It’s not you Google

Google launched its +1 button a few days ago. Some say it’s google’s attempt to try social. Some say it’s just an element in a more coherent social strategy. Some say it’s a move into or towards (better) social search. Some say it’s a direct answer to the like button. All we know is, it won’t work. Not this way.

Saying google is not good at social is too easy. Saying it’s because of the reign of the engineers at google is too easy. People are not good at social. That’s the real problem of the +1 button. People are merely intrested in themselves. Social starts with me and my social circle.

+1 does not have a (social) ecosystem behind it. Unlike tweeting or liking a post or a website, a +1 is merely a shot in the dark. 20% of all search queries on google have never been done before, let alone how many are unique to the user who do them. Chances are that no-one will ever see your +1. The absence of this direct impact will withhold people to use it. Why would they?

Chances are, they won’t use the +1 for keeping track of most liked personal search results too. Most searches I do are very here and now. I’m looking for news, a place, information. Once I have that, I either use it or save it in some way or the other. Into my delicious account, just copy-and-pasting or saving as a google doc or evernote file. I try everything not to make a search again.

Then again Google has been quite good at serving the results you want for quite some time now. Localisation. Social input from the twitter and other firehoses. Real time search results. Why would any user bother to help them it it were not for personal or social reasons. Either to help people find your sites (as I will most certainly do) or those of your friends or colleagues.

The lack of instant gratification you get from posting a link to other social networks will be an issue for google untill they roll out their social project. I’m a believer in +1 but I don’t think I believe in people being able to use it. As was the case with Google Wave.

The article as luxury or byproduct

Journalism has been under a lot of pressure in the last few years. First bloggers came along who were faster than traditional mediaoutlets. With the rampant succes of social media, things got worse.

Live coverage of events is widely available. Eye witnesses tweet away while events unfold. Yet media outlets keep thinking in terms of articles and edited video segments.

Articles are wonderful. But they are no longer necessary for every event. They were a necessary form for newspapers and news shows but not the free flow, the never-starting, never-ending stream of digital. Sometimes, a quick update is sufficient; other times a collection of videos can do the trick.

via The article as luxury or byproduct « BuzzMachine.

I doubt whether change will come fast to media as it’s not easy to turn an industrially scaled newsmachine around. Yet some people try. Belgian newspaper De Tijd uses storify to tell stories. Roland Legrand and Raphael Cockx seem to be on the cutting edge of new storytelling by newspapers.

It seems like new storytelling is more a matter of individual journalists than of news organizations. Maybe, staying in the vocabulary of mr Jarvis, there is a place for entrepreneurial journalism. Within or outside the organization.

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