Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 18th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
Content copyright © 1995 - 2013 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk
Please visit the sponsor!
In order to achieve an ends, I recently had to log back into the FaceBook account I created a number of years ago but haven't used for a long, long time.
Now my intray is filled with FaceBook "friend" requests that (fortunately) drop into my spam tray -- and even a short stint on the site reminded me why it's something that just never appealed to me.
However, I do have to say that it's pretty obvious why Facebook succeeds where G+ has fallen flat on its face.
Facebook is simple, requires no new concepts or paradigms to be learned and provides a very simple platform for sharing ideas, information and opinion.
Compared to Facebook, G+ is a try-hard that seems unnecessarily complex, cumbersome and daunting.
From this perspective, it's easy to see why FaceBook has appealed to so many people who simply want to "do stuff" rather than engaging the steep learning curve associated with more complex offerings.
If you're the kind of person who grins in eager anticipation when presented with a complex problem or reams of instructions then Facebook might seem a little trivial and you'll see G+ as a challenge to be conquered.
Your mother, your father, the jocks in the first-fifteen and most other people however, will simply stick with Facebook and be chuffed to bits with what they can do with virtually no investment of effort or learning.
Unfortunately for Google, there are a lot more people who just want to "do stuff" via Facebook than want to spend time learning how to use G+.
For this reason alone, I suspect that G+ will never reach truly critical mass.
And that's a huge shame -- because Facebook is taking advantage of the fact that so many if its users are the "can't be bothered" type.
Facebook seems to treat its users with contempt -- dropping unannounced changes (almost always designed in the best interests of revenues rather than improving the user-experience) on its masses with great regularity.
The most recent example of this has been their automatic creation of a facebook email address for users, and its "installation" as their default address.
Yes, the YahooMail or GMail address you used when signing up for Facebook still works but the site is now playing "piggy in the middle" by creating an @facebook.com alias that becomes your public email persona.
Users are now finding that if they've been syncing their contacts list with Facebook, a huge swathe of the "actual" addresses they had for people have been replaced with the new @facebook.com address. This means the true address may have been lost and Facebook will now be able to analyse the contents of all communications sent to those people -- probably so they can drop targeted advertising into the stream.
There has been some outrage -- but I don't expect many users will log out permanently in protest.
As Facebook has discovered -- outrage is usually short-lived and nobody ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the public.
Me -- well I'm still looking for a decent social network before I sign away even more of my life to the internet.
Please visit the sponsor!
Oh, and don't forget today's sci/tech news headlines
Remember, this is purely a gift, you'll get nothing other than a warm fuzzy feeling in return.