A metaphor to understand Google+

When a big product is pushed by a big company, it sometimes captures the imagination of tech pundits. And when that happens, we obsess over how to best describe and understand it, mentally playing with new concepts and ideas for days on end, trying to make sense of how they relate to the old ones (until finally the dust settles and we realize we were all wrong).

And with this, I’m posting my third article about Google+ in a week, trying to find an easy way to explain how the service is different from existing social networks.
Here’s what I came up with (in graphical form for your easy consumption):

I think there is some truth to this view. But as always, I could be completely wrong (actually I probably am), and I’d be happy to hear you explain to me why that is in the comments!

July 6th, 2011
  • http://profiles.google.com/bwinebarger Brian Winebarger


  • Anonymous


  • http://rayvellest.com Ray Vellest

    Great metaphor Patrick! I feel the same about Google+, but I wonder for how long this awesome experience will last. Right now, Google+ is filled with the best of the web. Founders, bloggers, social media strategists, journalists and other geek types. How is it going to be when the masses start to crash the “Ballroom Conference” asking for the party clown? I hope it never happen!

  • http://www.ivolves.com/ Ivo

    You’re missing a T in Markeplace :)

    + 1

  • Anonymous

    what i like about G+ is that it can be either Facebook or Twitter, or both, or something different entirely.  it’s up to the individual how they wish to construct their network, and what kind of stuff they post. i’d say it’s way too early – given its closed beta state – to say what the overall tendency on G+ will be, because at the moment it’s mostly bleeding edge geeks who are kicking the tyres.

  • http://twitter.com/xDrewsipherx Drewsipher Dorkness


  • http://patrickbeja.com/ Patrick

    Heh thanks, corrected. This image has been viewed a few thousand times, and you’re the first to notice it seems. Brain playing tricks on us… :)

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  • http://twitter.com/victorthoft Victor Thoft

    Agree, hate FB, Follow me on twitter for Google+ Beta invites.

  • Anonymous

    Well, that makes Google+ sound pretty cool.  I’m still a bit mystified about how to USE it, however.

  • Karen Green


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  • http://gilbertogalea.com gilbertogalea

    Very good appreciation.
    Well done.

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  • BillyName99

    I like it.

  • http://twitter.com/jj27vv My Mind Bursts

    We each have our own metaphors. For Facebook I go with a family weedding (family and friends). For Twitter I go with a streer riot (overwhelming volumes of rubbish). For Google+ it is thus far a handful of oddballs who happen to be studying chemistry and are in the lab together. Linkedin is where the real networking occurs, between professional likeminds, Not forgetting blogs, where a specialist interest or three is the best place to pull-together and associate with people whose comments and opinions you value.

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