Shoemaker, stick to your last

Posted on Monday 29 August 2011 at 10:55 am in category: Whatever, Nerds
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A shoemakers last - een schoenmakers leest

Do you have a Google+ account? I do. Of course I had to get in on the hype, and made sure I had an invitation, just like I did with Google Wave, a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, Google Wave died pretty quick, but that really had some revolutionary stuff in it. It was cool.

Google+ is actually not that cool, I think. It looks good, there is some awesome ideas in it that Facebook will undoubtedly copy without any shame (they've already copied the best feature), and then it will die too. Over the past few years, I've joined just about any social network out there as soon as it was available. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquareOrkut (which is Google too, by the way), StumbleUpon (I still use that), ICQ, MySpace, and of course Hyves, which was (or is) very popular in The Netherlands, but is now losing it to Facebook as well.

So now I have Facebook to connect with friends & family, Twitter to connect with people that I wish were my friends, and stay abreast of the news and LinkedIn to connect with people I know work-related. These three are the main social networks, and (now I should say something like 'read my lips') it will always stay that way. All three have their own niche, and Facebook of course takes the largest slice of the social media pie.

Facebook and Twitter are not competitors, in my opinion. They are different, and can co-exist. Google+ is trying to be both Facebook and Twitter at the same time, it looks like, and it freaks people out. The way you share your stuff on Google+ is well thought out. Anytime you post a status update, you can pick with whom to share it by using 'circles'. So if I post a picture of my kids, I can only share that with people in my circles of 'Family' and 'Friends' for example, but if I want to express my opinion on PHP & MySQL or something else nerdy, I can choose to share that with my 'Nerds' circle, so my 'Family' and 'Friends' people don't have to sit there and stare at their screens, wondering what the hell I am talking about.

Google should stay with what it is good at. An amazing search engine, Google Docs, and GMail.

Facebook should stay a social network. They should stay away from e-mail, search and online docs (I'm pretty sure they will try that soon). They seem to have teamed up with Bing to provide search related services, but that's not going to work for them. First of all, I know absolutely nobody that uses Bing as their search engine (although, if you search Bing for "International Left Handers Day", guess who's on the front page?) and Google is far too integrated in everything search-related that it is impossible to compete with them. Even my 6 year old knows how to use Google to look up her favorite songs on YouTube. She even uses the verb 'to google'.

Twitter should just keep doing what it is doing, it is a great thing, and I absolutely love it. They improve their services every now and then by adding functionality, but don't loose focus on what they are good at.

Microsoft should probably just keep building Operating Systems and Office software, and not venture in to hardware, search engines or social media.

As the Dutch have said for centuries: "Schoenmaker, blijf bij je leest" (Shoemaker, stick to your last).

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