For the past several weeks I have been reading about this great new phenomenon called Google+. Almost all of the reviews are about how fantastic Google+ and particularly the concept of “Circles”. I begin to wonder if Google isn’t somehow greasing the wheels. Don’t get me wrong; I am not partial to either side of who is the better and who will come out on top. I just question motivations when about 99% of industry people come down on one side or another.
Me, I have my reservations when it comes to Google+ due to one serious flaw that became immediately obvious. You can access Facebook at any time without having to do anything other than to sign in. Google on the other hand is tied to your Google account, which means that you need a Google account and gmail in order to have a Google+ account, and you must be signed in. That has several consequences.
First, I have a personal Google account and a business Google account. That means that if I am in my business account, which I usually am, I need to sign out and sign in to my personal account to see if anyone has said anything that I might want to know about. Facebook on the other hand I can just bookmark and go to without any fuss.
Second, this means that I have to have one service if I want another. In other words, no gmail, no Google+. I have to monitor another email account and all of the spam that it collects in order to “play” in the Google+ world. Alright, I already have a personal account, but I also do not like the fact that in order to check my personal account, I have to log out of my business account to do it. It would seem logical that Google would allow, or make available some way to tie these accounts together.
Third, having all of these pieces tied together on your dashboard means that Google is the one stop shop for people to gather all the information on the internet about you. At some point, someone will hack into Google and steal a few million identities. Then there will be havoc.
Finally, while businesses like to deal with large suppliers due to a perceived stability, individuals prefer to do business with smaller, more personalized businesses as there is the perception that they will receive that personalized service. Think about it. As an individual have you not encountered a company that all of a sudden you decide has gotten too big. All you can do is email them or leave a message. There is no one that you can speak to in order to get that one little, but critical piece of information without signing up for a service plan that will cost you more than the software. What is your immediate reaction? You look to see who can fulfill that need. You vow not to deal with that company again. Well, the way that Google is packaging their product now screams that “we are the giant!” “We want to own the internet!” I have seen several companies try similar things in other industries in my lifetime, and the result was always the same. They started to loose market share.
Just my opinion though.