If ever there was a way to put the kiss of death on a new Social Network site, then surely it must be for me to blog about it. So I apologise in advance to Google. I didn’t want to kill your shiny new social network, but you made me do it.

What am I blathering about? Well if you haven’t heard yet, Google are in the process of launching Google+ (http://plus.google.com). By my reckoning this will be their third crack at the social network Market, or fourth if you include the ‘never-saw-the-light-of-day’, GoogleMe. They tried with Buzz and they tried with Wave both of which were…OK…. But neither of which killed Facebook.

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When they launched GoogleMail back in 2004, those of us that were lucky enough to get an invite (and that meant a gmail.com address – as opposed to a googlemail.co.uk address) were able to invite our friends to join. These invites became so sought after that people started selling them on eBay, such was the demand for a new email service. It appears that a similar situation might be arising with Google+. Sure enough, invites to what will surely become known as G+, are available on eBay for around 75USD. This is the very strange world that we live in.

The problem with trying to kick Facebook where it hurts is gaining momentum in the first place. Giving access to a select few is fine for Beta testing, but when you add in invites, you open yourself to a whole other level of trouble. Your invited early adopter will sign up and login and find no-one else in there to socialise with. A few of them might even write reviews sharing how underwhelmed they are by it all, and before you know it, G+ will have gone the way of Wave. Sort of defeats the whole idea of a Social Network.

From my perspective I hope they open it up to the rest of us as quickly as possible. I want to see it do well. As I’ve said many times before, I’m sick of the lack of control within Facebook, both for the end user and from it’s apparent developers. The sooner a viable alternative is available the better.

Back in the real world…. Today will see cycling (still no car) and possibly the purchase of a magic touch pad for my mac in preparation for OSX Lion which will land in the next couple of weeks. Lion with include a whole load of hand gestures to it’s revamped, iOS like interface, and so a touchpad will be the perfect compliment. Having worked all the hour god sends lately, I think I can justify a new bit of kit.

Daughter has recovered from her tonsillitis, and that means she’s speaking again, or more realistically she’s demanding again. I wouldn’t want her any other way.

One final rant, and this one is for the Post Office. What a bunch of thieving @&£)(:/:£)@&;/’s

Mrs G bought a lamp (25 quid and a fiver postage and packing). Sadly when it arrived, it was just that little bit too small, and didn’t look right. Fair enough. A return. Re-boxed in it’s original packaging and off to the post office.

“The cheapest recorded delivery please” says I, to the nice lady behind the counter.
“That’ll be £9.72, please” says she, with a perfectly straight face.
“Surely you jest” says I, “9 and three quarters of our best English pounds just to send a lamp that I received for half that cost? There must be sum (sic) mistake?”
“I’m sorry sir, but first class recorded delivery for 2.15kilograms is £9.72”
The penny dropped and I replied, “ah ha. I see your mistake. You’ve selected first class, when for the purposes of a return parcel, second class will more than suffice. A simple change I’m sure, my good lady”
But to my horror she went on to declare “because your parcel weighs more than 1kilogram, it cannot be sent by second class”

Now, I’m a fairly simple man, but pray do tell me, what the FECK! has the weight of the parcel got to do with what class it can be sent as? I don’t care if you stick on the back of a donkey, or in a wheel barrow or strap it to the shells of a heard of snails, as long as it gets there. There’s no rush, and it doesn’t need to be presented on a red velvet cushion with gold braiding. I was of a mind to break the dam thing in two as you can imagine. I’d almost be better off keeping it and selling it at a car boot sale for a tenner. In the end we’ve given the post office 15 quid and have nothing to show for it. Mugged.

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With that, I’m off to open an account with DHL in my local staples. It’s got to be cheaper, but what pains me is it’s stories like this that will be the death of the once great Royal Mail. Greedy fudge-wits.

Have a great weekend.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous
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