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Wednesday
Sep122012

Why I'm Avoiding Google+ Today

By Dennis D. McDonald

I think Google+ is fantastic. It has really developed into an interesting and stimulating set of communities, called “circles” on Google+. I always learn a lot and have an opportunity to interact with others on a variety of interesting topics. I follow circles devoted to technology, space, science, movies, project management, nature, photography, and several more. I’m building a circle devoted to “Asia” in order to expand my horizons. I regularly publish photographs based on my nature walks.

But I think I’m going to avoid Google+ today. Apple is announcing new products. Normally I’d be very interested in what they bring out — I’m an iPhone and iTunes user — but there seems to be a large and very vocal group of people on Google+ who, for a variety of reasons, dislike Apple intensely. They go out of their way to make sure everyone knows it. I think there will be a huge outpouring of such negativity on Google+ today, and I’d rather avoid that since I don’t have time to go through and selectively block people. I have better things to do.

Not only do Apple-haters criticize Apple for a lack of innovation and for questionable commercial and legal tactics — topics that should be discussable in an adult fashion — they also make frequent and insulting references to Apple customers that I find juvenile and offensive. 

I”m not out to “defend” Apple. I don’t have an emotional or love hate relationship with the company. I do think they make good products. I have an iPhone, a product I really enjoy, and I use the Windows version of iTunes to manage the many music tracks I have purchased through eMusic or which I have digitized from old LP’s.

But I also have a Sony Windows laptop, a Roku internet streaming device,  a variety of Sony and Samsung televisions, and in the hands of members of this household are Android and Palm smartphones phones, 3 separate Amazon Kindles, one MacBook Pro, and various Compaq, Dell, and HP computers.

I use Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon Prime for streaming movies online, not iTunes. At our house we all use Google services. I have bought books from Google Play for reading on my iPhone. I actually prefer reading Kindle books on my iPhone versus the standard non-paperwhite Kindle.

But sure as God made little green apples we will all be faced today on Google+ with statements about Apple’s lack of innovation, its infatuation for copying the hard work of others, its lack of originality, its foolish legal tactics that hurt everyone, its threatening marketing style, as well as frequent references to the “sheep” — or worse — who buy Apple products.

Such an infatuation with one company is boring and, in a way, a bit weird. It reminds me of the “bad old days” of Usenet when discussion streams were hijacked and overwhelmed by single minded trolls.

So I think I’ll avoid Google+ today. I have work to do. I don’t need to have a play by play of the Apple announcements, they’ll filter through the different channels. I’ll be satisfied with that.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Dennis D. McDonald. Dennis is a Washington DC area consultant specializing in collaborative project management and new technology adoption. His clients have included the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Library of Medicine, The National Academy of Engineering, and the World Bank Group. Contact Dennis via email at ddmcd@yahoo.com or by phone at 703-402-7382.

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