robust following (more than 16,000 Circles at present). The social network makes easy posting and connecting to others. Elsewhere, I write for BetaNews (e.g., for work).

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Google Tightens the Noose

Over at BetaNews, I’ve repeatedly cautioned about Google’s increasing cross-integration of products and interdependence among them. Now come tighter ties between Google+ and Gmail. As Selena Larson observes, for ReadWrite: “Google+ is Getting Harder and Harder to Avoid“.

But I wonder. URL to the story reveals a better, and perhaps, the original headline: “Google Plus is Inescapable”. As editor, that is exactly the headline I would have used. It’s punchier, more clickable, and better fits the story’s tone.

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All This Googlism disturbs Me

Today, Ian Betteridge posts: “One thing that is impossible not to notice on Google+: There’s a very distinct skew towards big Google fans in commenting. It doesn’t matter which tech site’s page you look at, the (in my view, tedious) ‘fanboy’ mentality is hotter here than on any other social network”.

I commented on his post but want to draw more attention to Ian’s observation, to which I concur. I am rethinking my social service presence because of pervasive Googlism. While now immersed in the Google lifestyle, I am not a Google fanboy. But the leanings here are quite strong now, and tipping more all the time. Also, there is increasingly less tolerance for non-Google tech posts and more criticism of those regarding competitors like Apple.