A nice look at language as a wrapper, but not ultimate determinant, of our thinking -- and the powerful impact it...

A nice look at language as a wrapper, but not ultimate determinant, of our thinking — and the powerful impact it…

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A nice look at language as a wrapper, but not ultimate determinant, of our thinking — and the powerful impact it can have on us. By David Amerland



  1. Thank you for sparking this off again with your share Gideon Rosenblatt

  2. Eli Fennell important additions to this thread. Thank you!

  3. You’re very welcome, David Amerland .

    Eli Fennell , I’m so appreciative of the perspective you bring to this place. You’re not just some tech guy going on about this or that, but rather have a range of you’re on which you have interesting things to add, as was the case here. You make this place ‘more better.’

    And David, the exact same thing can be said about you too.

  4. Yeah, you know, if I just had more faith in top Google management’s real commitment to this platform, I would begin a campaign of trying to convert others to using this place, especially thought leaders with something important to say. In so many ways, it is really well designed for that. It’s just that, because of a perceptual gap, that’s just not what this place is seen as by the outside. I think that’s one of the things that old-timers like us get frustrated by. We came in early, invested, and then benefited from ‘not realizing’ the platform was broken, because for us, it wasn’t.

    But over the last few years, it was broken. First by that arrogant dude who came in to lead things with a mobile-first strategy that lacked such nuance that it simply threw away the hard stuff.

    Even now we are not recovered. I had to post this comment first and then hit edit because I’d just run into a character limit bug.

  5. Eli Fennell, first, I really agree with you about Google Photos. The machine vision capabilities end up being a killer feature, and I think that you’re right about the social layer. It’s unobtrusive and just seems to work pretty well for the broad use case of sharing images with one’s social connections. I don’t know how professional photographers feel about it these days, since there doesn’t appear to be much energy given to public exposure.

    Where I have a slightly different interpretation is on the origins of G+. From what I can tell digging back into some of the history a while ago, there was a core team who weren’t starting with the “kill Facebook at any cost” mentality. This group originated in the “sharing is broken on the web” philosophy, which is why they went as far as they did with Circles and all the complexity of being able to segment audiences that went with it. I also think that from the get go, what this group was trying to build was more of a Twitter killer in the sense of a place for reaching people with shared interests. To put some faces to this group, I’ll mention Chris Messina and Joseph Smarr.

    Then you have the senior management team, some probably on the G+ team like Vic but upper echelons of the company as well most likely. And for these folks, it was all about Facebook and the threat that they represented down the road. These folks never really understood what this network was (and interest-sharing network) and thought they could simply position and shift the product they had into something that competed with Facebook. It did not and could not, as the world didn’t really need another network for connecting with friends. Two’s a crowd when it comes to that kind of stuff. So, the service spent a couple years in the Bardos of Social Media, not really know what it was. It reinvented itself over and over without much of a clear vision. I really do think that the killer blow was retooling the whole service in that mobile-first strategy, but there were plenty of undermining decisions that preceded it.

    Then, over this last 18 months or so, there does seem to have emerged some agreement about the shared-interest orientation of this network, which led to a lurch to Collections and Communities. Now, it’s realized it’s gone a bit too far in that direction, losing the focus on people and relationships. The problem at this point is two-fold, I believe:

    1) The team seems to simply not have enough resources to make large-scale investments these days. New features are relatively few and far between, and those we get aren’t really all that mind-boggling.

    2) The world may well be losing some interest in social networks. I’m not saying we’ll have no social networks. There’s clearly a need here; it’s just that some of the frothy excitement of 8-10 years ago has waned.

  6. Gideon Rosenblatt that’s a great summation. I am in agreement with most of that. Eli Fennell interesting you mentioned the social layer of Google Photos, before that (to add a little history here) we had Flickr which the team had developed with great social sharing and connecting capabilities. It was acquired by Yahoo under VP of Product, Bradley Horowitz (who later came on to Google and in 2015 became responsible for G+). According to the team’s own account Bradley stripped Flickr of everything apart from the photo-upload/sharing capability, failed to really integrate Flickr team’s culture and ethos with Yahoo and well, Flickr is just another failed experiment on the web. I mention this to show just how powerful the connecting/sharing capability is in the success of anything (heck, there are entire communities of a sort formed around the PS4 network because players can interact with each other during online games and connect afterwards through friendship invitations!).

    This is just an awesome discussion. Gratitude to you both.

  7. .نة.ةحخةمحححةنحم.حن.ةحةمحن.ن.

  8. David Amerland that’s really interesting. I’d not made that connection. I wonder if that was around the same time that Yahoo messed up Delicious too. That, too, was an amazing service that went into free fall upon its becoming acquired by Yahoo.

  9. Gideon Rosenblatt companies that fail to grasp a vision for their products. #NotNewSadly

  10. Yeah, and I don’t know if either of you ever used Delicious, but it too was awesome. Geeky, but an awesome and very early way to share discoveries on the web.

  11. Gideon Rosenblatt yeah I did and it disappeared.

  12. I Wana know more about mind breins nd souls

  13. Is very very learning experience for me

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