I joined Google+ this past week — the new social media mashup of something like Facebook and Twitter. Unlike Google’s earlier social media attempts, such as Buzz, Google+ is the real deal and gives Facebook something to ponder as it potentially slips into the MySpace zone.
But, aside from Google+’s features and functions which are compelling even as it is still in beta, I think the whole “plus” idea as a branding element is ill-conceived. It presents too many marketing challenges considering how social media memes are often integrated into the lives and conversations of users. Google needs a new social dialect with terminology that easily sets them apart.
The minuses on the plus:
- The plus sign is harder to type. Facebook is often abbreviated FB. G+ requires more finger contortions.
- The plus sign is an iconic cue for adding items (in fact, you’ll see it used on Google+ as a prefix, such as “+ Add more people” when you’re sharing a post). Peppering the interface with plus signs — which is your logo if you’re Google+ — may be confusing.
- Like something? Google+ gives you a “+1” button. People won’t say “I plus-one’d it on Google Plus”, will they? That seems clunky. If anything, they’ll say, “I ‘plussed’ it.” (Google+ may eventually have to simplify their version of the Like button with just a simple plus sign dropping the “1”). Using your logo element here would be akin to Facebook, instead of its thumbs-up Like icon, using an “F” button. Imagine if people F’d this or F’d that. That would be pretty F’d up. People like Like and I suspect +1 is going to be hard to adopt.
- Compared to the very colloquial “Facebook me”, “friend me”, “Google it”, “tweet”, etc., what’s the Google+ verb?
- The girl at the bar who asks, “Google me” — is she suggesting a background check via the Google search engine or is that a “friend” request on Google+? What about some other Google+ themes? “Circle me” conjures images of prey. However, “huddle with me” is awesome, especially if she’s cute.
- Because of this, we can expect people to muddle terms from other service brands (e.g., “I ‘Liked’ it on Google+” or perhaps even “I sent a tweet on Google+”). Unfortunately, this dilutes its brand identity.
On the plus side, I give Google+ an A for taking away Facebook market share. But the ‘+’ adds up to a big G-minus for marketing.
This programmer’s face is expressing:
- Maniacal frustration
- All the above
The 404 or Not Found error message is a HTTP standard response code indicating that the browser was able to communicate with the server, but the server could not find what was requested. Servers typically choke on these requests and spit out a boring default error message. We can do better than that.
Update: 2011-04-20 (go figure) ~ Just discovered that the dudes at Github did this same idea. So much for being clever…
Found under my mouse pad: Post-It notes from my kids.
New feature! I’ve added themes to my blog featuring my photos and illustrations. Have fun and switch it up!
But she still won’t approve my friend request on Facebook. What’s up with that?
I love to cook. So I had to meet Sam Zien (aka Sam the Cooking Guy) at a book signing today. He’s quite the character in the kitchen on TV, but super nice and humble when you meet him. He spent time talking with everyone. I was one of the last people in a very long line to get my book signed (see video of crowd on Facebook), and he still took his time, chatted with me, joked and we laughed… it was great. He even thanked me for waiting so long to get the autograph. What a cool guy, and I just love his cooking philosophy: big taste, little effort. Perfect!
Some guy (not me!) shot some video of the event (see below). It’s a funky little edit job, rather sophomoric, but the only video I could find.
These are the hands that I held when I was very small. These are the hands of a meat cutter who followed those of his father. These are the hands that showed me how to lay my fingers across the threads of a baseball to throw the perfect pitch. These are the hands that gently rested on my shoulders while singing “Sunshine on My Shoulders” in the car. These are the hands that taught me how to hold a racquetball racket and grip a golf club correctly. These are the 74-year-old hands of my dad on Fathers Day — hands that I am blessed to still be able to hold.
While at the beach on Coronado Island, I looked up from my novel and I caught a glimpse of a sun dog. A sun dog is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun.
The photo was taken with my mobile phone and doesn’t do the scene justice. The sun dog on the left was more prominent than its counter-puppy on the right. The distinctive halo is not easily seen in the photo, unfortunately. The pink “petals” and the two horizontal rays coming out of the sun are refractions in the lens, but the bright spots at the ends were truly there in the sky.
Here are a couple of other photos I snapped.
A lone sun dog hovers over the Coronado islands on the horizon.
Looking south toward the world-famous Hotel Del Coronado, with Mexico in the distance. It was an awesome day at the beach — 79° in mid-December. Ah, paradise in my backyard.
To find out how sun dogs are formed, accompanied by even better photos, see this Sun Dog article.
What can we learn about (in)effective creative design from a rock video and a movie? Are you big enough to handle the truth?