Why Google Won't Talk About Google+ Stats And Why There Is Blood In The Water

Robert Scoble

Photo: Flickr/Mark Levin


Read that first.

Then read this:

The tech press will continue to attack Google+. I think that’s just fine.

We all know the truth. On my screen I’m seeing a new post EVERY 20 SECONDS scroll underneath my window.

It’s to the point where I can’t keep up and I’m only following 4,900.

Yes, Twitter, alongside of it, is moving a lot faster. But there I’m following 33,000 people (a number that has taken me almost three years to get to, by the way).

The tech press won’t give Google+ a chance and that’s OK.

We can write them off as “not getting it” or “not trying hard enough” but that really won’t help. All it will do is piss off the people who should be doing some real reporting, coming to my house, and studying what’s going on.

Hell, all they need to do is call up the folks who make Topsy. They are building a real-time search engine that studies Google+. But they won’t do that. I did http://youtu.be/-8CP0zcFOVQ Why won’t the tech press? Hello +Richard MacManus why haven’t you called them yet? They have the stats.

But I won’t do their work for them. I don’t think anyone will give Google a fair shake and, to tell you the truth, I don’t think the numbers are all that good if you compare to Twitter or Facebook, which is the real reason +Vic Gundotra won’t get into a stat war.

After all, let’s say there’s a million posts a day being made on Google+. That’s a small number compared to the 100s of millions of tweets and Facebook status messages being made every day. So why would Vic release those numbers? All it will do is make Google+ look lame in the tech press.

Vic knows that you should never help the competition.

See, the Tech Press wants Google+ to compete with Twitter and Facebook.

I think that’s unfair for a service that’s way late to the game.

Hint: it won’t compete. Anyone who thinks it will is smoking some good crack.

Google+ is NOT going to get your friends and family. I’ve been saying that since day #1. Remember back on July 1 I said that. Go back and read it: http://scobleizer.com/2011/07/01/why-yo-momma-wont-use-google-and-why-that-thrills-me-to-no-end/ Yeah, I know, I know, some of your friends and family are here. Fine, but that’s the exception, not the rule.

Google+ is NOT going to get the news media. Heck, when I was one of the first to Tweet that Steve Jobs had died I did that first on Twitter. Why? Because that’s the best place for signaling to others something important happened. I did the same thing last week when we had a small earthquake here. Yes, yes, I know, some of you came here to discuss Steve Jobs and the earthquakes. Again, that’s the exception, not the rule.

So, what’s Google+ for, then?

Here’s what Vic should start hammering ON EVERY APPEARANCE:

Google+ is for finding, and talking with, the people who are interested in the same thing you are.

Facebook is NOT a good place to do THAT. Does Facebook have a search engine? No! Can you find other people interested in Autism on Facebook? NO! You can on Google+ https://plus.google.com/s/Autism

Can you find that on Twitter? NO! Try the search: https://twitter.com/#!/search/Autism On Twitter you get a stream of links, news, and a BUNCH of noise!

Try it for a bunch of other searches.

Quilting: https://plus.google.com/s/Quilting

Football: https://plus.google.com/s/Football

Pottery: https://plus.google.com/s/Pottery

Deep sea fishing: https://plus.google.com/s/Deep%20Sea%20Fishing

DSLR Photography: https://plus.google.com/s/DSLR%20Photography

Now, try doing those searches on Twitter. Crap. Facebook? Doesn’t have a search engine.

Should I keep going?

Photography, in particular, is beautiful on Google+ but look at the above searches. Most have a photo, or a video on most of the posts. Why is that?

Google+ has an affordance for visuals. The other services don’t.

But there’s another reason why I keep posting here and linking here from Twitter, which drives the tech press nuts:

This is how I can scale my work.


Here, let’s talk about conversations. On Twitter we can have conversations, right? Sure we can. I can Tweet something like “I love my new iPhone, found any new apps?”

Then you can Tweet back about the apps you’ve found.

But, now, assume you are a third party. Can you see both sides of the conversation? No.

So, all that extra data you put into the system is LOST. THAT IS NOT SCALABLE.

It means that your work did NOT add any value to MY WORK. That sucks.

On Google+ (and on Facebook) the conversations “stick” together. So now you’ve added value to my work. And, my work added value to your work. This is what we mean by “scalable.” All of a sudden 1+1=3, not 1, the way is on Twitter.

Why do I say three? Because someone can see you are interested in the same things I am, and can click over to your Google+ account and find that you are also interested in the same things. That just does NOT happen on Twitter. It does happen on Facebook, but there’s a HUGE problem on Facebook. What is it?

Most users on Facebook have locked down their accounts so this value creation can NOT happen.

For instance, my wife has locked down her account. She does NOT want a discussion with the public. So, her conversations are NOT scalable.

Ours are, here.

So, what does that mean?

Well, the press wants to be the gatekeeper of scalable conversations.

See, if we have conversations here, rather than on the pro blogs, they can’t advertise to us, er, monetise us.

That really pisses them off, even if they will never admit that publicly.

Which is why I’m having so much fun here. I don’t care about monetizing or getting you to view my pages. I only care about having conversations with people who care about the same things I do.

Which is why a new post every 20 seconds is more than enough and why Google+ isn’t going anywhere, no matter what the tech press thinks about it.

If there’s a lesson here for Google it’s that they are explaining Google+ badly to the tech press. I think that will eventually get fixed as more and more people figure out the real value of Google+ when compared to Twitter and Facebook.

It just will take time. Eventually they will follow enough good people and stop following the usual suspects (like their friends and family). Eventually their screens will have enough flow. Eventually they will see the power of the search engine here. Eventually the brands and the other Google users (apps anyone?) will show up. Eventually the posts per day will go from a million a day or so to 50 or 100 million per day. Eventually Vic will be able to give Richard his stats.

In the meantime, thank you for the great photography, the great autism posts, the great tech news, the great videos. Keep it coming. I’m struggling to keep up, but it’s a lot more interesting here than on Twitter or Facebook BECAUSE we’re scaling up a knowledge base here together. One that’s a lot stronger than any blogging company I’ve ever seen.

Here’s my question: how many posts did RWW/Techcrunch/VentureBeat/GigaOm have today? How many comments? How many photos posted?

Why doesn’t anyone start drawing comparisons there?

Hint: because those stats DO NOT MATTER to anyone!

One great post is all a tech blog needs every day.

Excuse me, I just saw a bunch of great posts flow by underneath my Google+ window. Gotta run and read some of those.

CC: +Vic Gundotra +Natalie Villalobos +Louis grey +Bradley Horowitz

You can comment here or on the original post on Google Plus.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Tagged In

google sai-us