Thoughts on Goog+ After Using It

I left MySpace for Facebook because Facebook didn’t crash my web browser and destroy my vision with user “designs”. I left Facebook when my mother-in-law started ‘hiding easter eggs’ on my wall and random people from my past kept ‘poking’ me.

I started using Twitter because you can still get value in using Twitter while being a mute, but I may leave Twitter soon because — like with Facebook — people are starting to be offended when I choose not to ‘follow’ them.

I decided to join Google+ for two reasons:

  1. I was getting a lot of grief from readers (you guys) for commenting on it, without ever having tried it.
  2. A lot of people that I respect have started using it and are not hating it.

Now having used Google+, I can’t help but wonder what it’s for?

Of the other social networks I have used, here is where I see them fitting:

GeoCities: Was epic, and the best place to share animated GIFs.

MySpace: It was the place to go for crappily designed user profile pages and scantly clad pictures of women that you don’t know. To check out bands so that you could later tell you buddies: “I was listening to them way before they were main stream. It was the GeoCities of the early 2000′s.

Facebook: It is the place that you go to see what your ex is up to, if what’s her name from high school is still hot, and well who took a bikini vacation recently? It is also the place that will yield preposterous valuations, and shoot you an average of 30 clicks just for posting a link. Facebook made social networking an acceptable activity for everyone. Also: FarmVille.

Twitter: It’s the place where no one can deny your “friend request” and ADD heaven. Where millions can declare their allegiance to people they hardly know, and where a relative nobody 1 can get rather instant tech support.

Tumblr: This is basically the modern day GeoCities with better templates and (sometimes) faster loading sites. Also, it’s taking blogging to be a mainstream accepted activity.

Google+: …?

I am not saying Google plus is bad, but it’s place in the current market is confusing and unclear. The whole circles thing is neat, but what about when I just want to post something to everyone? Every ‘post’ that I see is too long for Twitter, but too short and non-sensical for a blog post.

Everything is not tl;dr — rather it is: Seems Boring; Don’t Care.

It feels like a cross between Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Long form sharing of all media, with a ‘can’t be rejected’ friending system and the appeal of ‘profiles’ from Facebook.

There is a lot of speculation that people will soon hate it as soon as the general public starts to get in, I wonder what people truly like about it right now. Honestly, the way I look at it is if you line up the current market leaders: Facebook and Twitter — would you rather lose one of those to keep Google+, or would you rather lose Google+?

The granular control of who sees what is fairly nice, but I wonder if that was made as a reaction to users wanting more privacy, or users just not wanting to hurt people’s feelings? Did Google add that granular control because they thought it was better, or because it is a clear differentiating feature of the service?

That is, if I don’t friend you on Facebook you may get mad at me. But if you create a system where I don’t need to friend you, and you still can’t see some things — well then no feelings are hurt, right? Wrong.

It’s like a no-cut sports team in high school: lame and terrible. (Let’s not get into that debate, and no I am not a parent.)

Bottom Line:

I learned a few important things:

  1. Google+ is most certainly better, technically speaking, than Facebook. I loathe it less. Once 2 it gets more users, I imagine it will give Facebook some good competition. I fear though that moving an entrenched group from Facebook may be hard, when — well — Facebook works for the general “mass” and Google is still invite only.
  2. I am incredibly frustrated by social networks that require me to constantly interact with them in order to gain value. It’s the difference between Facebook/Google+ and Twitter/Tumblr/Gowalla. I can get a lot out of the latter with mostly passive interaction, which isn’t the case with the former.
  3. I just don’t like social networks. Honestly, they just aren’t my “thing”.

Having said all that, Google+ is probably great for people that are fans of Facebook — for people that value Twitter over Facebook, it’s not there yet.

  1. Me.
  2. If.
Originally posted for members on: July 11, 2011
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