Sunday, 10 July 2011

Google+ and the possible mass exodus

So I have been playing around with Google+ for just a few hours now and already I think I will be making the switch from Facebook, the reason? Circles, Circles and more Circles. I first heard about Google+ from a former classmate, Robert Snow, check out his blog at

So, Circles. They remind me of groups in Facebook but with one very simple yet very fundamental change. In Google+, any contacts you add to your social network will have to be organized into Circles. You begin with 4, Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Following and also allows you to create as many circles as you want, whenever you wish. You then can separate your contacts amongst those circles. Very great idea, since there have been many embarrassing moments due to the fact that on Facebook, all your contacts can see everything posted your wall, and any pictures that are tagged with your name, this will be cut down with the circles idea, because you can choose what circles of contacts you can share any bit of information at any time. Here is an extreme example, say a contact in your friends circle tags you in a photo where you are at a party, say you call your work and claimed to be sick to be at that party, your boss, who is in another circle, is much less likely to see the incriminating photo of you boozing it up while you were supposed to be in bed dying from the horrible flu that you lied about.

It seems that Google+ looked at what was working with Facebook, and also looked at what could be improved, and did just that. You can create photo albums, you have a wall to display your thoughts (and you can choose what circles see those thoughts, neat, huh?) and one of the best features I think, is the ability to create hangouts where you and up to nine of your friends can video conference, this particular feature appeals to me, why? Well I have been a pen and paper Roleplayer for many years. In high school, it was very easy to get everyone together for a game as we did not have the responsibilities of adult life. Now that everyone has jobs, significant others, and many of my RP friends have moved out of the Provence, there is now a simple platform we can all use to video conference and play the games we love, despite being separated by thousands of miles.

I am eager to see if there is a mass exodus from Facebook. Everyone I know uses Facebook to keep up with their friends or people they have newly met, will Circles be the new thing? Should Facebook be worried? If so, will we see an upgraded version soon to compete with Google+? As few people have the time and patience to keep up with two networking platforms, it feels like an online war may be brewing, the weapons of this war; the iconic Like button, and the new +1. Who will win? I'm on the edge of my keyboard.

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At 10 July 2011 at 12:40 , Blogger SpiralBound said...

Another, more relevant, example would be this: A few years ago, a US high school teacher was suspended and PUBLICALLY denounced by her school board, ruining both her profession and her personal reputation. Why? She was tagged by a friend holding a drink at a private party. Since some of her students were also in her friends list, they could all see this pic. The school administration felt it was innapropriate public conduct for a teacher. Had this occured on G+ instead, her students would have been in a separate "students" circle & none the wiser re: her afterschool activities, and the school board wouldn't had any reason to complain.


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