Michael Degusta at The Understatement posted a fun study yesterday on how little Google’s management team actually use their Google+ service. These managers need to stand behind their product, he says, and Facebook’s management are “far more active on their public feeds than Google is on theirs.”
I completely agree... except for that part about Facebook sharing information publicly. Welcome to my own fun little study, called “Facebook Execs Sharing Publicly on Facebook (or not).”
This is completely unscientific, but here’s what I did: Took the 12 execs listed on Facebook’s bio section on their website. Searched for them on Facebook, looking for People and Pages, and filtering down to Palo Alto as their location and Facebook as their employer when they were a lot of results. Used my patented facial recognition technology (my eyeballs) when identity was in doubt. Counted their public posts from June 2011 to October 5 (today). Made a little spreadsheet and then an infographic, because we all like visual aids.
You can even try this at home.
Facebook Execs Not Embracing Public Sharing
This is going to shock you and rock the technology world, but Facebook executives aren’t sharing a whole lot of their personal information publicly, either. Some don’t even seem to have Facebook accounts. One has everything set to private. Welcome to my pie chart infographic:
*Note: Please do not judge me on my pie-chart making skills. Believe it or not, I don’t do this professionally and I’m actually quite sensitive.
Not too many of them average more than four public posts a month in the time I checked, from June til today. Does this mean they’re not using Facebook? Possibly. I really don’t know. Do you? The ones without accounts could be using fake names. Who knows?
We can’t really determine how often Google or Facebook executives use their own services if they’re doing so privately. I do agree with Degusta that it would instill more public confidence if, while they’re telling us to share the music we listen to, where we eat, who we date, and what we’re reading, they would do the same.
This applies for all social media companies networks, not just Google+.
What About Mark Zuckerberg?
A few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg responded within minutes to a Facebook user post about himself by a guy who said, “In the same way drug dealers don’t use the product they sell, I doubt Zuckerberg is on Facebook all day. Visionaries don’t idle online.”
Zuckerberg showed that indeed, they do, by responding, “No, I really do use Facebook all day long.”
Oh, snap! It’s like that Bloody Mary game you played in front of the mirror as a kid... spin around three times chanting, “Zuckerberg, Zuckerberg, Zuckerberg...” and he will appear.
But is he using it the way he expects you or I to use it? With a total of 13 public posts in the last four months, not a chance. Most of the Google and Facebook executives do not use their products in the way they want you to use them.
They’re watching and listening, though... oh yes, they are.
What About Larry, Sergey, and Eric?
Google's triumvirate of Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt have shown little use of the new product and Schmidt doesn't even have an account. Interestingly, Douglas Edwards, former Googler and author of "I'm Feeling Lucky" about his time with the company, posted to Google+ that many of the executives are just too busy.
"I worked with a lot of these people. They don't chat. They don't participate in long threads on company email lists. They don't write long missives. If they were doing any of those things elsewhere, I'd say it's a valid criticism, but they're not," Edwards wrote. "It does however, indicate why they were so slow to get the importance of social media. It's not relevant to the way they communicate (on the rare occasions they choose to do so). Google search is as strong as it is because they actually use that product all the time and insist it meets their expectations."
Frank Watson also contributed to this report.