Tag Archives: dynamic algorithms

Google+ Evolves in Real Time?

I just had the strangest experience….

I help with the social media campaign for a group to which I belong. I just got a list of all the email addresses of our members so that I could invite them to join our Facebook and/or Google+ group. I started with the Google+ group, figuring the invitee list would be smaller: I’d start by just inviting the folks with gmail accounts. Since there are 900 members, that was a way to thin down my task a bit.

So, I turned on a movie and started inviting people to the list.

At the top of the list, each time I tried adding the email address of someone who wasn’t a member of Google+, I saw a pop-up message stating that I could only invite members of Google+ to join the group.

But, about 20 or 30 names into this, all of the sudden, the system started accepting all of the names. Was I getting lucky? Were all these people members of Google+? I don’t think so. Because initially, when I’d add a name that would be accepted, that nice little blue box would pop into the spot where I’d put the email address, and it would show the person’s name with their email address. Now, if there was no name, the blue box was just showing the person’s email address.

So I tried an experiment. I started throwing in some of the non-gmail addresses. Now I know that you don’t have to be a gmail address holder to be a member of Google+, but the chances are more likely. And it could be that the stars were aligned correctly and the non-gmail addresses I picked at random just happened to belong to Google+ members. But I doubt it. Hm…. but maybe….. I should buy a lottery ticket tonight?? 🙂

So what happened? Did some algorithm change in the middle of my process? Was there someone actually watching what I was doing and change the behavior of the application as I was using it. I think the former is much more likely than the latter.

But how do I research this? What sorts of terms would I put in the search bar?

One wonders……