Leaving the cave

About learning, technology and raising kids…

One week of Google+

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It has been more than a week since I’ve been using Google+.

Here are my findings so far:

  • Circles are a great concept, but the more you think about it, the more difficult it gets. It has to do with the whole platform. I’ll come to that in a sec.
  • If you want something in your stream, you must follow enough people. This certainly is caused by the the fact that there are not enough users on G+ from e.g. my Twitter community.
  • I really like the idea to share stuff with circles, like my family. The problem here is that G+ is – in it’s current form – way too difficult for them. I am by far the only geek in our (small) family. It would be great to organise hangouts with my aunts in France and the US, e.g.
  • This is the first platform where I can target my shares based on language, i.e. I have a Dutch circle to post in Dutch. When I post in English, I posted publicly or to theme circles.
  • There seems to be much more engagement, which is a good thing.
  • There are a few annoying things currently, like the order of posts in the timeline, the lack of a default circle for your stream, the diarrhea of comments on some posts (not mine),… Some of those things can already be solved with browser extensions, but that can easily become a myriad of plugins and settings. I am certain this platform will grow out of these annoyances.

Google+ first reminded me of Twitter, but I got it all wrong. I heard @JeffJarvis discuss  this on TWiG: it is a sharing platform. In my opinion, Twitter was as well. But there is a huge difference.
When using Twitter, you share everything publicly, or private. This means, if you follow people, you can read everything they post. On Google+, on the contrary, you van only read public posts of the people your following, except if they put you in a circle. Furthermore, you have no clue in what circle others put you. This implies that you do not know what your followers share with you…

This bring me to the ambiguity of circles. You can organize them to share (push content to), and/or to read them in a stream (pull content from). Is it me or do you need different circles to achieve both functionalities? If so, you would have too much circles to manage (say 8 circles for 200 people).

I can certainly see the value of this net platform, but it does not have a purpose yet. If I compare with Twitter, it took about a year before I discovered the value of it. So I will give it more time, and see how it goes…

Feel free to give your comments, opinions,…