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How Google+ Punk'd The Oatmeal 218

ryzvonusef tips this quote from TechCrunch about a tit-for-tat exchange between Google+ and the creator of The Oatmeal webcomic: "This summer, the artist (Matthew Inman) wrote that Google+ comment threads sound like *crickets*, poking fun at the social network's lack of engagement. He also criticized not being able to 'set up a fancy profile URL so I don't have to link people to http://plus.google.com/blergasdf1234thimbleturdorgasm99meatpoopypoopxv9donkeypie ' — a made-up, ridiculously long string of random characters. ... In retaliation, the Google+ team didn't cite its user growth stats or give an excuse for why there are no custom profile URLs. ... Instead, they just redirected the vanity URL back to The Oatmeal author Matthew Inman's Google+ profile. Congrats, Matt, you've now got 'donkey pie' at the end of your own special Google+ vanity URL."
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How Google+ Punk'd The Oatmeal

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:37PM (#40990715)

    What does "punk'd" mean?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:42PM (#40990769)

      What does "punk'd" mean?

      It's a reference to a TV show from a few years ago where Ashton Kutcher would play pranks on-

      Oh. I see.

      Well played.

      • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @07:02PM (#40990993) Homepage Journal

        Yeah.... Burn!!!!!

        -- Signed, Kelso

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @09:35PM (#40992379)

          TFS actually highlights what I consider to be Google's biggest problem: they don't listen.

          They don't listen when we tell them about faults with search.

          They don't listen when we tell them about faults with gmail.

          They don't listen when we tell them about faults with google shopping.

          They don't listen when we tell them about faults with Google+.

          They don't listen when we tell them we've come to depend on service X, and please don't discontinue it.

          And so, eventually, we wander away, and this is when the crickets come into play.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Not trying to be an asshole, but they don't listen because they still have a shitload of users / information generators despite not listening. They don't -have- to listen.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by tangent3 ( 449222 )

            I think you need to look up the difference between "I" and "we"

            • Are you claiming google listens to others, or that nobody is complaining about these things?

              If you think you have a point, make it. Don't mumble around the bush.

          • by aaronb1138 ( 2035478 ) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @03:14AM (#40994171)

            You don't seem to understand that in most fields, crowdsourcing from the general public works really badly. Just look at the results of any given election. Consider GeoCities and MySpace were the result of letting everyone have input.

            On the other hand, crowdsourcing can be really effective when the source group are experts and learned enthusiasts.

            So, no, unless you have years of experience doing graduate level research in search, e-mail, or social networking, you should probably stop speaking with entitlement that Google should listen to you. If you have such experience, go get a job with them or build something better.

          • TFS actually highlights what I consider to be Google's biggest problem: they don't listen.

            Actually, they did listen to what the Oatmeal told them. https://plus.google.com/u/0/101560853443212199687/posts/L2K5K1GzaSh#101560853443212199687/posts/L2K5K1GzaSh [google.com]

    • by Farmer Tim ( 530755 ) <roundfile@@@mindless...com> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:42PM (#40990771) Journal

      It means someone watches too much awful television and doesn't own a thesaurus.

    • It was a TV show, approximately 283 years ago iirc, where Ashton Kutcher would have something awful/irritating happen to another famous person and secretly record them.
    • What does "punk'd" mean?

      It means he has to put his hair in spikes and wear ripped jeans and lots of leather.

    • by Dahamma ( 304068 )

      It most definitely does not mean what Soulskill thinks it means.

    • google+ is still lacking the ability for normal people to have sane user urls, so goog+ is still the one getting baited, punkd doesn't really fit at all.

      he criticism still stands.. of course it's even worse than that since google is giving special treatment to special people who they decide are special people, the guy could write a comic about a guy who becomes the next teen sensation just to get his own short url.

      but it's great advertisement for oatmeal now.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

      Why I don't understand is why anyone would need to contract the word "punked", since the contractione sounds exactly like the word that's contracted, and contains as many characters; they merely replaced the e with an apostrophe.

      Seems silly to me.

  • The reality... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:38PM (#40990729)

    G+, a vastly superior platform.... ....except that there's nobody on it, which is what makes a social platform superior.

    Unless your preferred social experience is finding new social groups, you're pretty much boned.

    I participate in the Dragon Age Legends community when it was live, but when that closed, I wandered away...

    • Circular logic is the best kind of logic because it has no corners, so logic with corners will really suck because they aren't circular enough.

      • Careful buddy. Apple has a design patent on logic with rounded (aka "circular") corners.

        You're moving into dangerous territory!

    • Re:The reality... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Local ID10T ( 790134 ) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @07:53PM (#40991495) Homepage

      The signal (# of users) on G+ is moderate. The noise (# of junk posts forced upon you) on G+ is extremely low.
      Thus, the S/N ratio on G+ is very good.

      All of this is by comparison to FB.

      (The best thing about G+ is that it is not FB...)

    • Re:The reality... (Score:4, Informative)

      by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @08:00PM (#40991549) Homepage Journal

      Actually there's a lot of people on it. I'm not particularly special and I have over 1000 followers myself, with many of my posts generating two or three comments and plusses. That's quite good considering none of these people know me at all.

      When I tell people how to use G+, I tell them to use the search bar. People aren't accustomed to being able to Google social interactions, but you can on G+ (so long as they're not private).

      So if you're into cars https://plus.google.com/s/cars [google.com] or funny hats https://plus.google.com/s/funny%20hat [google.com] or many things in between https://plus.google.com/s/needlepoint [google.com] ... you can find discussions about those topics, join in, and add the people who are interesting *to you* to your circles for those topics. If they find you interesting back, they may even circle you in return.

      You can build great relationships with complete strangers (a lot like on isolated subject forums) and choose what to share with each group, or share publicly for everyone to enjoy.

      If I want tor each the average person I went to highschool with, there's still Facebook.

    • if people start linking up their android phones with each other more it will catch on quickly (random guess), they probably need to link it closer to google talk though. i'm reserving judgement for a couple of years.
    • by Simon Brooke ( 45012 ) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @07:14AM (#40995103) Homepage Journal

      G+, a vastly superior platform.... ....except that there's nobody on it, which is what makes a social platform superior.

      Actually the vastly superior platform is Diaspora [joindiaspora.com]... which no-one is using either.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:48PM (#40990837)

    You've pretty much proved the guy's point! All right!

    On the plus side, by astroturfing this on Slashdot you'll almost certainly show a huge blip in traffic to that link - which you can turn around and use in your end-of-month report to show even more phenomenal Google+ growth!

    Wait, that was probably your whole idea from the get-go, wasn't it?

  • Sour grapes much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:50PM (#40990873)

    Occasionally, Google does something cool (like the speech-synthesis YouTube comment feature they added after and xkcd comic) but this just reeks of sour grapes from the Google plus team. It comes off as immature and petty.

  • Really sounds like a euphemism for something. I was extremely curious what it was a euphemism for (my guess was "puking"), so I had to click on this thread. I was then let down horribly.

  • For very large values of "matters".

    So what this has proved is that Google *can* set up human-readable Google+ addresses, it just won't. Unless it's some socially-inept programmer on the G+ team who has taken offense at something you've done and wants to make a point.


    (For very large values of "get")

  • Lesser companies would have thrown a lawsuit at him. At least Google is mature enough just to have some fun with it and not be a total dick.
  • They *do* listen (Score:4, Informative)

    by pamar ( 538061 ) <marino AT inrete DOT it> on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @01:54AM (#40993797) Homepage

    I suppose that the original post should have included at least two things:

    a) Apart from the harmless prank, Google is actually moving towards sane aliases for G+ profiles: http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/13/google-plus-custom-url/ [engadget.com]
    b) For the impatients, there is a sort of "url shortener" providing the service now: http://iplus.im/ [iplus.im]

    Apologies if someone else mentioned this already and I missed it in the discussion.

  • So it has been like that since the 24th of May (about a month after the original post, see the comment by Google employee Allan Cross at the bottom [google.com]), and that's now being touted as news?


    np: Future Sound Of London - Museum (From The Archives Vol. 2)

  • by RivenAleem ( 1590553 ) on Wednesday August 15, 2012 @07:16AM (#40995125)

    Should I get myself checked out if I'm seeing certain words in that apparently random string of characters?

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham