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Why You Shouldn't Write Off Google+ Just Yet 286

Posted by timothy
from the well-armed-tortoise-gunning-for-hare dept.
TheNextCorner writes "Cmdr Taco writes for The Washington Post on why you shouldn't write off Google+ just yet: "Google+ is technically better than its rivals in a number of key ways. The user interface is comfortable and friendly. It's easy to maintain circles of contacts, and to segregate what you share with each group. Discussions of small-to-medium sizes are manageable and readable — even in real time. Facebook wins when it comes to the open graph and app ecosystem, but a lot of people don't care about that stuff.""
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Why You Shouldn't Write Off Google+ Just Yet

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  • Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s.petry (762400) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:10PM (#40719463)

    I wrote off all social media long ago, I don't even keep track. No thanks, spy on someone else.

    • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by i_ate_god (899684) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:22PM (#40719593) Homepage

      but anonymity is bad too?

      • by jhoegl (638955)
        Check mate sir!
      • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:57PM (#40719871)

        Yesterday Google-Youtube asked me for my real name. Well actually they already KNOW my real name via my email account, but they wanted me to start using it on youtube so everybody else would know too. (Posted by cpu6502, Bill Smith)

        I refused.
        Now I can't reply to comments. I can post new ones on videos, but the reply button is disabled. What a crummy thing for Google to do (try to take-away my anonymity). I don't want thousands of posts hanging-round with my real name for the next 60 years.

        And here's another reason to dislike google: Quoting Rob âCmdrTacoâ(TM) Malda article: "Google doesnâ(TM)t really need you to use Google+ to post status updates with your friends as much as they simply need you to log in and tell them your age. If you do this, suddenly they can tie together your iPhone, your work machine, and your laptop. Your 3 machines become one person. You. And you are broadcasting signals all the time. If you don't* explicitly tell Google where you live, what you do, and how old you are, they will be able to make fantastically informed guesses."

        On facebook almost everything is faked. My age, my location, only thing's that real is my name & my school (to reconnect with alumni).

        *
        *Why is Opera telling me that don't is mis-spelled?
        *:-o

        • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by datavirtue (1104259) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:07PM (#40720633)

          They almost have to do this. Online communities are being poisoned to death. While I value anonymous posting, much of the web is becoming unusable. This could be solved with better (think: out-of-the-box) moderation, but the other alternative to cleaning up something as invective as YouTube is to require real names. I would be willing to pay a small amount in able to join a community and use a handle, with the chance of getting banned by a REAL moderator, to participate in a grown-up conversation.

          • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by kermidge (2221646) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:28PM (#40720747) Journal

            Real moderators are one the things I missed the most going from GEnie, Delphi, CompuServe to "the Web." People could choose a handle to use in the forums, while the company knew your real name for billing and access control.

            Posts were sorted by topic and thread, people were admonished, counseled, or banned for misuse. 'Twas fairly civilized, and sorely missed.

            • Re:Google What? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by hairyfish (1653411) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @01:32AM (#40721469)
              Slashdot has a half decent moderation system, although by no means perfect so it can be done. I don't know if a paid system would work since you'd never get critical mass. Most off the forum I've used that work, generally have committed moderation team, and a mature user base that know how to effectively deal with trolls (ie ignore them)
              • by kermidge (2221646)

                Sure, right on.

                I was mostly referring to the forums one runs across, say for an OS, a widget, or a game. Many posts start with "Help!" Some will add "can't start" or somesuch. There might be hundreds of these scattered about in various 'threads'.

                In 'olden' days the sysops (as they were called) would sort them where they appropriately went, often after asking - by email or private forum message - or by automated message - to have the poster re-phrase the header. They'd also simply move stuff and merge or

          • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Raenex (947668) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:48PM (#40720865)

            One of the things I value about Slashdot is that the comments aren't moderated beyond +/-.

        • by tbird81 (946205)

          I got that same dialog box this morning. It pissed me off how we weren't allowed to comment on why we declined, other that the few choices they gave. I am still able to comment though.

          I only joined Google+ to get the unlimited photo storage (for resolutions lower than 2048px) in Picasa. I have zero people added, am in zero circles, and turned off all the crap default posts they provide if you leave your account empty.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          You don't really have to give them your real name. When I signed up for G+ I transliterated my first name into Japanese and put "chan" as my second name (chan is a sort of informal "Mr."). They reviewed it for a couple of days and then allowed it.

          Other people have managed to get non-real accepted, such as "Aestetix". He pointed out that he had established the identity and then argued with the moderator a bit. It seems like as long as the name is a genuine "identity" rather than a throw-away forum handle it

      • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Informative)

        by horza (87255) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:59PM (#40719883) Homepage

        With the Google Real Names policy, and always badgering you for your mobile phone number, apparently it is. Hence G+ being a desolate wasteground.

        Phillip.

    • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jamesh (87723) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:36PM (#40719709)

      I wrote off all social media long ago, I don't even keep track. No thanks, spy on someone else.

      You're missing the point. Facebook is a tool that _you_ use to spy on and stalk _other_ people. As long as you don't post anything any more revealing that "omg wtf my dog just farted!!1!!!1" then you don't have a problem. It's not like anyone can spy on anything other than what you post there.

      • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:17PM (#40720031) Homepage Journal

        Facebook can spy on every website you ever visit that has a Facebook "like" button. They then sell the information about what you view online, combined with who you interact with on facebook, who lists you as a relative on Facebook, who names you in photos... and YOUR IMAGE if someone tags you in a Facebook photo using their face recognition software.

        Which they package and sell.

        Happy privacy.

        • by jamesh (87723)

          Facebook can spy on every website you ever visit that has a Facebook "like" button. They then sell the information about what you view online, combined with who you interact with on facebook, who lists you as a relative on Facebook, who names you in photos... and YOUR IMAGE if someone tags you in a Facebook photo using their face recognition software.

          Which they package and sell.

          Happy privacy.

          Yes all that can happen if you don't handle your cookies properly.

          • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:22PM (#40720423)

            Do you have a browser cache? Because if so, companies can spy on you using e-tags. Hulu was discovered doing it, and others probably are too. No cookies/scripts necessary, just base html.

            • I do use browser cache, but I also use RefControl. It blocks cross-domain requests. For example if I visit nytimes, it cannot send a request to facebook or google, only to nytimes.com and other domains I have specifically whitelisted.

            • I have more than one browser installed. This is precisely one of the reasons why.

          • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:30PM (#40720761)

            Yes all that can happen if you don't handle your cookies properly.

            You seem to have missed the last ten years worth of advances in systemic internet tracking systems. [eff.org]

          • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:40PM (#40720815) Homepage Journal

            .Yes all that can happen if you don't handle your cookies properly.

            Yeah, see, that's the thing. Telling people that they can maintain their privacy if they learn how to figure out which cookies they can keep and which they cannot is like saying your money is safe in the bank, but only if you can solve ten partial differential equations in under 10 minutes.

            Privacy should not be conditional on you having to engage in one-upmanship with the designers of Facebook.

            Of course, nobody has to use Facebook, and I strongly recommend that my friends do not use Facebook at all. It's easy enough to contact one another and no matter how careful you are, you're always going to get someone on facebook from grade school bothering you to be their friend and it just all becomes sad and unpleasant. I've managed pretty well to wean a few people off facebook and convince then to use online communication tools that are not "social media" (which is Latin for "sandbox for stalkers". Yes, they still exist, including good old IRC.

            My daughter, who from what I can tell is one of the cool kids, and her friends manage to stay on top of what's happening without ever touching facebook or twitter. I showed her IRC and now she and her friends think it's retro but cool. I heard one of the kids explaining how "Facebook spies on you and shit" so apparently the message has gotten through.

            As for me, Facebook and Google+ have only served to teach me just how much I enjoy not being constantly in touch with a lot of people. My friends know how to find me, and they know that I don't always carry a communication device. In the past year, I've even stopped checking email every day, which was a big step for me. My wife, who's a mathematician and professor, refuses to own a mobile phone. For a while people looked at her like she was from mars, but now I see more understanding and appreciation for her position on these things. Now, for a lot of people, work requires them to use social media (for some reason) and 24/7 mobile communications. but that affliction has been lifted from my shoulders, praise Jesus.

            My life is full of technology still, some of it more advanced than 95% of the population, and I enjoy it, but I don't feel that I have to use every new thing that comes along, especially if it's just a cover for marketing and social engineering. Discernment is good.

        • by InterGuru (50986)

          I downloaded a separate browser 9 (Opera in my case) which I use exclusively for Facebook. That way FB can't track my browsing with like buttons as I do my browsing on Firefox.

          • I downloaded a separate browser 9 (Opera in my case) which I use exclusively for Facebook. That way FB can't track my browsing with like buttons as I do my browsing on Firefox.

            Couldn't they just compare the ip that logs in with the ip that requests the like button image on a remote site?

        • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by WombleGoneBad (2591287) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @05:39AM (#40722341)
          Also, If you have the facebook android app, facebook can do any of the following without your knowledge
          • Access all the stuff on your SD card
          • Track your current location with GPS.
          • Download anything they like onto your phone.
          • Access ALL the accounts (not just facebook) that you use on the phone.

          On many phones (like mine) this app is pre-installed and actually uninstallable it was the main reason i switched to cyanogenmod

    • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bmo (77928) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:38PM (#40719723)

      I wrote off all social media long ago, I don't even keep track. No thanks, spy on someone else.

      It's really no different than Usenet. Except with Usenet you don't have any control at all over who sees your post. Ever. It's not Facebook's or Google's fault that you can't figure out the filtering. Treat "social networking" as Usenet or BBS networks, and you're golden. It's not that hard. But wait there's more. Facebook has features that you can use to control *what other people say about you* - you can have tags (mentions of you) in other people's posts set to require your approval. How neat is that? And you can actually control who sees your posts, down to eliminating even single individuals. Want to blab a phone number or picture to all your "friends" but one? You can do it.

      But wait, you say, Facebook knows all about you! Well, dearie, I hate to break it to you, but when I was an admin lo those many years ago, I saw who downloaded the watersports binaries. And no, they weren't about swimming. Nothing shocks me any more.

      No, really, I see posts like yours, and when I mentally transport myself back to the 90s, it looks like you're whining. If you haven't learned how to manage your privacy by now, you shouldn't even be posting to Slashdot, announcing your views to the world here.

      --
      BMO

      • Re:Google What? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by horza (87255) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:08PM (#40719959) Homepage

        That's bullshit. Usenet was a public forum and anything you posted you knew was public. Not posting to what you thought was a group of friends but unbeknown to you Facebook changed your privacy settings to make it public. You trusted your server admins (and I've run email servers for people too) and if they stepped over the line and abused their knowledge they would be fired and their reputation trashed. If Facebook abuses and sells your information they make a healthy bonus.

        The '90s web of trust didn't scale, and fell apart as it bloomed outside the academic world. It's a different world now with a different set of problems, you can't compare the two.

        Phillip.

        • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Americano (920576) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:27PM (#40720107)

          Usenet was a public forum and anything you posted you knew was public.

          Yeah, you'd have to have been pretty stupid to post something to Usenet thinking it'd be private.

          Come to think of it, the same thing applies to Facebook.

        • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by bmo (77928) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:41PM (#40720173)

          No, it's not bullshit.

          Posting to Facebook even back when it was strictly an academics-only community still meant that whatever you posted was public to that community. And if you think it was cloistered and that nobody from the outside could get in and read your stuff, you were delusional.

          Go ahead and rage that Facebook "changed its privacy policies." People who knew better didn't post photos of drunken bacchanalia, because they knew that doing so was stupid, even in a "closed" network. Only the people who threw caution to the wind were upset when Facebook opened up to the public.

          Here's a clue: Don't post anything in public (even in a "cloistered setting") that you don't want your mom, or the cops, to see. Follow that rule and you'll have no problems whatsoever with privacy. Yes it's self censorship. It's also called common sense. I followed the rule even back in the 80s and 90s even on small systems. It has done me well.

          When Dejanews showed up and everyone friggin' panicked, I didn't give a shit, because nobody could hold whatever I said against me anyway.

          --
          BMO

          • by vdorie (1106873)
            I was just finishing up my undergrad when Facebook came to my school - one of the first handful of institutions if I recall. Were we being "delusional" when we posted those all those photos, or was what we hoped Facebook would become entirely reasonable? Is it really impossible to believe that someone could make a website on which you could share things with your direct friends and possibly, but no more than, their friends? Aside from the creepy image of Mark in the old banners for the site, there weren't m
            • by Homr Zodyssey (905161) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @12:00AM (#40721161) Journal

              Well, I've known since "Wargames" that any teenager with an acoustic coupler modem could hack into a government super-computer. The password is the programmer's kid's name, for chrissakes.

              Yes, you were delusional if you thought that stuff that you made digital and put on a network was somehow "safe". Somehow, eventually, it's going to make it to the public. Ask any teenage starlet who send nude pictures to her boyfriend's cellphone.

              This is why my wife only lets me take her nude pictures with a poloroid. Man, I wish they'd fix the resolution on those things.

          • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by yoshi_mon (172895) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @12:47AM (#40721307)

            It is kinda bullshit, can we agree on that?

            Because the profit motive of Usenet was not to spy on people, but as a value added service by ISPs to get you to buy the service.

            Facebook's and Google+'s profit motive IS spying on you.

      • by dewatf (209360)
        All the usenet groups I read disappeared under the deluge of spam and trolling once Google took it over and allowed anyone to post via the web. It became totally pointless so I read Slashdot instead. Google+ is technically much environment for with dealing with the real world where there are malicious and stupid people. However, it lacks the connections to get things organised from scratch.

        Not that the interface is particularly important in a social networks. People happily put up with Facebook's unfriendly
      • Re:Google What? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by markjhood2003 (779923) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:14PM (#40720373)

        I wrote off all social media long ago, I don't even keep track. No thanks, spy on someone else.

        It's really no different than Usenet. Except with Usenet you don't have any control at all over who sees your post. Ever. It's not Facebook's or Google's fault that you can't figure out the filtering.

        -- BMO

        Google's privacy controls are pretty transparent, but Facebook appears to deliberately obfuscate their privacy settings, and the policies change frequently. I believe Facebook does this deliberately in order to maximize the amount of personal info their customers and 3rd party developers have access to.

        Usenet was indeed a form of computer-mediated social networking long before the term was invented, but otherwise there are not many similarities. Nobody had any expectation of privacy on Usenet; all you had to do was grep through the raw feed to find anything you want. Facebook on the other hand promises privacy control but in practice they actively thwart it and only provide the illusion of privacy. They always have complete access to your info even if their customers don't.

    • by gtaluvit (218726) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:24PM (#40720077)

      I wrote off all social media long ago

      As you post in a threaded message board...

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      It wouldn't matter if you used it frankly, nor what features it has or has not, its the network effect. For shits and giggles i set one up a couple of months ago and found that NOBODY I know is using it, nobody, not a single one. Whereas every single person I've known since fricking HS has a FB account and seems to use it daily, even though I don't hardly mess with mine.

      So frankly Google is finding out that just like MSFT just because you have money doesn't mean you can buy your way into the party. MSFT c

  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Johann Lau (1040920) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:11PM (#40719473) Homepage Journal

    We're waiting for something that's not Facebook, not something that's not Facebook, but is basically Facebook.

    Oh, and if you work in advertising: kill yourself.

    • Oh, and if you work in advertising: kill yourself.

      How's NSFNet working out for you then?

      • Wait, what [wikipedia.org]? I honestly have no idea what you mean.

        • Re:So? (Score:5, Informative)

          by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:37PM (#40719713) Homepage Journal

          NSFNet made up much of the Internet backbone for a while. Its AUP prohibited advertising. These were the days of the Internet Yellow Pages and David and Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web on akebono. This ended on April 30, 1995, and at that point everything exploded - the Internet you see today has been built on advertising revenues.

          • And what internet, exactly, do I see today? One that is "a bit faster, a bit sooner", and has more tracking code than content on it? You are seriously saying this is a good thing with a straight face? MOAR = GUD?

            • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:17PM (#40720387) Homepage Journal

              And what internet, exactly, do I see today? One that is "a bit faster, a bit sooner", and has more tracking code than content on it? You are seriously saying this is a good thing with a straight face? MOAR = GUD?

              One that has search engines on it, one that has given millions of people gmail/hotmail type services which allow them to meaningfully use the Internet without a subscription fee, one that has all sorts of cloud services that are allowing people to not worry about local storage.

              Hell, I've got a * next to my username, I pay Slashdot an astonishingly small amount of money per day. You don't - your Slashdot is funded by their ad model!

          • Re:So? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by dAzED1 (33635) <brianlamere AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:57PM (#40720275) Homepage Journal
            ...really? You're gonna go there? So it had nothing to do with all the other stuff happening in 94-96? rfc1700 - assigned numbers [ietf.org] in 94, rfc1737 Functional Requirements for Uniform Resource Names [ietf.org] in Dec94, http/1.0 finalized in 1996 [ietf.org], Linux bringing a bunch of common folks exploding onto the scene with things like RedHat 1.0 in Dec1994...you're not really giving credit to bloat and advertising for the explosion of the internet, are you? I owned an ISP from 1994-1996 (sold it). There was practically no advertising at the time, and it was still exploding. It exploded in spite of the bloat that came later. Are you just a ad exec or something, that you would put all the other things happening in the mid 90's behind advertising. Yeesh.
            • Are you just a ad exec or something, that you would put all the other things happening in the mid 90's behind advertising. Yeesh.

              Tell me which search engines exist without an advertising model.

      • How's NSFNet working out for you then?

        Heh, my brain kept trying for like 10 seconds to unpack that as "Not Safe For..."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Oh, you're playing to the anti-marketing demographic. There are a lot of dollars in that demographic.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Its not like Facebook but people are trying to use it as such. Google plus is a set of tools to find things to do socially while Facebook is just a way to communicate socially.

    • Oh, and if you work in advertising: kill yourself.

      Bill Hicks couldn't have said it better himself!

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:13PM (#40719491) Journal
    Google Plus's chat feature has rudimentary desktop screening, and is just more convenient than Skype for small group projects. Select a circle, call 'em all up, and get to work. Facebook chat is better for showing the chat history. Although, I still think I prefer good old fashioned BBS systems for regular communication. Keeping conversations locked into tidy (or not so tidy) threads appeals to my OCD side.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tough Love (215404)

      Google Plus's chat feature has rudimentary desktop screening, and is just more convenient than Skype for small group projects.

      Not to mention more reliable, responds faster and presence notification is low latency. And doesn't crash like Skype does (some platforms). And seems to have better sound qualilty. And I'm more like to find people actually logged in there, people don't seem to hang on Skype any more like they used to. These days, it's more like send an email or call on a land line or cell phone to set up a Skype call. And that makes sense exactly why?

      • by murdocj (543661)

        So what you are saying is that your friends use Google Plus instead of Skype, so they are easier to find on Google Plus instead of Skype.

  • Okay? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by steevven1 (1045978) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:14PM (#40719509) Homepage
    This has all been true since it came onto the scene, but it has still made no big splash. The title of this article implies that there is something significantly new now. There's not.
    • This has all been true since it came onto the scene

      I gave up on Google Plus before most of my friends had even heard of it (true, not trying to be all hipster here). The average Washington Post reader has only heard of Google Plus in passing, perhaps just a few times.

      So, it may be a good article for the audience, though it's a fair question: "why does this belong on Slashdot?" Lord knows I haven't seen any posts on what CowboyNeal is working on.

    • Re:Okay? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:28PM (#40719655) Homepage

      ...it has still made no big splash.

      I'd say it's made a pretty big splash for those of us who haven't "upgraded" our accounts to use Google+. If you're not a Plus member, many links and settings in Google services no longer work or take you to 404 pages. And some of the help docs have been re-written in such a way that they only apply to Plus users.

      • by swillden (191260)

        If you're not a Plus member, many links and settings in Google services no longer work or take you to 404 pages.

        For example?

        • by MrEricSir (398214)

          Off the top of my head:

          1. After Google+, I could no longer delete my Buzz account. The link was still there, but it took me to the wrong page.

          2. In the "Settings" page, the big "Edit Profile" link at the very top leads to a 404. Many help documents point you to this link.

          Google's account management started going off the rails around the time they merged Apps accounts with their standard accounts, but it was the introduction of Plus when things really went to crap.

          Based on the decline in quality, it seems

    • The title of this article implies that there is something significantly new now. There's not.

      Time went by. It didn't die like pundits said it would.

    • Re:Okay? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Darinbob (1142669) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:42PM (#40720509)

      Why does there have to be a splash before people notice that there's water?

  • by davidannis (939047) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:18PM (#40719549) Homepage
    Let's face it, FaceBook can't provide every shred of information about me. Sure they know who my friends are, but Google will be able to layer on top of that things from the location of my cellphone (android), my search history (google.com), what books and movies I've bought (google play), websites I've visited (adwords), and even the contents of my e-mail (gmail) and files (Google drive). Since my primary goal is to only see relevant ads I'm going with Google+ and I assume advertisers will push me in that direction anyway once they realize how effective Google ads can be.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:22PM (#40719597) Journal
    OK, I won't defend Facebook as a shining example of good UI design, but Google? How do I write on someone's wall? That is, how do I say something directed to someone, but in a public way?

    Also, for whatever reason, I get things in my Google+ feed that seem so random. Like today, I got something from "Mike Elgan." Who is he? I have no idea, I definitely never added him. And his post is useless, I am not interested in it at all (If you are Mike Elgan reading this I soo apologize).

    I am not anti-google+, I want it to succeed. But I recognize that Google+ isn't going to win because it has a better UI. And basically everyone, even grandmas have figured out how to use Google+.
    • You can turn Mike Elgan off, option somewhere.

      No worse than Tom from myspace having 20 million friends.

    • Re:user friendly? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Urza9814 (883915) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:21PM (#40720057)

      OK, I won't defend Facebook as a shining example of good UI design, but Google? How do I write on someone's wall? That is, how do I say something directed to someone, but in a public way?

      Same way you do it on Twitter -- you don't. You post things to your own page and tag the other person. You don't post something on someone else's page -- which actually makes a lot of sense. The problem here is not their UI, but the fact that you've gotten used to doing things the Facebook way.

  • Sort of like how the Nomad was technically superior to the iPod?

    • Sort of like how the Nomad was technically superior to the iPod?

      Yeah. Still waiting for this wireless functionality that's supposedly necessary in a music player.

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:34PM (#40719695) Homepage Journal

    Yesterday on reddit somebody posted a onion video but when I played it I got an advertisment from the Australian government promoting a google hangout featuring the Prime Minister. I got this because I have a G+ account with all that tasty meta data about myself, and this allows youtube to pick adverts to show me. So its all about the meta data. Its very valuable to google, even if their market penetration is still quite small in comparison to facebook.

  • by KalvinB (205500) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:39PM (#40719729) Homepage

    What killed MySpace was allowing the level of customization to a profile page such that the result was GeoCities. I stopped going to MySpace because I valued my eyesight.

    Until Facebook makes me not want to look the main page or other people's profiles, it's not going anywhere.

    Features aren't going to win people to Google+ because Facebook has a perfectly solid team of developers that will happily spend their days copying the things that make the user experience better.

    • by kiwimate (458274)

      I agree [slashdot.org]. I wrote the same thing in May in a story entitled "Online Loneliness At Google+".

      MySpace let people have loads of control, and it ended up an awful, slow, non-responsive mess. Facebook started off by letting people use templates and that's how they've continued. They can control the end user experience much better, and people have a much more consistent and much more positive experience.

      Disclaimer: I have never used Google + because (i) nobody's there, and (ii) I have always been wary about Google

  • Image sharing (Score:5, Informative)

    by nxcho (754392) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:46PM (#40719781)
    I use facebook,g+ and twitter, mostly for maintaining a presence rather than posting personal stuf. But I've discovered that google+ is quite good for sharing images with family and closer friends. The fact that you can can share things with people that doesn't have a g+ account just by their e-mail address means that I can show them whats happening in my life from a single place.
  • Facebook wins when it comes to the open graph and app ecosystem, but a lot of people don't care about that stuff.

    Well, thing is, it's quite obvious most people don't care at all about "maintaining circles of contacts" or "segregating what you share" - they just want to throw stuff up on Facebook where all their friends will see it. If they wanted to share with a small group... they actually could do that too.

    Actually "throw stuff up" is a pretty accurate metaphor for a lot of what I've seen on pretty much every social network...

  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:20PM (#40720047) Journal

    Betamax was technically better than VHS. Brunel's wide gauge railway system was technically better than the standard gauge. We all know what became of them. It's the scale of adoption that counts. A squillion people are now in the habit of living their lives through Facebook. They're not going to simultaneously migrate to G+ because of a few bells and whistles no matter how good they are. Sorry Google, you missed the boat on this one.

  • by bug1 (96678) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:52PM (#40720237)

    Does it bother
    anyone else
    how google+
    puts all its
    content on the
    left two thirds
    of the display
    and doesnt
    use thr right
    side of the
    display ?

    I guess they
    care more
    about mobile
    users than us
    old fashioned
    desktop users.

    HATE THE MOBILE !

  • replaces iGoogle (Score:3, Informative)

    by mathfeel (937008) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:58PM (#40720283)
    Instead of thinking G+ as a Facebook clone/competition, I like to think of it as a replacement of iGoogle, Google's attempt at a personalized home page and portal to all Google's services, now the "social" element. Considering how bad iGoogle used to be, I would say G+ is a great success at replacing it. The interface is so much cleaner now.
    • It is not useful at all as an iGoogle replacement.
      Don't get me wrong, I love G+, but it covers none of the uses that iGoogle did.

    • Instead of thinking G+ as a Facebook clone/competition, I like to think of it as a replacement of iGoogle

      Yes, something utterly unlike iGoogle and completely lacking all features of iGoogle is a replacement for iGoogle.

      What are you smoking?

  • by Above (100351) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:21PM (#40720409)

    I've used at least a dozen video conferencing solutions, and Google+ Hangouts seems to work across the most platforms, with some of the highest quality video, and it's free. I can communicate with folks inside and outside of the company without any special clients or problems. It really is a killer video conferencing solution.

    But it's buried inside Google+, and I am amazed how many people I meet have no idea it exists, have never tried it, and so on. Everyone I make use it the first time instantly falls in love. Google could easily sell Hangouts as a stand alone video conferencing product.

    Which is why I think Google+ may make it yet. There's some really cool stuff buried in it. Not enough to unseat Facebook on its own, but if Facebook stumbles, Google+ could pick up the market. Much like when myspace fell behind Facebook moved in.

  • Hangouts/Youtube (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The only thing I know people to use G+ for is the hangouts/youtube stream. It makes it easy to do a video podcast with multiple people and not have to deal with the crap livestream/ustream/justin.tv makes you do.

  • facebook wins... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by buddyglass (925859) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:25PM (#40720445)
    Facebook wins because that's where all my friends and acquaintances are. That Google+ is technically superior doesn't mean much so long as it lacks a critical mass of users. It's also foreign. People have been on Facebook long enough that they're comfortable with it. In order for people to defect Google+ has to be not just "better" but "way better".
  • I'm just curious what CmdrTaco is alluding to in the following paragraph:

    Of course, Facebook is doing more or less the same thing. You probably just don't care as much, because Facebook was always doing it. You weren't using it anonymously in 1998, so your expectations are different.

    One way to read that passage is that he got his dates horribly wrong (theFacebook started in 2004). I'm inclined to think it's a hint to another (anti)social networking site [twitter.com].

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:37PM (#40720797)
    that is why you don't care about them
  • by FadedTimes (581715) on Friday July 20, 2012 @11:01PM (#40720937)

    The latest version is 2 star at best. It took a step back with the latest release. It is last in the list of social apps I use because of the layout and the way it handles notifications.

  • by superwiz (655733) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @02:17AM (#40721665) Journal

    The user interface is comfortable and friendly.

    made me pee all over myself laughing. This is idiotic. Have you used it on Android? The 1st version was good. But after the blow-up-even-the-tiny-pictures-and-make-them-the-whole-experience-while-hiding-most-of-the-text upgrade it not only made g+ garabage, it made the whole point of having an android phone questionable. The last time I hated an upgrade this much was when Verizon switched form static IP to dynamic IP in the 90's and called it an "upgrade".

  • by Gonoff (88518) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @02:35AM (#40721733)

    Google+ and FB are aiming at very different groups of users. In the same way Twitter is not competing with FB either.

    Twitter is not even really social media. It is more of an RSS alternative.

    FB is pretty much the definitive social media. People keep track of their friends families etc. There is meaningful content there but it is not really what it is there for.

    G+ is primarily aimed at finding information and discussing it with people. It is much more geared to linking people with complete strangers. That is why the linking is asymetric. X may wish to find out about someone but that someone does not need to know about X. Someone could do a survey. "What % of your contacts have you actually physically met?"
    I suspect that Twitter will be very low, FB will be higher - much higher for people over 20. G+ will be lower.

  • by allo (1728082) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @05:48AM (#40722365)

    And i do not think of the diaspora stuff. I tested it a while ago, and noticed the awful coding very soon (wrong login goes to stacktrace-page, WTF), further i think their data model gives advantage to the node owners, which patch their nodes to store everything they can get, which is worse for my privacy in respect to my digital friends than the centralistic models.

    maybe BuddyCloud?

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