Friday, July 1, 2011

Google Plus First Thoughts

So, I managed to squeak in through one of the tiny holes Google has opened up and got my Google Plus account set up this morning.  I haven't done much with it due to that whole "being at work" thing.  But, here's a few initial observations:

Randall Munroe summed it up extremely well.

It really is strikingly like Facebook, only with a cleaner interface.  Of course, there are already rumors that Google is looking to add games and question apps to the mix, so that may not last long.

The "circles" method of organizing your friends and controlling the publication of your status is simple, easily personalized, and very flexible.  Much, much better than the nightmare of Facebook (where I just set all my posts to be seen by all my friends but no one else, because I couldn't get the hang of their system).  Google Plus' system reminds me a lot of LiveJournal's, which I happen to quite like.

Finding people is kind of a pain, but it's the same pain that you have on Facebook.  Notably, that everyone is listed by their real name.  I don't actually know most of the people that I socialize with by their real names.  I know LJ handles, Twitter nicknames, and the like.  So far, I'm mostly matching people who have the same icon.  I think I need to change my Twitter icon to match.

I'll be interested to see how some of the other features work.  A few gamers have already mentioned that the Hangout feature will blow Skype away as a way to do virtual tabletop gaming.  The Spark thing sounds like it could be neat, somewhere between Facebook's "pages" and Google News' "alerts." 

I'm also going to be very interested to see how it integrates across platforms.  I'm already kind of a Google power user.  I use GMail, Google Reader, an Android phone, and now I'm on Blogger.  And, as an interesting side effect, I discovered that since I linked my Twitter account to my Buzz feed, my tweets show up under my Plus profile.  If Google can really link all of this together and get some powerful synergy going, my life will become much, much better.  I might even switch my browser over to Chrome.


  1. I am curious to play and see how much Google can integrate. Chrome still has a few too many annoyances for me to give up Firefox though.

  2. I have just experienced a bit of a Google melt-down, and I'm questioning the wisdom of having one corporation being the gate keeper for all of my communication, data, and social networking.

  3. Yeah, I saw that. It really sucks.

    Of course, I've generally dropped Google+ for entirely unrelated reasons. Mostly, lack of time. I'm spending a lot more time keeping up with my list of blogs, and updating this blog. Twitter gives me all the social media I need right now.