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  • Gerrit Eicker 12:17 on 9. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Branding, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus Direct Connect 

    Merging social and search: Google Plus Direct Connect might change Google fundamentally; http://eicker.at/GoogleDirectConnect

    (More …)

    • Gerrit Eicker 12:18 on 9. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Google+ Direct Connect lets you quickly navigate to a Google+ page (and even add that page to your circles) when using Google Search. For example, if you searched for the query ‘+youtube’ or ‘+pepsi,’ you could be immediately taken to the YouTube Google+ page, or the Pepsi Google+ page, and given the option to add the page to your circles. … When searching for a major brand, company, or cultural entity, try placing a ‘+’ in front of your query. When you use the ‘+’ operator before your search query, it lets us know that you want to find a Google+ page. … A page’s eligibility for Google+ Direct Connect is determined algorithmically, based on certain signals we use to help understand your page’s relevancy and popularity. In addition to this analysis, we look for a link between your Google+ page and your website. To help Google associate this content, be sure to connect your Google+ page and your website using the Google+ badge, or by adding a snippet of code to your site, in addition to adding your website link to your page.”

      SEL: “Postscript From Danny Sullivan: Direct Connect seems yet another clever bribe where Google is leveraging everything it can to win support for Google Plus. … Google’s made changes over the years that help big brands see far less negative references to themselves in search results than in the past, mainly by allowing more than one page from a site to help ‘push’ other content ‘down.’ But that’s not foolproof, especially when negative news is happening. – Consider the searches for Toyota that were bringing up negative news stories during the safety recalls of last year. If Toyota is pushing that people to find them by searching for +Toyota, they would see none of that on Google. – Interestingly, Bing offered a similar solution that didn’t depend on having to take part in a social network. Bing’s ‘Best Match’ results showed only one site when there was great confidence in the query. But Bing quietly dropped this feature since it launched, a sign that consumers didn’t like it.”

      Wired: “But more importantly, Google integrates Plus into its web-dominating search engine. With Google+ Direct Connect, searchers can insert a ‘+’ before their query and jump directly to a business’s Google+ page. Type ‘+YouTube’ into a Google search box, for instance, and Google will take you straight to YouTube’s Plus page. – This is where Google will have an advantage over Facebook: With a broad array of services like search and Gmail and Chrome and Android, Google offers tools that are fundamental to the online lives of so many people – and these can be tied to Google+. As Google+ evolves, Google will have the means to promote its social network – and the branded Pages within it – in ways that Facebook or Twitter cannot.

      ZDNet: “But with Google shortcut called Direct Connect, all I have to do is type a ‘+’ in front of the company name – such as ‘+Amazon’ – and the Google+ Page comes up. Better yet, just by typing ‘+A’ into the search box, I get a listing of Google+ Pages for Amazon, ATundT, Angry Birds and ABC News. And surely, there will soon be more in that list. – In that sense, a Google+ Page becomes a must-have for any company looking to establish a presence on the Internet, just as a Web site itself was the must-have a decade ago and Twitter and Facebooks accounts have been in recent years. The difference is that Facebook and Twitter have largely been closed-wall gardens, a members-only type of environment.You see, this is no longer just about ‘social.’ This is the face of the new interactive Internet, a one-up over the traditional Web site. These Google+ pages are powered by search, share and followers. This isn’t a static place where companies host their corporate blogs or post their news releases. This is a dynamic environment where companies host live video ‘hangout’ sessions and engage in discussions with their followers.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:28 on 18. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Brand-oriented, Branding, , , Chime.in, , , , , , , , , , , , , Interest Network, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   


    UberMedia starts its own social network: Chime.in, a Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Facebook clone; http://eicker.at/Chimein

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:28 on 18. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      VB: UberMedia CEO Bill Gross isn’t dodging the fact that his latest app, Chime.in, is a patchwork of other successful apps. – ‘It’s an amalgam of blogging and Reddit and Facebook – there’s aspects of each in there,‘ he told VentureBeat in a phone interview last week. – ‘We’re definitely borrowing those good ideas. But this is a deeper dive into their interests and intelligent conversations around [users’] passions.‘ – The Chime.in site will launch tomorrow, but the app is available now in the iTunes App Store. – As Gross mentioned, it has a lot in common with other social media tools. It gives users and brand-oriented publishers a public, online forum for sharing text and picture updates, just like Twitter. You can also share videos and polls, just like on Facebook.

      TC: “A tipster informs us that UberMedia, the company behind social networking apps like Echofon and UberSocial / Twidroyd, has unintentionally pushed its new iPhone application onto the App Store… This is plausible, because the Chime.in website isn’t accessible yet at the time of writing, although the support pages appear to be live already. – So is Chime.in the oft-rumored challenger to Twitter, which UberMedia has had run-ins with in the past? UberMedia has always denied that it had plans to launch a competing social network, so it’s a question worth asking. And the answer is no, not really. – Chime.in is described on the support pages as an online and mobile network organized around interests, or an ‘interest network’ to keep it brief. Still according to the support pages, Chime.in was ‘was created for people who are active in social media and looking for a way to engage in conversations and more deeply interact with content related to their interests’. … ‘All other social networks are all about connecting with people. Chime.in is about connecting with interests and people – it’s an interest network. It lets you tailor the content you see and search for to the topics you care about, so you aren’t bogged down sorting through posts you aren’t interested in.'”

      GigaOM: “Bill Gross wants to take on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ – [H]e is launching a content-focused social network called Chime.in that will compete not just with Google’s new social platform Google+ but with Twitter and Facebook too, and link-sharing sites like Reddit and Digg as well. Does the world need another social platform for sharing content? Gross says that it does, and that his connections with content companies will help Chime.in succeed – but the odds are stacked against him. … Chime.in may not be a direct competitor to Twitter, but it is clearly a shot across the bow. According to the support pages for the service [which have since been taken offline], it will allow users to post to Twitter or Facebook or Google+ as well as to the Chime.in network, and is therefore not competitive but ‘additive to the ecosystem.’ … [T]he biggest hurdle for Chime.in is the simple fact that Facebook now has 800 million users and Twitter has 200 million or so, with Google+ in the 50 million range. Useful features aren’t always enough for a social network to flourish, especially when there is so much competition. In the end, even if you build it they might not come.”

      ATD: “Serial entrepreneur Bill Gross’s latest effort is called Chime.in, a social platform for writing about and discussing common interests. What makes it different from other social network and social news sites is that Chime.in wants to pay people for their contributions. … Gross argued that the Chime.in community will police itself against gamers and crappy content – the kind of stuff that’s plagued sites like Digg and content farms like Demand Media – because users won’t recommend Chimes they don’t like. – ‘The breakthrough that’s happened is if you let people have the flexibility to share, they’ll get the message to the right people and do the dirty work for you,’ Gross said.

  • Gerrit Eicker 04:47 on 5. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Branding, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Best Global Brands 2011 

    Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2011 follow an ordinary scheme: Apple, Google, IT grow strong; http://eicker.at/Brands2011

    • Gerrit Eicker 04:48 on 5. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Shanbhag, Interbrand: “Today we’re seeing an upheaval in the technology sector unlike any before. Driven by changes in the technology itself, we’re seeing brands that didn’t exist a few years ago driving the conversation. Teenagers like Google, Baidu, and Amazon are powering forward by blurring the lines between business models to create user value, while upstarts like Facebook and Zynga are creating business models that simply never existed. – But, for all the brand value being created, there is an equal amount of upheaval taking place with what might be considered the elder statesmen of the tech world. Whether it is Dell or HP, Intel or Microsoft, SAP or Oracle, the story is the same. Brands that once held the key to the hearts and wallets of the tech public aren’t what they once were. … So, what’s driving this change? It isn’t that the technology has changed (which it has), or that new technology has expanded what people can do with it (which it has, too). It’s that the world has changed. … [T]echnology brands from yesterday that stand the greatest chance of surviving today’s upheaval are the ones who have turned their attention to their audiences and focused on brand relevance. They are asking what matters to users and what will matter, and building entire portfolios of brands, products, and offerings that address the needs of today and tomorrow. They’re finding a space for themselves in the new tech order by putting real innovation – in product and point of view – front and center. In a way, they’re simply taking a page from the competition’s play books.”

      Perlmutter, Interbrand: “It’s no surprise that Customer Experience has become critically important for brands. The evidence is mounting and has become almost cliché at this point. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, put it in the most basic terms: ‘Your brand is formed primarily not by what your company says about itself, but by what the company does.‘ With a net promoter score at 70 percent – among the highest of all companies according to Satmetrics, and an impressive 34 percent year-or-year brand value increase in the Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking, he has the ear of many industries. … Simply put, many companies are not yet set up to deliver the best possible customer experience. Marketing and operations are not well connected, customer understanding is weak, and overall, no one person or department is held accountable for bringing it all together on behalf of the customer. … Strong brands like IBM have an aligned company mission and brand meaning that is reinforced throughout all they say and do. And look closely at brands known for a successful, well-defined customer experience – Virgin Airlines, W Hotels, US Airways, BMW Mini, Whole Foods – and you’ll find a well-activated brand strategy as the foundation. … If brand strategy is the catalyst for change, then customer understanding is the roadmap. … Some companies have capitalized on having an intimate understanding of customers’ needs and the ability to anticipate desires. They have then used these insights to improve their customer connectedness with appealing products and services and involving marketing programs that engender loyalty. … Some of today’s best brands are successful because they are authentic. Pure and simple, they stay true to who they are, and they are well differentiated as a result. … Activating an effective customer experience transformation is no small feat for any company. But for those looking to make some headway, using brand strategy to set the course for orchestrating what’s needed, is a great place to start.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:57 on 11. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Branding, , , , Civility, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Government ID, ID, ID System, ID Systems, , , , Identity Delivery, Identity Delivery Business, , , , Information Delivery, Information Delivery Business, , , , , , , , NSTIC, , , , , , , , , , , Pseudonymity, , , Real ID, Real ID System, Real ID Systems, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , TOSS, , Trusted Identities, , , , ,   


    Google Plusidentity crises led to #PlusGate and escalated to a war for pseudonymity: #NymWars; http://eicker.at/NymWars

    (More …)

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:58 on 11. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Guardian: “Google Plus forces us to discuss identity – Google’s Real Name policy embodies a theory that states the way to maximise civility is to abolish anonymity. … Google Plus’s controversial identity policy requires all users to use their ‘real names’. … [P]roblems include the absurdity of Google’s demand for scans of government ID to accomplish this task and the fractal implausibility of Google being able to discern real from fake in all forms of government ID. … The first duty of social software is to improve its users’ social experience. Facebook’s longstanding demand that its users should only have one identity is either a toweringly arrogant willingness to harm people’s social experience in service to doctrine; or it is a miniature figleaf covering a huge, throbbing passion for making it easier to sell our identities to advertisers. – Google has adopted the Facebook doctrine… There could be no stupider moment for Google to subscribe to the gospel of Zuckerberg, and there is no better time for Google to show us an alternative.

      Gizmodo: “Google, Facebook and Twitter now all have similar products. But Twitter CEO Dick Costolo (somewhat inadvertently) made it clear yesterday that while all three have social networking features and make money from ads, they are in fundamentally different businesses. – At a very basic level, Google+ and Facebook are in the identity delivery business, and Twitter is in the information delivery business. That’s a powerful distinction. It reflects a fundamentally different conception of what’s more valuable: information or identity. It also gets at who is more valuable, advertisers or users. – Google and Facebook’s social products are committed to a real names policy. Both can serve someone up to a network of peers or advertisers with some degree of certainty about identity. – Twitter takes exactly the opposite route towards building a network. You can be anonymous, or use a pseudonym, or even impersonate someone else (as long as you indicate that it’s a parody). It will still connect you to others on its network, and allow you to both serve and receive data. And that’s working well, for everybody.”

      SEW: “There has been a lot of speculation about why the push for real names on Facebook and now Google, with Google taking a much harder line than even Facebook, not allowing for even the simplest derivation of ‘nyms’ (pseudonyms). … Why is a company like Google taking such a hard line on something as simple as a name – even though there is no verification process for the ‘real name,’ so ultimately this policing is currently meaningless. … Google’s ambitions for Google+ appear to go far beyond social signals, marketing, and their efforts to make a better product. Dig a little further and you’ll find something called the National Strategy For Trusted Identities In Cyberspace‘ (NSTIC). … A way to establish identity was never invented, so one needs to be. The difference is that companies will hold the real IDs, rather than the government – companies with ‘identity services,’ such as Google. … Maybe we have a new wrinkle in the reason behind the real ID movement, not the betterment of services for Google, but the government initiative into a real online ID system. … Real ID systems should be of concern to anyone who believes in the Bill of Rights and our freedom of speech and to not incriminate ourselves – to live a life that isn’t monitored by entities, ‘private’ or not. Is Google part of this? You have to be the judge.

      Boyle: “Thoughts on rel=author, #nymwars, ‘identity service’ – Over the past month or so, the ‘nymwars’ have become the thing Google+ is most known for among my circle of friends. This is a problem of Google’s own making: they are suspending profiles based on naive heuristics about ‘real names’ (actually typical two part western names), and demanding government ID to reinstate them. … This is not an effective defence against trolls as was initially claimed; they’re more concerned with ideas about G+ as an ‘identity service’ and a way to ‘improve our products’ than about the wishes of their users or the fact that they’re perpetuating the exclusion of minorities. … I recommend linking together your profile pages on other sites, rather than only linking everything to your Google profile. … [D]on’t just do what’s on the left here, because all those associations will be lost when your G+ profile is taken down. If you do something more like what’s on the right, other identity services / social networks and other search engines will have a better chance of presenting what you want them to present.”

      Gartner, Blakley: “Google+ Can Be A Social Network Or The Name Police – Not Both – Google is currently trying to enforce a ‘common name’ policy in Google+. The gist of the policy is that ‘your Google+ name must be ‘THE’ name by which you are commonly known’. – This policy is insane. I really mean insane; the policy is simply completely divorced from the reality of how names really work AND the reality of how humans really work, and it’s also completely at odds with what Google is trying to achieve with G+. … A name is not an attribute of a person; it is an identifier of a person, chosen arbitrarily and changeable at will. … Google+’s naming policy isn’t failing because it’s poorly implemented, or because Google’s enforcement team is stupid. It’s failing because what they’re trying to do is (1) impossible, and (2) antisocial. … Google’s intention in moving into social networking is to sell ads, Google+’s common names policy gives them a lock on the North American suburban middle-aged conservative white male demographic. w00t.”

      Botgirl: “Ejecting virtually identified people with active social networks shows that Google sees online relationships as illegitimate. When Google ejects you for using virtual identity it not only disrespects your privacy choice, but also the choices of everyone who circles you. Shunning the pseudonymous makes intolerance a community standard. – Today, most of the privacy we relinquish is volitional. But If we lose the Nymwars we all become permanent residents in a global Big Brother reality house. The expression of identity is multidimensional, aspects emerging and submerging in a fluid dance with the changing environment. … It’s ironic that those calling for authenticity want to make all the world a stage and cast us all as full-time unpaid actors.

      GigaOM: “Can gamification help solve the online anonymity problem? – There’s been a lot written recently about the issue of online anonymity, and in particular how Google believes that a ‘real names’ policy is necessary so that the Google+ network maintains a certain tone and level of trust. … It’s not so much that badges or other rewards – Slashdot, a pioneering geek community, has long used ‘karma points’ as a way of rewarding users and selecting moderators – cure bad behavior, or prevent trolls from coming to a site. What they do instead is make it easier to distinguish between what Slashdot calls ‘anonymous cowards’ and those who have gained the trust of the community. Over time, it becomes obvious (theoretically) who is worth listening to and who isn’t… Instead of simply trying to ban or exclude anyone who doesn’t want to use a real name, as Google is doing with Google+, why not try to design a system that rewards the type of behavior you want to see, and lets the users of that community decide who they wish to pay attention to?

  • Gerrit Eicker 06:49 on 25. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Branding, , , , , , , Corporate Values, , , , , , , , , , , Pop-ups, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Don’t be Evil 

    Swartz: What does Google mean byevil“? http://eicker.at/Evil – And a mentionable reply by Cutts: http://eicker.at/NoOne

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:14 on 18. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Brand Connection, Brand Connections, Brand Evaluation, Brand Evaluations, Brand Failure, Brand Information, Branding, , , , , , , , , , , , , , SBC, Self-affimation, Self-Brand Connections, Self-concept, Self-view, , , ,   


    Study: Fanboys treat criticism of favorite brands as a threat to their positive self-view; http://eicker.at/Fanboys

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:07 on 29. July 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Branding, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   


    Google Plus likes to escape its homemade identity crisis, but #PlusGate keeps trending; http://eicker.at/PlusGate

    (More …)

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:07 on 29. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Horowitz: “Last night, Robert Scoble shared some information based on his conversation with Vic Gundotra. That post went a long way toward clearing the air, and we want to thank many of you for your feedback and support. … We’ve noticed that many violations of the Google+ common name policy were in fact well-intentioned and inadvertent and for these users our process can be frustrating and disappointing. So we’re currently making a number of improvements to this process – specifically regarding how we notify these users that they’re not in compliance with Google+ policies and how we communicate the remedies available to them. … Second, we’re looking at ways to improve the signup process to reduce the likelihood that users get themselves into a state that will later result in review. … We’ll keep working to get better, and we appreciate the feedback – and the passion – that Google+ has generated.”

      Winer: “There’s a very simple business reason why Google cares if they have your real name. It means it’s possible to cross-relate your account with your buying behavior with their partners, who might be banks, retailers, supermarkets, hospitals, airlines. To connect with your use of cell phones that might be running their mobile operating system. To provide identity in a commerce-ready way. And to give them information about what you do on the Internet, without obfuscation of pseudonyms.

      Wired: “After a steady stream of angry blog posts and heated debate among its own users over the value of pseudonymity on the web, Google announced Monday that it was revising its ‘real name’ policy, at least for display, on Google+. … Google’s response aims to try to make social identification nearly as nuanced and granular as its approach to sharing content has been. Users can already add nicknames to their profile, as well as ‘other names’… Let’s be clear, though: All of these changes affect only the public display of identity to other users and the open web. Google itself still wants your full identity, or at least as much identity information as possible. Other users may only get partial glimpses at your multiple and overlapping identities, as well as the information you share. Google gets everything. … Under the banner of increased privacy and user control, it solicits information from you that, were it viewable by everyone in your networks, you would most likely keep to yourself. – Well, now we’ve given you almost everything, Google. Please don’t be evil.

      EFF: “A new debate around pseudonymity on online platforms has arisen as a result of the identification policy of Google+, which requires users to identify by ‘the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you’. This policy is similar to that of Facebook’s which requires users to ‘provide their real names and information.’ Google’s policy has in a few short weeks attracted significant attention both within the community and outside of it, sparking debate as to whether a social platform should place limits on identity. … It is well within the rights of any company – Google, Facebook, or otherwise – to create policies as they see fit for their services. But it is shortsighted for these companies to suggest that ‘real name’ policies create greater potential for civility, when they only do so at the expense of diversity and free expression. Indeed, a shift toward crafting policies requiring ‘real’ names will have a chilling effect on online free expression.

      Hinckley: “This whole persona/pseudonym argument may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but the fact is, the forum for public discourse is no longer the town hall, or newspaper, or fliers on the street. It is here on the Internet, and it is happening in communities like this, hosted by private sector companies. Freedom of speech is not guaranteed in these places. As Lawrence Lessig once said, ‘the code is the law.’ The code that Google applies, the rules they set up now in the software, are going to influence our right to speak out now and in the future. It is imperative that we impress upon Google the importance of providing users with the same rights (and responsibilities) as exist in the society that nurtured Google and brought about its success. … Behind every pseudonym is a real person. Deny the pseudonym and you deny the person.

      WSJ: “Actually, compared with Google’s other recent forays into the world of social media, Google+ has done pretty well. It took Buzz and Wave just a few hours before they began to be overwhelmed with bad publicity. It has taken a month for the knives to come out for Google+.

      TC: “Google Minus – Each of the past three weeks, we’ve been seeing less and less traffic referred. And that’s with the overall network supposedly growing. – Part of that may be Google’s own fault. They really screwed up the brand situation. They even gutted one of our employees who just wanted to share content. – It would be hard to overstate just how important this second phase of Google+ is for Google. While they’re not a small startup limited by resources and money, they still only get one chance to make a first impression. In the first two weeks, that impression was very good. In the last two, not as good.

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:28 on 2. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NWW: “Google continues to suspend pseudonymous Profile accounts that are not real names, judging from today’s suspension of ‘Botgirl Questi‘, the avatar name of a well-known SL blogger. In real life, Botgirl is David Elfanbaum, co-founder of a high tech consultancy called Asynchrony Solutions. … ‘Out of 50,000 people who may be familiar with me, 95% know me as Botgirl Questi. So theoretically under their existing policy, it should be my real life account that got suspended.’ (Google’s rules state the profile name should be one ‘that you commonly go by in daily life.’) Also, Elfanbaum adds, ‘I’m in solidarity with the majority of those with avatar identities who have not linked with real life.‘”

      Botgirl Questi: “My new site aggregating #plusgate #nymwars posts and articles. Please /cc me on new links that I should add.

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:58 on 4. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Guardian: “Google+ pseudonym wars escalate – is it the new being ‘banned from the ranch’? – The list of blocked users is what is now being referred to as the NymWars extends to some fairly influential users. Most embarrassingly for Google, the latest is Blake Ross, co-founder of Firefox, who was inexplicably blocked from the service on Wednesday night. He trumps even William Shatner. … It’s risky for Google to take what feels like a hardline approach, for two reasons. Firstly, many of the users it is now penalising for using online monikers are valuable, influential early adopters – and Google really needs them to be on side. Secondly, given the battle for this space, and how Google+ needs to prove itself by getting to a critical mass of people as quickly as possible, it can’t afford to lose momentum.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 11:17 on 6. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The Atlantic: “The kind of naming policy that Facebook and Google Plus have is actually a radical departure from the way identity and speech interact in the real world. They attach identity more strongly to every act of online speech than almost any real world situation does. … [I]n real life, we expect very few statements to be public, persistent, and attached to your real identity. Basically, only people talking on television or to the media can expect such treatment. And even then, the vast majority of their statements don’t become part of the searchable Internet. … [P]seudonyms allow statements to be public and persistent, but not attached to one’s real identity. – I can understand why Google and Facebook don’t want this to happen. It’s bad for their marketing teams. … They are creating tighter links between people’s behavior and their identities than has previously existed in the modern world.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 07:06 on 13. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      BB: “+Soulja Boy, +T-Pain, and other pop celebrities won’t have a problem using Google+ with their stage names, but internet-eccentrics who’ve been known in the world by non-normal names for years can’t get a break – in some cases, even when those ‘weird’ names are in fact their legal names. Tim Carmody of Wired has the latest on Google+ nymwars. Yes, it’s still in beta, but boy oh boy do they seem determined to screw this pooch.

      Gizmodo: “Google’s Real Names Policy is Evil – Google’s horrible new policy on using real names in Google+ effectively means that the service is now a danger to real people. You have to ask yourself why a company that pledged to not be evil would do this. … Forget social networking, the big goldmine of the future is online identity verification. This could be Google prioritizing getting ahead in that race over its users’ preferences and safety. – In other words, it’s Google putting money and greed over humanity. It’s Google being evil. … The easy answer, of course, is simply to not use Google+. And I’m quite sure some people will posit that as a solution. But there are two reasons that’s not the answer. – First, Google is too big and too important. … Second, and this is related to the first, is that Google+ is a community. And we as a society we have a duty to work to make our communities free and open.”

      RWW: “Google’s Joseph Smarr refers us to this video interview (at 9:30) he did with Alex Howard, where among other things he offers the following explanation. (Thanks to Carolyn Martin for the transcription.) – ‘It’s not just enough to offer the ability to post under a pseudonymous identifier. If you’re going to make the commitment that we’re not going to out your real identity, that actually takes a lot of work, right? Especially if you’re using your real account to log in, and then posting under a pseudonym. And so we feel a real responsibility that if we’re gonna make the claim to people, ‘it’s safe, you’re not gonna get outed’, that we really think through the architecture end to end and make sure that there aren’t any loopholes or gotchas where all of a sudden you get outed. And that’s actually a hard thing to do in software. And so, I think that’s [ ] an angle people often miss … we don’t want to do it wrong so we’d rather wait until we get it right.’ – Does that sound like Google might change this policy in the future? I’ve followed up with Smarr to ask for more details.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 26. July 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , ACSI Score, ACSI Scores, , , , Branding, , , , , , , , , FOX, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    ACSI Social Media 2011 

    ACSI: Social media services struggle with customer satisfaction. Facebook opens door for Google Plus; http://eicker.at/ACSISocialMedia2011

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:54 on 26. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      ACSI: “The social media market is primed for a new player that allows users to connect with friends, according to the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report, produced in partnership with customer experience analytics firm ForeSee Results. Despite a small improvement this year, Facebook (+3% to 66) is the lowest-scoring site, not only in the social media category, but of all measured companies in this report. The survey was conducted last month, before the widespread introduction of Facebook’s biggest competitor, Google+, but Facebook’s low score indicates that Google+ could easily pounce and gain market share if they can provide a superior customer experience. – ‘We don’t know yet how Google+ will fare, but what we do know is that Google is one of the highest-scoring companies in the ACSI and Facebook is one of the lowest,’ said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. ‘An existing dominance of market share like Facebook has is no longer a safety net for a company that is not providing a superior customer experience.‘ – Facebook is just one story emerging from today’s report. The ACSI E-Business Report covers three categories of e-business: social media, portals and search engines, and online news. This is the twelfth annual report of its kind, allowing companies and analysts to track the performance of these organizations over time by a critical metric: customer satisfaction. – Wikipedia (+1% to 78) takes the top spot, while YouTube (+1% to 74) comes in a distant second. Myspace drops from this year’s Index because there were not enough users to create a statistically significant sample. Overall, social media is one of the lowest-scoring industries measured by the ACSI – only airlines, newspapers, and subscription television services score lower. – Google leads the search engine and portals category (up 4% to 83), but Bing follows closely, jumping an impressive 7% in one year to 82. Anything over 80 is generally considered an excellent score. Bing has grown in market share over the last year and makes up roughly 17% of the search engine market, up from 9% last year. – ‘While Google+ is the challenger to Facebook’s established dominance in the social media sphere, in the search engine wars, Google is king and Bing is hoping to be a contender,’ added Freed. ‘Last year, Google’s customer satisfaction score was three points higher than Bing’s. This year, that gap narrows to one point. Bing is showing it can challenge Google in terms of revenue, market share, and the customer experience.‘”

  • Gerrit Eicker 16:43 on 8. July 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Branding, , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Services, , , , , , , , , Pen Name, , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus Identities 

    Google and the freedom to be who you want to be, at least if it is not on Google Plus; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusIdentities @oobscure

    (More …)

    • Gerrit Eicker 16:44 on 8. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “When it comes to Google services, we support three types of use: unidentified, pseudonymous and identified. And each mode has its own particular user benefits. – Unidentified. Sometimes you want to use the web without having your online activity tied to your identity, or even a pseudonym… – Pseudonymous. Using a pseudonym has been one of the great benefits of the Internet, because it has enabled people to express themselves freely… – Identified. There are many times you want to share information with people and have them know who you really are. … Equally as important as giving users the freedom to be who they want to be is ensuring they know exactly what mode they’re in when using Google’s services. So recently we updated the top navigation bar on many of our Google services to make this even clearer. … We’re also looking at other ways to make this more transparent for users. While some of our products will be better suited to just one or two of those modes, depending on what they’re designed to do, we believe all three modes have a home at Google.”

      Google Community Standards: “Impersonation – Your profile should represent you. We don’t allow impersonation of others or other behavior that is misleading or intended to be misleading. … Display Name – To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of these would be acceptable.”

      Thinq_: “Google may still be throttling sign-ups to its social networking service Google+, but it’s also thinning out the ranks of its current members as it struggles to meet demand. – Businesses were the first to go, and they’ve now been joined by those who value their privacy or have other reasons to use a pseudonym. – Various tech publications have found their corporate accounts unceremoniously booted, with Google claiming that it’s trying to keep the service for individuals at present. While this has been met with stoic understanding by the people involved, the company’s next step in the cull might cause a bigger stir: the advertising giant is focusing on those who prefer to be known by an avatar. – Opensource Obscure, a Second Life user who prefers to be identified by his/her avatar rather than by his/her real-world identity, is one of the first to be have been selected for removal from the service. While the account is still present on Google+, it is listed as ‘suspended’.”

      TN: “Officially as of 24 February, Google’s public policy position (‘The freedom to be who you want to be’) was that pseudonymous use of a number of Google products was fine. Even to go so far as implicitly encouraging it. – Someone at Google clearly didn’t get that memo, or maybe it’s just that Google+ (or anything tied to a Google Profile) is exempt from that policy. – Google profiles are becoming somewhat pervasive, increasingly interconnecting the various Google products, and the pseudonymity that Google supports in some products is inherently undermined if it starts whacking connected profiles based on a suspicion that a name isn’t what people ‘usually call you’. – Pseudonymous usage is apparently just fine, until Google decides it wants you to pony up a photo ID. This isn’t about Opensource Obscure specifically, but his suspension devalues Google+ for me just a little bit.

      Update from Opensource Obscure: “Confirmation from Google Profiles Support Team: ‘Opensource Obscure’ name violates Community Standards.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 21:51 on 13. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NWW: “For the last couple years, it’s been a mantra in Silicon Valley that ‘Google doesn’t get social.’ The introduction of Google Profiles and its truly impressive Circles feature strongly suggested that the company had made a massive shift in corporate culture to compete with Facebook and other social networking systems. However, the fact that Google hasn’t crafted a coherent Profiles policy that’s more in line with how people actually use their identity in the digital age… well, to me that shows they are still abundantly full of Not Getting Social.

      RWW: “As political activists and dissidents have increasingly turned to social networks in order to build their communities and spread their messages, many have balked at Facebook’s policy that requires people use their real names in their profiles, arguing that doing so puts them and their families at risk. It isn’t just activists, however, who argue that pseudonymity may be necessary. There are lots of reasons why people may opt to utilize other names online: you’re changing your real world name and identity, using your real world name puts you at risk at work or at home, or simply that people know you by your pseudonym, not by your real name. – Some have been surprised and disappointed then to see that Google’s new social network, Google Plus, much like its rival Facebook, will also require real names.Allowing pseudonyms could be a way that Google Plus could distinguish itself from Facebook, particularly since Google contends that Google Plus emphasizes personal control over information and sharing. But as it stands, that control is limited to those who choose to go by real names.”

      NWW: “Google is squandering a vast opportunity that Facebook has ignored: The desire of people whose daily activity centers around online community to easily connect in that context as well.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:39 on 16. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NYT: “Allowing pseudonyms could be a way that Google Plus could distinguish itself from Facebook, particularly since Google contends that Google Plus emphasizes personal control over information and sharing. But as it stands, that control is limited to those who choose to go by real names.

      Weinstein: “It is clearly the case that users need to fully understand what names are or are not acceptable for their use. When other than ‘legal’ names are permitted, users need to know that a logical and fair process is in place to determine which other names will be permitted, how these users can demonstrate that their usage of those names are legitimate, and that when names are rejected, be assured that users are fully informed as to why rejections took place. Additionally, there should be a formal appeals procedure that users may invoke if they feel that a name was unreasonably rejected.

      Vierling: “Google, you’re seriously messing it up. Your own experience with LGBT political causes should be enough to make you know better, but this obvious attack on pseudonymity will result in you shooting yourself in the foot even before Google+ is standing on its own. Here you have an opportunity to stand out, but you’re just doing exactly what “the other guy” is doing.”

      Greene: “Fact is, Google’s ‘no-privacy’ approach to social networking runs the risk of alienating a lot of potential users. And as I’ve said before, you’d be stupid not to think Facebook isn’t going to capitalize on that fact.”

      SEW, Korman: “Facebook’s TOS claims that you are required to use your wallet name in order to use their service.Google+ was, in theory a little different. Their rules state that you should sign up using ‘the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you.’ … It seems that Google has a very narrow definition of identity. … I’ve been hearing a lot about how ‘this is how the world is now’, and that ‘if you don’t join up you’ll be forgotten.’, where it comes to Facebook and Google+. I think both statements are patently nonsense, primarily because unless multiplicity of identity is embraced as time goes on, more and more people will reject the single identity model for any number of reasons. All that will remain are, ironically, companies and brand names, selling things to each other, where people who actually want to truly interact will be wherever they are allowed to be their real selves – whatever that might entail.”

      ST: “SL Avatars, Time to Fight for Your Rights at Google+ – A Google engineer named Andrew Bunner (I don’t think he’s with the Ozimal people!) has started an outright witch-hunt, using the power of his office and his visibility on this new, rapidly growing social media platform to call on people to abuse-report fake names. … Google engineers should stick to software production and leave governance to a separate department and not be inciting witch-hunts. It’s unethical. It’s like a police state. … Second Life avatars should be admitted for registration on the principle that it is ‘the name by which people know you’.

    • Gerrit Eicker 10:47 on 25. July 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Scoble: “I talked with Google VP Vic Gundotra tonight (disclaimer, he used to be my boss at Microsoft). He is reading everything we have written about names, and such. Both pro and con. … He says it isn’t about real names. He says he isn’t using his legal name here. He says, instead, it is about having common names and removing people who spell their names in weird ways, like using upside-down characters, or who are using obviously fake names, like ‘god’ or worse. – He says they have made some mistakes while doing the first pass at this and they are learning. He also says the team will change how they communicate with people. IE, let them know what they are doing wrong, etc. … He also says they are working on ways to handle pseudonyms, but that will be a while before the team can turn on those features (everyone is working hard on a raft of different things and can’t just react overnight to community needs).”

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