Day: October 8, 2018

The sun is setting on +Google+ and I am PISSED

The sun is setting on +Google+ and I am PISSED

By now you've probably all heard the news outlined in the link below. Google+ is going the way of Wave, Buzz, Reader and other products which were never fully invested in and therefore were doomed to die. By August 2019, Google+ for consumers (ie, non-paying regular Joes like you and I) will close, only the version for paying +G Suite customers will remain.

And yes I am more than upset about this, and for several reasons. Since July 2011, I have invested every day a little into this platform, building followers as best I could, building communities which also grew beyond what I had ever imagined but then in April 2014, +Vic Gundotra quit Google and from then on the ship became a rickety platform with no captain. They tried to rebuild the ship from the ground up but it was too late, the new ship was a little shinier but lacked many functionalities of the first version and gradually the admiralty just lost interest in the ship altogether with many quietly jumping off ship, many like +Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc who not once ever professed support for it instead showing disdain by heavily using Twitter instead.

Meanwhile the small people like myself built collections and had hope that the platform was on the way up again with some of my own collections reaching numbers which would have earned me awards to put on my wall if this had been +YouTube, but it's not YouTube. It's Google+, the platform the "Tech" journalists just love to hate because it points at something Google failed at in their eyes, which was to build a Facebook killer. Apparently in the tech world it's the bloody law of the jungle or something, you can't just cohabit in peace and cater to different demands.

And then we got invited to various programs to help strengthen the platform, give it direction, give it a purpose, help the most active of us to network and learn from each other on how to make the most of Google+. But the admirals still weren't interested and the crew of the ship came and went and when they were gone they would usually never come back. If Google+ can't appeal to Google's own employees, where was the hope for the rest of us? As it turns out, the crew wasn't even informed of this news and as I type I imagine they're still reeling as badly as I am, trying to process it and figure out what's next.

What's the future for Google and the social media sphere then? If you read between the lines of their priorities, there simply isn't one. Artificial Intelligence is the future, not people so it's unlikely you'll ever see Google attempt something like this again in the near future. And to be fair it's probably smart, between Facebook being ruled by Russian bots, milking your personal information as if it was fairy dust and Twitter becoming the Forum where the political divide becomes the maw of a soul-swallowing giant I would say the social media sphere is probably due a significant change in the next few years, if only one of them was built to encourage people being excellent with each other (cue guitar riff).

What's next for me then? Well my account will sail to the undying lands along with everyone else's by next August, which means if I want any chance at remaining a teensy bit relevant on Middle Earth, I have to rethink my online presence. I'll stay on twitter for as long as I can avoid the SSG, and should you wish to follow me there my handle is simply @jean_loup.

However I think it is now time to rebuild my website with a brand new URL, more relevant to the creative direction I want to take my life towards. That means somewhere I can post my photography, woodworking projects and music and maybe spend a little more time in the real world, talking to people around me. I'm grateful for all the friends I made here, I just wish it was easier for me to meet some of you in person, something I was never able to do in those 7+ years here on G+. I still have to make a final decision on the new domain name and will post it here when it's ready but I do hope I still get to see many of you, especially the scavengers over on the wider virtual social sphere. If anything I would be grateful if I were able to appease that sense of betrayal from Google by knowing I can keep some of you as friends.

Embedded Link

Project Strobe: Protecting your data, improving our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+
Findings and actions from Project Strobe—a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps’ data access.

Google+: View post on Google+

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