Archive for the ‘Google+’ Category
Let’s go to the bottom line first: Google+ is a fun distraction, but I don’t see anything new, or anything that likely makes it a major player. In our collective ADD, the current “Ooh, shiny!” moment will likely turn into a big national yawn.
The much-discussed circles are really just a drag-and-drop interface for putting people on lists. Facebook users have been able to do this for years, and although the FB interface isn’t as nifty (Facebook keeps it mostly out of sight because they’d rather you share everything with the entire universe), it’s easy enough.
The setup is easier than most — at least if you already have a Google account. G+ also immediately integrates Picasa, which I use to post photos, so all of those were immediately pulled into the account.
The big issue is whether G+ can get enough people to join so that it achieves the “critical mass” that Facebook and Twitter now enjoy. Right now, Google is at least pretending to be stingy with invitations, though everybody I know who showed an interest seems to have received one. There was a to-do about Facebook’s move to block a Chrome extension that exports Facebook friends (enabling them to be imported into G+), but that’s a non-issue. Facebook friends can be easily exported into any Yahoo! account (consider the irony of Yahoo! serving as an important gatekeeper for Google+). From there, they can be imported into Google+ with a couple of clicks. Then you can send invitations to anybody on the list. But honestly, I don’t see any improvement over the similar functions that have existed in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for years.
Also, keep in mind that while you can import the names of all your Facebook friends, that doesn’t mean they’re around. Unless they join G+ and add you to their circles, they won’t see anything you post.
Some folks are making a big deal over G+’s limited (if not nonexistent) integration with Twitter and Facebook, and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has said it wants more. But there are plenty of ways to post to multiple accounts — Tweetdeck, Seesmic, WordPress extensions, Friendfeed, Tumblr and Posterous, just to name a few. No doubt, these will add G+ to their list of accounts to which you can post.
For all I know, this’ll be the biggest thing since e-mail, but there’s no rush to get over there, unless you just have a fetish for socializing in big empty rooms.