Thursday, July 7, 2011

Okay, Google + could be just as cool as they say it is

Many thanks to my friend Betsy, I did get an invite to Google +!   And I'm lonely.  I have less than 10 friends.  But looking at what this could be, I'm pretty impressed.

First, the Circle concept.  Early on in my Facebook history, I decided that I would accept any friend request that came from actual people I know.  I'm quite the Facebook woman of ill repute -- I'll friend anybody.  That has brought me to a place where I have over 500 friends, and I really can't say anything.  I'm friends with family, coworkers, clients, neighbors, people that were jerks to me in high school -- anyone that asks.  That also means that I really inhibit what I post.  I had a bad day at work -- probably not going to mention that since the CEO is one of my friends.  Annoyed about a system problem at work -- probably not going to mention it since I have clients as friends.  Annoyed at the neighborhood kids because they keep playing in the street and I nearly ran over one again -- probably not going to mention it because the neighbors are my friends.  Having separate circles would give me the freedom to actually share my real thoughts.

And I guess that I could have not friended anyone I wasn't actually besties with, but the fact is that Facebook  and it's social sharing has been extremely helpful.  My company has a D.C. office and being Facebook friends with my coworkers in D.C. (like Betsy) makes me feel closer to them -- I can't see them daily, but I get to see what funny and awesome people they are daily on Facebook.  I know my neighbors better because I can see what they are up to.  I'm a terrible, terrible correspondent -- I hate personal email and so infrequently respond -- but Facebook allows me to but tidbits of my life up and keep people that I don't see as often as I would like close to me.

The second thing is the blending of private and personal, which could be a bad thing.  To me, Google + combines the best things of Facebook (possible exclusivity) and the best things of Twitter (it's all out there, all the time.)

I was a Twitter user about two years ago, and I still have an account  
But I don't do much with it.  I use it some most recently for work and that's about it.  Oh, and I Tweeted to unlock some Angry Birds levels.   A large part of why I don't use it is because I'm so freaking overwhelmed by it.  When I go look at my Twitter feed, I get about 20 updates an hour.  And I've reduced the number of people I follow down from 200 to 123.  Still, these people are chatty!  And I know Twitter has lists now, but since I can't see who isn't in a list, I can't easily sort people.  I think that Google + starting with Circles will make this easier.

However, there is still a main feed that shows everyone.  And this is where I could get back to Twitterville.  I almost starting following an industry expert for the portion of the software industry in which I work.  And I noticed she's posting 5-6 times a day.  If I started Circling her and anyone else I don't have a personal relationship with, this could become Twitter 2.0 for me.

And finally, Google + is just beautiful.  BEAUTIFUL.  I mean, look at my Facebook profile:

STUFF EVERYWHERE!  CHAOS!  DISTRACTION!


And look at my Google + profile:

Minimalist.  Soothing.  A light rain on a summer's day.

I'm assuming some Google ads will appear at some point, but so far the base is so nice.  I'm so relaxed looking at.

So, I guess the question is, will everyone join in?  Will my 500+ friends migrate to Google + even though I can't even get my husband an invite today?  Will I maintain statuses on both until they do?  Will Google + go the way of De Lorean -- beautiful, but doesn't catch on?  

My gut feel is Google + is a De Lorean, but then again, I told my boss in 2001 that I didn't want to attend Mac training because that technology would not be transferable in my career, and here I am typing this on a MacBook Pro I can barely use.