No doubt, Google+ is pretty slick, from a tech/UI perspective. It combines good elements from both Facebook and twitter, with a spartan google feel. It is powerfully integrated into google’s suite of products, like picassa and gmail. It is a major improvement over buzz. Google plus should get more interesting as more people use it.
Still, I think it may be too ambitious though, which will eventually cause it have unworkable privacy issues. They want to provide a master social network, which requires a complex, granular privacy model. They have created such a privacy model with the “circles” implementation of groups.
However, my thesis is that consumers will opt to belong to have 6-12 specialized social networks each for a specific content or activity vertical. For example, FB for photos, twitter for interests, linkedin for resumes, zynga for games, SocialFeet for commerce [disclaimer:I am a founder], etc. Each of these networks will have appropriate (but highly differentiated) privacy models, and users will basically adopt the default privacy model for each in a binary yes/no decision. As Fred Wilson blogs:
You either want to be totally public or totally private, but never sort of private and sort of public. It’s just too complicated to be semi-private. That middle ground is treacherous.
Could it be the one social network to rule them all? Fairly unlikely. My guess of what happens to google plus: it gets co-opted by some geography (like urkut) or vertical segment and becomes a niche social network of some sort that survives. So far, the most interesting segment is about google itself (like Sergey Brin’s kite boarding pics from Alaska) and the twitter-like public discussions.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out, especially as Google continues to experiment with social at such a large scale.
So, happy new year! (Sorry for such sparse posting here on weiksner.com.) Good news: we’ve made enough progress with customers, product and fundraising that social feet is hiring! It’s a cool position if you are a ninja with the browser and are interested in emerging social tech like OAuth, Facebook Connect, Open Social, etc.
Read the whole job description, consider applying and pass it on here:
I am having fun with the recruiting process, so I may post some thoughts about it in a future post. Cheers!
I am excited to announce that we are hiring a Lead Developer at SocialFeet.com. I think the tech challenges are interesting, and that the financial upside is large. Here is a brief quote of the tech challenge:
From a database perspective, you have transient streams (not just persistent relationships), continuous (not one-time) queries, sequential (not random) access and unpredictable data arrival patterns. From a UI perspective, you have ajax-y goodness a la Google Wave to manage synchronous and asynchronous messages in a small, yet highly contextualized, footprint. We have to define new standards and APIs for activity stream capturing and publishing. And our service has to scale not just to the total number of page views on our network of sites but to the number of interactions on each of these sites.
To promote this, we’ve posted our job description at Craigslist, Techcrunch, LinkedIn and other places. I’m now blogging about it, and we’ve tweeted it and posted it to Facebook. But the definitive place to check it out and send people who might be interested is:
Please pass the link on to anyone you know who might be interested in working for us!
At SocialFeet, we ask ourselves every day: “why is discovery engaging?” and “how can we enable discovery?” The authors of this presentation have provocative and interesting answers to these questions. They have applied these insights to an interesting project, called MrTweet. A key insight: unlike recommendation engines, users will tolerate–perhaps even enjoy–some random results so long as they are kept in the flow of discovery. Enjoy!