My Early Open Beta Thoughts on Google Plus

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I’ve been a member of the Google Plus open beta for a whole 2 weeks, and what follows are my thoughts on the social networking site.  Please note, these are only my opinions, as such they are also that of an untrained professional in the field of interwebz technology and social networking.  With that said …

Two weeks into the Goolge+ open beta, and having downloaded the iPhone app for the site, I have to say, “Meh.” With that broad generalized statement thrown out there, I have to say that I have one good point, one bad point, and one so-so point to comment on.

Good: The circles are a nice simple way of dividing your friends, coworkers, online acquaintances, etc.  All you have to do is click on a name and drag it down to a particular circle and voila.  I’m not an expert on the Facebook settings of separating people, mainly because it seems too complicated to create lists, do this, do that, etc.  So I give Google+ props for taking the complication out of that.

So-So: No one is on it yet.  I understand that is just a part of the growing process, but I have a total of two friends, 4 online acquaintances, and 2 family members who technically aren’t on Google+, but have Gmail addresses.  Once more people meander over to the site, this “issue” will go away, naturally.

Bad: I’m not sure if it is actually a setting I have selected, or if it’s just Google’s weird way of sorting posts.  But, on the “Nearby” list of updates – oh, hold on.  Let me back up.  On the Google+ App for the iPhone, there is a customizable area that lets you seperate status updates from various circles.  You can have one for friends, one for family, etc, and you swipe your finger left to right to roll the screen to the appropriate list.  One list that is added for you when the app is downloaded is called, “Nearby.”  This is a list of people who are in your vicinity that also have Google+ and are sharing their activities.

The bad part (which, this isn’t really bad, just confusing, but I figure I need a “bad” to go with my early thoughts) is that there seems to be no rhyme or reason for how the updates are presented.  The first update displayed may be from a week ago, then the one under may be from 5 minutes ago, then the next 2 minutes ago and then a 6 day old post may appear under that.  I’ve actually scrolled down several dozen lines and found status updates from just minutes before I opened the app under days and weeks of other status updates.  I’m not sure what organizes the status messages or if it is something on the users side, but it’s weird and confusing.

I’ll stick around, but I’m already so invested in Facebook, that I don’t see me switching sides any time soon.  Google+’s population needs to grow past the early nerd adopters and we need to pull out of the beta stage to see if there are any further improvements before I pack up and move to a new home.



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