Once again the muse lives elsewhere, but a comment thread on Facebook deserves a better discourse than that limited media can sustain.
This morning, most of the world woke up to find massive changes in the User Interface of Facebook – many of which were “inspired” by Google+. Venting, fist-shaking, etc. ensued. Meanwhile, Google took the opportunity to take the wraps off a bit, and open Google+ to everyone. It’s still classed as “beta” but now anyone can join.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m in the early adopter camp. Stuff comes swinging by, I take a look, sometimes getting just a tippy-toe wet, other times jumping for full immersion. Thus I’ve been using G+ for about three months. Color me a bit skeptical at this juncture.
It’s not a replacement for Facebook.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t put too much stock in Twitter or LinkedIn – they are the most threatened by this development… especially LinkedIn. It might be why LI put its IPO back on the shelf. They may have waited a bit too long.
I don’t think we’ve found the “winner” in the social space as yet – I think FB and G+ represent the peak of an era which is about to end. They backed the wrong technology.
Google especially reminds me of Samuel Pierpoint Langley in the 1890s. He was head of the Smithsonian Institution, a learned man, with all the establishment of the day backing his experiments in heavier-than-air flight. His devices flapped their wings.
As we know, two bicycle mechanics from Ohio came up with the proper answer, and while it involved wings, it was the profile of the wing, not the flapping, which was critical.
I think there are the equivalents of the Wright brothers out there, toiling along in a garage somewhere, about to launch the new social media upon us — and they will center around the phone. It’s this last which Facebook and Google have so neglected.