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Thoughts on Google+

Posted by Chance on July 22, 2011

I was one of the people important and special enough to receive a Google+ invite.  I don’t really have time for a second social network (the other being facebook) but I thought I would check it out.

How it works.

  1. Like Twitter, Google+ is based on one-way relationships.  That is, you can follow someone but they don’t have to follow you.  This is opposed to Facebook where the relationship is two-way.
  2. A central part of G+ (as us privileged few call Google+) is the idea of circles.  So, when I add someone to follow, I can choose from the default circles of Friends, Acquaintances, Family, or Following.  Or I can create a new one.  So, when I share something, I can choose what group I want to share with.  What’s important is that others cannot see which circle they are in.
  3. What a person shares is public, unless they choose to share with specific circles.
  4. I’m not sure what the limit is on posting things, but it is obviously bigger than Facebook’s limit for their status updates.

A few thoughts.

  1. I like the idea of Circles, especially since people cannot see what circle they are in.  This is actually implemented in Facebook via friend lists, but it is not nearly as easy to use, although it is a feature I use in Facebook.  I like sharing general thoughts to all my friends, but things that are more personal, or involving holiday plans (or more plainly said, when I’m not at home) I like to limit to a set of closer friends.
  2. One way relationships will probably only work if people choose to share things publicly.  For example, I chose to follow a sports blogger.  If he, and others like him, choose to share things with the world, then following them will have value.  If they choose to only share with their circles, and I’m not in their circles, then there is no value.
  3. Right now Google+ is not much fun.  While there are probably several pros to Google having a limited group to test G+ and build buzz, it means that not a whole lot is going on.  Right now I have 8 people I’m following and nothing is going on in the Stream (which is G+’s version of the News Feed).

It will be interesting to see how G+ competes with Facebook.  I think people will like the Circles option, although, as some tech-bloggers have pointed out, it’s probably only a matter of time before Facebook makes their Friend Lists feature easier to use and/or more like Circles.  I do like the one-way relationship structure, but as I said above, this will only have value if people share things publicly, as they do in Twitter. I don’t know if right now, in terms of my usage, G+ offers anything new other than something to play with.  But at the very least, I’ll keep the profile around awhile.

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4 Responses to “Thoughts on Google+”

  1. Lorenda said

    This is kind of cool Chance. And sadly, I had no idea Facebook allowed you to pick which group of friends saw what. I’ll have to log in and poke around…

    • Chance said

      Hey Lorenda, thanks for stopping by. The important thing to remember is that FB has Groups and Friend Lists. Everyone can see who is in your Groups (so you don’t want one titled “People I don’t Care About” or anything like that). But Friend Lists people cannot see. You basically click on “Friends” along the sidebar then near the top middle of the screen click “Manage Friend List”, then go to “Create List”.

  2. Josh said

    I can’t help but notice that Board Game Reviews by Josh isn’t on your BlogRoll. How very sad… maybe that’s why I’m not in your Circles either…

    • Chance said

      Ah yes, it’s due to my laziness that I have not added you yet, but it has been remedied.

      I tried looking for you on G+, do you have a profile yet? If not, I can invite you.

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