Not tired of reading about Google+ yet? Since I’ve been using it for a while now I figured I could share some thought on how it works, what you could do with it and maybe most interesting what Google need to do to make it work. First up, the conversations concept.
“Real life sharing and conversations, rethought for the web“
Catchy? You bet. Does it really differs from other services? Sort of.
Google does it best to convince us that Plus really is different, not another Facebook, not another Twitter and most certainly, not another Buzz. The use of “Circles” are one thing that is a bit different. Facebook has list and encourages you to use them, Google instead call this circles and enforces it. When adding a contact you have to put them in one or more circles. Those circles are then the basis on who you share with, what you read and how private you want to stay. All to mimic how you decide what group of people to sit with at the party and what story you will share with them. This is not a major different, no matter how many times it’s repeated that people don’t use the lists in facebook. Some do (me included) and others could. It’s how those lists/circles are used that is the difference (and to some extent the creating of circles that really is simple and quite fun, yes I like organizing things).
Because the conversation concept doesn’t stop there, just like I can tell you a story that you later on will re-tell for another friend plus will let you reshare a post to any of your circles. This means that what was once a private conversation could go very public. Google just reinvented gossip. The nice thing with G+ gossip is that you will be notified and you can also do a “this is a secret don’t tell anyone” by disable resharing. So far Google hasn’t found a way to stop your friends from spreading it manually i.e. copy it or just use good old fashioned verbal skills. Google should make the share/gossip possibilities much more clear. Not only because it’s a very nice feature but also, like it or not people are used to facebooks way of (not) dealing with resharing, it doesn’t matter how much better this is. I’m guessing that failbook.com are just waiting…
People will of course be upset, I’m sure we will at one time or another hear a threat about a class action suite. In my opinion the conversations/sharing concept is great but it has to be made very very clear, we all know that people don’t read the instructions carefully and that will always be somebody else fault.
I think I’ll take a brake here and let this turn into a little series of post. Looking at one thing at the time is much more fun :)