Follow us:

Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

June 28, 2011 at 11:54 AM

The definitive story on Google+, its latest Facebook killer

For the backstory on the Google+ social network launched today by the search giant, take a look at Steven Levy’s extensive post at Wired.com.

Levy followed the project during nearly a year he spent inside Google, working on his book “In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives,” so he was prepared to post the definitive piece today on the Google+ release.

A bit from the top:

The product it’s announcing is called Google+, and observers might wonder whether it’s simply one more social effort by a company that’s had a lousy track record in that field to date.

Parts of it certainly seem to appear similar to what we’ve seen before. One significant component is a continuous scroll called “the Stream” that’s an alternative to Facebook’s news feed, a hub of personalized content. It has a companion called “Sparks,” related to one’s specified interests. Together they are designed to be a primary attention-suck of Google users — Google hopes that eventually people will gravitate to the stream in the same way that members of Facebook or Twitter constantly check those continuous scrolls of personalized information.

Levy said this is just a glimpse of a huge, critical project that will be revealed through a series of launches:

“Developed under the codename Emerald Sea, it is a result of a lengthy and urgent effort involving almost all of the company’s products. Hundreds of engineers were involved in the effort. It has been a key focus for new CEO Larry Page.

The parts announced Tuesday represent only a portion of Google’s plans. In an approach the company refers to as “rolling thunder,” Google has been quietly been pushing out pieces of its ambitious social strategy — there are well over 100 launches on its calendar.”

Comments | Topics: facebook, Facebook, Google

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►