For all the pomp and circumstance, Google+ really is a floundering mess, isn’t it? While that’s surprising to some, it’s not like Google has been very successful with their other social endeavors, either.
Since launching the service last Summer, Google has tried incredibly hard to sell us on their (no longer) new and (not so) exciting social network. Now, I haven’t shied away from expressing my views on why the social network is (for me) considered as a failure.
For the past few days though, I’ve grown confused by Google’s recent decision to bring Digg founder Kevin Rose into their business. Digg is easily one of the few sites that I would point to as having been responsible for pioneering the viral aspects of socially shared content.
So, credit to Rose there.
But as a maturing business, Rose and Digg made some incredible (and to some, unforgivable) mistakes. They literally pulled the rug out from their users. They changed designs. They altered their algorithms. They failed to listen to their power users and brand champions.
And nearly overnight, Digg was dead. Rose later moved on to Milk – a company that was central to Google’s recent acquisition of Rose and his crew. But… why?
Kevin Rose has announced that he has taken a job with Google, just as rumored earlier this week, along with the team brought together for short-lived mobile app incubator Milk. The Digg founder somewhat appropriately took to Google+, the search giant’s social network, to confirm his new employer, though there’s still no indication of what it is that Rose will be doing at Google.
That brings me to one critical issue here – and it’s not a new thing for me to introduce… The end user. Last week I said (as it applies to Google+):
Google has become a vehicle to user’s end destination on the web. Google’s ideal users don’t stay and hang out in a Google environment. They engage, review, click and leave. Therefore, creating an environment that disrupts their core business should be expected to fail. Miserably.
Let’s get back to Rose.
Rose’s tenure at Digg proved that in this space, the end user runs the show. I tend to think that with Google and Google+, the users themselves have built up a desire to use Google services and quickly flee, making the notion that Google+ is a sticky community a tough pill to swallow. So, would Rose really see himself as a good fit there?
Perhaps not. And, perhaps the work of Milk was more Android-oriented, as some reports suggest.
I’m still left wondering though: Where can Rose actually find some success here? How can he turn his career around?
Was the hiring of Rose simply a way for Google to address their issues bringing in someone with a large degree of relevance? Did they just throw money at a problem hoping that it would go away?
I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now… and I just don’t see why Google would expect Rose to help them build something they’ve already failed with so many times.
Failure as a result of trying is great. I’m all for that. But I also know how Einstein described what “insanity” was, too. So, there’s that.
I hope that for Rose and the Milk crew, they find success. I have my concerns about Rose’s personality (as we viewed it at Digg) fitting in within Google’s less flexible structure. Hopefully that’s all issues of perception, though. It would be nice to see Google find some traction and improve their social tools. finally.
What do you think? Comment below — and enjoy your lunch.