The mainstream media just can’t shake the compulsion to call Google+ a “ghost town.” It’s the type of refrain that if we say it enough times, we might start to believe it. This wouldn’t be a big deal, except for the fact the media is supposed to serve readers and playing out this story-line falls short of that goal…and they are completely missing the point of that little +.
New York Times tech reporter Claire Cain Miller was the latest to apply the ghost town label in a story in a less than loving piece published on Valentine’s Day: The Plus in Google Plus? It’s Mostly for Google. Her lede, which also ran on the front page of the print version, read: “Google Plus, the company’s social network, is like a ghost town.”
The story is more about search and less about social as the media — and I’m not just picking on Ms. Miller here — erroneously, perhaps ignorantly, perpetuates this notion that these two dynamics should be evaluated separately.
As of this writing, the available public information on Ms. Miller’s Google+ profile indicates she’s circled 23 people, has yet to post a profile photo or make a single update to the social network. PR types might remember her well-shared 2009 story on PR, Spinning the Web: P.R. in Silicon Valley [sic] which included delightfully salacious phrases such as “‘whisper in the ears’ of Silicon Valley’s Who’s Who.” Read More…