Search results Google +1 Atlanta restaurant Rosebud

Why Google +1 Can Suck and Still Be Good

I recorded a few thoughts on Google entering social; Google +1 (released 3/30/11) taking on the Facebook Like button; healthy competition:

Google +1 Button vs Facebook Like – 4/17/11 Emily Binder

Note 9/5/12: Audio player is broken. I will fix it soon.
“Assuming people use it, the social data is very likely to be the key ingredient to the future of Google Search. For now, you can enable +1 here.”MG Siegler for Techcrunch

With +1 turned on, here’s how search results for “rosebud atlanta” appear to me (the blue +1 button indicates I’ve clicked it. Otherwise it would be transparent): Search results Google +1 Atlanta restaurant Rosebud

Furthermore, intuitively, experiencing online content through one’s Google account makes so much more sense than through Facebook. How can you even get by without a Google account? Google Search, YouTube, Chrome, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Voice, Google Reader, etc. Facebook just lets you share your activity with your network or play Farmville. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

Facebook Like share button mashable.comPlus, who wants their every move to be associated with their Facebook profile? This growing trend (e.g., blogs adding the Facebook comments feature) is worrisome. For one, requiring a Google account to do X is something that currently is less offensive to the anti-Facebook folks (anti- with good reasons). Google should incorporate into their business plan seeking the “sign in with ___” route. Obviously they will need to ideate their proposed social network with the most comprehensive market research and testing before launch to compete with Facebook. Start simple.

mouse_eating_cookies_emilybinderIf the Google +1 button (a la the Facebook Like button) just popped itself into my Digg Digg plugin, that would suffice. Update 7/1/11: +1 is in Digg Digg. Please click it (floating sidebar to your left.) We just want some healthy competition so we don’t feel obligated or threatened by one dominant brand (i.e. Facebook). It almost doesn’t matter if Google +1 ever rivals Like: that’s not the point. (Although it is likely that +1 will be a massive project and hopeful way to inform future social search.) Facebook creeping into everything I consume on the Web has made me uncomfortable for awhile. If you give a mouse a cookie… you will eventually not think twice about having to log in through Facebook to view, comment, and share most online content. Please: Always think twice.

3 thoughts on “Why Google +1 Can Suck and Still Be Good”

  1. While Facebook is busy building content with user submitted photos, statuses & likes, it is still a small ecosystem in comparison to what Google indexes continually. The disconnection in the Google-sphere is the real problem… a serious lack of cohesion within products. I’d be surprised if the average Gmail-Tuber knew anything of Google Labs or other endeavors. I have hope for +1, but hope it will be more than a digg button.

    This is a good continuation of the commenting from The Street: ( a few days ago.
    As stated, the “sign in with____” strategy is the grounds on which the social media front will take place. The free cheese is a no cost platform to share photos, connect with friends and life-stream.
    However (and I hope I am wrong) the landing site is just a P.O. Box for the Wizard behind the curtain. Individual Authentication sounds so Orwellian & demanding… where as ‘Sign in with____’ is so Zuckerberg & optional …for now. /rant

    1. Great point: Facebook’s ecosystem is content-rich, while Google’s is
      data-rich. I think the internet would be a better place with an improved UX
      if these two complementary ecosystems could work together more. I don’t care
      if Zuckerberg tweaks the language of “individual authentication” because to
      me, it already seems a bit Orwellian in nature with the euphemistic “sign in
      with.” We’re already sliding down the slippery slope of giving away our
      personal information, opinions, data, and life stories. That was my point
      about needing a competitor like +1 when the Like button, which was once
      questioned, is now almost mindlessly clicked (myself included sometimes).
      Skepticism is healthy…

      That’s a shame if you’re right about most Gmail-Tubers not knowing about
      Labs. It’s obviously a tab in the settings you see daily when signed in. I
      guess some people are under internet rocks – those who only visit and and TMZ. Granted, I pay little attention to
      celebrity gossip, politics, and current events that aren’t related to
      technology. I don’t have time. Is that why I know about Google Labs? Well,
      I’d rather know about Google Labs than depressing stories of injustice, war,
      and our dying planet which come and go but never go away. Staying abreast of
      the Labs-esque current events is just so much more effectual. /sidebar

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