Good to see that things are being talked through, and thought about.

Good to see that things are being talked through, and thought about.

This (and several other incidents) bring home that Google does try to follow the mantra of "Don't be evil'. Yes, they stuff up (AP sniffing, China, this little matter, etc) but they are open about it, and, when they realise that a mistake has been made (in policy or otherwise) they say so. In public. And then go about fixing it.

The whole AP sniffing matter could have been swept under the carpet, for example. No-one would have known, except for Google themselves saying "Err, guys? We've made a mistake here..." For which they were roasted.

So, in short, I do believe that Google are trying to do the best they possibly can. But they are human, and make mistakes. But, unlike many other companies, they admit their mistakes, and do their best to fix them.

This is not to say that we should not complain when they get it wrong! If we do not, how will they know otherwise? Just don't claim that it is a sign that they have "gone bad, just like we always said they would". It is much more likely that someone just like you or I has stuffed up. And you can bet that they would really like to fix it, just like we would.

Originally shared by Robert Scoble

I talked with Google VP Vic Gundotra tonight (disclaimer, he used to be my boss at Microsoft). He is reading everything we have written about names, and such. Both pro and con.

He says he is making some tough choices and that he will be judged over time how those choices turn out.

He says that he is trying to make sure a positive tone gets set here. Like when a restaurant doesn't allow people who aren't wearing shirts to enter.

He says it isn't about real names. He says he isn't using his legal name here. He says, instead, it is about having common names and removing people who spell their names in weird ways, like using upside-down characters, or who are using obviously fake names, like "god" or worse.

He says they have made some mistakes while doing the first pass at this and they are learning. He also says the team will change how they communicate with people. IE, let them know what they are doing wrong, etc.

I pushed him to make more of the changes, like give us a good appeals process, etc.

He also says they are working on ways to handle pseudonyms, but that will be a while before the team can turn on those features (everyone is working hard on a raft of different things and can't just react overnight to community needs).

After running through his reasoning, mostly to have a nicer, more personal, community, I feel even stronger that Google is on the right track here even though I feel they weren't fair or smart in how they spun up these new rules, but Vic convinced me to hang in there and watch their decisions over the next few weeks.

I am on board and it will be interesting to watch Vic and his team. Me? I am having a ton of fun here and that is most of what counts.


  1. I'm afraid I'm not entirely inclined to trust good intentions - they're nothing without execution. And the problem so far has been bad actions, not insufficient words. And actions that contradict the words.

    Most of what I've heard from G+ staff on the names issue is "The product is what it is" (that's a quote, one I've seen more than once).

    There's "assume good faith" and then there's "your professed internal motivations are irrelevant, your actions are the problem."

  2. Given that the discussion with Scoble was this morning (Perth time), I would grant them at least a week (knowing full-well what can go wrong with rapid deployment of changes), but I would expect to see the suspensions stop or scale back a lot sooner.

    Lastly, I expect cock-ups at this stage. We are looking at a product that has been used internally (where different rules apply) for a year, and only released into the wild for a few weeks.

    And one more thing. Voice your concerns to the right people. If you take a look at the +'s on this, you'll find a likely candidate - or pointers to one, at least.

  3. I have a lot of friends who are wondering why they can not reshare from their android app version of G+. There are a few places that option could go: One it could look similar to the desktop version and go under the post but if space on the phone is an issue, it could go in the [...] in the upper right corner where you have the option to mute or report abuse. Just a thought.


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