Hooray Google+ is shutting down!

That's one less centralized surveillance capitalism "social network" siphoning up people's data. ๐ŸŽ‰

Since a big chunk of the traffic there was geeks who could totally have self-hosted a proper blog and should have known better, I'm not shedding any tears for the inconvenience caused.

I do wonder if they'll keep the public content online though? Probably not?

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I'm also happy to see Google+ die, on a personal level.

I worked for Google before G+ launched, and I still felt fondly about the company. I remember being really disappointed to see G chasing Facebook that way. It was a lame copycat that ultimately undermined the company's ethics.


For me that was the beginning of Google's long, gradual moral decline, which has become embarrassingly visible now. I'm glad to see it die, but I am well aware it's just a symptom being hacked off, not a cure.

@HerraBRE possibly in a R/O fashion for some time to let people export if needed

@HerraBRE Maybe they didn't, because a blog is a lonely dead end compared to a social network like G+?

Gloating by comparing apples and oranges doesn't make a case.

@Raffzahn You obviously never blogged much. I made some great friends through blogging and it was a very social activity.

So I'll gloat all I like, thank you very much.

@HerraBRE Well, I could as well assume you never used socialmedia a lot.

And no, I'm not blogging a lot in single loneley single user blogs - beside two travel and a retrocomputing blog. For everyday life a real interactive media is way more apropriate.

@HerraBRE Public blogs are not the same as ACLd posts are not the same as microblogs.
@HerraBRE I'm also amused at how significant amount of traffic in both fediverse and XMPP is on large services rather than small self-hosted instances.

For instance, why are you yourself not self-hosting your fediverse instance? :)

@ivan I'm patiently waiting for account migration to become a bit more smooth, will then move to my own domain.

But I don't have to explain myself to you. If you disagree with my point, that's fine. If you're going to badger me and try to find nits to pick and points to score, I'll just block you. Get over it.

@HerraBRE Ah, no worries, I'll shut up :-)

I'm politely disagreeing because I happen to go through the effort to run my own stuff (incl. having a vanity domain for something like fediverse), but I didn't see G+ as a harmful service like I saw some others. (This was true before I worked for my current employer as well.)

Yet today there seems to be a lot of gleeful joy about G+'s demise.


@ivan Yes, that's true.

Giving people privacy controls is a great way to get them to overshare and hand over data to the ad miners that they otherwise would feel is too sensitive to make public.

@HerraBRE Today, there is no scalable solution to satisfy the general public in the way you seem to insist is required for sharing small-group information.

E2E-crypto-protected (e.g. signal, omemo) messaging, if done right, eventually leads to data loss and would not be a solution for things like "I want to share these thirty albums with twenty photos each with these individuals".

(Data loss would stem from crypto keys being single-homed and not backed up securely.)

Maybe someone comes with a solution usable by general public, but I have not seen it for messaging, much less for things like albums.

@ivan Because the tech community by and large bought into the cloud hype, "trusted Google" and didn't build them.

I'm in part glad to see Google+ shutting down exactly for this reason: if the geeks who put their important conversations there learn a lesson about independence and get motivated to help build alternatives, that's huge.

The Fediverse is now making a lot of progress in this direction, for some of those use-cases, finally.

@HerraBRE Indeed; a major reason why I'm now running my own instance is I want to control whether my posts are long-term available and to whom.

I culled my blog a few years ago (marking old posts as private), and I expect I'll do the same for my fediverse posts.

I also am aware of how fediverse posts (especially since federation started happening over ActivityPub) is tied to URLs; if an instance goes down, my old communications are irreparably broken.

This all raises questions.
(1) As useful as control of posts is to me (keep-without-fully-deleting is nice), does that mean that any conversations I take part in may disappear from fediverse when (not if, when) a third-party shuts down their instance, even if I keep my own copies of them, and even if the person I communicated with wanted to keep the chats?
(2) Similarly, account migration is a really hard problem to solve. Whatever is done, unless every (and I mean *every* instance in the world) fully (and I mean *fully*) cooperates), migration will not fully migrate your old posts. Third-party posts that reference your posts e.g. by being replies, or by being favorites, using the old URL, will become broken once you delete the old account.

I don't know; deep down I dislike overly centralized systems and I think today's IM, group chatting, microblogging and content sharing is overly centralized. I just don't know how to solve this (1) nicely (2) in a way acceptable to the *very* general public.

@ivan I agree with all of that.

I wish there was more focus on making it easy for individuals to own their URLs - which means own a domain, and make "virtual hosting" of Fediverse identities a standard feature.

It's the web-native way to solve this. Own your domain and by extension your URLs, host wherever is convenient.

This COULD be made feasible for non-techies. But I don't think the idea has any traction... folks are too invested in ideas of "community" and cool instance names.

@HerraBRE I have to think not given that they also admitted their shit is broken security-wise.

Iโ€™m not one to use strong language, but Iโ€™ve never seen a more hypocritical thing that to be the company that 1.) regularly forces others to fix security problems within 60 days or go public, while also 2.) not disclosing a security vulnerability until theyโ€™re good and ready.

@djmoch Yep, I noticed the hypocrisy too.

But c'mon. You can't get an individual to be consistent, no way an org that big ever will be.

Also, the public content doesn't have any security implications. The security implications revolve around the stuff that was supposedly "private" but they failed to keep so.

At least they're shutting the thing down, which is IMO the right thing to do. If only Facebook would do the same... ๐Ÿ’ญ

@HerraBRE Sure. Iโ€™m a hypocrite too in some ways. And I expect that when others see it, theyโ€™ll call me out on it.

@HerraBRE Oh, I can very well relate to your view about 'chasing FB'. G+ started out as a rather great system, and almost all changes since the begining (maybe except the three column layout) where made with a (management lik?) eye on FB - each and every degrading usability and integration. Removing hanglouts and cripling the photo ingefration, as well as the editing functions and so on.

I realy liked it (and still do desprite the changes) not at least due the people there. Le Sigh...

@HerraBRE Chasing FB: yes, yes, agreed there, thumbs down. Building an alternative: thumbs up.

It's a big shame and loss that the love for federation and openness present in Google Talk, Google Wave, etc seems to have been lost by the time G+ and Hangouts came along.

[My own opinion as a user, not employee, etc. etc.]

@ivan Gradually the bean counters took over. There's no money in being open and fostering a diverse ecosystem. The money is where the monopolies are.

Watching the bean counters win at Google was very sad. That and Larry's ego, wanting to compete toe to toe with Zuck... the company changed a lot when he became CEO. Not for the better IMO.

I watched that happen from outside, but my friends inside mostly agreed with this analysis.

@HerraBRE When it first came out, I really liked it. I was anxious for something to help reduce the Facebook monopoly, and being able to manage permissions via groups ("circles" ๐Ÿ™„) was a new feature that they pioneered.

But they shot themselves in the foot by making it required for other Google services (Youtube) which made people hate it. And then they redesigned the UI to be crappier. (Did they ever finish the transition to the "new" UI or could you still toggle?)

@HerraBRE I also really liked that you could have a public post, get a link to it and share it with people who could read it without having to log in.

But Google just takes on too many projects that it doesn't actually commit to keeping around. (Reader. Talk. Hangouts. Wave. G+. etc?) We should all stop falling for it. :p

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