Google's new social network, Google+, could either be "the future of Google's long-term revenue and profit growth," or yet another addition to the scrap heap of discarded Facebook competitors, says Tom Anderson, the founder and former president of MySpace, in TechCrunch. As the Google+ team tries to steer the new service onto that brighter path, Anderson draws on his mistakes at his once-dominant social network to offer some free advice, including exhortations to hire better product visionaries and take privacy seriously. Here, an excerpt:
Start seriously courting the journalists, tastemakers, and celebrities that are using and/or pontificating about G+. This doesn't mean Google should ignore "regular" user feedback... It just means they should have a real, personal relationship with [that triumvirate]...
I don't want to say people are "sheep," but if the general Internet population believes G+ is happening and here to stay, then they'll commit the time to try it out. Popular opinion is the biggest "filter" for most people — they don't have to try something if they've already been told it's not cool. Popular opinion is the ultimate "social search," if you will. This doesn't just apply to user counts (G+ hits 20 million!), of course. Popular opinion will shape every aspect of people's G+ perception.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why America won't have enough money to battle ISIS
Subscribe to the Week