He spoke to them in parables about the Google+ user experience and only in parables did he speak to them.

“The first days of the Google Plus user experience can be likened to a Midwestern snowstorm.

“The snow appeared as a surprise one night, and the children awoke the next morning to a beautiful blanket of white. With the break of dawn and the snow falling, children burst into the crisp air making the first footprints in the snow. They threw snowballs, constructed snow forts, and built snowmen. As the snow continued falling, everything was clean and beautiful. Yet every child knew that within a day, the temperature would rise, the forts would melt, and the beautiful landscape would turn to muddy sludge.

“To what else can the Google+ user experience be compared? The first weekend of the Google Plus user experience can be likened to receiving an invitation to a party hosted by the most popular children in town.

“For those receiving an invitation, it represented the hope of getting chummy with the popular kids, playing with their unique toys, becoming  real friends, and then lording it over all the children who weren’t invited. Yet when the time for the party came, the guests arrived to find there were no wonderful toys and the popular kids didn’t really want to play with or talk with their guests much. Instead, the popular kids wanted an audience to experience THEM. Guests were allowed to see numerous pictures of the popular kids’ families and the steaks they’d be grilling after the party. The guests were encouraged though to laugh at the jokes the popular kids were making about those they had not invited. Thus the invited guests had sufficient anecdotes they could sensationalize and share with all the children who weren’t invited to convince them they were missing something truly exquisite.

“To what can the first week of the Google+ user experience be compared? It can be likened to a person being transferred to a newly constructed school with a few friends, all the popular kids, and many unknown people who’d been attending still other schools.

“While the new school was clean and spacious (since it would one day hold thousands of times more students), the initial excitement was dampened because so many really close friends were still attending the old neighborhood school. To see those close friends, a person would have to do it before school, after school, or heaven forbid, cut class and miss out on what the popular kids were doing and talking about. So despite all the honor of being present for the first week of Google Plus, students still longed for the faces and books which filled their old schools.”

And to what can the second weekend of the Google+ user experience be compared? We’re about to see. Let the chaos begin.Mike Brown

Note: I couldn’t let any more time go by without weighing in on Google Plus, even if it is a bit tongue-in-cheek. Although based on some of Google celebrating and Facebook bashing going on this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone didn’t try to write a “Gospel According to Google.”

For helpful, detailed analysis on Google Plus, check out the work Nate Riggs has done this week to identify tips and how-tos:


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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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8 Responses to “The Google+ User Experience – 3 Parables from the Gospel According to Google”

  1. Love, love, love, love, love.  This is a fantastic post!  And yes, I’m sure someone is busy writing that Google+ bible.  Some are even using Google+ as their blog.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Deb. The whole blog on Google+ seems too much without better controls for how to filter content. There’s no rhyme or reason to how deep content goes on Google+, which is why I like Twitter – you can’t share too deep there, but if someone wants more, there are links to pursue.

  2. Stacy Harmon says:

    Mike, I know I say it ALL the time, but you are a creative genius.  This post is inspired and spot on- all three parables are fantastic, but I especially love the one about the new school.  Your insight always brightens my day.  Keep it coming!

    • Anonymous says:

      That is so kind of you to say, Stacy! Really appreciate your comment on day when I wasn’t feeling all that creative.

  3. nateriggs says:

    Love this post, Mike.  Amazing writing. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Appreciate it Nate – especially the inspiration for the third parable (and the whole post overall) from talking Friday! 

  4. Jacob Weinfeld says:

    Great post Mike! This may have been even more entertaining then seeing people bid on EBAY for google+ invitations right after it launched. My colleague wrote a great post that highlights the future benefits of Google+ (http://bit.ly/one9Lb) but even with the ability to create circles, huddles and hangouts I think the real reason people would purchase an invite on EBAY was to as you say be one of the popular kids.

  5. Anonymous says:

    For a lot of people, putting a price tag on popularity would be the best thing that ever happened to them. Far better to buy it than having to do the things to deliver value and win people over. That’s the underlying premise behind so many self-help programs for sale out there.