Stockholm Syndrome and Google+

I am the first to admit that even though I am every now and then an early adopter, I tend to be a skeptic for every new service which is lauded even before it is started. Google+ is such a service. It is applauded by many in the tech industry as something really cool and really great, mainly because it doesn’t suck and it doesn’t have privacy issues.

It is not overly complicated as Wave, which was supposed to replace email, though the team forget that the big email issue is that email is so easy and that everybody can do it. Wave however was so complicated that the wonderful Gina Trapani even could write a book about it to explain it to normal people. Myinformation is not suddenly shared with everybody with whom I emailed 2 years ago as what happened with Buzz which was a default opt-in network from the start. Also the fact that it was in the inbox of people made it quite a mess.

Stockholm Syndrome

Now because it doesn’t suck and it doesn’t leak your information to a list of people you don’t want to be connected with, Google+ is labeled as as a great tool. Some are even talking about the ‘immense potential’ of Google+. To be honest those were the same people with Stockholm syndrome that were using Wave, which also had an immense potential according to them. This behavior is typical Stockholm syndrome behavior: people have positive feelings about Google+ because it doesn’t suck, that is the reason for them to see it as a brilliant thing.

So what is Google+ now? For me it is nothing special, though as I proclaimed in my article about Buzz, I might be a luddite. When talking about the immense potential, it means that currently functionality is not good enough and people hope for the better. The thing Google is supposed to be great in: ordering information, is something completely outsourced the users of Google+. Humans rather don’t want to make lists and if we do it, we are bad in it, or at least: Google is supposed to outperform on this matter.

For now Google+ is really a super user toy, great for the incrowd, great for pundits, but it is not better or different than other services already available. It still doesn’t provide a solution to a problem.


Filed under: Opinion

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