Gongol.com Archives: June 2011
Brian Gongol


June 29, 2011

Computers and the Internet Google takes on Facebook
The company has launched "Google Plus", which is an attempt at a social-networking website. It might work, and then again, it might not. Undoubtedly, many people will try it out -- but that is no guarantee of durable success. A lot of people tried the Macarena, too. In its favor, of course, is the fact that Google already has enormous reach -- whether people use Gmail or Google Voice or just use the search engine, they already probably have some form of contact with Google already. But that may be what sinks Google Plus, as well. People already express (reasonable) concerns about Facebook and its wildly inconsistent (and unprofessional) approach to protecting user privacy. But Facebook only gets what people put into Facebook. Over-sharing, though common, is at least partly the result of the user not showing enough discretion of his or her own. Google, on the other hand, has a natural reach into most everything a reasonable person might do online -- from their email to the videos they watch, to their search habits and vastly more. It's one thing when an upstart like Facebook starts to have just a little too much reach into one's life -- it's another for Google to try to get people to go all-in with their site, voluntarily becoming participants not just in those separate projects that Google offers through its products, but through a sort of meta-Google identity, which is what Google Plus sounds like it's trying to become. That may just be a little too much for some users. Then again, if Google Plus fails, it could be due to a million other causes -- some early testers don't like the user interface, for instance. It's a much more mundane-sounding thing, but if the site is too hard for people to get into using, they simply won't stay. Google isn't -- and can't be -- the nimble startup it once was, so bureaucratic behaviors are inevitable, and those may alone be enough to sink the project. On the other hand, perhaps Google Plus will turn out to have arrived just at the right moment, as Facebook fatigue sets in with ever-more users who are interested in trying something new.

Iowa Installation of a giant new scoreboard at Jack Trice Stadium
(Video) Interesting time-lapse stuff

Humor and Good News Someone at Amstel is a genius
Picking up on the notoriety of the Boston Bruins' bar tab after the Stanley Cup parade, they noted that someone bought exactly one bottle of Amstel Light, so they've offered free beer to whichever of the teammates steps forward to claim it as his own. Genius. Just genius.

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