Two reasons why Google+ fails for me.

By July 22, 2011October 10th, 2011Blog, Rants

My email is private, secure and, for the most part, spam free. I am very selective about who I send my emails to and conscience of what services I sign up for because a lot of them send email newsletters and spam from third parties that I just don’t want. I have had my gmail since gmail was in beta by receiving an invite from an IT friend of mine all so many years ago before it was the main stream phenomenon that it is now, and with all of my precautions, I still find it to be very secure and stable. Here is the thing with Google+ though, by giving yourself a public profile through Google+, it’s kind of like saying, hey this account is my email address — spam me.  At least with Facebook, you have a different email to log into Facebook and it is not tied to your email address and has nothing to do with your username. But on google+ your username is your email address.

It used to be that spammers would randomly send emails out by the thousands programmatically using combinations of dictionary words, random strings of numbers and common domain names. Some would go through and some would bounce. The key was the email had to be opened or didn’t have to receive a bounce back of a denied domain access by marking it as spam for the script to know that it had found a real email. ie: some user or server interaction was required.

But now that Google+ accounts can just be “Googled” and your Google+ account is your email, all a smart spammer or script kiddy would have to do is do a simple search for Google+ accounts and harvest the user-name from the URL string. There is no account verification needed to determine if it’s a real email — because it’s guaranteed to be a valid gmail account, only because you can’t have a Google+ profile without a Gmail account and your Gmail is your Google+ name. See the huge gaping security hole here?

I’m sure this will be addressed before the final launch, but it seems really scary that if you use a Gmail as a primary email account for sensitive services like banking, business or your like me and don’t give your email to random people, sign up for anything on the web and never give it to relatives that constantly forward stupid pictures of “i haz chezburger cats” and the latest forward to get rich and lucky, that Google+ seems like a no no go just yet. This just may be the major thing that kills it before it even starts.

The second things is that the majority of people who don’t have a Gmail address just don’t want another email address to deal with, or for that matter all of Google’s other services that come along with the Gmail. They are happy with their Hotmail and Yahoo mail. Forcing them to have a Gmail to use Google+ will be the second deterrent for a lot of average people. I sent out probably 300 invites to a select group in my contacts. All of the Gmail contact save for a few joined google+, (89Gmails sent – 84 signed up) to (every one else not on Gmail 206 – 15 signed up). See the trend? People don’t want to be herded onto another email account to use Google+ when people usually have a lot invested into the email service they currently have and use.

This is just my opinion. – Take it with a grain of salt.