Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Google+: The straw that broke the social media back--or is it?

Like any geek, I signed up for Google+ when it was announced. I had no idea what it was other than a social media site put out by Google.  I loved their maps and email, why shouldn't I love their social media site?

Then I started adding people to my circles. That's when it got a bit out of control. Apparently when you do that people get an email telling them they've been added to a circle you created, regardless if they were a Google+ user or not.

This tended to make my friends paranoid. How could they be added when they didn't sign up? What were they added to? How much of their information could I access now that I had added them to a circle?

That got me questioning the whole usefulness of Google+.  Was it really better than FB and Twitter? Was it different from the other social media sites? And really, what did it DO?

I've spent some time with it and still wish it interacted with FB and twitter. If it did, it would make it so much easier to keep up with streams from Google+ as I apparently am only capable of keeping up with 2 social media sites daily.

Google+ has some issues:
1. What differentiates it from FB and twitter? You seem to be able to filter the stream according to your circles but what else makes it different?
2. Google has had some misses in the past (Google Wave, anyone?) and those who signed up for those services and then had them yanked back are a bit cautious.
3. It's often seen, at least in my circles (no, not Google+ circles, real circles of friends) that this is just the last straw. One more site they have to keep up with.
4. No app for the iPhone. I get it, Google=android. But if you really want everyone to adopt your new social network, you should design for everyone, not just your favorite group.
5. It's creepy to know that they know where you have lived for the past 10 years. Yeah, I know this stuff is out on the web, but I was really hoping that no one was going to consolidate it at one site.
6. How to use the damned thing. There have been 'how to' articles published for noobs to figure out how to use it. (don't remember seeing this for FB and twitter):  http://www.pcworld.com/article/235526/10_google_tips_for_beginners.html

to quote my friend via twitter:

"Google + seems like so much work, lol. I don't want to have to figure it out. I'll save it for some day when I feel like concentrating" 

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