Google+ Project invites you to ditch Facebook, plus others [u]

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By Richi Jennings (@richi) - June 29, 2011.

[Updated with Preston Gralla's review]

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has finally launched the rumored Google+ Project -- its revamped social networking strategy (Google Plus, if you prefer). Is this another Buzz or Wave, or is la Goog serious this time? Is it a Facebook killer? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers invite us to try it out.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Teasing dogs with talk of food is neither big, nor clever...

Sharon Gaudin sets the scene:

Google is taking a giant step directly onto Facebook's market. ... [It] enables people to post status updates, share links and upload photos. ... What Google hopes will set its social network apart ... is that Google+ ... allows users to communicate within separate groups. ... Instead of posting an update ... to everyone [it] enables users to create "circles".


But it remains to be seen whether this feature will ... convince Facebook users ... to toss [it] aside ... in favor of a brand new service. ... Google is facing an uphill battle. ... But Google has accepted the challenge.  

  Steven Levy gets inside:

[Is it] simply one more social effort by a company [with] a lousy track record? ... It is the result of a lengthy and urgent effort. ... Hundreds of engineers were involved. ... It has been a key focus for new CEO Larry Page.


Google views the ... social aspect of the web as [either] a ... tsunami poised to engulf it, or a maverick surge that it will ride to glory. ... Google+ represents a dramatic change that will take users a while to grasp. ... Google has accomplished something that Facebook should have ... a simple means of organizing ... so that your sharing is microtargeted. ... People in your circles don’t have to be members. ... If Aunt Mary refuses to opt in... she can still get the pictures you post ... via e-mail.  

Google's Vic Gundotra quasi-blogs thuswise:

Today, the connections between people increasingly happen online. ... [But] online sharing is awkward ... broken. And we aim to fix it.


We asked ourselves, “What do people actually do?” ... We found that people already use real-life circles ... to share with precisely the right folks. ... The web is the ultimate icebreaker. ... Human beings have always enjoyed hanging out. ... The places we visit shape conversations in lots of meaningful ways. ... Coordinating with friends and family in real-time is really hard in real life.  

But Om Malik reckons it's not a Facebook-killer, but a Skype-hurter:

I don’t think Facebook has anything to worry about. ... it cannot be beaten with this unified strategy. ... The only way to beat Facebook is through a thousand cuts. ... [But] a whole slew of other companies ... should be on notice. ... such as Blekko, Skype, and a gaggle of group messaging companies.


Google ... needs to get a lot of people ... to create an identity platform that can rival Facebook Connect. ... [The] biggest challenge is to convince people to sign-up for yet another social platform. ... [But] it would surely be nice to have a counterbalance to Facebook.  

Dave Winer says it's a waste of time trying to unseat Facebook:

[Your humble blogwatcher writes: Dave Winer has publicly expressed his discomfort with the editing of his quote and requested its removal, per my quotation policy. Why not click the More link and read Dave's entire post? It's jolly good.]  

Preston Gralla offers "four reasons Google+ beats Facebook":

It abandons Facebook's "one-message-fits-all" approach to social networking. ... With it, you essentially have the same ... relationship with someone you've ... never met, as you do with your spouse or friend of 15 years.


It sparks conversations ... combining the power of Google search with social networking.


It integrates with other Google services. ... Conversations in it show up in Gmail. ... Share photos from Picasa. ... Direct links to Google Talk. Expect more.


It's better for mobile. ... Google+ was built from the ground up with mobile in mind. ... You can do group texting via the "Huddle" feature, for example. ... Facebook can do some of these things, [but not] as well as does Google+..  

And Finally...
Teasing dogs with talk of food is neither big, nor clever

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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