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Meet Project Fi: Google's mobile carrier plans revealed in leaked Android app

Google has already admitted it wants to become a mobile carrier , but specific details about what that service will look like are still sketchy. Until recently, that is. Android Police thinks it has a good handle on the details. The Android-focused site recently came across a system image for the Nexus 6 apparently containing an app for the Google-ified mobile service. To read this article in ...


recent bookmarks tagged Google%20plus

Posted on 18 January 2014

@grovek – Delicious

Posted on 28 August 2013

Four Reasons Marketers Need to Embrace Google+ | MarketingProfs Daily Fix Blog

Posted on 27 August 2013

Posted on 25 August 2013

Google Plus For Business: A Series - HootSuite Social Media Management

Posted on 19 August 2013

Follower Count Button for Google Plus Profile

Posted on 26 July 2013

Love it or Hate it: Businesses Can’t Ignore Google+ for Marketing

Posted on 22 July 2013

How to Write for the Google Plus Audience – The Basics

Posted on 21 July 2013

Using a company Google+ identity to create a company logo in Google SERPs - Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice

Posted on 15 July 2013

How to Integrate Google+ Into Your Online Marketing Initiative | Search Engine Journal

Posted on 11 July 2013

Top Answers About Google+ on Quora

Top Answers About Google+ on Quora

Since Google is giving up on Google+, why don't they just buy Facebook?

It's a misconception that Google's giving up on Google+; it's a perfectly good social network that is actively being worked on. What Google's given up on is the idea that people want their social networks to be intimately integrated into everything they do. The original G+ strategy was to integrate it into every Google product; that's what's being unwound now. Google found that, unlike Reese's Cups, people didn't like their chocolate mixed with their peanut butter--they want their photos to be separate from their videos to be separate from their social network, etc.

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Posted on 31 July 2015

Since Google is giving up on Google+, why don't they just buy Facebook?

Google would probably love to own Facebook. The other answers make it clear why, and also why they haven't bought it yet so I'll let you read those.

But the question contains some assumptions about Google+. Google is not giving up on Google+, at least as far as I know. They are just not connecting it to YouTube comments anymore (they probably should never have been connected in the first place - the cultures on the two sites are very different, and the decision was unpopular with users of both).

Also, it was never meant to replace Facebook, but to be the centralized social aspect of Google's services. It was less successful than they hoped, but it still has a large user base, and for people who use Google services, it is the central hub. It also helps them target ads more efficiently which is their whole business.

There may not be as many users as Facebook or Twitter, but the people who like Google+ use it in preference to the other social networks and have built an active community there. I know this because I use it every day. I find more interesting stories through the people I follow on Google+ than anywhere else.

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Posted on 29 July 2015

Since Google is giving up on Google+, why don't they just buy Facebook?

Google's market cap is 440B, Facebook's market cap is 265B. Historically, companies with such similar market caps don't engage in acquisitions: a peaceful merger is possible, but a hostile takeover would be expensive and difficult to engineer.

On top of that, both companies have special classes of voting stock so essentially Zuckerberg would have to be willing to sell, which is not very likely any time in the near future.

Furthermore, there would be an anti-competitive dominance of the ads market, which would mean that the FTC would get involved. That would make any merger difficult to contemplate (and it would take a very long time to complete, and involve lots of compromises, including possible spin-offs of businesses that are related), even if both sides were willing.

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Posted on 28 July 2015

How does Google's new product development stay secret?

I would add to Lewis answer that Google made a fairly big deal about their trade secrets and NDA during the hiring process. I don't recall if there were any implied threats, but it was certainly understood that talking out of turn could be very detrimental to your career at Google.

Perhaps the most effective technique though was that they handed us, Nooglers going through orientation a small piece of paper and told us these were the facts we could tell our friends and family - nothing else.

The paper contained a variety of irrelevant but cute facts about things like how much breakfast cereal were eaten by Google employees (free) each morning.

Having that very short list of what you could talk about was perhaps the clearest message of all that you could NOT talk about your job.  Very smart communications technique.

It's perhaps worh noting though that the secrecy is far from perfect. Back in November 2006, shortly after we launch the Chrome project, a huge number of SEO blogs popped up speculating that Google was making a browser.

We had set the User-agent of the nascent Chrome browser to "Googlebot", perhaps the only User-agent that had an entire industry focused on reverse engineering it's behavior, so the SEOs figured out almost from Day One that we had decided to create a browser.

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Posted on 1 July 2015

Why did Google include the 'undo send' feature on Gmail?

[NOTE: While I previously worked at Google, I was never part of the Gmail team, nor do I even know any of their developers or the product manager(s).  What I write here is true for any software company.]

Why did Google include this feature?  Because the "Gmail Labs" system permits developers to override the decisions of product managers.  This is what makes the "Labs" system so brilliant.

A product manager has to decide which features to implement and which not to. This is very difficult. Each new feature takes time to design (how will it work from the user perspective), architect (how will the internals work), implement (write the code that makes it all happen), and support (documentation, and so on).  There are only so many hours in the day, and only so many developers assigned to Gmail.  The product manager has to say "no" to a lot of good ideas.

If you were the product manager, would you select features that are obviously going to possibly attract millions of new users, or features that help a few existing users have a slightly nicer day?  Obviously you'll select the first category.  New users are more valuable than slight improvements that will help a few existing users.  Many of these minor features are called "fit and finish"... little things that help make the product sparkle, but aren't thinks you can put in an advertisement because they have benefits that are intangible or would only be understood by a few. Many of the best features can't be appreciated or understood until they are available for use. When they are "on paper", it is difficult to judge their value.

Another reason a product manager may reject a proposed feature is politics. Maybe the idea came from someone that the product manager doesn't like, or doesn't trust. (possibly for good reason)

The "labs" feature of Google products is a framework that let's developers add features that have been rejected by the product manager.  Google engineers can, in their own spare time or in the "20% time" they are allocated, implement features that the product manager hasn't approved. "Yes, Mr Product Manager, I understand that feature x-y-z seems stupid to you, but the few people that want it would love it, so I'm going to implement it anyway and don't worry, it won't be an official feature."

What makes the "labs" feature brilliant is that it not only gives a safe framework for experimental features to be added, but it gathers usage statistics automatically.  If the feature becomes widely adopted, the developer can present hard cold data to the product manager that says the feature should be promoted to become an official feature.

Of course, the usage statistics might also show that the feature isn't well-received and prove the product manager correct.

I apologize for explaining this as an "us vs. them" paradigm i.e. as if the product managers and developers are at odds with each other.  However, the labs feature wouldn't be needed if there wasn't some friction between the two groups.  In a perfect world there would be infinite time to implement every feature requested, but we don't live in that world.  (Or maybe the "Labs" feature was invented by a brilliant product manager that hated to say "no" and wanted to add an 'escape hatch' that encouraged developers to experiment. I don't know, but I'm pessimistic to believe that Labs was added as an appeasement.)

A better way of looking at it is that the "labs" feature provides a way to democratize the feature selection process and provides a data-driven way to determine which features should be promoted to a more "official" status. The data eliminates politically-driven decision making and "I'm right because my business card lists an important title"-business as usual. This is one of the ways that Google's management is so brilliant.

So, in summary: Why did Google include the 'undo send' feature on Gmail? Because someone thought it was important, took the time to implement it under the "labs" framework, users loved the feature, and product management promoted it to be an official Gmail feature.

I wish more products had a "labs" system.  The only way it could be better is if non-Googlers had a way to add features under the "labs" system too.

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Posted on 30 June 2015

Why did Google include the 'undo send' feature on Gmail?

Undo send is AWESOME.  It has saved my bacon a few times when I accidentally triggered a send before I was ready, or noticed a typo in a message right after I sent the mail. 

I've been using it since it was a "Google Labs" extension.  I can't recommend it highly enough.

Technically, it doesn't actually  "undo" the "Send," it undoes the act of you pressing the "Send" button by delaying the dispatch of the mail message by 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds (10 by default).

If you don't like it, go into Settings-->General and disable it.  Adding 5 to 30 seconds to an e-mail delivery is a small price to pay for the ability to recall that occasional "oops" email.

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Posted on 23 June 2015

What benefit will google have by releasing google photos?

Google has an algorithm that is several layers deep for recognizing a photo.

They deployed this in google photos and you can see the results by pressing the search button.  You get an organized set of image searches based on the algorithm's recognition of your photos.  It's great, but it can always be improved.

By offering to store everyone's images for free, they get billions of images from people which feed their algorithm.  This will allow them to refine its accuracy and ultimately release new search services such as an app that uses your phone's camera to do live searches for information of what it sees.

You could be wearing Google Glass in the future and say: "google, what animal am I looking at?"  and you'd get a great result set of helpful information -like the name of the animal and if it's aggressive etc.

Another big benefit for Google: its a huge leap forward in their stated purpose as a company.
  • To organize the word's information and make it accessible.

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Posted on 3 June 2015

What was announced at the Google I/O 2014 keynote?


  • Android One, a global program with OEMs to bring stock Android with high quality hardware to developing countries, launching in India first.
  • Android Paper, a unified design and open framework across web, mobile, TV, wearables, and other devices.
  • Android L Preview, which includes too much for a single bullet point: wearable-based authentication, 3D design with polymer+paper, beautiful 60FPS animations literally everywhere, the official switch from Dalvik to ART (Android RunTime), and over 5000 other APIs are being added to Android.
  • Android Extension Pack, which allows (almost unbelievably good) desktop-quality graphics rendering on new Android devices that ship with Android L, including the new Android TV set top boxes.
  • Project Volta, an improvement in Android battery life offering up to an extra 1.5 hours with typical use, with an accompanying battery management app, several new battery-efficient API updates, and a new Battery Saver mode in Android.
  • The Android Web: All Android devices are now contextually aware, voice enabled, and seamless when continuing tasks across multiple devices.
  • Android Wear, a platform for wearables that supports square and circular screens of any size, which syncs notifications, SMS, and Google Now cards between your wearable devices, your tablet, and your phone. An SDK for writing native apps is also available today.
  • Android Auto, an Android platform for cars that is completely voice enabled, providing navigation, music, phone calls, and other standard functionality in the car that can be customized (theme, your music library, playlists, contacts, etc) on your phone and "cast" to any car you plug your phone into. The Android Auto SDK is available today and over 25 car brands have signed up to ship Android Auto.
  • Android TV, an extension of the core mobile Android SDK to make standard apps also work on televisions. Android devices (including your watch!) can be used as remotes, gamepads, and other input controllers. Console controllers can also be used. Voice search results in information about movies, shows, actors, etc, and allows one-click playing of media from most media services. Netflix-y queries like "oscar-nominated movies in 2005" will also present movies in the same result view.
  • A Certified Android for Work program now separates work content from personal content at the system level on Android devices.


  • The LG G Watch, LG's square-faced watch will be available on the Google Play store later today.
  • The Samsung Gear Live, Samsung's square-faced watch will be available on the Google Play store later today.
  • The Moto 360, Motorola's circular-face watch will be available for purchase later this summer.
  • Cardboard, an inexpensive virtual reality headset (that looks very similar to the Oculus Rift) made out of cardboard and other household materials. Download an app on your phone and slip it inside the cardboard as the screen and you're good to go writing VR apps for stupidly cheap. Instructions on how to build your own are at Cardboard.


  • Chromecasts can now broadcast their presence to all nearby devices, allowing friends to cast to TVs that they can see, but aren't connect to the same network of. This feature is opt-in. Android devices can now mirror their screen onto any Chromecast.
  • Chromecast Backdrop allows users to customize the idle Chromecast screen with photos from their albums, curated artwork by topic (i.e. art, photography, flowers, etc), widgets like weather and news, and other options. The voice action "What is on my Chromecast" on any Android device will tell you more about the art/etc you're seeing on your TV.
  • Chromebooks now show notifications for incoming phone calls and text messages with your phone. Your Chromebook can now use a known Android device in the proximity (your phone, watch, etc) to automatically log in for you.
  • Android apps on Chrome OS: A demo showed several Android apps running on a Chromebook; Sundar said they were still in the early stages of making this work, but it is definitely in the pipeline.
  • Native Office Editing allows on-device editing of Office files (Word, Excel, etc) with Google Docs, and preserves the original file type.

Google Cloud Platform

  • Cloud Save provides another way to store data. I missed most of the talk on this new service.
  • Cloud Debugger allows setting global breakpoints across all production servers and stepping through source code when any server's execution hits the breakpoint. Conditional breakpoints on local variables are also supported, allowing you to, say, only break on the point when variable name equals "Andrew".
  • Cloud Tracing gives a tracing view of all requests your servers take, and how long they take, which then lets you drill down into requests and see a timeline view of every service call made within that request. Can also generate reports on what effects code changes have on traces.
  • Cloud Monitoring gives disks, VM, and service-level monitoring. Over a dozen open source services (such as Redis) are automatically detected and a dashboard displays your overall system health, including third party services. Alerts for usage thresholds, downtime, and other conditions are also supported.
  • Cloud Dataflow is a fully-managed service to create data pipelines to create, shape, transform, and analyze arbitrarily large datasets in batch or real-time. Optimization, parallelization, and provisioning of machines are done for you automatically.

Google Play

  • Appurify allows developers to simulate specific devices for cross-platform testing, as well as simulating specific networks and connectivity properties.
  • Google Fit is a centralized location for cross-platform devices and apps to combine their sensor data and analysis into a single app. Fitness information can be shared (opt-in) between apps, allowing them to interact with and incorporate data they wouldn't otherwise have.
  • Google Play Games is getting a lot of new features, including player profiles (which includes your games, achievements, leaderboards, progress through games, etc). Quests allow developers to create time-sensitive activities in-game for players and provide rewards for completion from a web interface, without having to update the game app itself.
  • Carrier Billing is now available on tablets (including Wifi only), using the already-set-up carrier billing process on your phone.

And of course, if you want to watch everyone up on stage but don't have an hour to kill on a video, here's most of the announcements distilled into a 9 minute video courtesy of The Verge (website):

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Posted on 26 June 2014

Why doesn't Google shut down its Google+ social network?


Being a social network is just a part of Google+. Think of it as a social platform that provides identity services at its core. Using this social hub, all Google services are orchestrated around you. You have +1's, comments, shares, ... integrated in search, play store, blogger, youtube, ...

Without Google+, Google still needs to provide all these services (ie, identity, +1, commenting, and shares) in some way or another, right?

I would never call it a failure, it's a grand vision and has been quite successful so far.

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Posted on 8 April 2014

How does Moshe Vardi share so much interesting stuff on G+?

It's easy to share. It's harder to read everything you share. If you'd asked "How does he have time to carefully read all the articles he shares?", that would be an interesting question. But it's not clear he does.

If you really want to be impressed, go check out his publications. This is small beans. That's where the really impressive work is. And it's more impressive than most of us have adjectives for.

In response to David Metcalfe: I've known Moshe for twenty years. I am pretty certain he does not have a service posting for him, nor is he paying someone to do it. He's always been an information spreader. He used to do it by email. If social networks didn't exist, they'd have to be invented for him.

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Posted on 1 April 2014

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?

here’s a helpful guide on how and why to use extensions, along with 15 suggestions for the teacher Chrome user 15+ Great Chrome Extensions for Teachers

  • Autocopy - Automatically copies text or links when they are selected. Imagine how many times a day you click Control or Command + C. Now, you don’t have to!
  • Awesome Screen Shot - Capture a whole page or just a portion. It also ncludes annotating tools.
  • - Removes YouTube add-ons and related videos from the screen, showing only the video and the search bar. Great for removing questionable ads and related videos that pop up.
  • Docs Quickly - Allows you to quickly create a new Google Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet or Drawing.
  • Evernote Web Clipper - Lets you send any link or site to Evernote.
  • Handy Google Shortcuts - Creates an icon that allows the user to quickly access all things Google.
  • One Tab - Whenever you have too many tabs, One Tab converts them all into a list saving “up to 95% of memory.”
  • Panic Button - Closes all open tabs in a Chrome window. Click the extension again to reopen them all.
  • Printliminator - (not an extension) Use this bookmarklet to remove unnecessary or unwanted aspects of a web page before printing.
  • Save as PDF - Lets you download web pages into PDF format.
  • Send to Google Docs - You can take any webpage and turn it into PDF that you can send straight to Google Docs.
  • Turn Off the Lights - You can dim the background when videos are playing. Useful to eliminate inappropriate advertising in YouTube videos. Shows up in address bar.

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Posted on 16 February 2014

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?

Google/Gmail Flight Information

I recently found out this amazing feature while booking an Air ticket. Once you receive your E-ticket, on top of the mail, GMAIL shows the respective flight information with on time schedule. It also has separate tabs in case you have booked more than 1 flight.

 Additional benefit, with a single click you can add the schedule to you Google calender.

"It does make your life easier, now I can have a quick look without having to go through the entire mail or searching for the schedule each and every time."

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Posted on 27 January 2014

Why hasn't Google purchased Quora yet?

Quora's founder was an early employee (CTO) at Facebook, and I'd guess he likely has a nice chunk of equity from there socked away. Add that in to the fact that his former position lends him the ultimate credibility, network connections for coding talent and venture capital, and the fact that Quora is head and shoulders above most of the other Q & A sites out there, and that's what you call major leverage.

In layman's terms, he does not need to sell Quora to Google and allow someone else to alter his vision and throw a monkey wrench in his plans. Most startup founders eating ramen would take a cool billion or two from Google easily and not look back, but perhaps he's in a position where a billion dollars wouldn't really do much to change his quality of life as compared to the freedom to run his own show and attempt to go even bigger independently.

It's a great problem to have.

For the other 99 problems we don't want to have, this book sheds light upon what we can do to fix them:

It's All My Fault: How I Messed Up the World, and Why I Need Your Help to Fix It

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Posted on 25 January 2014

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?

Google's location history

It auto-tracks your location (if you have Google Location Services enabled on your android device) and it can show you up to a 30-day stretch of exactly where you've been (or where you're phone has been to be more precise :) )

A lot of people find this creepy, but I love it

Here's for example my location history about 4-5 months ago

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Posted on 24 January 2014

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?

1. A recently published heatmap by Google, to see the most photographed places in the world: Sightsmap

2. Google Ngram Viewer
Google's Ngram Viewer lets you search keywords in millions of books over the span of half a millennium, a useful tool for finding trends over time. For power users, the Ngram Viewer also has advanced options, such as searching for particular keywords as specific parts of speech or combining keywords. Just in case you ever wanted to see how big cocaine was in Victorian times, now you can.

3. Google Public Data Explorer
Search through databases from around the world, including the World Bank, OECD, Eurostat and the U.S. Census Bureau. After you find what you want, filter through categories to make graphs with the axes you want. Google's Public Data Explorer then displays the data in a line graph, bar graph, scatterplot or on a map.

4. Full Value of Mobile
A useful calculator for businesses, Google's Full Value of Mobile will calculate just how much having a mobile site is worth. The tool will help you analyze how customers interact with the various aspects of your business, from mobile sites to calls to cross-device ability.

5. Get Your Business Online
Get Your Business Online is Google's initiative to get more local businesses on the web, in an effort to boost the local economy as well as help small businesses grow. The initiative also encourages people to get other businesses online, with an end goal of reaching every local business in America. There are also listings for events and lessons. The free service also includes hosting for one year.

6. The legacy of Schemer
Schemer is like a combination to-do list and social event planning app. Connect via your Google+ account, enter your preferences, and Schemer will offer some things to do around your area. A great tool for travelers who want to make the most out of a visit, as well as for locals who want to find something to do on an otherwise boring day. You can also collaborate with the friends in your Google+ Circles and see who wants to do the same things as you.

7. Google Fonts
Google Fonts offers open source web fonts for all to use privately or commercially. As of now, there are 629 font families available. Filter fonts by thickness, slant, width and script.

8. Google Developers
Google Developers houses a plethora of resources that developers can use, tools such as internationalizing different websites and live presentationsof tutorials. Developers can also join groups in a local area for meetups and collaboration.

9. Dart
Dart is a programming language developed by Google in hopes of eventually replacing JavaScript as the language of modern web apps. Dart was released in 2011 and is still in its development stages. With a goal to make coding and collaboration simpler, Dart was designed to be simple enough that even beginning developers could learn from it.

Info courtesy of Mashable.
Screenshot courtesy of those services.

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Posted on 20 January 2014

Is there a way to turn off the video cam for google hangout?

You can turn the camera off after the Hangout has begun but, as far as I can tell, there is no way to turn the camera off by default and have it be an opt-in feature.  This is pretty absurd, in my opinion, as there are many times where I'll place a Hangout call where I don't want the person I'm calling to see me.  In these situations I'm in a race to turn off the video before the recipient picks up which is just plain silly.

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Posted on 29 October 2013

Will Google figure out social?


Google thinks everyone should be smart, and should want to interact the way Googlers do. G+ is designed by engineers for engineers. It's infinitely more elegant than FB but it's also complex, hugely versatile, constantly evolving and has a steep learning curve (since updating the documentation is not a priority). 

Facebook thinks that most people are stupid, and want to interact in the easiest possible way with other stupid people, about stupid unimportant things.

Unfortunately, Facebook is right.

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Posted on 24 October 2013

How does Buffer push to Google+? Do they have access to a secret Write API?

Great question. Currently we have support only for Google+ Pages (Google+ Platform - Google Developers). I wouldn't say this API is completely secret :-) So, to be clear, we don't support publishing to Google+ Profiles right now (just Pages).

As you'll see in the link above, here is how it works:

Access to this API is available through a whitelist, and access is granted to partners on a company by company basis dependent on fit with this API.

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Posted on 10 October 2013

How close is anybody to solving the social networking problem of connecting 'new' people?

"New" people are already connected across multiple huge social platforms.  Twitter is one of the best examples.  Twitter has an "interest graph" which connects new people that have similar interests (I'm using "new" to mean people that don't already know each other outside of the internet).  Craigslist connects new people for commerce.  AirBnB connects new people for room-sharing.  Reddit connects new people for interesting content and discussion.  The list goes on...

Some of those sites are not location-dependent and some are.   When people discuss the "meeting new people, in person, right now" problem, that is a very narrow feature of connecting new people and not one worth solving in itself. There are not hundreds of millions of people in the world who walk outside every day wanting to meet somebody new that day. The excitement is around connecting people in a shared location such that IF they were to decide to meet in real life, they would be able to.  This may not happen right after they connect online, but the possibility that they could is compelling for every person in the world.  Human beings have an evolutionary urge to connect with other humans, in person, going back to clansmen survival instincts in the beginning of mankind. 

Recently, there have been numerous location based networks growing quickly that  connect new people in a shared location. Each have a different take on exactly how they are connecting people.  None of the ones that are taking off are simply about "meet somebody new that you walk nearby now!" Highlight, Sonar and Banjo are of that variety and will not takeoff anytime soon. This is too big of a behavioral change and isn't compelling for enough people currently. There is a small group of people that does want to meet someone right now (mostly, extremely gregarious young people or those trying to sell things), and there's certain places (conferences are the best example) where it happens, but not for most people, most of the time.  

The examples where connecting new people within a location is working best are:
- Waze, a navigation app that connects you with people near you for traffic tips.  Interestingly, you can also chat with people, get ranked against them and other local connecting features.
- Tinder, a dating app.  The oldest and most obvious "new" people use case is dating.
-NextDoor, a site that connects neighbors to discuss ongoings in their neighborhood. 

My company, Circle (app), the Local Network, has a big update coming out in August where it will also connect new people through content and information in their local community.  From our beta testing in Chicago, people 1) love it and 2) are connecting with others in their own local communities in ways they have never done before. 

tl;dr It is already happening.  It will start to happen more in real time and live over the next few years because people have their location info with them all the time on their phones.  Of important note is that the view that the holy grail is getting people to meet right here right now is wrong and that should be looked at as one necessary and awesome feature but not a killer application.

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Posted on 30 July 2013

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?

Google Flight Search

Flights - Google Search

Google Flights allows you to use google to search for flights from all the major airlines without having to go to their crappy websites. Basically it is better than every airline website ever made and every travel website ever made.  All I want is to find a flight that is cheap and on the day I want. I don't like being on a website that's shouting deals and packages and throwing credit card offers at me. Google flight search.

Protip: you can even view airfare changes over time by clicking the bar graph icon in the upper right hand corner.

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Posted on 4 May 2013

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?

What do you love?
It`s a tool where you type something you want to know about and Google give a very huge panorama about it, using a lot of Google tools

Think with Google
Think Insights with Google
Their own explanation about the product:
"Today's pace of change is mind-blowing. Digital innovation is propelling the marketing industry forward faster than ever before. At Google, we use research, analysis and insights to stay ahead and created Think Insights to share all of this and more with you.
Here are the studies we're conducting, the trends we’re tracking, and the ideas we’re exploring — across industries, platforms and audiences — all in one place. Think Insights is designed to bring you everything from high-level visions to deck-ready data points. Data, insights, tools and inspiration to make the web work for you."

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Posted on 4 April 2013

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?

It's not really product or service, but it's really cool: Google offers few courses for anyone who wants to learn.

One of the courses is Power Searching with Google, which gives you lot of great techniques and ideas to improve your search capabilities. This course is followed by the "Advanced Power Searching with Google" course, which even gives you challenges that test you on specific research questions.

Link: Inside Search

Also, Google has a class which teaches you Python(!), which is totally awesome.

Google's Python Class

And they also have a short course on C++:

Educational Materials

They even developed a system that helps us to build sites for that:

CourseBuilderChecklist - course-builder - Checklist of all steps to create a course using Course Builder. - Course Builder - Google Project Hosting

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Posted on 14 March 2013

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?

google-refine - Google Refine, a power tool for working with messy data (formerly Freebase Gridworks) - Google Project Hosting

OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine) is a powerful tool for working with messy data, cleaning it up, transforming it from one format into another, extending it with web services, and linking it to databases like Freebase.


It's awesome! Perfect for cleansing data before importing to Excel.

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Posted on 25 February 2013

Do you think Google Glass will lead to higher Google+ usage?

Regardless of whether or not Glass goes mainstream, any number of people using it will definitely lead to even higher G+ usage.

Hangouts are already huge on G+ but all they're used for right now is interacting with people: meeting people and mutual friends, chatting with family/coworkers/friends, discussing some topic you enjoy with strangers, etc.

Glass will open up a new type of hangout: interacting with things.

When you're watching something live, from someone else's eyes, you get an eerie feeling that you're actually there.

Give Tony Hawk a Glass and see first hand what it's like to get massive air on a half pipe. Watch some storm chasers and see a tornado up close. Watch a professional chef cook something delicious, and learn how she does it. Sit in on any conference. See what a mountain climber sees first hand from the top of a mountain. I don't know, watch a presidential address from the President's point of view.
Have you ever thought, "I wonder what it's like to do X"?

There are people out there that do X, and you could watch them do it in real time, from their point of view, for free.

I don't think there's a person in the world that would turn down the chance to experience something fantastic just because it's on that Google+ thing.

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Posted on 20 February 2013

Is Google+ dead?

If you think of Google+ as a destination, then you could be forgiven for thinking it isn't as lively as other social outposts. However to think of G+ in that way is to not comprehend what it actually is.

Google+ isn't a place, it's a new layer on the Google stack. It permeates and aggregates everything. It personalizes and ties your activities back across every platform, finally giving Google a holistic view of a person's activity online.

Google+ is also in very early days. While the integrations they've completed to-date are impressive, there are so many more to really bring the vision to life.

Facebook started out wanting to be the social plumbing of the Web. That changed when they needed to ramp revenue. Google is building the true social fabric of the Web, and it will be indistinguishable from their products over time.

Whether your friends are actually at Google+ at the moment is irrelevant. It's the aggregate interactions and new layer that is the real network, and that is growing and thriving and isn't going anywhere for a long time to come.

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Posted on 19 February 2013

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?


Google Transliterate:

Say you speak another language (which does not use the standard Roman alphabet), but you can't write it very well. Or you have a recording of another language and want to translate that.

In comes Transliterate - you just type in the phonetic sounds of the language, and it converts it into the desired language. They've really done a good job to hide the link recently, but I managed to dig it up: Google Input Tools.

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Posted on 13 February 2013

What is Google Now?

Google Now is a new form of anticipatory software. Find more information at

It tries to assist you living your life by looking, contextually, inside your email and calendar for things like appointments, plane tickets, and other plans.

It then builds cards that will help you do those things better. For instance it'll tell you how long it will take to get to your next appointment. Or what the weather will be like at a destination you are about to leave to. Or when your next train will arrive.

Here's Google's own explanation, from the page above: "It tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform, or your favorite team's score while they’re playing. And the best part? All of this happens automatically. Cards appear throughout the day at the moment you need them."

Basically it's a new kind of search: one where you don't have to search. Your behavior causes these searches to happen predictively.

This is the first of a new anticipatory kind of software. There are a lot more coming like this that look at your behavior and that will try to get ahead and assist you living your life. I know Facebook is working on stuff like this too.

This is part of a new age we're heading into that I term "the age of context." I'm seeing so many examples of Context-based services and products that I hooked up with Forbes author Shel Israel to write a book about what we're seeing happen here. I'm putting our interviews up at

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Posted on 26 January 2013

Is Google+ dead?

It is actually pretty alive. Google Plus is a social networking platform as Facebook. There is no big difference between Google Plus and Facebook. For this reason it is difficult to get 901M active users in the first YEAR. You can't expect people joining Google Plus; until the things they do on Facebook are the same on G+ and until all their Friends are on Facebook, G+ won't get much momentum.

However that's not the point and this is what people do not understand. Google is not expecting to face a war against Facebook. Facebook is too strong, you can not fight Facebook. The only thing that you can do is to try to get every single user from the Google's ecosystem, one by one.

If you see the big picture G+ is not a product, but a mere feature that completes what Google has been trying to do in the last ten years, a real ecosystem. They are trying to keep us constantly on their main domain, because they have everything.

With this idea in mind, Google Plus is going to keep working and will never lose the fight, because in the long run they can just win over Facebook. When they will release Google Car and Google Glass, there will be ways to share on G+ (only) and people will be forced to move to Plus from the moment they walk in the Google's ecosystem.

G+ is just a little piece of what Google is. If you have a Google Account, sooner or later you will join G+. It is just a matter of time. BTW, let me say just one single thing, Facebook took eight years, Google Plus just one.
Someone could simply say that Google has more power. It is true, but it is also true that the way these products spread is low (and we are a LOT).

Don't think about G+, think about and that inoffensive black bar that there is on the top. By the way, the new recent app released on iPad is outstanding.

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Posted on 15 July 2012

Is Google+ dead?

I have a sneaky feeling that while the growth of google plus has been slower than google and everyone expected and that the fact google advertises it, is embarrassing, that it may come back to surprise people.
1) There is a huge relatively silent dismay, anger and hatred of Facebook. A latent forde that means that once google plus or any other credible alternative reaches a key level of utility and popularity, I think people would flock to join. People like the brand that is google, they feel warmth to it, they trust it, they want it to succeed- none of which could be said for facebook by ANY means.

2) It's quietly and slowly evolving to be a key glue to our online experience. Each and every day I gradually note that google plus is being weaved slowly, carefully and purposefully with the other fabrics of my online life. Its not ready yet, but there will be a point soon where people take note that their images, files, places they go, wallet, contacts, statuses, things to do, calendar, searches, likes, tickets, friends info, intentions and personal info  are suddenly aggregated and connected all in one place and  intelligently connected and shared. Suddenly it will be noteworthy that google plus is a good way to navigate and control this.
So long as its done carefully , slowly, and most importantly considerately and with no obvious evil motive behind it.

I'm not a google plus fan yet, I've mocked it somewhat but slowly it dawns on me that it's rather more of a Trojan horse than it may appear and a lot of people are laughing about what place a massive carved wooden horse has in today's society. Don't go to sleep without a careful eye on it.
( P.s- I don't think Googles original intend was for it to build this slowly, but I think they are ramping up and pulling levers to ensure it takes off)

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Posted on 14 July 2012

Did Robert Scoble ragequit Google+ or does he still see a future in it?

I have not left Google+. The service has good value for me because of its integration into its search services. The events feature is potentially very cool, but the implementation of how it inserts itself into our lives really sucks (and still does -- my events page is full of things I already deleted or turned down).

Do I still see a future in it? Absolutely. I just plunked down $1,500 to get one of those Google Glasses and I see a huge future there.

Will it ever compete with Facebook? Seems like execs are trying to run away from that kind of comparison. If I were Google I'd run toward Blogger integration and make a better interest graph thing. Unfortunately for Google Facebook's new Interest Lists are way better than Google+ Circles, so that's making that tough.

I actually wouldn't mind Events integrating into my calendar IF it let me approve things before they got onto my calendar first. Whoever didn't plan that out is totally incompetent and needs to really rethink his/her role in this industry. I'm getting tired of the "let's roll over the user" kind of attitude that seems to be happening here lately (and Facebook isn't blameless, either, its forced move to email addresses really sucked too, although the damage wasn't nearly as bad as what Google+ events did to my calendar).

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Posted on 3 July 2012

Is Twitter aware that Google+ is really an attempt to kill them, and not Facebook?

Google+ is not what the media thinks it is.  Google+ is the integration of all of the Google services so that they can interact with each other.  Google+ is a new infrastructure that allows, among other things, a consistent identity and a set of sharing concepts and a coherent user experience.  That is the point of Google+.

One of the results of that was a new page that demonstrated all of the new concepts, and people are mistaking that for the entirety of Google+.

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Posted on 19 June 2012

Why does Diaspora look exactly like Google+?

I am telling you the truth since it is more than a year that I am on Diaspora.

They look the same, for just a simple fact. Google Plus copied Diaspora from the first to the last point. Diaspora was the first social network to start thinking in "Circles".

They were the first to propose a new and interesting network in order to share what you want with the people you love.
You could probably say that the design is coincidence, but I don't believe it. Someone here has cheated on another project. Diaspora was the first to be live on the internet. In this case the math is simple and the answer is simpler.

It is true to say that many ideas that Diaspora proposed were adopted in Google Plus. However there is a single factor, which makes Google Plus a better choice. Google has more than 35k employees that are better than four young programmers.

 They just have the same basis, but they look different if you see them with all their features.

In conclusion if you want a simple answer to your question, I guess you should ask to Google Developers, who should know what innovation is, but in this case as in many other cases, they just copied another interesting product.

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Posted on 6 June 2012

Why aren't Facebook or Google+ using conversation threading on their comment platforms?

Long ago I worked on the Long Now Foundation's project Long Bets. One of the people involved was Stewart Brand, who among other things is an online community pioneer. As we were building the Long Bets discussion system, I was naturally going to include threading. Because features are good.

He argued vigorously against that. It was his view that threading mainly improved the ability to bicker endlessly. Linear discussion made that failure mode more difficult, and pushed people in the direction of saying whole things.

In the years since, I've come to agree with him. Threading generally makes for hard-to-follow discussions and point-by-point arguments. The reader experience is much better in non-threaded discussions, and you get wider participation without it.

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Posted on 26 April 2012

Will Google+ Circles suffer the same fate as Twitter Lists?

I've read the other responses here and I think they are missing out on what is making Circles really useful and different than Twitter lists. Here's a list of my own:

1. The entire service is built around them. With Twitter lists they were bolted on after the fact and never supported properly. Here the whole thing is built around adding people to circles.

2. If you want to have a private video hangout you MUST use them in Google+. There is no feature in Twitter that forces you to use lists the way features force you to use them in Google+.

3. When Google finally gives us filtering I'll bet $1,000 that they will let you filter by circle. This is something Twitter never had the guts to do.

4. Google Circles lets you control OUTBOUND while Twitter only lets you control INBOUND. That's a HUGE difference and one that is making circles a lot more fun.

Anyway, the main reason is that Google+ is built completely around circles and the UI affords using them to categorize people. Twitter's lists never got that far because management of Twitter never invested further in them, always saying no one uses them.

Oh, one other thing. Twitter limits lists to 500 members, and you can have only 20 lists on a single Twitter account. Google doesn't do such stupid limits.

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Posted on 7 August 2011

Will Google+ Circles suffer the same fate as Twitter Lists?

So I think the key comparison here isn't Google Circles just to Twitter lists, but also to Email discussion lists and Facebook Groups.  

In most all cases, I think G+ Circles/Twitter Lists/Email Lists/FB Groups are only useful if the core communications/information still starts coming through the main channel (G+ feed, Twitter timeline, Email Inbox river, FB feed/notifications) and isn't expected to be a separate place to go for content. People don't go to many separate places to check. While these can be useful filters on a stream, I think the key to usefulness is a combination of being a good way to distribute content, and a good way to receive content from a group of folks within your normal stream of content you consume.

Email Lists work. In the workplace, because there are clear structures of teams and roles, many pepole actively create distribution lists to send out emails to a specific group of folks and expect everyone on that list to get the message and be able to respond, and in many cases, to see all of the communications to/from that list archived in one place for consumption.   I think most people generally consume the messages within their regular Inbox streams, rather than just filtering or viewing messages sent to a specific distribution list.  Why this ultimately works in the workplace is because the roles/rules are fairly well defined so the lists are comprehensive, and updated either by someone else or the list owner when roles/rules change. And because the information flow is important, most people do correctly get on the right lists.

For Google Circles, I'm worried that this won't massively take off for many of the reasons Kevin Cheng listed here:   This requires an individual to set up the lists (Google+ is doing a good job kickstarting this) but it's much more nuanced - there's no specific information flow or reasons to be on one vs another unless the owner is already specifically doing this. And when nuances or roles change, it's a burden to go through and manually update this unless you have really strong information flow reasons to do so.  So I worry these will likely decay.

For Twitter Lists, I think the secret there will lie in the underlying asymmetric model of the network.  While it's not critical for everyone to have, create, or own lists, it still is really useful to have good lists that help organize people, especially at the top. For example, a list of San Francisco Giants players I can follow, or who are the best commentators on Debt Ceiling. Imagine tying this together with more topicality, and lists you can follow/unfollow and get content in your main stream, and it becomes really powerful.

What makes Facebook Groups powerful is that you don't need many people to organize the groups to still have them be organized and have good communication flow.  This is much closer to email discussion lists and I think that FB Groups will become even more and more core to Facebook's product.

Sorry for the rambling.  To specifically answer the question, I think Google Circles will need to evolve to stay useful and relevant - individuals aren't likely to keep them organized in a meaningful way.  But I think Twitter Lists will evolve separately and the best value from them is still to come!

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Posted on 7 August 2011

Will Google+ Circles suffer the same fate as Twitter Lists?

Twitter lists are used exclusively for consumption of updates, where you can see tweets from a subset of people - potentially a well-curated list. In contrast, Google+ Circles are used for both consumption and distribution, which makes them much more powerful, and useful. Instead of choosing the all private or all public approach as Twitter does, you can send specific posts to a specific subset of connections, all filtered through Circles.

Given the inherent value of sharing through Circles, and how it matches real human social behavior, I believe Circles has a higher chance of success. Google has also made the process of editing people's Circles, or the Circles themselves, easy and entertaining, less like a chore.

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Posted on 23 July 2011

Is there a way to count how many "likes", "tweets", "+1's", etc., a given URL has?

Any like button needs to be powered by a public API to quickly display the total likes count. As a result, you can use any of these same public API calls by themselves to get the count for some other purpose. Here are a few examples:


   "id": "",
   "shares": 805,
   "comments": 43



Linked In:


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Posted on 21 July 2011

Why is it not possible to edit the circles a post is shared with after the post has been created?

I'm speaking without any knowledge of the G+ backend or implementation, but it's probably a mix of intentional product decisions coupled with technical choices made when building large, high-volume distributed systems.

Product reasons:

This is partially why Facebook doesn't allow people to edit anything after it's been posted: Too many possibilities for people to have their name/likes/comments attached to content that can change after the fact. For example:

Andrew posts a status update "damn it's hot outside!"
Chris posts a comment "yea man"
Andrew changes his original status to say "Hitler had some pretty good ideas"

If this kind of behavior were allowed then it could have a chilling effect on user interaction with content on the service.

Changing the scope of who can view a message could be even worse:

Tracy posts a status update "gosh our teacher is such a jerk!", limited to just her close friends.
Albert, Belinda, and Marc all reply in agreement.
Tracy changes the post privacy to "public" (intentionally or accidentally) where it's then seen by the teacher and they all get detention on Friday after school.

Technical Reasons:

From a purely technical perspective it's preferable to isolate interactions with content to just ADD and DELETE, instead of also supporting the more complex EDIT operation.

It's less expensive to issue a DELETE then ADD when a typo/mistake is made. The alternative is isolating the content to change, acquiring a lock, performing an atomic write, invalidating any caches, and then repopulating the cache. This is even harder when you're working at the scale of messages passing through Facebook/Google's backend systems every second of every day.

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Posted on 6 July 2011

Why did Google choose red for the color of the "main action button" in the latest redesign across all Google products?

Well, did they? How do you define “main action button”? I see four different button classes in Google's recently redesigned services:

1. The gray default button:

It is also used for navigation here and there:

2. The blue button, which is used where a gray button wouldn’t be prominent enough, e.g. for submitting forms, and especially for search purposes, when the user retrieves information:

(By the way, this is similar to Facebook’s approach:

While I totally like Facebook’s buttons, I think they have one little flaw: The gray button, with its gradient, looks more like “Click me!” than the blue button. I click “Cancel” quite often when I actually mean “OK.”)

3. The red button is primarily for creating something new, e.g. composing a mail or creating an event in Calendar:

In Google Books, it is used for purchasing eBooks and also – for the sake of consistency with the “Get it now” button, I guess – for normal book previews:

4. Last but not least, the green button indicates some sort of social communication:

On Google+ profiles, it shows that the person is in your circles (otherwise, a red “Add to circles” button is present):

This appears to be an attempt to make the interfaces more intuitively usable by letting users know (well, feel) what a button does before they even read the label. The new Google design carefully leverages color as a powerful tool for guiding the user’s eyes. Another example: Consider the optimized link colors on the search result pages:

It is easy now to tell apart the search tools (gray: link; red: selected item) and links to the search results (blue or purple), while the last design used blue links also for the search tools:

The search tools were more distracting when you were just scanning the results, and a vertical seperator was neccessary – that was one more graphical element for our visual system to parse.

User interface design is much about making people think less about the tool so they can focus on the stuff they are actually interested in.

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Posted on 4 July 2011

What are extended circles?

"Extended Circles" is similar to friends-of-friends, though it's slightly different since connections in Google+ can be asymmetric.

From the help center:

Content shared with your extended circles could appear in the Incoming stream of people who are one degree removed from you with certain conditions--namely that we’ll only include people whose association with people you know is already visible to you.


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Posted on 29 June 2011

Will Google+ overtake Facebook as the dominant social network?

Google+ should overtake Facebook because Chrome + Android provide user experience opportunities unavailable to Facebook.

Myspace was once the top dog. Terry Peng nicely summarizes the scope of this discussion. Circles, clearer privacy statements, brand equity all matter but are not enough to draft enough people to move away from Facebook. Sure Google can try to conscript people away, but that will probably fail. Google+ should learn from the Myspace case study. Myspace lost to Facebook for a variety of reasons, but the core element to Facebook's victory was that Facebook was so much more pleasant to use. The design and UX of Facebook was more persuasive to the American public. Same with OSX compared to Windows Vista/7.

Look and feel win over mass audiences. Design and user experience will determine if Google+ overtakes Facebook. As Peter O'Kelly points out, hiring Apple's Andy Hertzfeld to design Google+ is a big deal. Wave was not designed for a college student to take out of the box and run with it. As Steven Levy discusses, the features of Google+ are being slowly rolled out to not intimidate new users.

Chrome + Android matter. No offense to Rockmelt -- a product I use and enjoy -- but I would place my bets on Chrome to be the dominant browser. With Chrome for laptops/desktops/netbooks and Android for mobile, Google can integrate Google+ into the design of the browser instead of providing social plugins for websites.

Question: Name me a website that persuasively integrates Facebook?

Here are the two most popular examples of Facebook's social plugins:


Neither one of these is particularly elegant or useful. The social plugin for Wired is little more than an actual Facebook and Endgadget's is Facebook's version of a tailored most e-mailed box.

Look at how Google+ is already built into Google's search results. This type of design will change my behavior. For example, Chrome ruined Firefox for me because I don't want separate boxes for  URLs and search. Simplifying the browser will organically promote Google+. Having a mobile foothold only strengthens Google's position.

Unlike building a social network from scratch, Google has Gmail and Gchat. Most of my friends and contacts are already on the Google network. Transition is easier than many people think.

That said, does Facebook now try to utilize Microsoft and Bing as counter-weights?

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Posted on 29 June 2011

Does Google+ make you automatically friend (or discover) everyone in your address book?

You will not automatically have contacts placed into Circles, and whether a person is in your address book is private to you.

Your relevant contacts will show up in the "Find and Invite" tab to help you discover people you might want to add to circles, but they are unconnected to your account otherwise.

People will know that you have them in some Circle, but not which specific Circle(s) that they are in.

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Posted on 28 June 2011

Should Google really focus on social and why? Should they use a different brand to do that?

Google needs to stop focusing on social, and in particular stop trying to destroy Facebook.

I've recently been talking to some Google and ex-Google engineers, and have crystallized my thoughts on this topic.  Here is a long and rambling answer on why.

Although Google could benefit from being more social-literate in its products, that is a long way from their current goals of contorting themselves with the goal of gaining advantage over Facebook.  I've come to believe that this striving is due more to memetic desire (wanting what others want just because others want it) rather than true competitive threat.  Google disdained Facebook and social networking when it was small, but now that it's big, it's suddenly important.  All that is is the nightclub effect

Indeed, Google itself was once the victor in its own history against Microsoft, whom they witnessed spending billions crashing itself upon the rocks of the various 1.0 internet startups, exemplified by Google's search empire, only to suffer defeat after humiliating defeat, only now barely staying in the game by buying up Yahoo's defunct search business but still a relative bit player when it comes to consumer internet products.

Microsoft's mistake, which Google itself surely recognized, is that they continued to try and stubbornly shoehorn everything into a Windows- and Microsoft-centric model while attempting to tackle a market far outside their core competence just because someone else there was doing well.  Yet, Google is now trying to do exactly the same thing.  Small startups naturally know that you don't go up against an industry leader; instead, you try and do something new.  The same strategy is just as valid for large companies, except for some reason they don't think that way - another rival large company in a different line of work (here, it's social vs search) is viewed as a competitor that must be displaced or supplanted, rather than accommodated with a complementary market model, i.e. by building products that benefit from the success of the "rival," rather than attempting to attack it.  Startups do this all time, large companies almost never.

I attribute this to the fact that young companies are driven by entrepreneurial types, who are prone to carving their own path rather than attempting to follow in the market footsteps of others.  Even companies which are helmed by their founders become subject to this, due to the growing weight of executives and middle managers who join from other large companies.  The chorus of voices within the company begins to shift from one of entrepreneur self-guidedness to one of conservative big-business industry-following.  And what does an industry follow?  Why, the industry leader, of course.  They are blind to other possibilities.

In fact, it seems that it requires no less than an incredibly dictatorial founder-leader to keep a large company on the path of "doing new things your own way" - i.e. Steve Jobs.  Even Bill Gates, considered a very strong CEO, was not enough to keep Microsoft from eventually attempting to beat Google by following it.  It's not about beating the other guy, it's about being successful on your own terms.

Google should be playing to its strengths, not attempting to compete in the area where it is arguably the weakest.  Some examples, one good and one bad:

  • Until recently, its disruptive move into the smartphone OS market was and continues be shaping up to be a massive success.  Sure, there is the collision with iPhone, but every single Android phone is still far superior to anything we could buy 5 years ago.  Vic Gundotra did a great job here.  Android was a great example of Google using its strengths of technology, business development, and scale to move an entire industry.
  • Amazon's EC2, S3, and related services are an amazing success, powering almost the entirety of a new generation of web-based startups.  There is no reason why Google should not have owned this market.  Even today, if they poured the resources and attention that they're putting into social into this market, they could probably take it back from Amazon.  Instead, Google App Engine continues to languish.  If they won this market (or were even a major player in it), they would be powering the entire next generation of internet startups.  Talk about winning at a meta-game that Facebook can't possibly touch.

The very problem with Microsoft competing against Google is that they didn't recognize their true strength, which is that they had a stable of world-class engineers who could go build anything.  So why force them to build search or internet portals?  Microsoft was smart enough to let at least one promising executive create the XBox project, which today is one of the few landscape-defining new Microsoft product lines to have taken shape since Microsoft achieved its OS/Office market position, having astoundingly gained advantage over even the PS3 and Wii.

Google is in the same position.  In 2008 they killed off a great flowering of Google products to hunker down for the recession.  Fine, that was necessary, but why aren't they now unleashing their world-class engineers to develop and discover new products and business lines, rather than forcing them to march to the beat of trying to take down Facebook?  Google has massive data centers all over the world, unmatched internal infrastructure, and advanced toolsets that are generations ahead of what is available commercially.  Is using that to create a Facebook-killer really the best use of all those people and all that technology?

Lastly, a question for Google itself: exactly what ultimate success state are you after?  What if you win - what if you gain complete and total victory, the way Microsoft did versus Netscape?  Do you really want to stand over Facebook's corpse, having destroyed a product and community of over 500 million users worldwide?  Are you going to tell yourself that you've done the world a favor because now they're all using some sort of ur-Orkut?  Or will that have been a whole lot of wasted time and energy that you could have spent building something truly new and useful for the rest of the world?

Google's current mission to overthrow or block Facebook is borne out of ego and fear, and transparently does nothing to advance its mission of organizing the world's information, nor its meta-Silicon-Valley mission of changing the world by advancing the state of technology.

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Posted on 21 August 2010

Why is it taking Google so long to develop/launch Google Me?

They only started a few months ago. 6 months is probably the minimum amount of time it would take any team to develop something with features competitive with Facebook. Also, there are a lot of people working on it, who need to be organized, managed, and coordinated.

Why did it take them so long to get started, though? My guess is that this is how long it took for them to realize that Buzz wasn't going to work, plus some time given to how long it took them to decide that this (making something like Facebook) was the right next step.

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Posted on 3 July 2010 search results

TIL Google Plus is amazing at creating Porn montages. [NSFW]

So I was without a computer for a while, which naturally led to the kind of content I usually use my laptop to consume ending up on the phone's storage... Among comic books, TV shows, and movies I ended up having two porn torrents on my N5.

Later on I'm browsing through my auto backup on Google Plus and I notice an unfamiliar face in the "Auto Awesome" section. You know, the one where Google does stuff like collages, animated gifs from progress pictures, etc.

Well, it turned out Google cut the two scenes into a very nice preview, just over a minute long! Not only that, it added some very fitting music and showed what I think were all positions in both scenes. It really looked better than many porn trailers.

Without further ado, the masterpiece!

submitted by teeso to Android
[link] [84 comments]

Posted on 1 June 2014

On Google Plus

In the light of recent events involving Vic Gundotra and his leaving of Google, I've read so many hateful things here on Reddit and on the internet in general, so I just wanted to share my own experiences with the social network that are very contrary to popular beliefs.

-Google Plus the ghost-town

That's really the primary argument I always hear from most people. "But none of my friends or family are on Google Plus" "No one I know uses Google Plus" "Why should I use Google Plus when everyone I know is only on Facebook?"

To those people I want to say: Did it ever occur to your that you can maybe use a platform with interesting posts and people, even if none of your friends are on it and everyone is a stranger? Well look around, you're doing it right now! I didn't exist in your world before this post! Tell me, exactly how many of your friends and family use Reddit? Probably not that much right? Yet you spend hours here and discover new and funny things every day, right? And there are also many Subreddits targeted directly at your particular interests, full of relevant content and people that you interact with daily, even in this very moment. Now think about this for a second: Google Plus has more than twice as many active users as Reddit.

-The Userbase

From my PoV "But all my friends are on Facebook" is an argument for Google Plus, rather than against it.

Tell me, when exactly was the last time you saw a rational, respectful discussion without insults on Facebook? It's probably been a while, right? Maybe never? I've had some of the most engaging, rational, respectful and grammatically correct conversions and discussions with some of the brightest and nicest people I've ever met in this "ghost town". Certainly not something I can claim to have experienced on Facebook.

If you log in to Google Plus, like 3 pages and then leave after 10 minutes, you're really not in a position to claim that this Platform is a ghost Town.

Your argument should end right where you say "I don't know much about the topic" and this doesn't only apply in this discussion.

My 2 cents, I'd like to hear your thoughts Reddit!

submitted by HeavyHDx to google
[link] [129 comments]

Posted on 25 April 2014

Let's Play - Google Plus - #1 : Dump your links here.

Since we've all been strong armed into making G+ accounts, why don't we make it a little easier to hit the ground running and start dumping our G+ channel links in this thread? I figure this way we can see who has their profile page set-up instead of all guessing and trying to find each other.

Commence networking!


For everyone having trouble getting their "correct" profile to be set to default, imunfair figured out a work around. Once you do this, g+ becomes a lot easier to work with.

submitted by BirdCatcherGames to letsplay
[link] [179 comments]

Posted on 7 November 2013

Something's up: 11 Google apps are awaiting updates on the Play Store

Current count: now 17 app updates (Oct 30, 4:25PM EDT)

It happened in the last hour. All of the apps below are currently showing Oct 29, 2013 as the most recent update; but there's no changelog and no roll out yet. If you include Google+ (which had its own press event), that's 12 apps 16 apps that will be updated at some point this week.

Could tomorrow be N5/Kit Kat day? Or is it just bug fixes as part of 'update Wednesday'?


Which camp are you in?

Believers | Non-Believers | Close to mad

EDIT: Blogger too. So 13.

EDIT2: Pure speculation here; multiple updates usually happen close to the end of a quarter, not in the middle of it (Q3 ended Sept and we're only a month into Q4 - why would 13 product teams release updates on the same night? and Wallet of all products? and finally, considering Sundar Pichai didn't appear at the Google+ event yesterday, why did Vic Gundotra tag him earlier this week after all? I think Vic's big day was yesterday. Sundar's will be tomorrow.)

EDIT3: Kinda huge one... Google Play Services now showing Oct 28 (but hasn't rolled out to anyone either). So 14 apps total.

EDIT4: Less huge, Analytics and Fiber app also surfacing with Oct 28.

EDIT5: Someone reminded me that Snapseed was also updated Oct 29.

submitted by JLishere to Android
[link] [541 comments]

Posted on 29 October 2013

Dear Reddit, I just made my first Reddit Android app, inspired by the Google Plus cards UI and Holo design, it is called Reddit Illustrated.

Hi friends, I am an indie developer working alone on Android apps. I wanted a Reddit app that puts the full preview of photos in the main timeline itself so that I don't have to open each picture and then come back to the main screen. Since most Reddit apps I tried followed the "inbox style" list model, I set out to create that app on my own. I wanted the app to be based on the latest version of Android design guidelines, with cards UI, navigation drawer and all. And 4 weeks later here I am with Reddit Illustrated.

Google Play Store link

The app puts the big colorful images right in the middle of your timeline and you can keep on scrolling without reaching the end. It works best on photo-centric subreddits like pics, funny, wallpaper etc (screenshot) but even on subredits like worldnews or Android where the posts are more likely to be stories from sites like or, the app attempts to extract the most relevant image from the page and displays it (screenshot). There is also an internal web browser based on Readability (which you can turn off) that displays links in a mobile formatted UI.

You can use the app without a account but if you login, you can vote, comment and access your personalised front page and subscribed subreddits as well. You can also add subreddits locally into the Favorites section if you just need it in your phone/tablet alone instead of subscribing.

  • Clean user interface based on the cards UI of Google Plus app
  • Scales beautifully on phones as well as 7" tablets like Nexus 7
  • Vote or comment on stories as well as individual comments
  • Access to your personalised front page and subscribed subreddits
  • Sorting option for stories and comments
  • Threaded comments with color coding to indicate their hierarchy
  • Maintain a list of your favorite subreddits
  • Simply long press on any image to download
  • Set the downloaded image as wallpaper from notification bar (screenshot)
  • Share your favorite stories to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and more
  • Downloads thumbnails (instead of full size images) for preview from,, and
  • Generates thumbnails for Youtube videos and links
  • Hide NSFW photos completely or turn off their previews alone
  • Integrated internal web browser that displays links in a mobile-friendly format
  • Automatic image cache deletion in every 2 days (can be changed in settings)

The app is free and will work on all devices with Android 2.2 and above (although on an Android 4.0+ device it will feel much better due to hardware acceleration and large memory heap available). A $1.99 in-app purchase will remove the ads and your support will help me continue the development.

I tested the app on my Galaxy Note and a friend's S2 and it worked great. I hope it works well on your devices as well. Please give it a try and do let me know your thoughts. Thank you.

Google Play Store link

submitted by naveenjn to Android
[link] [184 comments]

Posted on 22 May 2013

Google is lying. Reader still has MILLIONS of active users. Stats inside.

If you click the detail view of a Reader feed, it will show you the current number of subscribers. You can also see subscriber counts in the Recommended list, or on a feed search.

The number of subscribers is staggering even for sites I'd never heard of, larger than some countries:

Engadget: 6,604,967

CNET News: 1,663,104

The Big Picture: 761,743

Ars Technica: 28,350

The Onion: 499,915

Order of the Stick: 34,497 686,512

xkcd: 324,329

Cyanide & Happiness: 108,458

Lifehacker: 55,627

Cool Tools: 201,264

Penny Arcade: 183,586

I thought maybe it was a legacy thing, like these sites racked up tens or hundreds of thousands of subscribers years ago when Reader was popular but the service now has far fewer active users. And yet:

The Verge (launched November 2011): 102,756

xkcd's What If? (launched July 2012): 71,811

Also, Buzzfeed recently published statistics showing that Google Reader delivers orders of magnitude more traffic than Google Plus -- between 10 and 25 million hits per month. That's a significant fraction of Facebook's total traffic the same time period (10-35%).

Judging from these stats, Google Reader is not stagnant or neglected. Reader has millions of active users. And Google is fucking all of them over, hard.

EDIT: According to blog Google Operating System:

  • most popular feed (CNN) has more than 24 million subscribers

  • Google's official feed has more than tripled its subscription base since 2007

  • 87% of GOS readers come from Google Reader

  • According to Google Trends, search interest in Google Reader climbed steadily throughout 2008, 2009, 2010 and plateaued in 2011, seeing only a slight decline (plateauing at 2009 levels) only after they fucked up its social sharing systems.

submitted by Jordan117 to google
[link] [166 comments]

Posted on 14 March 2013

We are the Google Site Reliability team. We make Google’s websites work. Ask us Anything!

Hello, reddit!

We are the Google Site Reliability (SRE) team. We’re responsible for the 24x7 operation of, as well as the technical infrastructure behind many other Google products such as GMail, Maps, G+ and other stuff you know and love. We’ve been traditionally invisible and behind-the-scenes but we thought we’d drop on here and answer any questions about what we do, what stuff we come up against, and what it’s like to be an SRE.

Other interesting things to give you an idea of what we do:

Blog post about the Leap Second written by Chris Pascoe from SRE give an ides of the kind of hairy problems we come up against.

Steven Levy wrote a Wired Article about inside our datacenters, and managed to make us sound like some sort of amazing justice team.

Kripa (who’s one of our participants today!) also writes about DiRT for ACM Queue.

We’ll be here from 12pm to 2pm PST to answer your questions, when we'll have info on our participants.

Proof (official Google accounts) :

EDIT 11:50PST: We're just getting set up here to answer your questions. We are:

Kripa Krishnan (/u/kripakrishnan), SRE Technical Program Manager and DiRT mastermind from our Mountain View HQ. Kripa works on infrastructure efforts in Google Apps.

Cody Smith (/u/clusteroops), long-time senior SRE from Mountain View. Cody works on Search and Infrastructure.

Dave O’Connor (/u/sre_pointyhair), Site Reliability Manager from our Dublin, Ireland office. Dave manages the Storage SRE team in Dublin that runs Bigtable, Colossus, Spanner, and other storage tech our products are built on.

John Collins (/u/jrc-sre), SRE Ombudsman, advocate and general force for good, from Mountain View.

EDIT 13:56PST: OK folks, we're all done. Thanks for the questions, hope our answers were satisfactory. May the queries flow and the pagers be silent.

*EDIT Jan 30: Corrected the spelling of @stevenlevy's name. Whoops-a-daisy. *

submitted by sre_pointyhair to IAmA
[link] [1435 comments]

Posted on 24 January 2013

How I imagine Google Now in the future (10 mockups)

According to The Verge, Google has a pipeline of cards ("possibly hundreds") planned for Google Now.

I made 10 mockups of cards I wouldn't mind using.

View on imgur:

Any ideas of cards you would especially like to see in the future?

submitted by JLishere to Android
[link] [319 comments]

Posted on 10 December 2012

Reddit Sync has been removed from Google Play

Just woke up to an email from Google Play informing me that the free version of Reddit Sync has been banned without warning for the following reasons:

REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy.

I've checked the content policy and am at a complete loss as to why it has been pulled. If it's just for having the word Reddit in the title I'd be surprised. All images and assets in the app follow their respective licenses so I doubt it's that either.

The app was even previously reviewed by some guys at Google who didn't seem to think it was deceptive...

I have no idea what to do, I have been working on this app for just under a year and it has been a complete labour of love. Would appreciate any suggestions, thanks.


EDIT: I've cross posted this to Google Plus, hopefully this should gain a little awareness:

EDIT 2: I've also emailed Reddit directly however no DMCA notice was included in Googles email

EDIT 3: Reto Meier has got in touch through Google Plus and is looking into it

EDIT 4: Ionatana Davis from Google has also got in touch via Google Plus and is looking into it

EDIT 5: The guys from Google seem to have backed off, now waiting for the appeal team to get in touch. 26 hours and counting...

submitted by ljdawson to Android
[link] [480 comments]

Posted on 27 August 2012

Google+ news (google plus news)

Your leading source of google+ news, updates, releases, tips and tricks, how-to's and help for the google plus community [link]

Posted on 3 June 2012

reddit is fun banned for "sexually explicit material"

Wow. I wasn't expecting this. I got 2 emails from the Google Play Store telling me my apps, reddit is fun lite and pro, have been banned for sexually explicit material.

I'm not sure how to go about appealing this. After all it's true that reddit content includes NSFW content. Not sure exactly why my app was singled out and the other reddit apps weren't, though.

Any thoughts? Should I even bother appealing? As always I appreciate your input, /r/android. Thanks.

EDIT: I posted on Google Plus: maybe it would help to gain awareness through that avenue? Thanks for all your support, guys.

EDIT2: Dave Nicponski, a Google employee, commented on that Google Plus thread, saying the right people at Google are going to contact me about what actually triggered the issue:

+Andrew Shu So i've spoken with the appropriate people here @ google. There seems to be some (very large) confusion about what actually happened. Expect to hear back shortly.

To the masses decrying "censorship! Oh noes!" That's not what happened here at all. Hopefully Andrew will be able to confirm this shortly. It really is a very tiny thing that seems to have caused this. Just be patient.

Still awaiting their response...

EDIT3: I thought it was funny that the situation is somehow getting coverage in China:

EDIT4: The Google Play appeals team have responded to my appeal. They asked me for more clarification on a few points all surrounding the inclusion of NSFW reddits in the default list. So that, as many of you already guessed, is what concerns them about the app. I replied already and will update when I hear back a second time.

EDIT5: Thank you everyone for your support! Google is giving me a chance to reinstate the app, provided I fix the Content Policy issues. The primary issue is the linking to sexually explicit reddits and potentially other policy-violating reddits like any condoning hate speech, gratuitous violence, etc.

submitted by talklittle to Android
[link] [874 comments]

Posted on 19 March 2012

How I got on Google Plus (No witchcraft, just a little help from some code)

A redditor shared a link (not an invite as those are closed) and using that link to I refreshed every 5 seconds for 20 hours. To make that easy, I used a handy Chrome Extension to stay up all night and do all the refreshing for me. Download Extension - Went to bed & woke up w/ access to Google Plus. EDIT: I was logged in to my gmail account at the time. EDIT 2: Wow, front page! Glad to have been helpful. Thanks folks!

submitted by Depression-Unlocked to googleplus
[link] [50 comments]

Posted on 7 July 2011

[IAmA] We are a few engineers and Product Managers on the Google Images team. Shoot us a question!

UPDATE (1:17pm): This IAMA has officially ended, so you'll notice our responses start to trickle off. Please visit our forum to continue this discussion!

Hello redditors,

We're really pumped to be here to talk to you all about Google Images. As you may know, we've recently announced some pretty cool features to Google Images like Search By Image, Sort by subject, Images with Instant, and we’re working on a new interface optimized for tablets like the Xoom and iPad. Got questions or suggestions about these things and more? Great! Ask us anything.

Joining you live from the Googleplex in Mountain View are...

Nathan Beach (highcadence), Product Manager

Peter Linsley (BeardP), Product Manager

Myron Flickner, Product Manager

Chuck Rosenberg (pillansii), Software Engineer

Andrew Munn (import_this), Associate Product Manager

Ken Dauber (lazystroll), Software Engineer

Jeff Laflam (imagesguy), Consumer Experience Specialist

Check out our picture!

We’ll be here until 1:15PM PST to answer your questions.

Please join our Community Manager Kelly Fee (kellyfee) in our forum to talk to other Google Images users!

submitted by kellyfee to IAmA
[link] [1147 comments]

Posted on 7 July 2011

Google Plus invite thread

Figured I'd start this one up again since I got my invite through this thread a week ago (and wasn't able to activate it until an hour ago).

Post your email, get an invite, remove your email from the post (so other know not to invite you) and invite others. Repeat.

Faster we invite people, better shot it has of competing with Facebook.

EDIT: Seems like they closed out the invites again. I had the same thing when I got invited last week and had to check back every so often and wait for them to open up. Once they do open up, all you gotta do is go to and it should allow you to sign in. Nothing more I can do from this point on. If you got an invite, try to invite more people when it does open up. If you're still waiting, keep checking back. I'll try to open another thread like this when I notice that it's open again.

EDIT 2: Seems it might be back up now?!?! Either way, if you ever get an invite but get stopped for a "keep me posted" button, simply keep checking back later, it might take a week or more though (mine took a week).

EDIT 3: I'm off to bed for tonight. Seems there are a few people that are inviting others, consistently faster than I do it too. If they miss you by any chance, message me and I'll mass invite people tomorrow when I get a chance.

EDIT 4: Back from work. Invited everyone who didn't have an invite since I went to sleep yesterday. I'm done for now guys, my fingers hurt from inviting right now. Might be back at this a bit tonight again.

submitted by ItzRabbs to google
[link] [692 comments]

Posted on 6 July 2011

Hey ladies- do any of you want a google plus invite?

Pm me your email address.

EDIT: Apparently it can take upto 3 hours for you to get the invite. I didn't get mine in my inbox but after I was invited, I just went to and got to login with my gmail account. You can try that. If you get the we're temporarily at our limit message, you can try refreshing the page until it works. I'm adding you all to a circle (and its the only way I know) so if you know a more efficient method of inviting people, please let me know!

EDIT2: It might be easier if you logged into your gmail (for those of you who sent me your gmail addresses) and then went to

EDIT3: Its 5.25PM CST and I sent out ~60 invites. Let me know if you don't get them. I'm going out now ...I'll get back to these again later tonight:)

EDIT4: I'm so sorry for the lack of updates. So I sent out a bunch but I'm not sure if they're going through - a bunch of people messaged me saying they didn't get it..but I saw a bunch who got on. I'm not doing any more invites but thanks so much to the redditor(s?) who sent me reddit gold - it was so ridiculously sweet and thank you soo really didn't have to! i got my invite from a redditor so just wanted to give some back to my favorite subreddit! <3

submitted by bluegreensunrise to TwoXChromosomes
[link] [103 comments]

Posted on 3 July 2011