Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Thoughts on Google+ (Part 2): Challenges

This is part 2 of my thoughts on Google+. In the last post, I discussed the innovative features in Google+ project that will likely spur other social networking sites to adapt and change. In this post, I want to touch on some challenges that Google+ has to deal with to become a viable Facebook and Twitter alternative.

There is a reason why group is missing from above;
because Google+ has no group
Absence of Group

There is no group in Google+. At least the group in the sense that we all understand from Facebook and LinkedIn.

Let me explain. When we think of a group, we think of them as clique where we share information with everyone in the group and members in the group to be able to respond to other members post. In other words, group exists as an entity. Group mailing alias, Facebook group and LinkedIn interest groups are good examples. A group gets created by members, and everyone either joins or leaves the group, shares or does not share updates in the group. Whatever update gets posted on group page is expected to be shared with everyone else in the group because group members can access the group page.

It almost sounds redundant to explain group in this way. It is because we grew so accustomed to group membership and group sharing to happen in a symmetric way. What I share in a group is visible to all other members in the group, and what everyone else shares in the group is visible to me. Group is a separate entity that people can join or leave.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Thoughts on Google+

It has already been close to a month since the launch of Google+, and I feel obliged to express my thoughts around Google+ on this blog. After all it's only fair that I give a due time and attention to what Google created, the company that changed the way I use the web. Especially how Google fumbled earlier social attempts with Google Buzz, Wave and Orkut, they must have learned from those lessons.

I'm happy to report that they have. Let me talk about those few points that I think make Google+ shine on this blog post. In following blog post I will talk about some challenges that might slow down Google+ adoption.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why I Believe Social Network Is Future Of Communication Platform

I was having lunch with my coworkers yesterday and talking about some websites that were still using static HTML to render their content. While describing them, I said they looked like they were from 1990's. Then I quickly realized that it was only 1995 when Netscape popularized websites, and most websites were developed after 1996. That was just 16 years ago.

Since the birth of graphical world wide web technology to allow people to communicate each other and share information have been evolving in dizzying pace. Pagers have been replaced by mobile phones, mobile phones by Blackberries and Blackberries by touch-screen iPhones. Email which quickly became de-facto electronic communication standard evolved to become webmail, then mobile messaging, and recently to microblog messages called tweets.

Abusing the power of email to the max;
how many of these group emails do you get a day?
(Don't worry, I know better not to send this particular one,
but I've done my own share of group replies)
But businesses still rely on face-to-face meetings, phone calls, conference calls, and emails to get our work done. As most of US economy has shifted to service industry, most of us derive our value from communicating or collaborating with other workers. Although some rock star programmers might be reluctant to admit, we spend our better part of day communicating and collaborating, not coding.

It's safe to say that most businesses would come to its knees if mail server is down and emails do not get delivered. We've become so dependent on email for almost all communication activity that we do, it's fair to say that our day revolves around email.

The problem of email is that it's meant to be private exchange of information between two parties. It's built using postal service analogy. There is a sender and there is a recipient. Message travels from one person to another. The message is not public, and is not meant for sharing with other people. In fact sending too many mails and asking them to reshare is prohibited by law (chain letter anyone?). Well, same applies to email.