I’m not sure I’d explain it the way that Chris Messina does here, but I think he’s right to question what’s going on with Google+ these days. I do.
Here’s Chris’ conclusion:
Whereas Pinterest helps you express your aspirational self, Google pigeonholes you into what you already are, based on your previous search activity. This is where improving the data that Google has about you — in turn trusting Google as a steward of that data—changes the nature of the conversation by making it less about “privacy” and more about empowerment. While some people will freak out (as they always do), this would be a bold, productive, future-forward direction to take.
I think he’s hitting on something here, but I would describe it as helping people to play a more active role in managing not just their interest graph, but their shared interest graph.
Let’s face it. Facebook grabbed the social graph that matters – the one that connects us to our existing friends and family. That was a lost battle day-one for Google. Instead, it should have been 1000% focused on helping people to build a rich information network around the things we care most about – our interest graph – and then to use that interest graph to connect us with new people who share those interests with us – our “shared interest graph.”
That strategy would have completely supported the company’s search business and built up on its strengths and its mission to to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
In one of Dave Besbris’ most recent interviews, it seemed as though I was hearing something that mapped more to this kind of focus, but the reality, the harsh reality, is that innovation on Google+ has pretty much crawled to a snail’s pace of late. And that is a real shame. There is so much value here, and so much potential that has yet to be unlocked.