Help Me Interview Vic Gundotra, SVP, Google (And Win Free Tix to Web 2)

Next up on Day 3 of Web 2 is Vic Gundotra, the man responsible for what Google CEO Larry Page calls the most exciting and important project at this company: Google+. It's been a long, long time since I've heard as varied a set of responses to any Google project…

gundotra.jpegNext up on Day 3 of Web 2 is Vic Gundotra, the man responsible for what Google CEO Larry Page calls the most exciting and important project at this company: Google+. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve heard as varied a set of responses to any Google project as I have for Google+. Traffic is up in a huge way, state many reports, then, no, it’s down as much as 60%. Google + is the best thing since the slicing of bread, Google+ is a waste of time.

I honestly don’t think the folks at Google care about week to week traffic fluctuations, or initial reviews by the blogerati. The company is in it for the long haul this time. And Google+ marks a shift in how the Google brand is expressed, what it actually means in the minds of its customers. (Here’s my post on that idea).

I know from sources at all companies that people at Twitter, Facebook, and even Microsoft are watching Google+ very, very closely. And we’ll have a chance to ask Vic how it’s going, and where, next week. So what do you want to ask him?

As an extra incentive, I’ll be picking the best three questions from these series of posts (see below and watch for more). The authors of those questions will get complimentary passes to Web 2 – a more than $4000 value. So get to commenting, and thank you!

Previously: Mark Pincus, John Donahoe, Marc Benioff, Dick Costolo, Michael Dell, Mary Meeker, Michael Roth, Steve Ballmer, James Gleick.

Next up: Charlie Cheever and Adam D’Angelo, founders, Quora.

25 thoughts on “Help Me Interview Vic Gundotra, SVP, Google (And Win Free Tix to Web 2)”

  1. If Google+ is being extended across all of Google and user trust is really important, how does Google plan to balance this fine line?

    (The more social graph data is used to make the experience ‘better’ for the user, the more information Google has available to tap into for revenue generating opportunities like ad targeting.)

    Is “do no evil” becoming just lip service or are we slowly being conned into using only Google? Or, asked another way: “What is Google’s definition of Do no Evil” and has this changed?

  2. Mark Tebbe emailed me this, and asked I post it:
    I saw your call to help develop questions for Vic Gundrota. Here’s one and personal to me: Why are Google Apps for Business/et al. users (who are paying Google to run their email, calendar, and docs) not able to enjoy Google+. Yes, it technically because Apps users can’t create a Google Profile but they have been promising the ability to have Profiles for Apps users for quite a while. When will this occur and why look past paying customers as I would hate to have to create a separate identity to use Google+ when Google could win even more of my timeshare if they fixed this issue??

  3. I would love to know if Google is intentionally letting the web and mobile platform be ‘vanilla’ so that 3rd party developers can step in and create solutions for users or if this isn’t the ‘final’ version of the platform.

    The Google+ app stinks, quite frankly, so I’m hoping that it is a planned strategy that Google leaves the door open for developers.

  4. I would be interested to know what you will never be able to do on Google + / what will it not replace.
    Whether it be a feature, a process or a simple task.
    Sometimes you can tell as much about a product by what they leave out, than what they put it.

  5. What will the correspondence be between SEO and Social? Will for example people and businesses who have high quality conversations on g+ with lots of people and other influencers get better placings in search results?

    And if so does Google have a definition of high quality social content?

    How tight will integration with other services become? Because I see three pillars search, social and services, is that correct?

    When will the mobile experience be up to par with the desktop experience?

    Can we get some real numbers from Google on G+ or will we have to wait for the Q3 report?

    When will businesspages go live?

    That should be enough for now. Hope we can get as much answers and info as possible.

    Thanks a lot.

  6. When are business profiles/pages going to be available?
    When is the full implementation of g+ into most of google’s products going to be done?

  7. Ask him why the naming rules don’t apply to him. “Vic” is not his REAL name. I got suspended TWICE until I created a fake name that looked “real” enough.

    Ask him why long time picasa users lose their picasa accoint if their G+ account is disabled.

    Ask him why the G+ social service has to be tied to the seaparate ID “profile” service. It’s the *profile* that’s the ID service. G+ is just a web site. Why do we have to expose our real name *publicly*??? Why can’t we give Google our real name, but expose only our pseudonym publicly. If G+ is an ID service, as he claims, this shouldn’t be a problem.

  8. What methods is Google using to advertise and market Google+ besides the Google page – Gmail, Android ads, YouTube ads, search ads, TV ads, etc? What methods will Google consider using to market Google+ in the future, and would the company consider swapping ads with other advertsing providers i.e. TV networks as a method of paying for ads used to promote Google+?

  9. How influential were former Googler’s Bret Taylor and Paul Buchheit’s spin off project FriendFeed on Google Plus?

    Bret and Paul have stated that they had no idea that comments were going to be the ‘engaging-point’ for FriendFeed but they saw the response from the community and built around the needs. What are you seeing as ‘surprises’ from the G+ community?

  10. I have friends who were suspended by Google because their real names didn’t look “real” enough. They didn’t bother to return because they felt Google’s policy was discriminatory and the request of a driver’s license as proof was both insecure and inappropriate. I have many female and GLBT friends who do not dare post under their real names because of past experience with stalkers, rapists and harassment online and off.

    In what way does banning these people benefit the Google+ community?
    Doesn’t this policy make them second-class Google customers as they lose the ability to associate their websites and articles with their profile, promote sites with +1, share pictures on Picasa, and make use of Google’s future Google+ product integration?
    And why isn’t Google telling *new* Google+ users that they are putting their Google account at risk by signing up for Google+ with a pseudonym?

  11. Why does Google+ still have the age restriction of 18 years old? Is it because it’s illegal to track data of children, or what?

  12. Mobile is where it’s at. I primarily use g+ and other social networks on a droid or iphone or xoom or galaxy, not a laptop or desktop (I’m typing this comment on my droid3). Why doesn’t g+ have full functionality on those platforms? When will it? The current user experience of g+ on any mobile platform, smartphone or tablet, lacks the experience if I use a web browser on a laptop or desktop.

  13. Is social (Google+, FB) simply the reinvention of search? If you take an aesthetic look at the page that is displayed to users for Google search results, it seems outdated.

    Why doesn’t Google change its search results page to resemble Apple’s App Store (with slight variations)? It wouldn’t require making a separate app, for mobile devices, or formatting Google differently for them. It would simply be Google; universal.

    I would argue that Google search results may be partially responsible for stifling innovation (at this point in time- obviously not in the grand scheme of things).

    Startups, small business, etc. don’t stand much of a chance when it comes to appearing in the first page of results (for searches that pertain to highly sought after keywords).

    If an App Store approach was taken with search it would stir the pot a bit… And it might be better…

    For example, results (in App Store form) could display the startup of the week, staff favorites, trending now, etc.

  14. To be honest, Google+ turned me off from the start — not because of any of Vic’s team’s development but because of the rollout influencer party dynamics. I understand that there are many women behind the creation of Google+ — why then were the chief invited influencers men? Why was Google+ widely reported to have only 10% women signed on — at least according to the early stats? Related: does this matter to Vic?
    See eg:

  15. Controversy has broken out about the growth of Google+ after the doors have been opened.

    What are the traffic numbers before the public beta vs now?

    How many people have signed up for Google+?

  16. Facebook clearly is positioning itself as the 21st century platform for brand marketing, far more than as a rival to largely direct-response-oriented search advertising. What will Google+’s value proposition be for brand marketers–or is it instead just another way to provide data for Google’s existing ad platform?

  17. Main Question:

    Vic, you seemed really thrilled when you introduced Google Wave at the Google I/O 2009. What parts of Wave’s technology could, or will, be integrated into Google+?

    Is there a possibility we’ll see a Collaboration “side-app” (like Games or Hangouts) added into Google+? Wave-based or not, is the possibility to write posts collaboratively, with chosen users or Circle(s), something we can expect in G+?

    Possible follow-on Question:

    What about those 3 examples of Wave integration uses cases:

    • Don’t you think live-typing could enhance G comments (and avoid duplicates)?

    • What about the ability to respond to (under) a specific comment (tree style or indented responses)?

    • Is the integration of gadgets (from Wave or Shared Spaces) on your roadmap? i.e. will we see pools, brainstorms, maps or code snippets embedded in G+ posts?

  18. Google already has an incredibly valuable, viral and active social community right beneath their noses- it’s called YouTube. Why doesnt Google+ make more use and immediate integration of that community! Look at all the comments, the videos that get shared, and it is the #2 search engine in the world! How does YouTube rank in terms of comments and engagements? If Facebook is the world’s largest personal photo repository and YouTube is the world’s largest personal video repository- seems like they could do a lot more with that. Curious as to why Google keeps trying to reinvent the wheel when in fact they already have a great engine for social growth and what plans are for integrating that community in particular.

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