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Obligatory Google+ Post

July 17, 2011

As we all know, Google recently launched Google+, another social media attempt.  On the heels of the failed Google Buzz, Google+ expands Buzz into something most comparable to Facebook (and boy are they comparing it to Facebook).

For those who haven’t signed up, Google+ helps solve the issue of oversharing by placing your friends/contacts into different circle with which you can share specific posts.  So you can post to all your contacts, just your family, just your work friends etc.  Like Facebook you can post different media, have friends reply in thread and 1+ your posts (like).

So far there are small integrations into the other Google products (like the notification bar in Gmail/Reader etc.), however there will likely be much larger ones in time.

I’ll start with my criticisms/apprehensions:

Categorizing friends into circles is inherently counter to healthy relationships.  It makes me rank my friends when I fear that’s impossible.  Certain people should know certain information and I don’t want an unlimited number of circles to choose from or to create.

Similarly, it’s fairly time intensive to create the circles at the beginning.  You have to put some thinking into what types of content you will want to share and how you might want to censor that.  Frankly, I like services like Twitter and foursquare because you don’t have to think much (especially Twitter).

At this point, it’s duplicative.  Right now Google+ isn’t unique enough for me to know what kind of information to share or how to interact. I’ve found myself choosing between publishing on Facebook or Google+.  Though, this might be resolved with time.

Now, for the positives:

It has the potential to become huge.  I don’t mean 750 MM users huge, but as far as presence in our lives.  Google is already a daily (let’s be real, hourly) part of my life, so Google+ has the potential to be as well.

One of the issues with Facebook is that it’s shady.  I mean, I think it’s weird to spend lots of time on it and inherently narcissistic (this comes from the person who updates FB for a living).  Google has an air of legitimacy that will be a welcome change for social media.

Finally, it’s nice to see something challenge Facebook’s dominance.  The are other social media platforms out there, but none as large and reaching as Facebook.  By the same token, Facebook controls an incredible amount of information and no one has come along to force them to check that.  Maybe this will be just the thing.

Now it’s your turn.  What do you think?  Are you on it?

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