Tag Archives | Google


There are No Private Circles

Sharing is Caring - The Anti-Social MediaWhen I first got on Google+, I was so excited to share rings in my circles. I could write things, and be sure that only the people who I meant to read them would read them. How novel!

And then I realized that people could share publicly what I previously limited.


Lesson learned: Even if it is locked down and private, there is no privacy for anything on a social network. Ever.


Celebrities, Verified Accounts and Google+

Verified Accounts - The Anti-Social MediaOver the weekend, Google announced it was rolling out verified accounts for Google+.

A part of me is jealous. Why can’t I be verified? I’m devilishly handsome, I write a popular blog, and I’m an ego maniac. I’m a perfect candidate.

Unfortunately, I’m still getting screwed over in favor of more famous and influential assholes.

Regardless of my pathetic need to validated and verify myself to Google, I wonder if users actually care about these verified accounts. I don’t give enough of a shit about the livelihood of celebrity PR agents to follow a celebrity’s accounts on any social network.

What about the unfortunate people who share their name with a celebrity? When I was in grade school there was a kid named Neil Armstrong in my first grade class. Is he going to get kicked off of Google+ because his parents thought it would be cute bestow that name upon him?

And why do celebrities get to be on Google+ in such a public fashion anyways? Anyone can use a social network as a marketing tool, but celebrities have a much more vested interest in using Google+ to push commercial updates. Businesses get the shaft, but Dolly Parton can hawk her latest CD.

Verified accounts open a whole can of worms for both users and businesses that Google needs to address. Unfortunately, they’re too busy trying to beat Facebook in a war for online identity to take a step back and examine their social network objectively.

Do we get on Google+, or any social network, to experience the weakest of connections with a celebrity? Or are we there to connect with one another in a fashion that is more authentic than what we get on other social networks?

You all answer those questions in the comments. In the meantime, I’m going to put a check mark everywhere I see my name so I can feel verified.


Guest Post! Lists versus Circles

Google Plus Circle - The Anti-Social Media

Today post comes from Kane Murphy.

So everyone’s raving about Google+ Circles of late. But being the social media junkies that we are, haven’t we all ordered our facebook friends and the people we follow on twitter in to a dozen lists, giving us the exact same solution to our first world problems?

I know people associate circles with simplicity and usability; but I most certainly don’t. Venn diagrams, the Olympic rings, light discs, Captain Planet’s Planeteer rings, crop circles and all those metal rings that link and unlink through magical prowess… Circles kind of scare me, they’re never ending, literally. With Google+ I feel like I’m dragging my friends into a bull rink against their will to faceoff with likeminded individuals. Facebook and Twitter lists work pretty damn well if you ask me,  I don’t need an bordered enclosure for my friends, surely I’m charming enough that they won’t run away.

As our Circles begin to feed and grow and contain more and  more friends we have never actually (and never will have) met (but who we’d start an all out cyber war at the drop of a disrespectful tweet for **respect**), users will be looking for order, and what has more order than a list (apart from the Order of the Phoenix of course)? If we introduce Parent-Circles and Sub-Circles as Google+ users are already calling for, you’ll end up having to play a game of Connect 4 just to share a montage of your latest killcams with your Call of Duty circle.

Whoever said change was a good thing obviously wasn’t a compulsive social media friend sorter.

Kane Murphy hails from Melbourne Australia, mashing up social media, marketing, web and  shoe polish in to a big ball of mush your dog wouldn’t eat… and selling it by the pound for outrageous prices. @kanemurphy


How I Organize My Google+ Circles

Since Google+ launched, people have been asking me how I organize my Google+ circles.

Unfortunately, I have no grand ideas about how to organize the people in my online life. I use a number of descriptors to create some buckets, and from there I organize everyone as neatly as possible.

This is what it sort of looks like right now:

Google Plus Circles - The Anti-Social Media

I really think I need to add circles for “Crazy Friends,” “Crazy Assholes,” and “Crazy Parents.” Of course, I’d probably get rid of “My parents” at that point.

How do you organize your circles? Does anyone else organize them by order of nuttiness? I’m gonna get to work adding some more people to circles so they don’t know how crazy I think they really are.


Google+ For Business is a Scam

Google Plus Marketers - The Anti-Social MediaGoogle+ is brand spanking new. It’s not even a month old. If it was a human, it would be weak, feeble, and dependent upon a loving family to take care of it.

However, because this is the tech world, it’s in beta. Apparently 18 million people are using it, so I have no idea how that even counts as a beta anymore. It also means people are already abusing it into a tool of internet marketing to make a quick buck off of chumps and idiots who don’t know better.

The only profiles on Google+ right now are personal profiles so people can connect with other people and share crap they like but are too embarrassed to share anywhere else. There may be a few pets in there too, but that’s it. People only. No businesses or fan pages.

So people who are telling you how to use Google for your business right now are crazy. They aren’t experts. They aren’t geniuses with new ideas. They’re greedy assholes who are looking to make a quick buck on a brand new tool that may not have staying power or an audience that’s even relevant to you. Whatever business you’re conducting on Google+ can be done over Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, and you and your audience are probably better suited for those networks anyways because they have established tools for businesses.

Should you ignore Google+? Hell no. It’s free to join. It only takes your precious time. So take the time to play with it. See what others are doing with it. Feel free to spend your money on a class about it if and only if you don’t get it. But trust me when I say that it will change and become more relevant to business later, and it will be more important that you get it then.

You and your business deserve better than internet marketers are trying to sell you on. Figure out where the audience for your business is online, and meet them there. Don’t just hop on every new social network because you can and it looks like it might be cool. You’re just wasting your resources and feeding people who’d sell you meaningless internet snake oil.


4 Reasons Your Pet Needs to Be on Google+

Cats on Google Plus - The Anti-Social MediaPets are influential social networkers. Recent studies have found that 1 in 10 pets are on a social network. Sharing photos, poop jokes, and poorly veiled commentary is just as important to your fish as it is to your Mother-in-law.

But with a new social network comes the inevitable questions: “Should I let my pet use this?” “Is it safe for Fluffy to sniff new virtual butts?” “Is it important that my pet stay ahead of the curve?”

The answer to all of those questions is unequivocally “Yes.” Your pet absolutely needs to be on every new social network as soon as possible. It is now more important to get your pet set up on Google+ while a fancy profile and new circles. Here’s why:

  • Animals are better at circles - My cat has three circles - Jay, Jay’s parents, and everyone else. She knows exactly what she wants to share with each group. With me for example, she wants to share that it’s 6 am and I haven’t fed her in 8 hours and that she hates me for it. For my parents, she can share how adorable she is without me knowing that she’s actually a nice cat. And for everyone else, she can show that awesome bug she killed and ate while I was at work. That kind of clear delineation is what makes circles work so well.
  • Pets have no shame - Google+ is all about Google combining their multitude of products under one social experience, including search. So while things may be private now, who knows if Google will make everthing public to make the web even more searchable. Thankfully, my cat doesn’t care if this eventually happens, even if it ruins the illusions of her circles. Sshe will use her litter box in front of complete strangers, so why should she care if I know she’s actually nice to two people? Once all of her Google+ crap goes public against her will, she won’t care that everyone sees all eight of her nipples.
  • Pets are trendy - Do you really want to be the person whose goldfish was left out of the Google+ beta? You’re not that kind of loser, are you?
  • Pets need to be marketed to - Just because Google+ doesn’t have ads now doesn’t mean it won’t. And hopefully they’ll be just as creepy as Facebook ads. But if Google+ catches on for business, even though it has no direct business functions besides talking, think of how much stuff could be sold to your pets. Don’t your pets need more cheap crap made in China?
Your pet needs to be on Google+ now more than ever. Not only will they be better at it than you are, but they will be more adorable, and make more money for marketers. The solution is simple. Get your pet on Google+ before everyone jumps over to the meaningless social network.

On Circles and Circling

On Facebook, you friend someone. On Twitter, you follow them, and they follow you. On Google+ though, you add them to your circle.

You would think Google would understand the importance of having the right verb here. After all, because of how awesome their search engine is we now “Google” things. But saying “I added you to my circle” is awkward, and way to long for the internet. Let’s simplify it like average users will. I imagine as Google+ picks up, people will talk more and more about circling one another.

But what the hell does circling someone look like?

At first, I see it almost like someone would mark a hit list.

Google Plus Circle - The Anti-Social Media

But I can also see it as a satanic ritual.

Google Plus Circle 2 - The Anti-Social Media

Or, we could literally make someone into a circle, which sounds terribly painful.

Google Plus Circle 3 - The Anti-Social Media

Either way, none of these convey a positive image. Who knew I had such a negative relationship with circles? Given this revelation, I might go back to Facebook just because I have “friends” there. And though I’ve argued, fought, and been humiliated in public settings by my friends, I’ve never been abused by them like circles have abused me.

What do you think of Google’s choice of language here? Does it make sense? Does it give you crazy images in your head? Or am I the only one who was traumatized by simple shapes at an early age?


Social Network Reviews

Social Network Reviews - The Anti-Social MediaSo, Google+ is here, and apparently my social graph is significant enough that they’ve given me early access. I like it so far, and I’ve even sent out a few tweets about what I like. But I keep getting one linger question:

“When are you going to review Google+?”

Every other major social media blogger has published some kind of review of Google+ and how terrible it is or how wonderful it is and why it won’t beat Facebook or why it will beat Facebook and how it’s trying to be Twitter but it’s not. I’ve seen how to use Google+ for business, way not to use Google+ for business, and the business behind Google+.

What. The. Hell.

This treatment is maddening for a product that has been in the hands of a very small public for less than a two weeks. “But Jay, it’s from Google! And everyone is watching Google.”

I get that, but who decided that every social network needs a review, and that anyone has the knowledge, insight, and talent to judge these networks? No one did this to MySpace in 2003, or Facebook in 2004, or even Twitter in 2006. Sure, we didn’t have a basis on which to judge these networks, but we used them based on whether or not we and our friends enjoyed them.

Social networks aren’t like movies. They don’t come out every week, and they aren’t scripted, acted, and filled with a crap ton of special effects. They’re software designed to help facilitate interactions between people. Sometimes that’s just for fun, sometimes it is for business. But when we start judging every new method of communication instantly after two hours of use and condemn it for not being original or not being “enough,” who is ever going to try something new.

Stop reviewing everything instantly. Social networks like Google+ and Facebook are just tools. If you never try a new one, you’ll never know what you’re missing out on.