MySpace Founder Offers Up Advice for Google+

Paul Lilly

Taking advice from anyone associated with MySpace might, on the surface, seem to make as much sense as asking Casey Anthony for parenting tips (too early?), or LeBron James what it takes to win a championship. But let's not forget that, at one point, MySpace ruled the fickle social networking scene, even if only because it didn't really have any competition. Still, the site sold for upwards of $580 million before plummeting in value, so at some point, MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson must have been doing something right, so maybe Google should hear him out.

Tom Anderson authored a guest piece on TechCrunch , and in it, he warns Google not to get carried away with algorithms on its Google+ project. While that might work great for search, Anderson says an over reliance on algorithms can be deadly to a social networking service.

"I love using G+, enough so that I’m worried that Google is going to make a misstep and ruin the service," Anderson writes. "Specifically I worry that Google will assume an algorithm alone is what’s needed to reduce the 'signal to noise' ratio in the G+ feed. Several Google engineers have posted publicly that they’re working on this algorithm. I’ve been making my opinions known in comments for a few weeks now—hoping to catch the ear of Google engineers, but now that it’s harder to gain their attention as one voice within 10 million, I thought I’d do better to post something more substantial."

Anderson points to Facebook to drive his point home. According to Anderson, Facebook favors an algorithmic approach and "recently I've noticed that I get less and less response from my Facebook friends. I post something that used to generate some interaction, and now I receive almost nothing." Anderson suspects this is related to the way Facebook handles its feeds.

As of right now, Google+ is off to a blistering fast start with over 10 million users and is on pace to become the fastest growing social network of all time. If Google doesn't screw up, it could present a real threat to Facebook, and perhaps Twitter too. The question that Anderson poses is, "is 'social' in Google's DNA?"

Image Credit: Tom Anderson

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