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Google+ got right what Facebook got wrong.
by mk 1383 days ago  ·  shared by 3
image  ·  #google  ·  #musings.mk


will eventually mean for Google (http://hubski.com/pub?id=2069http://hubski.com/pub?id=2069). However, after using Google+ for just a few days, I am willing to bet that Google+ will have as many users as Facebook does in less than two years. I believe people will leave Facebook for Google+ en masse.

Oddly enough, the key reason why I believe Google+ will overtake Facebook is because, in my opinion, Google got groups right where Mark Zuckerberg suggested that Google got groups wrong. That is: Google+ allows you to create groups where the members of the groups don’t know which groups they are in.

Several days ago, Mark Zuckerberg said: “The definition of groups is . . . everyone inside the group knows who else is in the group” (http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/06/zuckerberg-dig-at-google-circles/http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/06/zuckerberg-dig-at-google-ci...) Because Google+ had just been released, and as Zuckerberg had been asked about it, TechCrunch’s Eric Schonfeld assumed (probably correctly) that Zuckerberg’s statement was referring to Google+’s circles.

In Google+ you grab icons that represent people you know, and then drop them into circles, where everyone in the circle shares a common communication thread. Some circles are pre-created like ‘Friends’ and ‘Family’, but you can make your own custom circles too. Also, you can put one person in more than one of your circles. You can be my 'Friend', and my 'Sailing buddy'.

If you add me to a circle, I know that you added me to a circle, and I am a party to activity within that circle. But importantly, I don’t know which circle I have been added to, or who else is in that circle unless they speak up.

As Mark Zuckerberg alluded to, that definition of a group seems counter-intuitive. I will admit, when it comes to a group like your soccer team, everyone knows from the outset who is in the soccer team group. However, after using Google+, I began to realize how much this functionality reflects real-world behavior.

Consider that person at your work that you think is just ok, but that is very fond of you. To this person, you are a friend, maybe even a true friend. Yet, to you, this person is an acquaintance, -a coworker. In face-to-face interaction, thankfully, the two of you never need to resolve this difference amongst yourselves. However, Facebook asks you two to agree upon whether you are 'friends' or not. This is not the case with Google+. In Google+ your can drop them in your coworker circle, and they can drop you in their best friend circle. No friction.

My least favorite aspect of Facebook is that everyone I know is a friend. Google+ fixes that for me. I think that Google identified the biggest problem with Facebook, and then solved it.

I like you. I want to maintain a connection with you. But, you are not my friend. I will put you in a circle that works for me, one that you are already in.



by AnSionnachRua 1383 days ago   ·   link
My only gripe is that I don't like the idea of having to fit everyone into a circle. But hey, I'll just have an "unsorted" circle for the blurred edges.
by thenewgreen 236 days ago   ·   link

I'm curious, much time has elapsed since this post, are you still using Google plus? I'll admit that I was excited about it at first and now, the only time I ever go there is to use their "hang outs."

It's hard for me to tell if other people are using it or not? When I visit it seems relatively inactive, and not just because I'm not using it. I wonder what the long game is for Google regarding Google plus?

Anyways, I guess my question is this:

Are you, or anyone else reading this, still using Google Plus? If so, how and why?

by eightbitsamurai 236 days ago   ·   link

No.

I have like 890 followers. Tried posting some videos like a month ago.

Its a big ole waste, too. In terms of UI and whatnot, its better than Facebook.

I have more to write but I'm on mobile right now, so I'll edit this comment later.

by eightbitsamurai 235 days ago   ·   link

I think people dislike Google+ as a social network because it's forced on you. If you make a Google account, you have G+, if you want to comment on youtube or whatever, you need G+. Nobody cares about G+.

Honestly social networking sites in general feel useless. I haven't opened up my FB in a very long time - I have my chat synched with an app, which is the only reason I even have it in the first place. If we all switched back to AIM I wouldn't even notice the difference.

Mentioned before that Twitter feels a little meh just because I don't tweet as things are happening to me, then forget to tweet about said things afterwards. So that's meh.

I guess what it comes down to is that people aren't going to want to keep track of one more social network. For all the garbage Facebook includes - and there is a LOT of garbage - from an objective perspective, it did this shit first. That's why it's so popular, that's why nobody cares about other social networks like it - even if they're designed better. Then couple that with it being shoved down your throat because Google does want one of their projects to gasp fail, and you have a recipe for annoyance.

by thenewgreen 235 days ago   ·   link

    I think people dislike Google Plus as a social network because it's forced on you.
-I agree that this is a major reason that people haven't more enthusiastically adopted it. When they first launched is was by invite only, right? There was a ton of buzz and I recall people being excited to check it out. If they had stuck with that instead of the forced nature, perhaps it would have continued to hold our interest.

My neighbor recently suggested that her 20 year old daughter might really like Hubski and that she was going to tell her to spend time here. Nobody wants to hang out where their mom thinks is cool though, so I seriously doubt that she'll become a part of our community. Google is like the "mom" in this situation. Now, nobody wants to hang out at G+.

by eightbitsamurai 234 days ago   ·   link

This is an interesting way of putting it because in my opinion, Facebook is turning into that "mom",-mostly because parents are on the network, so it's not cool anymore.

In the end, I think Facebook and G+ will go the way of the dodo. Things like Snapchat and other ethereal tech will take its place, primarily.

Or maybe I'll finally get a good messaging app that everyone will use.

by AnSionnachRua 235 days ago   ·   link

I haven't looked at Google Plus probably since that comment was made! I'm only made aware that it exists these days because of some comments on YouTube.

by caio 1381 days ago   ·   link
I'd like to link a Zadie Smith article in the NYRB called "Generation Why?". In it, she discusses the movie "The Social Network" and weaves a connection with Jaron Lanier's "You're Not a Gadget: a Manifesto". http://tinyurl.com/269lya4

Here's a quote from the article:

"Why? Why Facebook? Why this format? Why do it like that? Why not do it another way? The striking thing about the real Zuckerberg, in video and in print, is the relative banality of his ideas concerning the 'Why' of Facebook. He uses the word 'connect' as believers use the word 'Jesus', as if it were sacred in and of itself: 'So the idea is really that, um, the site helps everyone connect with people and share information with the people they want to stay connected with...' Connection is the goal. The quality of that connection, the quality of the information that passes through it, the quality of the relationship that connection permits—none of this is important."

I wonder if the quality of information in Google+ will be any different than in Facebook. It probably won't.

by mk 1381 days ago   ·   link
I wonder if the quality of information in Google+ will be any different than in Facebook. It probably won't.

:) is that a comment on G+ and FB, or a social one?

I do believe that people rise to the occasion/expectations, however. Well, to an extent...

by caio 1380 days ago   ·   link
It's definitely a comment on the social networking sites. Of course, that doesn't apply to all sites. Just look at our little corner of the web here. ;)
by ckeledjian 1362 days ago   ·   link
I agree, but also I don't. If someone that to me is just an acquaintance drops me into his 'stalking' or 'spamming' group and I keep getting crap I don't want it. Additionally, if someone drops me into his friends group I think I have the right to meet other friends, like if I was invited to a party. So neither get the groups right. Nobody belongs to a group, it is about interests and stuff that matters. For instance, I have friends that like topics about politics and I woudl like to share these only with them, regardless if they are friends, coworkers or family, or other friends that like tech topics, and again, I would like to share with them. Some friends like politics and tech, so they could belong to both groups. The mistake of the FP and Google+ approach is trying to tag a person as a category, when these sites are about sharing different types of information and topics, regardless of the relationship you have with them.
by rhodora 1361 days ago   ·   link
"Nobody belongs to a group, it is about interests and stuff that matters."

You're absolutely right, and google+ does give you the opportunity to do that. My circles are created based on interests. I have one for friends interested in politics, one for people who share my taste in music, etc etc. I only enjoy using facebook to share information with others and have them share information with me. If I can redirect my link to a specific set with out having to "spam" the rest of my friends with 20 links about a topic I know they're uninterested in, I would much rather do that. Alternatively, I tire of acquaintance B shooting out status updates about fly fishing when I have the opposite of interest in that. I hope they place me in an appropriate circle and leave those updates for the fly fishing one.

Google+ does understand its about sharing information, but just throwing information out into the internet abyss is pointless if it's not relevant to the audience.

by mk 1360 days ago   ·   link
Google+ does understand its about sharing information, but just throwing information out into the internet abyss is pointless if it's not relevant to the audience.

I agree with that. And after using Google+ for a bit, I'm still not quite sure if they got that right. It makes me wonder if FB isn't successful because it enables communication, but because it enables vanity and voyeurism.

by mk 1362 days ago   ·   link
If someone that to me is just an acquaintance drops me into his 'stalking' or 'spamming' group and I keep getting crap I don't want it.

This shouldn't happen. You only get messages from people that you put in your circles. This makes the point that Google might need to better explain how Circles works, however.

The mistake of the FP and Google+ approach is trying to tag a person as a category, when these sites are about sharing different types of information and topics, regardless of the relationship you have with them.

That's an interesting point. Maybe it's not so much that we want to categorize people, but we want to categorize our communication? -On that note, stick around. Hubski is going to roll out an update in a couple of days that is going to mix things up a bit in that regard. :)

by roundsquare 1382 days ago   ·   link
You know, I thought the same thing to at first. But my friend showed me that you can actually do this with facebook. I.e. you can limit your messages to only going out to certain groups. The real difference between facebook and google+ on this issue is that google+ puts this in the center of your field of vision. What I mean is that (to use facebook terminology): friending someone happens when you put them in a group whereas, in facebook, you friend people and the groups are an afterthought. You can see evidence of this in the interface: you drag people to a circle or click on a circle to put them in. You never click "accept."

One thing, however, is potentially problematic. Facebook requires bilateral agreement between the two parties before there is a live feed. I don't believe that's true with google+, if I put you in my circle you will see what I share with that circle unless you consciously opt-out. This, I think, has potential for abuse.

by mk 1382 days ago   ·   link
>One thing, however, is potentially problematic. Facebook requires bilateral agreement between the two parties before there is a live feed. I don't believe that's true with google+, if I put you in my circle you will see what I share with that circle unless you consciously opt-out. This, I think, has potential for abuse.

AFAIK, that is only the case with your 'incoming' stream, which you will only see if you click on it. It seems by default that you don't see this activity in your stream.

by Sarckz 1383 days ago   ·   link
I totally agree with this. The "everybody is a friend" was the main reason I stopped using FaceBook.
by martinovski 1382 days ago   ·   link
Well, you sort of see it on a per post basis. If you click on "limited", you see the group of people with whom the post was shared. I too hope it will succeed, liking it much more than fb so far.
by pope 1382 days ago   ·   link
What is Google+'s views on apps such as Mafia and Farm? Those, coupled with the issue that Google solved, are the reasons I left FB. Can they sustain their network with pure advertisement, or will they get greedy like FB, accept everyone, and invest in FB's new credits-monopoly idea?
by I_have_a_pencil 941 days ago   ·   link

So far, I've not seen any of this on G+. While it has remained rather quiet, this is what I like about it. The friends that I have on Google-plus are the ones I actually enjoy hearing from. FB is a mess of acquaintances and distant relatives. Bah!

by caio 1383 days ago   ·   link
I haven't tried Google+ yet. I'm trying to stay away from social networks, except Twitter, but from this article I'm guessing Mr. Munroe was to quick to judge? http://xkcd.com/918/

If mk's predictons are right, and everybody migrates to Google+, I wonder what Zuckerberg & Co. are going to do with all that information they have on everybody. I don't see Facebook going the Friendster route, but that's maybe because, right now, it seems too big to fail. It will be interesting, to say the least, if Google+ dominates the social networking market as it did the search engine market. What's Web 3.0 gonna look like?

by alpha0 1382 days ago   ·   link
Funny. But here's wishing to the quick end to them both.

Someone ping me please when we have a social system that does not own my identity.

by mk 1380 days ago   ·   link
>Someone ping me please when we have a social system that does not own my identity.

Do you think it will ever be realized? Perhaps if it was written into an OS. I can't see how else a P2P network could ever get enough uptake otherwise (https://joindiaspora.com/). However, I do see social tools becoming so integral to the computer experience that they are baked into the OS, somewhat like what happened to browsers. But even there...

I see it now: anti-monopolization lawsuits because Google bakes Google+ into Chrome. They are building a enterprise version of Google+ (http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/235842/what_go...), in fact: . Adding that to their Chrome package for business (http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/business/) would kick MS's ass into orbit. Oh, be afraid LinkedIn and MS, be very afraid...

by alpha0 1380 days ago   ·   link
> Do you think it will ever be realized?

For a subset of us, why not? It is no different than the real life. Your main-life thread is your fairly unique and the most important narrative in your life. The actors and relationships of that space are what is important to your social life. Real life also affords a non-smooth space of interaction, ranging from brief and anonymous to long running and intimately familiar. & You act differently in the library than you do in the night club, and your social expectations are varied, etc.

Backing in the OS (imo) is to repeat the categorical mistake/conflation of user identity and user agent identity. You will carry something on your person. (This also addresses the hostile host environment issue for the software if in a internet cafe, etc.) It will have a public # you can hand out. Your social identity will be a distributed computation.

Unentangling identity from service provision is key. A central non-profit organization is possibly required for the issuance of the canonical public root-identity (for use in 0+ trust environments) -- and this can bridge with the non-civilized social systems we are forced to adopt so you can interact with the 'socially unrefined' if you must just like in real life ;).

Your social identity must be subject to cyclical regeneration and your social network re-evaluated at these cycle end-points.

The above system, just like real life, also has the feature that it provides a solid economic basis for the participation of service providers. The current model relies on advertisement and it is basically broken at foundation (if these matters are even remotely of concern to you.)

-

Kids are alright? TBD: It is their future. They will make the decision and live in it. It will be a unconscious collective choice. The "big money" is on the collective unconsciously opting for a surveillance society. (The choice of their parents/us, today.).

[edit: haven't ever read Die Wahlverwandtschaften but the title says it all.]

by thenewgreen 1382 days ago   ·   link
The cartoon was funny. At first glance, I too was trying to figure out the difference between the two. This post has nailed it. I was weary at first to hail google+ as a victory but since I have signed up, I have had a number of people "adding/inviting" me. The exodus has begun.


mk's previous #google and #musings.mk posts: