Welcome to Google Plus
Thanks to my friend Christopher Porter, I received an invite right at the beginning. I was enthralled with the newness of the application like everyone else. I played with my profile and checked out everything I could. I downloaded the app to my Droid phone and even had a chat via “Huddle.” Dude, I was “In like Flint.” I even worked diligently to “slip” a few friends in when Google throttled down the invites due to the response they received.
Over the past week, blog posts extolling the virtues of Google Plus (G+) came out. There are even a few about the negatives (and there are negatives). I am not going to lay out how to use G+ or how to maximize it for your best use. Why? Others have done it and honestly, I am still trying to figure that out for myself.
Spinning in Circles
The “circle” system now has become a dilemma for me. What to name my circles, what circle do I put “so and so” in?
Over the past week, the “so and so has added you” notifications started coming in. I have hundreds of people waiting to be put somewhere. People I don’t know, people I “kinda sorta” know, and people I wouldn’t share anything with at any time, have added me. Folks that normally might not follow me on Twitter have added me for heaven’s sake. Was there a race on G+ to see who could be “top dog” the fastest? What do I do with these people? What happens if I don’t put them in a circle? Will they know? Would they even care?
While I am still not sure where I should put people, what I do know is that I dislike intensely the lack of privacy that we seem to have with these circles when you block someone.
I dislike the fact that if I block someone and someone who has added me to a circle adds them to a circle, the blocked person can see me, the discussions I have, and can make comments through that circle. (Clear as mud?) It rather dismisses the purpose of the block, in my opinion. (Yes, I have blocked people. They are blocked on every social media outlet I have.)
How much do I share and with whom?
On Facebook, I am very selective about whom I friend (I have 1/10th the amount of friends than people I follow on Twitter). I even wrote about that here. I don’t share everything on Twitter, nor do I share everything on Facebook. However, Facebook is where I do share a more personal slice of my life. What do I share on G+ and with whom do I share it? I hesitate to post anything because frankly, I am not sure who is seeing it, even when I share to circles that I think would limit my reach.
A lot of noise
There is a lot of noise on G+. I am not interested in every detail, picture, and comment of everyone that has added me to their circles. No offense, it is just too overwhelming for me. Put aside that 90% of the posts are about G+ (I’m guessing that will wear off eventually), I’m still faced with posts from people I don’t know, conversations I’d rather not read, and pictures I’d rather not see. I have found the same content posted on Facebook and in a limited way on Twitter. Pick your platform people – duplicating content everywhere is not cool.
Interestingly, by July 4th the novelty of G+ had worn off for me. One week later and nothing has changed. I have tons of people who I need to add to circles that I have yet to create and a lot of content that does not interest me. Honestly, I do not have the time to check yet another social media stream that is almost identical to the ones I already have.
For now, this is another toy in a toy box that is already overflowing with all the social media tools, app’s and “latest-n-greatest” things that have come down the road over the past year or so. How many of these toys do I use regularly? Honestly, very few.
While I think Google Plus does have great potential, I think I will wait until things settle down before I head back and play the “circle game.”
(Thank you Joni Mitchell for the title inspiration.)