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Google+

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Just got my invite this morning, up and running. Looks a lot like the facebook layout, actually. The circles are pretty cool, though I'm still trying to figure out how they work on a functional level (who can see what pics, etc). I must admit, was a bit disappointed that Google doesn't automatically set privacy settings more protectively. It's always bugged me that Facebook automatically defaults to everything being public, and sending every little movement as an email notification. Guess I would have expected more intuition from Google, I'm already getting all sorts of notifications I don't want.

Otherwise, it does seem a little more "stream"lined. (inside joke, literally). :)

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Posted · Report post

My only complaint with Google+ so far is that not enough of my friends are on it yet, and those who are aren't posting much. I think we're all sitting on our hands, not wanting to "waste" comments that will only be read by a dozen people.

To me, the breakthrough for Google+ is that it asks you to segment your content before posting. So, if I post a link to some film-related article, I can make it visible only to the people in my "film" circle. Whether they want to receive the link is up to them (depending on whether or not they've added me to one of their circles). Likewise, if I'm posting a link to something I've written, I can promote it by making it visible to everyone, even those who aren't members of Google+.

I'd love to make Google+ my place for hobby-related and impolite conversations (if family and coworkers follow me, I'll seldom give them access to my content), which would leave Facebook for small talk and baby pics.

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Posted · Report post

I'm so reluctant to have another thing to put online energy into-- I imagine a lot of other people are too. But I tend to roll with the times, and if it becomes apparent that this is where things are going, then I'll run with it.

Also, there's a part of me that's sad for the idea of facebook suffering, just because it's become such a part of my life. Like something about social networks seems to brush up against competition, because the goal is most connection-- for something to succeed and be useful to us, it's to our advantage to have everyone on the same page. I remember feeling this way when people were quitting myspace too, though, so... c'est la vie?

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Posted · Report post

I'd love to make Google+ my place for hobby-related and impolite conversations (if family and coworkers follow me, I'll seldom give them access to my content), which would leave Facebook for small talk and baby pics.

Don't you use Twitter already for this? ;)

I got into Google+ early, and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it. Like Darren said, I have too few friends that use it.

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That 140-character limit is definitely the strength and the weakness of Twitter. I like that Google+ is a little more conversation-friendly. The design encourages longer writing, and the "huddle" feature (in theory, at least) could solve the problem of bringing together related discussions that are taking place in different places.

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Posted · Report post

To me, the breakthrough for Google+ is that it asks you to segment your content before posting. So, if I post a link to some film-related article, I can make it visible only to the people in my "film" circle. Whether they want to receive the link is up to them (depending on whether or not they've added me to one of their circles). Likewise, if I'm posting a link to something I've written, I can promote it by making it visible to everyone, even those who aren't members of Google+.

On further reflection, I think you're right about this. It's the crux of what's different about Facebook, and what I like most about it on a micro level, which you covered above, but also—for me at least—on a macro level. Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear he thinks all information should be public, and accessible to any non-criminal person who might have a fancy toward said information. In a sense, Google+'s allowing content to be phased through different levels of contacts speaks to at least a subliminal understanding that most people feel some information should be private. I have seen multiple friends and family members become overwhelmed with facebook because of the visibility of it, and I find myself struggling to both maintain a profile, and yet not feel commandeered by that profile.

The point, ultimately, is that the world is moving online, and the fact that there is a company who shows enough respect to me as an individual to disseminate information as I see fit, is a very positive sign to me.

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The point, ultimately, is that the world is moving online, and the fact that there is a company who shows enough respect to me as an individual to disseminate information as I see fit, is a very positive sign to me.

I have an overwhelming urge to "like" this.

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Posted · Report post

(off-topic) Lauren, it's great to see you on A&F at last!

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Posted · Report post

I'm fascinated, but haven't had a viable invitation yet. [pouts]

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I'm fascinated, but haven't had a viable invitation yet. [pouts]

Want one? Message me.

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I'm still trying to figure out the Google+ thing, myself, but I agree that the circles promise to make things more manageable. Also less conflict-ridden.... And I love the fact that you can edit items (status updates, links) after you post them; one of my biggest gripes about Facebook is its lack of ability to do just that.

Also, I found this very funny:

tumblr_lodz81z6eX1qz6f9yo1_500.png

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I love the format and the platform. I could now potentially just stay on gmail all day without having to open up any other platforms. But the intuitive way one can build groups is also far more in line with the way I actually build social relationships.

I could see this being a remarkably convenient way to cloud-task certain projects, as it essentially creates a better interface for group email discussions.

Now I just need friends.

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I haven't tried it yet. I've been intimidated; it all sounds like too much work. The fact that I read Alan Jacobs' blog probably doesn't help.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I haven't tried it yet. I've been intimidated; it all sounds like too much work. The fact that I read Alan Jacobs' blog probably doesn't help.

Given Jacob's long-standing Googlmosity, I'm surprised he tried it at all, let alone while it's still in beta.

Edited by SDG

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Posted · Report post

The Google+ invitations opened up, finally. I'm finding it amusing. In an ideal world, I'd like to be able to sort students from, well, non-students, which is something Fb doesn't allow very effectively. Of course, first have to get the students to use it...

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Posted (edited) · Report post

This aired during the Thanksgiving football games. I guess that means Google+ is still a thing. I thought it had died already.

Edited by Tyler

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Tyler wrote:

: I guess that means Google+ is still a thing. I thought it had died already.

Heh. Did you see this article? A bunch of us posted it to our Facebook walls a few weeks ago (I don't know if anyone posted it to Google+, because, um, yeah, I almost never check my account there either):

- - -

Google+ Is Dead

The search behemoth might not realize it yet, but its chance to compete with Facebook has come and gone. . . .

The episode illustrated a persistent and likely fatal problem for Google’s effort to take on Facebook: There’s nothing to do on Google+, and every time someone figures out a possible use for it, Google turns out the lights. . . .

The real test of Google’s social network is what people do after they join. As far as anyone can tell, they aren’t doing a whole lot. Traffic-analysis firms have reported that Google+’s traffic has fallen precipitously from its early peak.* Even Google’s own executives seem to have gotten bored by the site. After several public posts in the summer, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin dropped off the site in the fall; they only started posting once more when bloggers began pointing out their absence. Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman and former CEO, posted his first public message when Steve Jobs died. That was three months after the social network went live. . . .

Why am I so sure that Google+ can’t be saved? Because there’s no way to correct Google’s central failure. Back when companies were clamoring to create brand pages on the network—or users were looking to create profiles with pseudonyms, another phenomenon that Google shut down—the company ought to have acceded to its users’ wishes and accommodated them. If Google wasn’t ready for brand pages in the summer, it shouldn’t have launched Google+ until it was. And this advice goes more generally—by failing to offer people a reason to keep coming back to the site every day, Google+ made a bad first impression. And in the social-networking business, a bad first impression spells death. . . .

But a social network isn’t a product; it’s a place. Like a bar or a club, a social network needs a critical mass of people to be successful—the more people it attracts, the more people it attracts. Google couldn’t have possibly built every one of Facebook’s features into its new service when it launched, but to make up for its deficits, it ought to have let users experiment more freely with the site. That freewheeling attitude is precisely how Twitter—the only other social network to successfully take on Facebook in the last few years—got so big. When Twitter users invented ways to reply to one another or echo other people’s tweets, the service didn’t stop them—it embraced and extended their creativity. This attitude marked Twitter as a place whose hosts appreciated its users, and that attitude—and all the fun people were having—pushed people to stick with the site despite its many flaws (Twitter’s frequent downtime, for example). Google+, by contrast, never managed to translate its initial surge into lasting enthusiasm. And for that reason, it’s surely doomed.

Farhad Manjoo, Slate, November 8

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