Friday, July 01, 2011

Bye-bye Facebook, Hello Google+

I hate to admit that I have a Facebook page that I update on a monthly basis.  My most recent monthly update involved the elation I had seeing my 2-year old son's reaction to a handful of worms I had picked up in the backyard.  As you can probably tell, I'm not your average Facebook user.  I really don't use Facebook to "connect" with anyone on a regular basis.  The only redeeming factor I see in Facebook is Facebook Connect, but as not much of what I'm involved with uses it, it's kind of pointless (I had hoped maybe some games would start using it instead of requiring me to register a new account with their own system).

This leads me to Google's new project; Google+.  While it won't be a true replacement to Facebook, I feel it will fill my "social network" needs and I suspect I will be able to maintain a completely anonymous profile along with a more personal profile via different Google accounts (Facebook bans users posting under pseudonyms such as heartlessgamer). On top of this, Google is a big proponent of OpenID and I much prefer that to Facebook Connect (but still run into the problem of many people NOT using it in the gaming community).

However, there is more to why I am going to use Google+ and chiefly among that is explained in this article at PC World:
5. You Can Get Your Data Back

Facebook is notorious for its poor stewardship of personal data. You are forced to make certain parts of your personal data "public" for example, and It is very hard to permanently delete your Facebook profile. Google, on the other hand, makes it possible for you to pick up all the data you’ve banked at Google+ and walk away. This is done through a Google+ tool called “Data Liberation.” With just a few clicks you can download data from your Picasa Web Albums, Google profile, Google+ stream, Buzz and contacts.
This feature is HUGE. This is the reason I use Google's Blogger service: I control my data and have several years worth of backups of my content, all achieved via a couple of clicks. Facebook has nothing on this and never will.  Facebook can't exist as a company without selling it's users data.  I understand that and accepted that fact when I started using Facebook. 

Google+ won't kill Facebook.  Facebook is a doomed model.  Google+ is a value add to Google's core product line and that will allow it to succeed (or be sheltered if it fails because Google doesn't need it to survive).

Note: Yes, I've been denying the fact I have a Facebook profile on this blog because, no, I don't want you to friend request me.  Sorry.  No hard feelings.

Note2: No, I don't have any plans to use Google Buzz over Twitter at this point, but I am willing to entertain the idea depending on Google+'s integration options with Buzz.

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