#usblogs: Week 4 Round-Up Learnings From The Movies

Appropriate for this Academy-Awards weekend especially when the Facebook movie competes our theme looks at what we can learn from the movies, awards, and entertainment industry in general!

WHAT IS #USBLOGS?

A fun way to spice up our blogging efforts, #usblogs is a group weekly blogging game within the #usguys tribe! Every Friday night, well pick a common theme, and blog away until Monday morning. No particular rules or template, no winners either the benefit is simply to push each other to blog on a great topic, learn, have fun, and start a wider conversation with (hopefully) great diversity in our points of view.

Anyone can participate by suggesting topics, posting articles on their own blog, and of course, reading, commenting and sharing the results!

If youre already a #usblogs contributor, you know what to do if youre #usguys, see below for How it works if youre not #usguys yet, #usblogs is a great way to jump in and join in the groups conversation there is no qualification to join our tribe, except a desire to be part of a great group, and participate to our 24/7 chats with an open and positive mindset welcome!

HOW #USBLOGS WORKS

Monday-Thursday: we all suggest themes for the following week-end; any #usguys member can suggest a theme, to keep the game open to all, not just those who already posted; to suggest, simply send a tweet with the following format: Theme: xxxxx #usblogs #usguys Please RT to Vote!

Friday: well pick one theme on a simple popular votes basis the most retweeted; this ensures themes have broad appeal for both writers and readers and hopefully enough controversy to stimulate different perspectives and opinions: Ill be happy to keep track and announce the theme each Friday pm, around 6pm NY time.
Saturday & Sunday: we all write and post on our own blogs

Before Monday Mid-Day: we all tweet our posts with the #usblogs hashtag, and update our own posts with a round up of all other #usblogs posts.

Reality is Broken

A very stimulating read, Reality Is Broken will challenge your perceptions of what gaming is all about, why it is so addictive, and why contrary to popular belief it is anything but a waste of time. Jane McGonigal will blow your mind with her vision that a game developer will earn a Nobel Peace Prize by 2035. A bold goal she is actively working on, with her 14 fixes for reality: unleashing the power of gaming to improve every aspects of our real world lives.

GG now that would be an Epic Win!

WHY I PICKED IT UP

A gamer myself, I have always been fascinated by applications of gaming principles beyond games including brand marketing and management. I was struck by Jane McGonigals ideas since watching her talk at TED last year. I had her upcoming book on my watch list for a while, and downloaded it to my Kindle on the first day it came out.

THE BIG IDEA

Gaming is fast becoming the biggest entertainment business on our planet, ahead of TV, movies or music. Every day, hundreds of millions of players spend their free time locked away from reality, roaming virtual worlds such as Halo, World of Warcraft or Farmville; waste of time? breakdown of society? In fact, no quite the contrary.

Modern video games add layers of computer graphics, immersive multi-player environments and visual point systems; but thats just the lipstick. At their core, all games share the same features : goals + rules and obstacles + feedback systems + voluntary participation. Well defined constructs that makes us want to work hard at the best of our abilities to beat them.

The reason some of the greatest games are so addictive, is because they fuel core emotional needs: giving our actions deeper meaning, taunting us with a fair shot at success, offering the pride of visible progress, and facilitating social connections. In comparison with the consistent kicks, flow and fiero games give us each time we play, everyday reality seems broken. It just has not been as well engineered to keep us motivated.

Playing is the most actively engaged activities you can think of, and McGonigals million dollars question is how we can put it to work to fix the real world.

How can we embrace play principles to hack reality, and design:

games that change the way we learn, like the experimental NY school Quest to Learn
games that make daily chores more fun, like Chore Wars
games that connect people across generations, like Bounce

games that drive volunteering, like The Extraordinaries
games that harness scale cooperation, like The Guardians crowdsourced effort Investigate Your MPs Expenses

games that curb energy consumption, like Lost Joules
games that help predict and shape our future, like the what if game Superstruct
A FEW COOL NUGGETS

The real world doesnt offer up as easily the carefully designed pleasures, the thrilling challenges and the powerful social bonding afforded by virtual environments. Reality doesnt motivate us as effectively.
From zero to peak experience in thirty seconds flat no wonder video games caught on. Never before in human history could this kind of optimal, emotional activation be accessed so cheaply, so reliably, so quickly.
Compared with games, reality is too easy.

Games challenge us with voluntary obstacles and help us put our personal strengths to better use.Compared with games, reality is trivial. Games make us part of something bigger and give epic meaning to our actions.
Social network games make it both easier and more pleasurable to maintain strong, active connections with people we care about () gamers are experimenting with new ways to create social capital.

More than 15 million people had fought on behalf of (Halos) United Nations Space Command. Thats roughly the total number of active personnel of all twenty five of the largest armed forces in the real world, combined.; Just because kills dont have value doesnt mean they dont have meaning.

World of Warcraft fans are so intent on mastering the challenges of their favorite game that, collectively, theyve written a quarter of a million wiki articles on the WOWWiki creating the single largest wiki after Wikipedia.

Games, in the twenty-first century, will be a primary platform for enabling the future.
MY THOUGHTS

Can I make it a game?
Thats a question Ill be asking much more often now, both at home and in the office. Opportunities to turn mundane tasks into highly engaging ones, stare me in the face everywhere I look. From creative briefings and team management, to getting the kids to brush their teeth and eat their vegetables

Why Annual Performance Reviews Suck And How Gaming Can Fix Them

You set goals at the start of the year, fill in a form of some kind, review results twelve months later, have a chat, a rating, and a pay rise. What a broken system

WHATS WRONG WITH ANNUAL REVIEWS?

They happen once a year. Yes, its a tautology. But I really dont know why annual is an appropriate frequency to manage performance, other than to keep HR clear to do other stuff eleven months in a year. Its a horizon most people cant wrap their heads around its just too far away.

They are static. Why is it right to be doing in October what I said Id be doing back in January? Annual reviews hardly take change in marketplace conditions into account, or new ideas, and become increasingly disconnected with real-time action as the year goes not much space for agility.

They are scary . They happen rarely, with all sorts of official rituals, and they have a major influence on career and compensation. Managing your performance and development is designed to be intimidating why is that?

They are boring . I want my work to make a difference. I want an adventure to inspire me to do my best, I want a mountain to climb. No such thing in APRs, its just paperwork and to do lists, move along

They are sandbagged. Unless youre a newborn, masochist or come from another planet, youll know that under-promise and over-deliver is the only winning strategy. Reviews are not designed to set big hairy ambitious goals.

They are linked to pay. OK, there has to be a fair mechanism to manage pay. But money is not what gets people to wake up every day, inspired to do amazing work so why is the main mechanic to manage employee performance still driven by the needs of a compensation process?

They are individualistic. Set individually, poorly aligned in most cases, they dont give enough incentives to work as teams. Worse yet, youre not supposed to share your review with your peers and co-workers, which makes sure no-one really knows what your super-powers are, or how they can help you improve.

They are simultaneous. Sorry, but evaluating everybody at the same time is not how you can do a great job developing each person. It just isnt.

They are manual. I live in a world where I can get 10 metrics on our online influence, set google alerts, and use my iPhone as a visual universal translator why do I still have to type in all targets and results myself in a word document or web form?

They are bell-curved. Bell-curving means you get a better rating if youre just good in an average team, than if youre outstanding in an outstanding team. Talk about a counter-incentive system there!

Dont you find it mind-blowing that such a weak, un-motivating system still exists?
HERES WHAT I WOULD DO INSTEAD.

I would learn from everything I love about gaming, and how RPGs put players in charge of their characters growth path, working hard on missions of increased difficulty, choosing how to upgrade their competencies, collaborating with others in quest parties and guilds even motivating them to do menial repetitive labor like grinding foes, mining or even fishing.

And I would turn Performance Reviews into the best game youve ever played something youd actually want to engage in, every day, to perform better, and grow.

I would make it Real-Time and Mission based. Forget annual, this system would be live and keep track of progress every day. Every project would be a like mission that deserves its own evaluation. Every success would count towards critical job experience points (CJEX), eventually triggering access to higher levels of pay and more complex job missions. Failure would not be permanently scaring, but rather would identify immediate areas of improvement and learnings.

I would make it about Learning and Flow. CJEX would build up a number of on-the-job-learning competencies. The higher youd rise, the more challenging it would become to earn CJEX, but the difficulty would always be right for your level. Volunteer-based special projects would offer opportunities to take on challenges above and beyond every-day responsibilities. Employees would gain access to training credits, which they would allocate on the competencies that matter to them. Strong incentives would exist to promote beyond-the-job development such as bonus pay for learning a new language, reading relevant business books, keeping up with your consumers on twitter and blogs, and sharing what youve learned.

I would make it Integrated. Performance management would be embedded in everyday business tools, such as email or instant messaging that allows you to send kudos points, or innovation stage-gate processes where employee contributions are identified and tracked. Sentiment analysis and online behavioral metrics would also help qualify everyones level of influence, collaboration and leadership style, and offer actionable feedback through a personal dashboard.

I would make it Social. Performance management would not be individual and secret, it would be part of a social network at the intersection of LinkedIn and Foursquare. Your current objectives would be posted on your profile, together with requests for help from colleagues. Collaboration would be a significant way to earn CJEX, and would be recognized by kudos points handed out by the peers you supported, rather than by your boss. Success would be recognized by unlocked trophies (like Foursquare), recognizing individual or team achievements, both in the short and long term. Your profile would also display your special powers (talents, skills, competencies) so team leaders can pick you for missions that could benefit from your expertise rather than through heavier people planning processes.

#usblogs: Week 2 Round-Up The 21st Century Leader

WHAT IS #USBLOGS?

A fun way to spice up our blogging efforts, #usblogs is a group weekly blogging game within the #usguys tribe!

Every Friday night, well pick a common theme, and blog away until Monday morning. No particular rules or template, no winners either the benefit is simply to push each other to blog on a great topic, learn, have fun, and start a wider conversation with (hopefully) great diversity in our points of view.

Anyone can participate by suggesting topics, posting articles on their own blog, and of course, reading, commenting and sharing the results!

If youre already a #usblogs contributor, you know what to do if youre #usguys, see below for How it works if youre not #usguys yet, #usblogs is a great way to jump in and join in the groups conversation there is no qualification to join our tribe, except a desire to be part of a great group, and participate to our 24/7 chats with an open and positive mindset welcome!

WEEK 2 ROUND-UP – THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY LEADER

Our theme this week a great one was posted by Mark Robertson (markosul) Book Eater | Storyteller | Intl Educator | Wounded Healer | Gonzo Travel Writer | Panamerican Gringo Live in the Brazilian Savanna w/his Bride if youre not following him already, I suggest you start right now.

The Leadership Of Friends by Libby Baker Sweiger. libbytalks

Monday-Thursday: we all suggest themes for the following week-end; any #usguys member can suggest a theme, to keep the game open to all, not just those who already posted; to suggest, simply send a tweet with the following format: Theme: xxxxx #usblogs #usguys Please RT to Vote!

Friday: well pick one theme on a simple popular votes basis the most retweeted; this ensures themes have broad appeal for both writers and readers and hopefully enough controversy to stimulate different perspectives and opinions: Ill be happy to keep track and announce the theme each Friday pm, around 6pm NY time.
Saturday & Sunday: we all write and post on our own blogs

Before Monday Mid-Day: we all tweet our posts with the #usblogs hashtag, and update our own posts with a round up of all other #usblogs posts.

Back To School 10 Leadership Lessons From Twitter

Great leadership is timeless. Since humankind crawled out of its caves and started grouping into hordes, tribes, and nations, great leaders have emerged to inspire us to go beyond ourselves, and join efforts broader than the individuals. Nothing new under the sun.

But in todays age of social media, movements and communities, more individuals than ever have opportunities to practice proven leadership principles and make a difference around them. Why? Not just because of they have easier access to a potential audience of followers but because forums like Twitter offer them the chance to learn and shine by using the most powerful form of leadership leading by example.

Leading by example means practicing what you preach. It means inspiring others to do what you do, not just what you say. It means becoming a lighthouse for your ideas and belief, that invites others to navigate by you. It also means being always thoughtful about the example you project when everything is public, and on record, being exemplary is key to maintaining leadership.

Participating in Twitter is a fantastic way to grow great leadership skills as long as you approach it with a mindset open to others, and a desire to never stop learning. Its great because of the instant feedback you will get from your followers its an accelerated learning playground for leaders.

Heres the sort of leader you can become on Twitter and beyond!

A LEADER WHO INSPIRES Either creating something new, or curating the best of what you read, Twiter is a fantastic opportunity to inspires others to think and act bigger; even better, its the perfect place to get others to join a community effort  .

A LEADER WHO GIVES Twitter is a place where you can take ideas, news, inspiration. Consider making it a place where you give your time, your ideas, your experience to benefit others and make them grow. This is the stuff Thought Leadership and inspiration are made of.

A LEADER WHO CHALLENGES – Getting others out of the comfort zone is a great service you can do them. Leaders are those who dont just say what others want to hear, but know how to ask questions that challenge conventional wisdom. A kind that is less frequent than you might think on Twitter where the easy way to be and stay popular to do is repeat (retweet) what the majority or gurus say. The challenging leader knows better.

A LEADER WHO STANDS HIS GROUND Leaders have a point of view and sometimes get criticized. Harshly. Leaders know what to fight for and defend what they believe in, even if it makes them unpopular. But having clear points of views will earn them respect with the right crowd, if not with everyone.

A LEADER WHO RALLIES Twitter is a mess, lets face it. It can feel like Grand Central station at rush hour, everyone busy going in his/her own direction. Leaders create stages others can rally around, and form communities from what would otherwise be chaos. #leadershipchat, #blogchat or #usguys are great examples the role of the leader being to create a playground and ground rules but then letting others play as they like!

A LEADER WHO FOLLOWS Leadership is not trying to be The Leader every time, all the time. Sometimes often in fact the best leaders know how to take direction from others, and be part of a bigger team.

A LEADER WHO PAYS IT FORWARD – Leadership cannot be selfish. To be recognized by others, you need to be as generous with them as you want them to be with you (and each other). And the only way to make that happen is to demonstrate it up-front rather than wat for them to start. Pay-it forward by engaging in their conversations, responding to their ideas, retweeting their posts, and promoting them before you.

A LEADER WHO RESPECTS No leader can succeed in the long term by alienating and offending others. Twitter offers countless opportunities to do just that, because lets face it, 140 characters with no non-verbal-cues, is a sure-fire recipe for every-day misunderstandings. Leaders on Twitter know how to go above and beyond normal to be inclusive, polite and respectful making sure they listen, acknowledge others, and avoid unnecessary conflicts.

A LEADER WHO FORGIVES Likewise, leaders know better than assume negative intent or take offense because of a bad interaction. No place for grudges in the heart of a leader.

A LEADER WHO APOLOGIZES Finally, leaders are not those who never make mistakes, but the ones who know how to deal with them gracefully. Great counter examples can be found in the terrible way Groupon answered to the backlash on their SuperBowl ads, first blaming an agency for the dreadful creative work. A better example is Kenneth Cole final apology on Facebook, for his offensive Tweet during #Egypt uprisings albeit a tad late in the day. True leaders acknowledge their mistakes and apologize, in a sincere way.

Save 140 Just Say NO! To Deck.ly

Since last month, users of the popular Twitter client Tweetdeck have been given access to a brand new service called deck.ly. In a nutshell, this new functionality enables Tweetdeck users to post long tweets well beyond the 140 character limit what is new is that within Tweetdeck, all users will see the longer tweet in full, like normal tweets; users of other clients will receive the tweet truncated with a url link to the longer text.

HERES WHERE ITS HEADING

Without the 140 constraint, lazy Tweetdeck users will feel no urge to condense their thoughts, sharpen their wits and be creative with the limits theyve been given. Why bother trying to be short and sweet if you can just type away?

Tweets will lose impact, and streams will become harder to digest. Hell, its already hard to scan and filter a stream today with 140 characters per tweet whats the upside there of adding unlimited rambling space?
Boundaries will start to blur between blogging and micro-blogging. Twitter with no size limit starts to look dangerously like an RSS feed to me whats to stop us from writing 500 characters, 2,000 characters, 10,000 characters tweets now?

Eventually, it will make Tweetdeck gain market share, but might turn hordes of users away from Twitter altogether, as the platform becomes more confused, cluttered and complex to navigate.
RULES MATTER

140 is not a limit of Twitter. Its the core idea that makes it interesting: Twitter is not fun despite the 140 constraint, it is fun because of it.

Sure, playing football with just one ball, or Scrabble with 7 letters gives players limits it would be easier to just throw all rules out the window and makes games easier. But like Twitter, Football and Scrabble are interesting because of the voluntary obstacles that the rules create:

its because of the 140 limit that you twist your brains every time you want to say something, to say it with impact, humor and creativity;
its because of the 140 limit that you agree to receive this endless deluge of updates from hundreds and thousands of other users at least theyre short;

Rules matter because they force us to be more creative, but also because they bound us all together around common values, behaviors, and intents. Creating a two-speed Twitter with a larger podium on one particular client, is a bad idea because it risks breaking the shared culture that makes Twitter the true social network it is today.

IF YOU CANT TELL ME IN 140, I DONT WANT TO HEAR IT IN 280.

Dont get me wrong here I want to hear what you have to say beyond 140, and get deeper into your ideas and thought process. But thats called a blog, or an email or a face to face conversation. Forums and channels abound where you can express yourself without space constraints.

In Twitter, if you cant tease and convince me to click on your link in 140 characters, youre sure not going to get me in 280. The answer to a bad headlines is not long body copy, its a better, sharper headline.

PLEASE RT AND COMMENT IF YOU AGREE!

Im having a hard time understanding how Twitter can let Tweetdeck undermine this core aspect of their platform they probably should ban it altogether.
Until then, lets say no to deck.ly friends dont let friends tweet beyond 140!

 

Podium or Network? Twitter Really Is A MMORPG

Twitter: Podium or Network? is the question we asked in our first #usguys week-end group blogging endeavour, #usblogs.

Excellent answers have been posted, most arguing for the idea Twitter can be used for both, and gives most of its value when seen as a community-building channel (see all at bottom of the post).

Great. I agree. But Ill take a left field approach here and argue Twitter is something else altogether.

I believe Twitter is a game I believe its a good thing, but it could be better and I believe we could leverage it to make our real world better. If youre not quite sure how Twitter relates to gaming and could create better outcomes if it we made it more playful. read on!

WORLD OF TWITTER YES, ITS A GAME

Whats a game? In her stellar book Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal outlines four key attributes: a goal, clear rules and obstacles, feedback, and voluntary participation.

Lets take Twitter through this checklist:

Goals users can go after a wide range of objectives: (1) stimulation, news and ideas, (2) social connections and peer interaction, (3) status, influence and recognition, (4) business lead generation However, the common path to success is always to break through the clutter and get your tweets noticed thats the goal.

Rules – the 140 character limit is the type of unnecessary obstacle games are made of no less arbitrary than the 7 letters rule in Scrabble Yes, it would be easier without the limit, but its precisely this constraint that makes it interesting, and fun; you need to be creative within 140.
Feedback from number of followers and retweets, all the way to Klout and PeerIndex, there are plenty of ways to keep track of how well youre playing; not different from video game scores, points and levels.
Voluntary Participation for most folks, Twitter is not a job, its a fun recreational activity.
Its a game.

To be exact, its a MMORPG.
Yes, thats the same kind as World of Warcraft.

MMO, or Massively Multiplayer Online.
Over 200 million Twitter profiles have been created to date, of which an estimated 25 million are active. Thats more than the 11 million and change that play WOW on a regular basis. Arguably this makes Twitter the biggest MMO to date.

RPG, or Role Playing Game.
Everybody on Twitter assumes a role usually very close to the everyday reality, often an embellished and more focused version. We all want to look good, and project the bright sides of our personalities. And as a place for specialized interests, Twitter does not value multi-faceted participation much.

Research seems to even suggest the palette of possible roles is pretty narrow Sam Fiorellas recently posted Defining Your Audience Personality, where he explains the characteristics of seven key Twitter types thats the closest Ive seen to describing Tweeps in RPG classes!

Dont think I mean game in a bad way here. Im a gamer and dont see gaming as a waste of time, or malicious activity (as in this guys a player or dont play games with me). Games are popular because they make us happy, and challenge us to always push ourselves, to get better getting in flow. Play is not the opposite of work its a more exciting and engaging version of work.

Its great Twitter is a game because it engages participants to do more of what I think is a very productive activity. But you know what it could do it better.

MAKING TWITTER A BETTER GAME TWO WEAKNESSES

Twitter has one of the steepest learning curves you can find. This is why roughly half of every recruit drops out in less than a month. There are no clear instructions, no tutorial to speak of, and hardly any help to find your first connections or learn the etiquette. In short, no one tells you what you are supposed to do, or how to do it.

Its missing higher order goals. Im not talking about proverbial princesses to save from evil dragons. But objectives and missions could vastly enhance the usefulness of Twitter for individuals and the community: the equivalent of MMORPG quests, focusing activity behind clear tasks and rewards. Imagine adding this to this game that we already play in our real world, rather than in Azeroth or some other virtual environment.

Why not? Why couldnt we play Twitter to make good things happen in our world?

Maybe it wouldnt take more than a number of smart game developers tapping into Twitter API and overlaying it with a mission system helping newbies find their way and giving experts challenges to make their tweet both more fun and more useful!

Heres three ways Id use it.

TWITTER AS A GAME FOR GOOD THOUGHT STARTERS

Education and News
How about we all drove Twitter on a learners permit? We all already share and retweet interesting links and news, contributing to all tweeps learnng together. How about a game that rewards us for hunting and sharing those stories, with higher points the newer and more interesting these stories are? Like keeping a tally of all those +1 we already give each other when we really like a tweet.

Fundraising.
Fundraisers and charities already abound on Twitter. Tweet this, re-tweet that, $1 for every tweet with #whatever hashtag. A fundraising game could structure these efforts, and engage more participants. Maybe as simple as adding a new metric in Klout and PeerIndex, based on your social capital and generosity.

Co-creation.
#usblogs is already a good example of co-creation effort many bloggers agreeing to create on a single theme to create a bigger conversation. Why not write books, make music, shoot films through Twitter? A game could give points for connecting people who could create well together a focused version of Follow Friday. Or it could set creative challenges; the most  handles attached to an entry, the better.

Virtual Corporations.
Imagine hiring Tweeps. Not for a 8 hours/day job in an office with desks and walls. No, working from home, as little as 5 minutes a day. Youd sign up for missions according to your skills and passions. They would have increasing complexity, both to prove yourself and to keep you interested. Maybe youd start as an intern (mission go to a store to take pictures of competitors products) and work your way up to CMO (mission organize other players to create a full ad campaign). All the way to CEO

Five Fatal Flaws of Google+

Its been over 3 months since my last post so what brings me back to writing? Of course, the one topic everybody is talking about, Google+.

Full disclosure, Im very curious to see how much traffic I can get from Google+ vs Twitter or Facebook, and I really needed a fresh post for that  but as Ive been playing with the new service since day one, I have a few thoughts to share.

I WANT TO SEE GOOGLE TAKE A BITE OUT OF FACEBOOK.

Yes, I have a big Google+ bias. I hate monopolies, think competition is good for users, and always take the side of a challenger after all, I did not pick the Pepsi side of the cola war by accident.

But Im afraid it wont happen. At least not unless Google address some major flaws.

LET ME START WITH THE GOOD STUFF.

Circles. Already talked to death as the most innovative feature.
You can post different things to different people, rather than indiscriminately publish family photos and business blog posts to all friends, colleagues, and to your mom. Genius, and very well executed.

Also worth pointing out, the shape of the network itself.
Contrary to Facebook, Google+ lets you add people without the need for them to add you back. That makes it more public than Facebook, and contrary to GUI appearances, closer to Twitter. It also translates into a much looser definition of friends. G+ lets you add new followers to circles which you can read from and write to or just ignore. The secret is that when you add someone, they dont know which circle theyve been added to

And theres a lot of very innovative smaller features:

  • 10 people video-chat hangouts
  • social YouTube videos viewing
  • the + button Googles version of the like
  • always on integration in the Google home page
  • and what we cant see yet, but for sure is coming Google apps integration such as shared calendars, shared Google docs etc

Thats the good. Lets go to the bad and the ugly.

FLAW 1. SURPRISINGLY CLUNKY.

Yes. Google+ has a great GUI.

But spend a few days trying to manage your circles and You. Will. Go. Crazy.
Its easy enough to add a few folks, but it just doesnt work with hundreds. Too hard to manage who goes where Too much work to click on full profiles just to find out who people are And the best circle management features only work in some areas of the site.

Also on the clunky side, notifications. Really Google, there really was no way to give it a little bit of hierarchy?
Maybe like: (1) people adding me, (2) comments, +s and shares on my posts, (3) mentions of me in other peoples posts, (4) every other stuff Im likely not to care about like the endless stream of further comments made to every post I comment on. Yes, sometimes I want to follow the conversation. Mostly though, I dont, so please let me choose.

Fairness to Google, these are not fatal flaws. G+ is still in beta, and the Google team have been remarkably quick to adjust based on user feedback. Theyll sort it out.

FLAW 2. ITS WHERE PEOPLE COME TO TALK ABOUT GOOGLE+

Take a look at the feed from my Friends circle.


Now check out Family.

The reason theyre both empty is that none of my friends or family members have joined the service.
And heres the trick I invited them, they did not come.

They just dont care. Facebook already solved their networking problem. No one loves Facebook, but everybody loves family and friends, and they are all on Facebook. Google+ is arguably a better system but better is not enough. Google+ has to be better by leaps and bounds to convince you to go through the hassle of uprooting existing content and connections.

So who do you see using the service today?
People like me: twitter-addicts who over-use social media out of professional necessity or personal interest, and are happy to maintain a presence on every corner of the social web. Not a good sign as Google cant thrive on just the super-users and social media elite.

FLAW 3. WHY SO COMPLICATED?

Take a look at this chart.

No, really: take a look.
Its not even a joke its really how things work. Bit complicated maybe?
Too many rocket-scientists working at Google

FLAW 4. CIRCLES GETS IT BACKWARDS.

Circles are great. But its a broadcasters view of the world. It says you are in control of what content you share and who you want to share it with. OK, but the control most people want is over what content they receive and consume.

I dont want to see the Foursquare check-ins that my friends choose to share with me.
I dont want to read every stupid funny cartoons a blogger decides to publish as public between his great posts.
I simply dont want to get every post from every person I add to my circles I just dont trust them to know what Ill be interested in more than me.

And of course when brands come on board, I will want to choose to receive the promos, or the ads, or the content.

FLAW 5. ITS A MASSIVE FIRE-HOSE!

Finally, updates and posts just never stop, and filtering by circle is not enough.

My Twitterville feed is a small sign of things to come only 70 handpicked people, and its already an unbearable stream of clutter. No offense guys: I think the same of my main Twitter feed, but at least tweets are shorter, so I can skim through faster.

Theres a reason 140 works – I dont want a Twitter-feed with longer posts.
I already hated this idea when deck.ly introduced it, Im not going to start loving it now.

 

#usblogs: Week 3 Round-Up Building Your Offline Klout

Our theme this week was suggested by our resident award-winning film-maker and contrarian Dan Perez

Klout, and other influence metrics, have always driven lots of conversations and controversy within the #usguys tribe. Nows the time to read what we collectively think about Klout, influence, and metrics that metter online and beyond!

#UsBlogs: Welcome To #UsGuys Weekly Blogging Game!

In case you missed the #usguys stream this SuperBowl week-end, something really cool just started within the #usguys group.

One conversation instantly sparked an idea, and inspired fifteen different blog posts by #usguys tribe members!

What happened? We simply decided to all post at the same time, on the same topic, with a common hashtag (#usblogs) as a means to create a bigger conversation and make our blogging efforts more fun.