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I'm saying goodbye to Mike Elgan's Google+ Diet
I started following +Mike Elgan because of a recommendation from +Tom Anderson almost as soon as I joined Google+. The first thing I noticed about Mike was that he wrote about tech in a really engaging way, and as Tom promised, he didn't "mince words." He was assertive in his opinions and had some very innovative ideas, one of which was the Google+ Diet. You can read more about that on Mike's G+ profile (http://goo.gl/8YsBA), but a simple summary is that Mike wanted to reduce "social networking fatigue" by cutting out all other social networks and focusing only on G+.

Sounded pretty cool to me, so I tried it.

As most of you know, I am a regular person, not a "social media expert," nor a web celebrity. Mike's need for a social networking diet made sense because of the level of interaction he was used to on Facebook, Twitter, his blog, and anywhere else he was present online. But for a regular person, "social networking fatigue" is a very different animal. I hardly ever used Twitter before G+, and my Facebook was so locked down you couldn't even search for me. Still, Facebook wasn't doing it for me, so I jumped on the Diet as an excuse to delete that profile and start the revolution. Or something like that.

And delete I did. My Facebook was shut down weeks ago, and apart from one cheat a few days in, I really haven't missed the thing at all.

But something unexpected happened.

The night before last, I was cleaning up my Chrome bookmarks when I noticed my old Facebook link gazing up at me longingly. Intending to delete the bookmark, I clicked -- well, misclicked. Instead of eliminating Facebook from my synced folder forever, my browser took me to Facebook's main page and LastPass autologged me right in.

Welcome back to Facebook, Christina! Your account has been reactivated!

If you're not familiar with LastPass (http://goo.gl/stqSZ), you probably should be. It's awesome. And LastPass and I have been buddies for a long time, but I guess we have some talking to do. To be fair, I didn't communicate to LastPass that I was done with Facebook. LastPass only wanted to help. I can't stay mad.

It was strange to see that once-familiar newsfeed. I suddenly felt weird about reading the personal thoughts of 200 people I didn't know or find very interesting. Some of my Facebook friends are really hilarious and their status updates are always entertaining, but it just isn't the same. It feels like a distant memory, the way I was once hooked to this feed like it was my connection to something important and vital.

I certainly think Facebook helped me find people in my life who were otherwise long gone, and there is something compelling in that sense of rediscovery. But other than extending electronic "friendship," I'm honestly not sure that many of those rediscovered relationships contributed anything of value to my online life. Is that harsh? Maybe.

The driving force behind my use of G+ may seem to be my following, and that's definitely a lot of it. But some of it is also a desire for better quality interaction in general, from a reader's perspective too. What I mean is that I want to read about ideas and interact with the creators. I want to discover new thinkers, new artists, new content. I want to share my ideas too, of course -- and obviously, I do -- but I want to interact and collaborate and share thoughts. Facebook doesn't do that for me and it probably never will. It's a one-trick pony for me.

But I am not re-deleting my Facebook profile.

Google+ isn't ready yet to accommodate my friends and family. I want it to be, but it's not. I had a reality check when my father and I started a Hangout together and had a fantastic time doing it. But his stance was that he only wanted to use Google+ to talk to me. Maybe we'd get my aunt and her cousins to join, too. But neither of us has been motivated to do that yet, and our Hangout was a week ago. Why? I think it's because Google+ is still way too weighted towards content-sharing/discovery and not enough towards private interaction. The content sharing is great and I'm thoroughly excited about that. But if my family wants to join, private interaction needs to be way more intuitive than it is. This is a beta, of course, and features are in the works that we probably can't even imagine yet. But that's the future.

So here's my plan -- I'm going to stick with Facebook for private interaction, but I am going to remove every single person I don't feel I am actually close to or want to read for entertainment purposes, and I am not going to apologize for it. When and if those users decide to move to G+, I would be happy to put them in a Circle and read their thoughts at will. If they prove interesting when they break out of the status-update box, I'll interact. If not, I will probably remove them.

What about Twitter?

I think I have 18 tweets. I don't know what the heck I want to use Twitter for, but I'm going to experiment with it anyway. Why not?

G+ has redefined my standards when it comes to social networking, but it can't yet replace everything for a regular person.

And hey -- I have a new tweet. It's my Google+ invite code. (http://goo.gl/hqcSY) First experiment! I have 11 followers. Maybe they'll join G+ and I'll see what they really think about stuff. And that, I think is ultimately Google+'s best use yet: refining our social networking habits. Now I expect more from people in order to put time into reading them. Maybe that's snobby and elitist, but I think it makes perfect sense. Why "friend," "follow," or "like" someone/something you don't actually find interesting?
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86 comments
 
Yeah, I'm leaving my Facebook up, too. I've told everyone there that I'm unlikely to interact with them on FB, and am soon going to change privacy settings to make it clear that I'm not on much. But I can't quit just yet.
 
Good post, +Christina Trapolino I also feel like we need something more intimate than "circles" on G+. Like "Family and Friends" -> "Circles" -> "Extended circles" -> "Public".
 
that anyone would put everything into a brand new soc net, Google+ included, only proves to me that they are indeed (as you yourself admit that you are) rank amateur
 
I'm doing pretty much the same. I have FB for f&f, and G+ for meaningful interaction with brilliant strangers.
 
This is exactly what I'm doing as well. I'm still on Facebook but only for its private messaging facility. As soon as G+ develops more private user features, I'm sure it'll render Facebook obsolete for me. I sent G+ feedback about this today in fact.
 
+mark mayhew - Mike Elgan is not what I would call an amateur. His reasons for trying the diet are actually pretty logical, and I think the purpose was primarily to experiment with the possibility of eliminating his "fatigue." I understand what you're saying, but I think it's got more snark than sensibility behind it, and that's not really fair of you.
 
I've struggled with how to go about ending my Facebook use. At first I wanted to just delete it (I followed Mike and the Diet from the beggining as well). But then things got busy and I never got around to it. Then I took the time to move my photos over and made an announcement that "This is my last status update: Follow me on Google+" and I never went back. At least for a while. Then I heard about cross-posting extensions, and tried that, but that made me want to go to Facebook to see if people commented on my wall about my G+ posts.

What to do? I think you have the right idea, unfriend everyone I'm not close with IRL right now, stop the cross posting and re-enable emails. Then I can be sure that, if I do check in there, it'll b for a specific, useful, purpose.
 
I tried to stop using facebook, too, when G+ came out. I found G+ lacking in the department of maintaining real-life relationships. If it had "events" like Facebook, I might be able to handle leaving forever, but there's just not enough on G+ that is geared toward mapping online relationships to real-world ones.
 
Nice post. I agree that private interaction has yet to be fully explored within G+, though the more I use it the more I appreciate that this is such a different beast from Facebook.

I remember first joining Facebook and finding it awesome to connect with all of these people, old friends and current friends alike, but for the most part I've kept Facebook for people I know.

In G+ it's been the opposite, the thrill is in finding new people, and it's fantastic how easy it is to do that here. Since very few people I actually know are using G+ it's force me to build a new following from scratch.

It's gotten to the point where I feel odd seeing people I know finally arriving here...don't know if this is a good thing or not heh
 
Couldn't have worded that better myself, Great post! and i love that i can edit when i forget n't in a word :P
 
I will still use both for the time being too, probably in a very similar manner. Nearly everyone I am fb friends with is someone I have had a real conversation with. +adam poly I used Google calendar to send invites to people for a party. Worked great as long as you have people's email. And it doesn't have to be gmail. 
 
This makes me feel all foot-loose and fancy-free. I never have and never will have any interaction with Facebook. Never was tempted to do more than follow someone's link to a particular comment on Twitter. No baggage. No commitments. No "but all my X is on Y" to hold me down.
 
+Christina Trapolino I wish you'd written this before I sent my feedback to G+ today. Maybe I should send them an edited version with this as the screenshot :)
 
I haven't deleted anything yet, but then, I'm a bit of a digital hoarder. I've never been prolific on Facebook, though, so I doubt anyone over there really misses me.

My most real life relationships are actually on Livejournal.
 
+Christina Trapolino, what-a-post! What you say's a cent percent true. I recently had to find some university friends for a carpool and I knew for sure, somehow, that Facebook is THE right place to post about it.
 
Thanks so much for your perspective. This is great. 
 
I enjoyed reading your take on the use of various social networks; few of my friends and family have given Google+ a try or likely have really heard about it. Facebook seems more personal while I'm getting more content for general learning here...I think I can get the best of both worlds as more people I know join and I create circles that work to feed my interest at the moment. Interesting that you're going to remove people from Facebook you no longer find entertaining or feel close to, for me I'd still like to keep that connection, but just manage with friends lists (one of the few people that use them it seems).
 
I used to check FB all the time but now, I only check it once in a while to see the thread and just to see what my friends are all up to. But I use G+ all the time. It's easier for me, my family and closest friends transferred to G+.

All the other people in FB are just to keep in touch. A greeting or a 'Like' every once in a while will do. But I still wouldn't delete my accounts on all of these social networking sites. It doesn't hurt to have them anyway.
 
+Daryl Nauman - I actually used the FB friends lists extensively when I was active there, but I think what I'm learning now is that I don't see a reason to actually "friend" people I don't want to be "friends" with, anyway. It just comes down to being polite, I think. I'm a super polite person, but I don't like false sincerity, and I think I am starting to wonder if not accepting a "friend request" from someone I met once at a party is actually rude. I don't think it is!
 
You mean... starting to wonder if not accepting a "friend request" from someone
 
Good for you. I use FB for my Twitter feed, but like you, have it on lock down and ACTUALLY do not even have my real name on the account. I use my NICKNAME from my Twitter as my "Real" FB name, so that no one except who I invite to be my pal can be my pal. That leaves me with about 42 pals, 65% of which are my family members.

I use Twitter as a way to de-clutter my brain. It's my default overfill valve release, which many of my pals know, and some new followers really enjoy. As for my family members of FB, because my Twitter feeds my FB wall, it can lead to confusion as to what I'm speaking of or who I'm talking to. I don't mind that.

I notice that I am much quieter on G+, only replying or posting when I really feel it necessary or for that matter, if I even have a reason to respond. Most of the time, I like reading the posts, maybe making a comment, sharing the posts that HAVEN't been shared 42kazillion times already and then muting them. I keep it clean and simple for right now.

Sometimes, my feed looks empty and bleak, but then it always fills right back up and I start the process over again.
 
Enjoy yourself. This is the reason why people have weekend cars, stuff they tow to the track, offroader's, motorcycles, and vehicles that don't even run (but they enjoy tinkering with). Daily drivers are suited for everything in between.
 
+Josh Bigoss - Agreed. That is a fantastic way to put it, and it made me laugh. Facebook can be my weekend offroader! Haha.
 
+Christina Trapolino Ahh but you are a web celebrity Anyway nice post, I've always believed in the adage, moderation in all things.
 
I've deleted a bunch of "friends" on FB since joining G+. Most because of the same reasons as +Christina Trapolino. Old acquaintances from High School who really weren't even friends back then.

A few people whom I just can't trust on FB even though I enjoy most of their posts and interactions, because FB allows too much hacking with other peoples' reputational integrity. Example: Create a "Group" for a shared cause, invite me, I join to support and discuss said cause, then they punk me by turning the group into something entirely different. You can't do that on G+ because there are no "Groups", and I have no "Wall" upon which you may post.

Some close friends and family whom I keep in touch mostly via FB just don't have any interest in G+, despite a couple of invites, and my own FB posts that I'm mostly on G+ from now on.

I'm keeping my FB account active for connecting & communicating & following them. But I don't post most "serious" things there anymore, unless it's something I really want everybody, including my "no use for G+ friends", to see. Such as support for a particular candidate, or some outrageous event I think they should know about.

When I share reports, speculate, or comment about topics such as space exploration, tech, outsourcing/offshoring, the economy, politics, it mostly goes here on G+. On FB I chat about Doctor Who, toss some jokes back and forth, and see pictures from people's vacations and updates about their kids.

Facebook is now the "playroom" or "corner bar".
Google+ is the parlor/salon.
 
+Christina Trapolino I have a number of friend requests just sitting in my inbox as of late, several high school / university people I knew, but wouldn't have considered close friends back then, so looks like I'm being a little more selective in who I "friend" as of late. As for not friending someone you met from a party, I agree it isn't rude. It will be interesting to hear how removing people from your Facebook goes, maybe I'll start something similar, but just "hide all" for now :-)
 
+L. Gray - as always, great feedback! You're right. I didn't delete FB properly. I found it difficult to find the "DELETE FOREVER" button (hmmm! wonder why!), so just gave up and deactivated, figuring it wasn't a big deal either way. And it's really not, in reality. I don't need to delete Facebook, I just need to use it more like you do. 30 friends sounds about right!
 
It is a pain, but I have been dual posting, on FB and G+. I have a circle called FaceBook Friends, and anything I would have posted on FB is now going to that circle and FB too. I keep posting new info about G+ on FB so that my friends get the hint (and help/tutorials etc.).
 
Christina, I've been thinking many of these same thoughts but didn't know how to phrase it. I think you nailed it. 
D Boyd
 
+Christina Trapolino :
I have found some similarities with my close friends and family.
I'll have to share more details about what I'm finding, regarding why some of them aren't leaving Facebook and moving to Google+ in another post in the next few days.
 
+Ken Montville You described how Facebook and Twitter fit into your universe very well, what about Google Plus? I'm curious to get others take on this. +L. Gray referred to it as interactive blogging, which I see elements of.
 
+Ken Montville - That's nice of you, but I'm not a guru! I give my opinions. I'm glad people enjoy them, but I don't want to misrepresent myself in any way. I'm getting some "shut up about being a regular person" feedback, but I mostly keep saying it so no one gets the wrong idea. 9400 followers on G+ does not an expert make.

As for the rest of your comment - I think the "fatigue" might be coming from having so many people I'm not close to on my Facebook feed. That's why I think the best way to tackle it is to remove the "unknown" or the "uninteresting" folks from my Facebook. Then I will be able to better assess my needs.
 
Facebook has its place and I doubt I will let it go at all. The fact is while Google is New and there are ton of FB haters out there (Reminds me of Walmart and MS haters) the fact is FB has allot to offer, far from perfect but it works. The facts are and this is a fact, using the lists (Similar to Circles but much more configurable) you can control what you post, who sees it and what people can know about you and your personal info. Bottom line is that there will not be a mass exodus from FB to G+ Quote me.
 
I'm going to comment first, and then go back and read the other comments. I feel the same way. Last week, I pruned my FB "friends" from a little over 300 to 187. About 110 of them are family (yeah, I know--big family). The rest are co-workers and neighbors who aren't on G+ (yet). I also cut a LOT of classmates from high school--My curiosity has been satisfied, and when I visit FB, I don't want to have to dig through posts from people I don't really have a relationship with. As for Twitter, the people who follow you may never see your tweet, as it's posts in real-time, and unless they have notifications to their phones (for you specifically, or for all of the people they follow), it might slip past them. Just thought I'd mention that.
 
+Mrs Fours Good point re: Twitter. I'm still not convinced it can do anything for me, but I know a lot of people get some value out of it so I can't help being curious, at least.
 
I'm ok with you in the first part, but Twitter really deserves more than opportunity. G+ gives tht that you mention but is sill beta and i'm still waititng the interaction quickly that maybe cn be done in twitter. Facebook as you mention is maybe more private and is still works for business.
 
+Christina Trapolino Regarding Twitter, I personally just use it for blog promotion (every now and then), and so do a LOT of other people I follow. I tweet back and forth with friends who happen to be on when I'm there, but otherwise, I find it way too full of self/blog/product promotion, so I go elsewhere for social/networking stuff.
 
+Lenny Lacey You think FB Lists are more configurable than G+ Circles? I find it exactly the opposite.

First: List creation is a bunch of clicks deep, rather obscured.

Second: When you post, you get to choose one and only one category/list in a drop-down: Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends, or Custom.

Third: From Custom you then have to use the "select people" and then type the first few letters of your pre-existing List even to see it as an option.

Fourth: If you want your next post to be to Friends or Friends of Friends, and the one after that to be your custom List, you have to go through all that misagash all over again! For example, it doesn't remember that I have a list name "Snark Safe" and present it to me on my next post in the post window dropdown.

With G+ I can use any or all of my circles from immediately adjacent to my posting window. It remembers the last one(s) I used, but the others are just a multiple choice away or a few initial letters away.

Now if only Google would add set logic to Circles so that I could use (CircleA minus CircleB), it would be perfect in terms of posting granularity. For now, I've had to put some of the same people into four different Circles and remember to maintain them properly: "Friends", "Friends & Family", "Acquaintances", and "FFA" (no, not Future Farmers of America, "Friends, Family, and Acquaintances").

On the posting side, I can obviously just use Friends, Family, Acquaintances (if that's want I want) in whatever combination. But it would still be helpful to use A-minus-B.

It's more important for reading my Stream, I'd like to have a default which is my own custom aggregate of my more-granular posting Circles. I use the "FFA" Circle for that purpose as my primary, sometimes I use the "Friends & Family". I don't want the full firehouse. I hate having to put people in all of them just so I can get my preferred mix of Stream.

Ideally the default stream Circle could be defined with boolean logic, but at bare minimum it should allow one particular Circle rather than always defaulting to all my Circles. I know I can drag my preferred "starting Circle" to the top, but it's still not the Circle I see when I first open up G+.

(I also wish Google Search would add something like the original AltaVista Advanced Search logic, which was very SQL-like and also had "Near" as an selection criterion operator. But that's another topic...)
 
+Christina Trapolino You totally said it all. I've often thought about why I use Facebook, and it does appear to be more for private interaction. Perhaps that's also because I'm more of an introverted and reserved person. On the other hand, I have a better sense of freedom on G+ and feel more comfortable sharing my thoughts and even making long and what I hope are insightful posts. I had mentioned something in the Justin.tv chatroom last night that I have a couple friends to whom I mentioned G+, but they have mixed feelings because (1) they are reluctant to move to something new, especially when all of their friends are on Facebook and (2) there is a perception of "big brother" with Google. To the second point, just being online itself requires you to give up a certain amount of privacy so it's up to G+ as well as its users in sharing their feedback, to make this an inviting environment for all. My Facebook page will also remain as long as I have a use for it.
 
.
twitter: still use it for incoming. news. concert/event/tour date announcements. rarely tweet.

facebook: events. fan pages. g+ needs both. i check daily for these.

the prob i'm having with the face is a long standing one that applies more broadly.
most folks don't like change, and i thrive on it.
i have friends still using aol and i.e.
trying to get these types over to g+ is too much work, so i post to fb simultaneously using start google+
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hbgcgahdbgbdenffckohanhobdcnkoip
 
I completely agree. While I haven't gotten around to deleting my fb account yet, I hardly give it a second thought these days, and barely see anything of interest in the feed. G+ content has definitely raised my standards of posting and sharing. Thanks for laying out so clearly how it has changed your habits!
 
I didn't realize you could invite people that way. Posting my invite link for my Facebook friends.
 
+L. Gray You made some very great points. The only thing I would add is to your comment about G+ being an interactive blogging site, which is why you indicate it should not be compared to Facebook. I agree that for the time being, G+ appears to be used in this manner. On Facebook, you do not see an original post that goes into great depth nor are the comments that follow usually worth too much substance (although I guess it depends on your friends and the comments). On the other hand, and I believe it was Christina that said this (but I could be wrong): Google+ is whatever you want it to be. You can use it to blog, share your photos, videos, and perhaps something even more that is yet to be determined. After G+ goes public, it may lend itself to more customization and provide an general environment where people from all walks can enjoy.

Regarding the weeding out of friends, I have rarely thought about doing so. I guess I try to accommodate people too much. I enjoy meeting new people and have many friends there that I have never met in person. I have different reasons for why I have them on my list. That aside, I will continue to explore G+, read the posts like Christina's to learn from others and figure out how I want G+ to work for me.
 
+1 for, above everything else, your mention of LastPass!
 
I love twitter! I use it in a sort of read-only way, but I love having one app, TwitterGadget, spitting out info moment-by-moment. I like fb and g+, but I don't see either one doing what twitter does, certainly not as efficiently. I know one post isn't going to consume all the display space, and that's a good thing.
 
+David Mitchell I'm new at G+, and I've never used the "Huddles" on the mobile app, but isn't it a twitter replacement with controlled distribution via circles or public posting?
 
+Bill G wireless: According to wikipedia, a huddle "is a feature available to Android, iPhone, and SMS devices for communicating through instant messaging within circles". It sounds like a different feature.

But I'm not really sure that the groups I follow on twitter are on g+. But, again, I do prefer the output format in tweeter.
 
Twitter seems to be too fast paced for me to even consider it. Although I have never used it, many people, especially celebrities use it and send their updates to Facebook. There was one celebrity that I did have to take off my list because it was becoming too much. I really noticed this when I tried the Start G+ extension. I only wanted to test the feature of posting to both G+ and Facebook, which worked fine. However, it also took all of my posts from Facebook and put them in my Stream, which I didn't like. This was especially the case when this one person using Twitter clogged up my Stream. I guess not everyone uses Twitter in this way and it probably depends on your personality to an extent. I am hoping that G+ will allow more control of the Stream. I'm still experimenting with the possibilities.
 
I certainly understand your feelings. I have a lot of friends who haven't left Facebook and despite my dislike for Facebook, I keep going back to see how they are doing. I really wish more of them would come over but I guess the games and such are too much for them to leave behind. I'm not a social media celeb either so finding folks to chat with is a bit on the trying sides, although I admit to having some conversations with the ones that are social media celebs, which is something I never got in Facebook, so I jump between the two now.
 
Ok, I'll list a few folks/groups I follow on twitter: RBReich, msnbc, SPACEdotcom, nprpolitics, HuffingtonPost, chucktodd, NASA, cnnbrk, haaretzonline, AJElive, neiltyson. That's just a few, but they're all similar. I might have a celeb or two (Shaq and Seinfeld), but most are just good sources. Good stuff, no bull, no dumb tweets like 'my hamburger sucks'. Until there's momentum and these folks move to g+, I'll have twitter.
 
I agree with +Kevin Gault: I do wish more fb friends would come over.

But, I have to say, this is my favorite part of g+. In a way, it's more social than fb. fb is just people I know, primarily. g+ is really social, what with this feature and nearby. :)
 
I agree +David Mitchell, G+ is certainly more social or maybe my "friends" ignore me on FB. Either way, I don't know or care. I like who I have had chats with on on here and I hope it continues.
 
Well, +Kevin Gault , now that you mention it, maybe you're right! If my friends from fb came here, it might feel kind of like fb. That they're not and I still like g+ makes it more of a new experience.
 
I started following you after reading this post via +Mike Elgan Your discussion of the human element gave me things to think about.
 
+Christina Trapolino I had put all my photos (30+ years of old photos and slowly deteriorating) and new pix that I had scanned and uploaded to FB. I didn't want to do the same again to G+. Setting up who could see which pix, etc. So I was happy to try this extension for Chrome https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/idiebfmmkhaffedkhjhapmagabcadjhc .. It uploaded all my photos to Picasa, which is a matter then of selecting which ones I want people to see, as it defaults all to private...Of course, once the extension was done, I disabled the app in FB, (Privacy freak :) I think it is great....
 
IMO, there's no such thing as a "social media expert". Still too new. Doesn't exist. Even worse, there are no "social media gurus". We're all still learning. Most of us are learning along with great people like you, +Christina Trapolino
 
From my understanding (which is limited, I admit), blogging on FB is limited to Notes. Pretty limited, in terms of style. You can add photos, but not video.
 
I wish i could eliminate fb but until they add some sort of private communication I can't rely on it solely so I haven't promoted it further until more features are rolled out... I don't want it to leave s bad taste in Brenda mouths . I lurve it but It's not a one stop shop. Tom Anderson also said it needs more private communication or should be integrated with other networks. I agree with you both.
 
*newbs mouths.... Also mobile lacks a lot of features. But I'm being patient. So far is just like Twitter on steroids. 
 
"What I mean is that I want to read about ideas and interact with the creators. I want to discover new thinkers, new artists, new content. I want to share my ideas too, of course -- and obviously, I do -- but I want to interact and collaborate and share thoughts."

I couldn't agree with you more here. In fact, I find that I completely identify with your entire contention here. You are absolutely right that Google+ is currently geared more towards content sharing and you are absolutely right that it is some great content. I have also noted from the beginning that, aside from the hangouts, which are great, it is not as personable as it can or, I'm sure, will be. I look forward to the future developments here. I maintain MissouriPermaculture.com and have established a sizable network on Facebook that I am not prepared to abandon until they all come to the light side. ;) lol Seriously, though, I don't think I'll be giving up my Facebook as I simply have too much established there to just bail. I look forward to establishing a comparable or larger network here as well. I see a lot of potential here and with it being Google driven, I'm expecting that potential to come to fruition. It will be exciting to see first-hand the evolution of what could very well end up dominating social media. Thank you for your post. I enjoyed it very much. :)
 
Elgan just wanted attention, and he got it; you just gave him some more :-)
 
+Melissa Morales [ I wish i could eliminate fb but until they add some sort of private communication I can't rely on it solely so I haven't promoted it further until more features are rolled out.]

What do you have in mind for private messaging? I don't use G+ for one-on-one communications often but I have on several occasions. GTalk is now integrated with G+ if you need real-time chat. The most common private communication I've used is simply creating a share (post) that's shared with only one person. I ran in to an old co-worker of mine a couple weeks back and did just that. We had a conversation in near real-time. I then asked if he'd mind if I pulled in some other folks from the old team and he had no objections. So a quick +mention of those individuals expanded the private post to our other mutual aquaintences - one of which apparently was online and jumped right in (I could have disabled that by disallowing sharing - but that's another subject). If I were doing that often, I'd probably create a Private no-member circle just to make it easier to keep tabs on messages that are, for all intents and purposes, acting like email.

As for integration in to other networks, that would be great. My biggest dislike about Facebook, etc. was abandoning the open-ended architecture of email, www, rss, etc. and lumping it in to little walled gardens. If anyone is likely to champion such a thing, it would be Google (for example - gtalk is actually Jabber / XMMP and is federated with other Jabber networks). But I don't know if it fits with anyone's business models or policies. At which point, the question raised will be "that's email - if you wanted email, why are you not using email?" Which might be an entirely different conversation. :)
 
+Christina Trapolino - The part of your post that really spoke to me was this: "I want to read about ideas and interact with the creators. I want to discover new thinkers, new artists, new content. I want to share my ideas too, of course -- and obviously, I do -- but I want to interact and collaborate and share thoughts."

That's exactly what I find appealing about Google+.

In some ways, it reminds me of ICQ pre-AOL-acquisition back in 1998 (whoa, has it really been that long?) -- do you remember it?

For about a year and a half, ICQ let me meet some very interesting people around the globe, most of them young geeks (or techies, if you prefer). They were all incredibly patient and generous while teaching the ropes to someone old enough to be their mother (maybe even their grandmother!), and I owe them a great debt: most of what I know today about computer-related things I got from them.

But it wasn't all about all-things-computer -- I also discovered music and art I wouldn't have known about were it not for them. And we shared some very good discussions about cultural and generational differences, and just about life in general.

I've missed ICQ for a long time, and now it looks like Google+ might fill that void and then some.

Will it be a Facebook killer? I don't know, although I suspect probably not. But that's OK, because I think they cater to different niches and there's room enough for both.
 
Christina - following you on twitter out of interest. I love twitter, it makes me laugh. Facebook is simply where I communicate with family who live miles away and tell my friends what pub I'm in. G+ - not sure yet but conversations seem to work really well. I have a link to my twitter in my profile, I wish more would. I'm quite sweary, not sure if G+ likes that.
 
I agree with your ideas about using FB for private interaction. Everyone has friends and family who they wish would embrace new technology but it's just not going to happen any time soon. I myself did a massive purge on FB of the people who I no long care to interact with for varying reasons. It is still a useful site for private interaction, with people I already know. I am much more open to circle random 'strangers' on G+ who have something interesting to say.
 
I don't understand how anyone can stand using Facebook knowing who owns it, an annoying little brat and a known sociopath. He started Facebook as a way to publicly humiliate girls on campus who didn't want to date him. A well-known quote from a chatlog is him saying people deserve losing the control of their private data "because the'yre so f** stupid they trust him, they deserve it". And now with Facebook being the no.1 social networking tool, he probably thinks Planet Earth has succumbed to him and pray at his feet 24/7. He's humanity's arch symbol for undeserved success and gross injustice. Join the movement, quit Facebook.
 
+Hans J. Furfjord - that's a little hyperbolic, and Facebook is larger than the Zuck. While I appreciate your perspective, I don't think it applies to most people. FB might be run by a trained elephant, but if my mom, grandmother, aunts, and uncles are on it...well, I guess I'm gonna make an elephant happy for a while. ;)
 
+Christina Trapolino G+ is not now nor will ever be a FB killer, It will probably co-exist nicely but It will not ever dominate the social network space.. my opinion of course, but I think time will prove me correct.
 
+Lenny Lacey I'm curious as to what leads you to this opinion. Mind you - I roll my eyes at the "FB killer" topic (even though I'd like to see FB greatly diminished).
 
Sure, most people don't know much about him, and if they did, they wouldn't be too concerned when their friends and family still use FB. Since I'm blessed with mostly computer geek friends who've joined G+, I have the luxury of leaving FB for good. Every one of them says they can't wait until the rest of their friends and family has switched too, in order for them to leave FB for good.

I don't mind doing a little advocating for hurrying up the process, but it seems my efforts aren't really needed. Google hasn't released any numbers yet, but a study suggested there were 20 million in mid-July, and over a million more people join each day. Assuming that million pr. day hasn't increased, which it probably has, G+ has passed 40 million by now. And it hasn't launched yet.

These figures say a lot. I don't think the novelty of G+ or the privacy issues of FB explain everything. Some are also glad to have the opportunity to not support Mark Zuckerberg in his quest to carve his face onto the surface of the Moon.
 
1 more thing, according to an article I saw in june, the number of US FB users is in decline for the first time, and the increase worldwide is stagnating. Google facebook decline if you wanna read the article(s).
 
When I log into FB each and every day, its creator or the intention behind it is that last thing I am concerned with. The point is that I don't use it to humiliate women and neither does any one else in my network. We use it as a social network to share ideas and that is it. +Christina Trapolino hit the nail on the head when she said that FB is much bigger than Mark Z. He followed the capitalistic formula and made his fortune without you being an FB member, without me being an FB member and without thousands upon thousands of others being FB members. FB has evolved beyond its creator and it is now user dominated, as it should be. I can surely tell you one thing, when I share a link or other information on FB, or when I send someone a message or post something on their wall, I certainly do not feel like I am supporting the humiliation of women who would not date Mark Zuckie. I think we're taking a leap here.
 
+Robert Puckett I didn't quite mean using FB is supporting the humiliation of women per se, framing it like that is indeed taking a leap.

Using FB is, on the other hand, supporting Mark Zuckerberg's business model, which, like him, is rotten, sociopathic and comically unethical. The bigger-than-argument was valid up until G+ arrived. The benefits of people connecting in an FB fashion has outweighed the unfortunate side-effect of supporting Mark and his ways, but now that there is an alternative, a choice, the situation is different. Though I understand moving yourself and your contacts to G+ can't happen overnight, especially since it's not open for everyone yet.

But then, maybe I'm too fast on the boycot-trigger. Maybe I'm paranoid because I'm a former marketing and (m)ad man, I know all too well how much fun bosses like Zuckerberg think it is to screw their customers over, and how corporations run by people like that are unethical by default and ethical whenever someone forces them to be. Don't get me started on preservatives and pesticides in food, BPA plastics and PFOA anti-stick pans, all of which contributes a great deal to the particular piece of statistic that says either you or I will die a slow and painful death from cancer sooner or later, in order for some companies to make slightly more money. Cancer practically didn't exist 150 years ago, and air pollution is a microscopic reason it's become an epidemic. Preventing cancer starts at home, so does preventing the cancer of Zuckerberg company culture, in my humble opinion.
 
I think that both FB & G+ have their niche. G+ is focussed on in information and is far better for the consumption and discussion of interesting information. Facebook is focussed on relationships and is (currently) better for interacting with loose or close social connections.

On Facebook, I have heaps of people that I know but rarely, if ever, see in Real Life (tm). It's nice to be able to interact with them from time to time, and adds to the richness of life. Sometimes Facebook helps to rebuild a lost relationship that actually becomes valuable IRL again. The people I have friended on Facebook are categorised by the level of trust/intimacy.

On Google+, I have heaps of people that I don't know and have never met - but who are interested in things I am interested in. The people in my circles are categorised by area-of-interest and trust/intimacy separately. The focus usually being on area-of-interest.

In short - I think the two networks service different needs and they are complementary. I'm very happy to be friends with an ex-girlfriend, or an old friend from high school, on Facebook - even if they're not an active part of my life anymore. Makes it easy if I want to track them down, meet up with them or find out what's going on with them. On G+, I'd only circle either of those two if they were interesting. By having my broad social circles on Facebook, I don't need to clutter up my source of interesting information (Google+) with them.
 
+Rob Morris I leave finding out what's going on with an ex-girlfriend or what 50 former school mates and uncles and aunts and collegues did last weekend to those so inclined. We are all different. I, for my part, like music, films and reading.

Studies have shown that excessive contact with and updates from too many people you have/have had a personal relationship to, does to your life what reality TV does to TV, in addition to causing a few unhealthy neurological effects. But who am I to say that reality TV is bad for you. It's not like I'm in a position to tell anyone what goals in life they should have. I'm sure there are lots of people out there who are content with work, sleep and Reality TV. I, for my part, don't think reality TV has anything to do with neither reality or what the TV was invented for.

When it comes to features, G+ is still being developed and will include f.ex. direct messaging as soon as they've found a fool proof way of avoiding spam. And since you can create, edit and delete circles freely, and add someone to multiple circles, I don't see how any system of sorting contacts could be better. Facebook will always be more transparent and "reality TV" than Google. For instance, you always know what "circle" you or someone else is, on someone's profile. And that's what I think is wrong with Facebook. There is such a thing as TMI.
 
+Hans J. Furfjord [When it comes to features, G+ is still being developed and will include f.ex. direct messaging as soon as they've found a fool proof way of avoiding spam.]

This is the third time or so that I've seen this and it has me thinking I'm completely missing something. Is sharing a post with one person not the same?
 
Please forgive me, +Hans J. Furfjord , for implying that you meant it literally. Of course you were referring to the support of Zuckerberg himself indirectly by using his product. However, the point still remains that there is nothing wrong with the FB business model at all. It has clearly proven its success as a business model. I, too, was much like yourself when I first heard about G+. I tried sending out invites to get as much of my network over here with me. I've always sworn by Google. Don't get me wrong, I have not assimilated myself as a part of the Google borg and I certainly do not attend the church of Google. lol However, I have always had nothing but good things to say about Google products and have anticipated for some time a Google driven social network that followed a similar business model as FB. Sure, Google has Blogger and other forms of 'social networking,' but never anything close to the FB business model which has proven to be conducive to what the masses what in a social network. It has been my experience that what makes a social network the most successful is user control and easy facilitation of individual expression. FB does just that.

In summation, I think my point is that I have objectively realized that FB will still serve a purpose until this G+ project is fully evolved and more people start heading over this way. I'll build a network here while I continue to maintain my network at FB. That is only a prudent approach considering what I use social media for. I just don't think that Zuckerberg and his questionable character has anything to do with how I choose to use FB and with what intentions. Ask yourself this, if Hitler set out to create a weapon of mass destruction and he inadvertently created something that could be used for a very positive effect, would you still discourage its use for that positive effect simply because it was created with less than positive intentions by someone who was deemed by society to be evil?

I can not WAIT until G+ is fully evolved, btw. I see very much potential here and the anticipation is killing me. lol
 
+Hans J. Furfjord I don't disagree with you regarding the substance of inane social contact and Facebook's role in delivering it. It is intuitive that frequent shallow interaction with people whom you barely know or care about is not likely to be healthy. Speaking for myself, I am interested in a great deal of things including science, history and literature, but inane social is certainly not on the list!

However, that is largely my point. G+ presently provides a treasure trove of useful and interesting information and the focus is clearly upon encouraging information focussed collaboration, as compared to social interaction. It is a wonderful place if you are excited about discussing interesting ideas.

By maintaining my extended social network of contacts on Facebook, I don't need to do it on G+. This is an important point, because it means I am completely free to only circle people on G+, whose posts I am interested in seeing. If I want to get in contact with that high school friend, I can jump over to Facebook and find them - without ever having to clutter up G+. Even though G+ seems more than capable of handling both, I enjoy not HAVING to handle the social contacts inside of G+.

I think of it a little like the playground vs the library. One generally goes to each place for something different but they both have their unique benefits.
 
i have been thinking about a diet as well. my Facebook deactivation lasted only two days and twitter is completely useless to me. I am hoping G+ can take me where i want to go.
 
Mike Elgan is a writer who thinks he knows a lot about technology. The reality is that his experience is in journalism, not practical day to day IT. Therefore accept his advice with a limited set of parameters as he is just another journalistic hack at the end of the day.
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