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  • Gerrit Eicker 09:29 on 1. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Plusification, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus + Google Reader 

    Google Reader gets redesigned and plusified: Google Plus now on Search, Blogger, Google Apps; http://eicker.at/GoogleReaderPlus

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    • Gerrit Eicker 09:29 on 1. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Today we’re rolling out the new Reader design, and the Google+ features that we mentioned just over a week ago. Before the day’s over, all Reader users will be able to enjoy the following improvements: A new look and feel that’s cleaner, faster, and nicer to look at. The ability to +1 a feed item (replacing ‘Like’), with an option to then share it with your circles on Google+ (replacing ‘Share’ and ‘Share with Note’). … Updates to Google Reader on the web are rolling out gradually and should reach all users by end of day. A new Android application will follow soon. If you have questions about today’s announcements, please check out our Help Center.”

      RWW: “After announcing on October 20 that Google Reader would be annexed by Google Plus, Reader has gotten the ol’ +1 today. Google is rolling out the new, clean Plus theme that has already come to Gmail, Docs and elsewhere, and it is replacing the Reader ‘Like’ function with the +1 button. Sharing from Google Reader now produces a +snippet. I guess we no longer need that nice workaround. … For anyone who doesn’t use Google Plus, there are some amazing RSS clients that use your Google Reader as the back-end but let you share however you’d like. And you know you can still add all your preferred sharing services to the ‘Send To’ tab, right? The same settings we showed you before to add Google Plus as a Reader service will let you add anything else, too.”

      RWW: “Google has made very clear over the past month that Plus will be integrated into all of Google’s products over time, so this wasn’t a surprising move. However, rather predictably, there has been a user backlash anyway. … I believe that comment was a little disingenuous from Gray, because he knows that Google dominates what’s left of the RSS Reader market. There are always alternatives, but the reality is that relatively few people will use them. What’s more, most of the alternatives rely on Google Reader for content. … The RSS Reader market has declined because reading content is a very fragmented experience these days. … Even despite all of the changes in the way people consume content on the Web, Google Reader had been the holdout as a specialist RSS Reader product. It has (had?) a passionate community of RSS Reader fanatics.

      TNW: “The new look falls in line with the rest of the changes that we’ve seen from Google over the past few months, specifically after the launch of Google+. You’ll see a new preview pane that shows you all of your stories, with subscriptions along the left in a list like before. – Sharing in Google Reader is now considerably different than before. Instead of having a network in and of itself, anything that you share is now going to happen via a +1 to Google+, as detailed in a blog post last week. Google says that it has done this in order to ‘streamline Reader overall’, but the changes aren’t as welcome by everyone. … Ultimately it doesn’t take away from the usefulness of Google Reader as a product, and it’s not the first time that Google has pushed its way into your social life, either (remember the launch of Buzz?). At the end of the day it will be up to users to figure out if they want to share content via a +1, but chances are that Reader fans aren’t going to be adversely affected overall.”

      TC: “As expected, Google has ignored the cries of the niche community of Google Reader sharing enthusiasts [as well as what seems to be the entire online population of Iran], and has pushed forward in its plans to remove Google Reader’s native sharing features to promote deeper integration with Google+. While the ability to share with Google+ is an obvious important step forward for Google’s social agenda, it will be disappointing change for at least some of the Google Reader community – a community that even went so far as to create a petition to save the old features. The petition is now pushing 10,000 responses.”

      Blogger: “In fewer than 4 months since its launch, more than 40 million people have joined Google+, making it a living, breathing space for social connections and sharing to thrive. – Today we’re excited to announce the first way you will be able to leverage Google+ – by making it possible to replace your Blogger profile with your Google+ profile. – In addition to giving your readers a more robust and familiar sense of who you are, your social connections will see your posts in their Google search results with an annotation that you’ve shared the post.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:33 on 2. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Winer: “People should know that there is more than one way to do an RSS reading app. Google Reader is one approach. A thousand flowers should bloom to fill the gap it’s creating in the market. There is a way to do plumbing that’s open, that people can subscribe to, independent of Google. That does what Google Reader just stopped doing. I would try to make it work as much as I could without inventing new formats. … I love when people like Richard put awful ideas out there like the one he did. You’re trapped inside Google’s silo, even for something that was open from the start like RSS. Well I think there are a lot of people who are smart enough to know that that’s not true. Those are the very people I want to work with.

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:18 on 28. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: +Creative Kit, , +Ripples, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Apps Administrators, Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, , , Google Plus Creative Kit, Google Plus Data, , , Google Plus Migration, Google Plus Notifications, , Google Plus Ripples, , Google+ Creative Kit, Google+ Data, , , Google+ Migration, Google+ Notifications, , Google+ Ripples, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Playback, Plusification, , , , , Sharing History, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus + Google Apps 

    Google Plus is now available with Google Apps, adds sharing history with Google+ Ripples; http://eicker.at/GoogleAppsPlus

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    • Gerrit Eicker 10:18 on 28. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Google Apps fans, today we’re ready to add you to our circles. Google+ makes sharing on the web more like sharing in the real world, and now Google+ is available to people who use Google Apps at college, at work or at home. – Starting now you can manually turn on Google+ for your organization. Once Google+ is turned on, your users will just need to sign up at google.com/+ to get started. For customers who use Google Apps for Business or the free version of Google Apps and who have chosen to automatically enable new services, Google+ will automatically become available to all of your users over the next several days. … Hangouts with extras, which combines multi-person video chat with screen sharing and collaboration in Google Docs, lets you work together on projects even when your team can’t be in the same room. … Many students and teachers have sent us their ideas about how they can use Google+ to teach, learn, work, and play. These are a few Google Apps for Education universities from around the world that are bringing Google+ to their campuses today… For those of you who’ve already started using Google+ with a personal Google Account and would prefer to use your Google Apps account, we’re building a migration tool to help you move over. … It took more technical work than we expected to bring Google+ to Google Apps, and we thank you for your patience.”

      RWW: “The day has finally come. Google Plus is now available for Google Apps customers. Apps administrators can now manually turn on Google Plus for their organizations. The welcome change will roll out in the ‘next several days.’ … Google Apps users have been crying out for Plus access since the beginning. These are the customers who actually pay Google to use its Web services for their organizations, and yet the Apps versions of Google’s tools routinely lag behind the free versions. … But ever since the public launch, Plus has had this killer feature with no clear user base: Google Docs in Hangouts. It’s an ideal way to collaborate on a project. But how often do casual friends collaborate on projects? Google Plus has had an obvious institutional use case for over a month. Now, at last, Google Apps users in college or the office can use these tools to get things done.

      VB: “While enabling Google+ for Google Apps customers is certainly a big move for the company, eventually Google plans to bring Google+ functionality to all of its various services (Gmail, search, shopping, etc.).”

      TNW: “Using Google+ for Google Apps? Your admin has access to all of your data – If you’re a user of Google+ with a corporate or education Google Apps account, your administrator can access and modify your Google+ account and its postings. This information is pointed out in a Google help center topic related to the new feature: ‘Because you’re signing up for Google+ with your corporate email address, your Google Apps administrator retains the right to access your Google+ data and modify or delete it at any time.’ … The fact that an administrator has access to your accounts under Google Apps is nothing new, but this is the first time that Google has had a social network among its Apps offerings, so the privacy implications are a bit more severe.”

      Google: “Whether it’s breaking news or beautiful photos, you just don’t want to miss anything. With this in mind, we’re launching ‘What’s Hot’ on Google+, a new place to visit for interesting and unexpected contentGoogle+ Ripples: watch how posts get shared – There’s something deeply satisfying about sharing on Google+, then watching the activity unfold. Comments pour in, notifications light up, friends share with friends [who share with their friends], and in no time at all there’s an entire community around your post. … Google+ Creative Kit: have more fun with your photos – Now you can add that vintage feel to your vacation photos. Or sharpen those snapshots from the family barbeque. Or add some text for added personality. With the Creative Kit, all you need is an idea…”

      TC: “Google+ Resurrects Playback Feature From Wave, Renames It ‘Ripples’ – Last August, Google asked us all to say good-bye to Google Wave. Some said Wave was ahead of its time, some said that the platform had enough features to sink the Titanic. … And one of these features launched today on Google+ seems a throwback to one now-defunct feature of Google Wave, called ‘Playback’. … Yes, today, Google launched its new Google+ Ripples, which will let users ‘re-live’ the conversations, comments, and sharing that’s taken place over the history of their use of Google+. … In other words, Ripples is a ‘visualization tool for public shares and comments‘, which users can access by simply selecting the ‘View Ripples’ option in the drop down window to the right of the public post.”

      TNW: “Google not only wants to show you what’s hot, but wants to show you how it got hot by showing you how a post was shared. The name also brings back memories of a previous Google product, ‘Wave’. … This is a pretty drastic upgrade for Google+, as until now, the only way to find posts that interested you was through its search function, or when your friends re-shared a post.”

      VB: “Perhaps more interesting for the visually oriented is Google+ Ripples, a new way to watch how posts travel across the company’s set of social features and through various user’s circles. You can view the ‘ripples’ for any public post; this feature will show you all of that post’s activity. You can zoom in on specific events, check out top contributors and more.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 17. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Code Search, Google Code Search API, , Google Music, , , , , , Google Takeout, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Plusification, , , , , ,   

    Google’s Graveyard III. 

    Google shuts down: Buzz, Jaiku, iGoogle Features, Code Searchgoes music? http://eicker.at/GooglesGraveyard2011

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 17. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “[W]e recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products. – Here’s the latest update on what’s happening: Code Search, which was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web, will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012. – In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout. – Jaiku, a product we acquired in 2007 that let users send updates to friends, will shut down on January 15, 2012. We’ll be working to enable users to export their data from Jaiku. – Several years ago, we gave people the ability to interact socially on iGoogle. With our new focus on Google+, we will remove iGoogle’s social features on January 15, 2012. iGoogle itself, and non-social iGoogle applications, will stay as they are. – The University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to our search results for a small number of approved academic researchers, will close on January 15, 2012. – In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search. – Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.

      Horowitz: “What did we learn from Buzz? Plenty. We learned privacy is not a feature… it is foundational to the product. And this awareness gave us the resolve to design privacy in from the very beginning, which led to Circles for sharing the right information with the right people, as well as transparency around which parts of your profile can be seen by whom. We also learned how compelling it is to have meaningful conversations with interesting people, which we’re happy to see happening all the time in Google+. – But probably the best lesson we learned is about how to introduce a product. We started very slowly with Google+ – in a limited Field Trial – in order to listen and learn and gather plenty of real-world feedback. Your participation in the process is helping create what Google+ is today.”

      GigaOM: “Has Google really learned that much from Buzz and Jaiku?Is that because Google wants to be social, or is it because the company wants to be able to including being able to sell you things? The existence of Google+ seems to have more to do with the company’s need to harvest the “social signals” that emerge from such networks in order to improve its search and advertising business – and fend off Facebook – than Google’s desire to create a welcoming environment for social sharing. An engineer for the company described not that long ago how Google has no real interest in social networking for its own sake, but saw it as an information-harvesting strategy.Does Google have an ‘if we build it, they will come’ problem? … The amount of resources that Google is putting into Google+ is admirable, and it is good to focus on one thing, even if it means beheading other services like Buzz and Jaiku – and CEO Larry Page has made it clear that he wants the network to succeed. But wanting something and having it come true are very different things, and Google could well learn another lesson from Google+: that even if you build it, and it is well-designed from an engineering perspective, people may still not come.

      RWW: “Even though Google Buzz wasn’t terribly good at anything, from a user standpoint, we at least enjoyed its developer-centric nature. It was all about open data. That may have been all it had going for it, but that meant something. Its replacement, Google Plus, is awfully slick and smooth and secretive. The few APIs released so far barely enable developers to make anything, much less anything interesting. – Google sure is a busy place. Its whole business is undergoing rapid transformations, even if its quarterly earnings are reported so generally that they seem stable. – Google is spending money and changing shape. It’s launching social networks and buying handset manufacturers. It’s hiring new people, buying new infrastructure, and now it’s shedding old products. When will Google start to break a sweat?

      NYT: “Five months after it introduced a cloud music service with limited capabilities, Google is in negotiations with the major record labels to expand that service and also open an MP3 store that would compete with Apple and Amazon. – According to numerous music executives, Google is eager to open the store in the next several weeks. It would most likely be connected to Google’s existing cloud service, Music Beta, which lets people back up their songs on remote servers and stream them to mobile phones and other devices, said these executives, who all spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private and continuing. … Music Beta was announced five weeks after Amazon opened a similar unlicensed service, Cloud Drive. – Apple got licenses for iTunes Match, which will instantly link a user’s songs to Apple’s master collection. With an unlicensed service, users must upload each song individually, a process that can take hours or even days.

      RWW: “Google reportedly had a hard time shoring up deals with music labels ahead of the initial launch of Google Music, so they launched it anyway. Traditional content owners have often been wary of Google, who has gained a reputation among some legacy media organizations as being too soft on piracy. The company has extended a few olive branches recently, making public efforts to discourage copyright infringement and buttering up media executives. … Google has an uphill battle to fight if it expects to take on Apple in this space. Amazon might provide a fairer fight. Either way, Google is hoping to bolt additional revenue streams onto its business model, which remains heavily bolstered by the money it makes search advertising.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:25 on 11. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Plusification, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus: Failure to Launch? 

    Chitika: Google Plus growth spurt short lived after it went public.What’s its USP? http://eicker.at/GooglePlusLaunch

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    • Gerrit Eicker 08:25 on 11. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Chitika: “Mid-morning September 20th, Google+ officially entered public beta, drumming up the level of interest of the site far and wide across the web. Although able to boast 25 million unique visitors after only four weeks of operation, Google’s newest attempt at a social network saw its user base dwindle as shown by a recent article from Chitika Insights. … Reportedly, Google+ saw a surge in traffic of over 1200% due to the additional publicity, but the increased user base was only temporary, as was projected in an earlier insights post. – The data shows that, on the day of its public debut, Google+ traffic skyrocketed to peak levels. But, soon after, traffic fell by over 60% as it returned to its normal, underwhelming state. It would appear that although high levels of publicity were able to draw new traffic to Google+, few of them saw reason to stay. … The supply of users for social media sites is limited. To survive you must stand out and provide a service that others do not. – Features unique to your site must be just that – unique and difficult to duplicate – if they are not, the competitive advantage quickly disappears.

      RWW: “We at RWW can informally corroborate Chitika’s findings that interest in Google Plus is on the wane. Our monthly referrals from there are down 38% since their peak, while Facebook referrals are up 67% and Twitter referrals up 51% over the same period. – As we reported last week, the +1 button isn’t gaining much traction, either. Despite all the new features and responsiveness to user feedback, Google Plus just doesn’t seem to be catching on. There’s only so much time in a day for social networking, and this newcomer isn’t converting many users.

      Inquirer: “Google’s problem is not getting users in the first place, it seems, but rather keeping them after they have arrived. For now it appears that a lot of users are merely curious about Google+, but return to the tried and tested format of Facebook when the lustre fades. … While the jury is still out on which firm will win this battle, there’s no denying that the intense competition could make both social networks considerably better than they were before.

      RWW: “Many people say they don’t find [Google Plus] compelling though. We asked on Twitter and on Facebook and most people said that the value proposition was too unclear, that it wasn’t valuable enough to warrant the investment of time relative to the already heavy burden of Twitter and Facebook engagement. Google knows it needs to make changes to the service to increase its user retention. But you know who else has always struggled with new user retention? Twitter!

      UG: “While this is interesting, Chitika doesn’t provide much information about its data-gathering technique. Because it is an ad-network, one may suspect that it can see the referrer (Google+) to sites using its ad code. If that’s the case (and I’m not saying that it is), the method is not very accurate but one could argue that they should be able to pick up a (very) gross trend snapshot.The bottom-line is that Google+ saw a traffic spike during its public opening and that it subsequently faded, and I can believe that. This sound quite ‘normal’ to me, though. Secondly, second-hand data sampling on a 10-day period is hardly enough to tell if Google+ is a ‘failure to launch’ as Chitika puts it, so I think that there’s a bit of over-dramatization here. – It will take months (or years) and many evolution before we realize how well (or not) Google+ does/did. In the meantime, and as long as we don’t know how this data was measured, I would advise taking this with a grain of salt.”

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