Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Google Deserves More Credit

Posted on: October 10th, 2012 by Geoff Livingston 17 Comments

You know something, Google deserves more credit.

This is not a defense of Google+, rather the company’s overall approach and success online in recent years.

I felt this way when I learned the company had scrapped its facial recognition technology because the negative uses outweighed the good. It’s not an isolated incident.

Google changed its privacy earlier this year, uniting its many disparate policies across different products into one holistic company-wide statement. The company waged an extensive public relations and advertising effort to explain the new policy to the general public.

When was the last time Facebook did that? Never, to my knowledge. You just log in and find everything switched without any communication whatsoever.

Then there’s the success of Android, the only smartphone operating system to surpass Apple’s iOS in sales during the past few years.

Finally, the company’s new Penguin update for search has gone a long way to eliminate content farms successfully getting indexed in top results.

Future products look exciting, too. For example the Glass Project promises to make augmented reality via mobile phone connectivity a reality.

Google+

Yet if you ask social media experts they simply bag Google for +.

It’s true, Google+ is not Facebook. But I will say this: It’s mobile app is 80 times better than the nightmare Facebook offers.

Google+ also represents one of the most incredible integration projects ever, uniting many different web properties under one backbone.

Yes, Google+ has its benefits and deserves much of the criticism it has received.

If you ask me, though, Google deserves much more credit for everything it does online, especially compared to its competitors like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Apple.

What do you think of Google?

Steve Jobs Breaks the No News Cycle

Posted on: August 24th, 2011 by Geoff Livingston 21 Comments

steve jobs co founder of apple computer
Image by Annie Bannannie

Contrary to popular speculation, Steve Jobs is not dead, at least not yet. But it is hard to blame people for the dramatic belief that the icon’s end is near given his ongoing health issues and his weight loss. Further, Jobs’ sudden departure from the day to day helm of Apple broke a monotonous summer of no technology/social media news. Really, how many more Google+ blog posts can we read?

Given that Jobs has asked for and received the Apple Chairman position and will still counsel on new products, he sure doesn’t seem to be planning an imminent funeral. Perhaps it’s simply time to balance his life a little more because life (health, family, mind, etc.) demands it.

The Jobs departure is similar in stature to Bill Gates leaving Microsoft. A true industry titan, Jobs has had a critical role in shaping the U.S. technology in three critical phases — the PC revolution, the .com era, and again in the 2.0 era. And like Gates and Microsoft, it is unlikely that Apple will be the same.

There is so much to reflect on and think about when it comes to Steve Jobs. But until he dies, let’s save the obituaries. Keep breathing the air, Steve.

What are your thoughts on Steve Jobs’ departure from Apple?

All Polls and Surveys Are Not Equal

Posted on: August 10th, 2011 by Geoff Livingston 18 Comments

linkedin polls
Image by renaissancechambara

In Washington, polls and surveys drive policy decisions, particularly around campaign season. For a presidential election, Gallup polls are considered accurate within four points, and this has yet to be proven wrong. However, several online polls and surveys last week did produce highly questionable results, and in once case, was outed as a hoax tarnishing the Microsoft Explorer brand.

This degradation in quality is indicative of a larger trend on the social web, the erosion of expertise (and professionalism) caused by social media content. Launching a poll or a test on a web site is so easy now that anyone can claim to execute research. Indeed, they are. The quality and value of their data is another story. Mind you, this erosion has not only impacted the new media content producer, but also the traditional journalism field as both our Microsoft and Google+ examples will show.

Interactive firm AptiQuant ran a test on its site purportedly measuring the IQ of visitors and correlating that data with IQ. Explorer users were deemed least intelligent.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, the browser IQ test was widely reported by the media, which did not verify the data. Finally, the BBC determined the research was a hoax, but not before the media had popularized Explorer as a low IQ tool. AptiQuant is defending its study, and says it will battle any lawsuits.

But does it matter? The damage has been done to an already lagging brand. Publications that may print retractions won’t push them to the top of their sites with the same zeal they did in their original reporting. A successful lawsuit would only provide a consolation prize for being a called stupid Internet Explorer user.

Google+ Polls

Several polls came out surveying Google+ users about abandoning Facebook for the new circle based social network. Of all the polls only the Christian Post labeled their effort as an unofficial poll, and their numbers were the lowest with 7% moving solely to Google+.

The Brian Solis, Mashable and PC Magazine posts ranged from 23% to 50%. However, all of their readers are extremely tech or social media centric, in essence polling the early adopters. They do not represent the general population, and as such their polls can be pretty much dismissed as industry and demographic specific.

The average reader of these stories would not be able to discern that three tech/social media polls are in essence, “inside baseball.” Mashable did add a little conjecture: “Users may be reacting to the novelty of a new social network. Facebook.”

What is most notable about these four polls is the 40+ point spread between them in response. In the case of the three social media and tech polls, there was still a 27 point spread. Such wild variations should be a clear indicator that the data is inaccurate or compromised in some way.

Keep in mind on line polls — particularly those on social media — often suffer from fan based flash mobbing towards a favored outcome. Also, given the subject matter a survey of the non-indoctrinated general public’s opinion about Google+ would have offered an interesting context to the data.

Conclusion

Without stronger open methodology and wider population samplings, polls cannot be considered representative of likely trends. Polls that deserve respect like Gallup and Pew Internet research are painstaking about their methodology.

In the information age are readers and the media — as the Internet Explorer hoax revealed — savvy enough to discern quality information? Yet another series of examples why we need to teach children and adults alike how to mindfully accept information, and question sources.

What do you think of the polling trend?