The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Google Plus Traffic Drops, 1269% Gains Erased

Google Plus Traffic Drops, 1269% Gains Erased:

'via Blog this'

Google+ is declining.

But I am still using Google+.

For one big reason: the "circles" provide better access control than LinkedIn or FaceBook.

Why do you want access control? Well, it often becomes obvious, looking at LinkedIn or FaceBook updates, when a person from company 1 is interviewing with company 2. Now, you can often turn off the automatic notification - but I know former coworkers/managers who proactively searched LinkedIn and FaceBook, to see if people they knew had suddenly become, e.g. linked directly to people in other companies, or even rivals within the same company.


(Not if there is a possibility that your present employer might retaliate.)

(Yes, there are limited fixes for this in LinkedIn and FaceBook. None satisfactory.)

Now, Google+ circles may help here. Except, as is typical with so many Google apps, they don't scale, in the user interface.

E.g. I have separate Google+ circles for all companies I used to work for, as well as old schools, etc. But when you reach more than a dozen circles, they become a pain to deal with. I currently have 24 circles - that's too many for Google's user interface. It needs some sort of hierarchy - e.g. a meta-circle of Companies containing several sub-circles of particular coompanies, and so on.

As is typical with so many Google apps, the user interface doesn't scale. People repeat, over and over and over again, the mistake of providing a flat set of categories (Google+ circles, Gmail labels), rather than providing structure and nesting. I can just imagine the "data driven" conversation at Google: "prove that people need more than 8 circles", "prove that people want nested circles and labels".