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-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.
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
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.
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?
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...
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.]