Tag Archives: UK

Google Plus Ad Campaign Is Boring And Fails To Promote Struggling Site

Google really doesn’t “get” social. It seems to me that they lack the ability to understand how people want to connect and how they interact. Google executives like Marissa Mayer have admitted that Google has fallen behind in the social aspect of the Web and they are desperately trying to play catch-up.

Well, today Google UK uploaded a video on YouTube advertising the company’s social networking site called Google Plus. The campaign to get more people to use Google Plus doesn’t impress me much. Their video is titled “Google+: Tom” and it shows a man going through life on Google Plus. We see the man add his wife to his circles, it then shows the couple’s newborn child, and other significant moments in life. The video ends with a future look at the aged man as he reminisces about his youth with his friends in a video chat.

Sorry, but the video is so dumb.

I find it so pretentious, over-the-top, and confusing. I don’t like how the video doesn’t show the consistent and linear progression of the man’s life. In my first passive viewing of the video I got confused about whose life was being shared – the dad or the child? When it switches from the little boy in the green school uniform to the prom scene, I thought it was the little boy grown up ha-ha…but it was actually the dad.

I had to take a closer second viewing of the video to catch the stuff I missed.

Afterwards the narrator goes on about being a solider, being in a cannon, being a Justice, and a wise soul ha-ha. It finally ends with a corny aged look of the man with his friends, and he then adds his grandchild to his circles.

I know what this video is trying to be, but I don’t think it successfully accomplished it. It doesn’t pull on the heartstrings, it doesn’t excite me, and it doesn’t make me want to use Google Plus. I don’t think the video is mainstream enough and, quite frankly, it’s boring.

Also, I really don’t want Google keeping decades of personal data of my life  “well saved” on Google Plus. No thanks!

Now compare this video with a video uploaded by Facebook last year, which Google pretty much tried to copy. The Facebook video is so much better and gets to the point. Facebook’s video shows the life of a man from birth to present-day. It’s easy to follow along, it’s organized well, the music is energized, it’s fast paced, it pulls on the heartstrings, it’s funny, and it just works.

The Facebook video feels fun and fresh – while the Google video comes across as old and high-brow. Facebook is more inclusive while Google is more like an exclusive dull club for a particular type of person.

I’m gonna have to take pass on Google Plus – it just doesn’t do it for me.

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Britain and Brazil Are Concerned About Google’s “Vague” Privacy Policy

Google is getting a lot more pressure from international privacy watchdogs. This time it’s coming from Britain and Brazil.

Britain’s deputy information commissioner, David Smith, made his first public comments against Google’s new privacy policy last week. His comments against Google’s more intrusive privacy policy was made a week after it took effect. He criticized Google at a conference in Westminster where he said that Google’s new privacy policy is “too vague”:

“The requirement under the UK Data Protection Act is for a company to tell people what it actually intends to do with their data, not just what it might do at some unspecified point in future. Being vague does not help in giving users effective control about how their information is shared. It’s their information at the end of the day”

Other European regulators have recently said that Google’s privacy policy is misleading and fails to disclose the whole truth to its users. The EU data protection authorities are currently working on an investigation of Google and will have their results some time soon. Their preliminary finding was scathing and said that Google’s new privacy policy was difficult to understand “even for trained professionals”.

The European Union takes the privacy of its people very seriously. Their data protection laws from the 1990s are one of the toughest in the world and they recently announced that they plan to revise their laws to make it more stringent and uniform. There is a plan to introduce a “right to be forgotten” which will allow people to demand Internet companies remove personal data about them permanently. Of course, Google is extremely worried that more privacy protections for Europeans will harm their bottom line. The company has been lobbying European authorities for a while now, trying to block any chance of more protections for Europeans to pass.  David Smith said this about the right to be forgotten,

“Google can’t just say: I’m just a messenger, I have no responsibility at all for the messages I carry. Given their dominant role and their huge influence here they have a responsibility to ensure they operate in a fair and reasonable way. Where things are drawn to their attention and it can be established they are delivering content which is defamatory, where it is harmful to individuals and there is no public interest justification Google have a responsibility not to serve up that information”

It’s a good thing that European regulators are keeping a close watch on Google. Let’s hope that they support their harsh words for Google with real action against the company. Later this month, the French data protection authority, CNIL, will release their full report. Data protection authorities from all EU member nations will respect the findings and coordinate their actions against Google. It may include hefty fines and even criminal prosecution if Google doesn’t comply with their laws.

Alright, let’s move away from Europe and head on over to South America – Brazil to be exact. The Brazilian Justice Ministry wants some serious answers from Google and they want it very soon. Brazil doesn’t want to play games with the company and has said that if Google’s privacy policy breaks their laws they will sanction Google. Brazil said a full investigation of Google is imminent if Google doesn’t respond back with satisfactory answers justifying their new privacy policy. The ministry’s Department of Consumer Defense and Protection is particularly concerned about how understandable Google’s new privacy policy is and whether users are fully aware of the implications of using Google’s products.

Interesting – things could get a lot worse for Google and a lot better for the average Internet user. We’ll wait and see how things develop.

For more information:

The Register, “Google’s privacy policy: Incoherent and confusing” – click here

The Telegraph, “Google’s privacy policy branded ‘too vague’” – click here

The Guardian, “Google’s privacy policy ‘too vague‘” – click here

Reuters, “Brazil questions Google’s new privacy policy” – click here

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