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The Meta Conversation might be driving you crazy, but it’s really important.
Yeah, okay. I get it. Everyone is still freaking out about the shiny new social media platform. But you’re over it. You don’t think it’s so new, now, and the conversation is getting stale.

But please try not to suppress the discussion just because you think you’ve mastered the current controls and concepts in Google+. This is still a shiny, new toy. And … well, you already know I think it’s a lot more than a toy if you’ve read any of my previous posts.

If we want to make this place into something sustainable, we have to allow for the meta conversation about what Google+ is, how it operates, how it should operate, and what we expect from each other (not just from Google) as content providers and networking allies.

You can still be discerning about this, of course. If you think someone is posting way too much about G+ features or Google’s intentions for feature changes, take them out of your Circles! But don’t fall into the classic Internet hipster trap where being able to say, “I was there first and it was way cooler back then” is more important than making collective decisions about how we want to treat our newfound online society. You’ll end up being the irrelevant one.
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93 comments
 
Another post about posts about G+? What is this, July 11th 2011?
 
To me, the real challenge is to not to think we've understood this new tool or how it is understood by non technical lay people (i.e. the 750 million on Facebook that we'd like to see move over) too quickly and then still get it wrong, because many of them are so fundamentally non technical, that even our attempt at trying to get into their heads and think like they do is failing.
 
But.. but... I was there first and it was... oh n/m you get where I'm going with that.

However, I do think it's funny. I don't think most folks have really figured out what Plus is, or will become just yet, or just how much it will mean when it reaches critical mass in terms of user base.

If I'm not too tired tomorrow I'll elaborate and try and layout the mess in my head concisely, but to be perfectly to your point; Talk about whatever the (*&^ you want.
 
No need to remove them, just put them in a G+ Meta Circle. :)
 
+Joost Schuur " the 750 million on Facebook that we'd like to see move over" HA, speak for yourself! I could do with a LOT less number of pictures of cute kittens being DJs....
 
I like falling into "old hipster traps" on the internet.
 
+DragonDon . OK, slight typo then: "the 750 million on Facebook that Google would like to see move over" ;)

But that kittens DJ video was totally adorabuls.
 
If it becomes what I hope it becomes, it's gonna be awesome. However, the cynical in me knows that we're gonna get flooded by kids and trolls sooner rather than later.

Fortunately, we can deal with them thanks to Circles.
 
I agree but I'm wondering who actually thinks that they have this thing, and Google, figured out.
 
+DragonDon . DJ Kitties are awesome ok... sheesh some people have no taste ;) That said, just don't put the DJ Kittie posters in your circles and you don't have to deal with them.

I just do not get why people don't want everyone to move to Plus... If you don't like what people post don't have them in your circles. Actually now that I think about it, unfriend them on Facebook too!
 
I shared a few posts about G+ Tips and such... don't think a few of them liked it at all so I made a techy circle and put them in it. problem solved
 
i don't mind the meta conversation, and even the meta-meta conversation. once it gets to be meta-meta-meta, though, i'll probably tune out.
 
G+ has to accommodate the special needs of the who-are-you-I-don't-even-know-you-why-are-you-following-me guys. People can't just encircle them and be square about it ;)
 
+Christina Trapolino it's now really getting interesting, not because of the tech, but because people are sharing their thoughts perhaps with more of the world than they would ever have guessed.
 
+Steve Warren I wonder if the solution there is simply to allow for optional private accounts here, that can't be followed without permission. The danger is that paranoid folks just set their accounts to private right away, without trying the new open/circles model out, but could that make a whole demographic more comfortable with Google+ who would not otherwise try it out?
Xin Li
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The way I see it, it's one thing to know what a tool does, and another to know how to apply it. So just because we know how circles work or how +1 works, it doesn't mean we truly understand all the ways it could be used. Furthermore, I think there are even use cases that won't surface until we reach critical mass, that is an active population on the order of 100 million+. So this is still early days. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.
 
+Steve Warren, exactamente! And I see a lot of white blank spaces on G+ or God forbid, the Google home page, where there could be a shingle that says, "Read instructions before opening. And attn: "Public" means ..." ;)
 
+Joost Schuur I think that's a bad idea and not worth it even if it did bring in some more people. If someone doesn't understand what Public means, then screw them. It's easy enough to share with just Your Circles. If you're that paranoid, I don't tihnk you'll make a mistake about that and G+ seems to remember who I shared with last when making a new post so it's not like it defaults to Public so making a mistake would take some effort.
 
anyone who thinks that they have even begun to understand Google+ hasn't installed the mobile (Android) app/widget (which opens up a whole range of uses)
 
I look forward to finding substantial conversation about any topic on G+. Right now, unfortunately, G+ is the topic. That's okay though. The most active people are talking about it. I just can't wait until very active people start talking about other things. Like philosophy, politics, art, human rights, etc.
 
"Paranoid" on G+ gives psychiatry a bad name ;) And that's quite a feat in itself, I think ;)
 
My thoughts on what Google+ is, or rather could be, were summed up in a post I wrote yesterday. If you treat circles as individual quanta of information, regardless of the number of people in them, you can quickly exceed Dunbars Number. Imagine the ideas and information you would have at your fingertips. If super circles ever arrive, you could keep high quality, informative social contact with thousands of people, all while only having to keep track of a manageable number of individuals.

That is what I see Google+ providing that places like Facebook and Myspace never could.
Xin Li
 
+daniel raeder +1 on that idea. Actually i just want to be able to organize my circles by topic. Sometimes i do want to be all meta and talk about talking about G+. But other times, I really just want to talk about something silly like Harry Potter. And right now, there's no easy way to filter by topic. If you could, I'm guessing people won't be so tired of it. Because right now it seems like every other post on my stream is about G+, and filtering by people into circles isn't enough to weed them out.
 
what if uh you just do what you want to, and see how it goes instead of trying to figure out what it's all about? how is there a way to understand how something is to be used? just use it lol.
 
I agree with you Christina. This--Google+--is indeed unique in that it empowers the users with privileges in hopes that we will make the right decisions. It takes down the walls that other Networking sites had and connects many of us in ways we only thought impossible.

People need to understand though--as you've stated earlier--that this is can only work if we, as a community, choose it to. If one can look at Karl Mark's "Conflict Theory", people started to band around Google+ because of Facebook's refusal to address concerns of their users.

That is why I ask everyone--as a fellow user could--to band together like a small town, a commune, families, would and find the innovative ways to make this a huge success. If something is missing, then address it so that the users coming in get the best possible experience to help this group become a huge success.
 
I'm still finding LOTS that's new and awesome every day!
 
I wouldn't say suppress the g+ meta discussions. I'm just sayin' let's talk about other stuff too. There's room for both!
 
The only problem I have with the meta discussion is that there seems to be nothing else to read atm! The conversation is important but at what point do we stop talking about how we should use Google+ and actually just use it? I'm not falling into a "hipster trap", I'm just getting a bit bored with the content. :/
 
There's still a ton of new people coming in every day.
 
It would be even more meta if you posted this using a shiny Chrome notebook so you could talk about the shiny chrome on your Chrome while using Chrome as your browser...

In all seriousness, if people don't like it, they should create their own content that addresses their concerns or niche or interests or whatever instead of just obstructing, suppressing, and tearing down others. It's easy to criticize or reject ideas but slightly more challenging to come up with something original. (I'm just reiterating your point, I guess :)

I like the versatility of the privacy circles. It's still early and evolving. But people who show up looking for the next iteration of an FB clone (which most non-tech savvy people seem to be doing) end up confusing themselves due to erroneous expectations. It also takes a little patience and persistence to learn a "new" system, and some people are just stuck in their ways... I know of some people who just wrote it off before they tried Hangouts or before they found interesting people to follow.

Being "meta" about G+ is not mutually exclusive of other topics. Like Daniel Raeder said, an even more exciting prospect will be when G+ can be used to enhance the discussion/interaction on anything from the next community bake sale to impending world issues in the same manner. The focus doesn't have to "shift". We can have both.
 
Well, I will say that we cannot predict how things are going to unfold, true, yet you are not realizing that this is a community. As a community, we self regulate so to speak and order is created. Further, this is hairless, in beta. We are testing something that may not even come out with a full version. So yes, this is the time to be creative and to expound. This test, if you will, will create the foundation and identity of what Google+ is.

Many forget that and I hope people wake up to what we, as either chosen users by Google or invited, see.
 
+Ivan Trent As much as this is a field trial, this is a very public thing. If the community puts up walls (no pun intended), the general public will not adopt it. G+ has an amazing feature set. It should become wildly popular. I only hope its popularity isn't only with the webbies.
 
How is it rude to place someone in a circle to follow their public posts? If it is, then somebody better tell twitter! Now sharing posts is a different story, but how is that much different than facebook? At least we can block and mute. I've let people fall out of circles who might share other circled contacts posts.

I think following and reading comments of those that I follow introduce me to other people to start following. I also tend to search the posts and profiles for public information about items that currently interest me. What exactly is trolling? Do the people trolling see themselves as trolling?

What are some of the ways that you are searching for people talking about other interesting topics besides Google+?
 
It certainly is getting stale, but you're right about people trying to suppress the discussion - every day there are new people showing up who want to talk about it, and it's important that they get a chance to
 
I see G+ as a the love child of Twitter and Facebook if web apps could procreate. That being said, I also do not think G+ is any threat to Facebook, they both will serve a different group. If any social app has a worry it would be twitter, but even Twitter will survive., As for how one uses G+, well that's an individual thing. You can, despite what others have said, use this just like you would Facebook. In many respects it really is quite similar. Circles are not new, they call them lists on Facebook. Or you can use this new tool in anyway your creativity leads you. Personally I use it more l like I would twitter if Twitter allowed enough characters to actually express myself.
 
+Lyman A.M. No, G+ does not have to accommodate the "why are you following me" people any more than Twitter had to do so.

All that's required is for those folks to realize that Google+ != Facebook. Or for them to be beat over the head with spoons until they do :-)
 
Twitter was designed for SMS from non-smartphones to answer the question "what are you doing now". It evolved into an amazing tangled branch of multiple uses nobody could have imagined. We need to let the same unimaginable freedom happen on Google+, and see what it becomes.
 
+Hairless Orphan, meta means 'beyond' and the idea itself is to think Abstract. Abstract thoughts, are how business leaders operate, how inverters invent new things, artists finding inspiration or that 'spark' when creating a new piece. It is more important than you think.

Google itself praises people who think abstract and they do everything in their home office to help their employees think as such. Not thinking 'meta' is going to make this a bland experience. So rather than seeing where this goes, why don't we as a community take charge?
 
This isn't a community. It's a network of communities. Everyone who's following Christina and interacting are a community.. there are many others full of very, very different people and content. I think that will become more apparent as the G+ population continues to grow
 
+Xin Li I've decided that for the time being, I'm going to just start some of my posts by asking all those who follow me to +1 or comment if they like it as a way of opting in to a circle I create (or will create). I've also indicated to my circles that eventually I won't post certain content beyond the relevant circle, so as not to bore people who don't share every single one of my interests.
No doubt there will end up being some extension that blocks keywords from streams (as I'm sure some of my friends wish existed right now with "Google+"), but until then, I don't mind requesting a small level interaction with my followers so they can customize their G+ experience even further because if everyone reciprocates, that means my experience improves as well. :-)
 
Its ironic that anyone taking the time to follow the many individuals (the webbies and techies of the world) who have been having these types of conversations would then be upset that those same types of conversations are filling their feed. They could alternatively be filling their circles with the millions of other users of G+ (well over 10 million as I understand it) in many varied and differing communities who yes are still sharing some of the tips and tricks stuff, but who are having significantly different types of conversations.
 
I think it wouldn't be so bad if it weren't the only thing some people were posting about. Meta is great because it spreads knowledge. But, if G+ is the only thing people post about, there's not much point in following them in the long run.
 
It is a community, regardless of division or sub division. We could be, if you well, the true term of nation, which is a bunch of people band together under the same ideals. She is a Google employee and she's trying to help "spark" ideas and here to assist in others expierence.

But let me try to explain it for everyone. Ask yourself how your first experience was when you came here and how you were welcomed with a community that was willing to help. No matter how big or small, we are. Now, Imagine down the road where the meta talk was removed and you were new. One of the only few ways for Google to extend a hand out to their new users all of a sudden gone since the community thought 'meta' talk wasn't important. So I ask, what kind of experience would you have if you were just thrown into Google+?

We enjoyed the talk when we were new. Heak, I am still enjoying the meta talk and expounding on my philosophical views. For the new or prospective users, I ask that we not make haste or invalidate the meta talk. Let them decide for themselves. If you don't like the meta talk, you could always remove her to not see the talk. But it would be a shame, as it's aimed for us all.
 
+Amy Anuszewski Exactly. No one is suggesting that anyone should follow people who arent creating content of interest to you. That's the inherent beauty in all of this. I have a dedicated *G+ers" Circle just for this stuff, but its only one of 12.
 
+Steve Warren actually adding one to a circle is allot like following on Twitter and will probably be a big part of G+
 
+Amy Anuszewski I agree. In fact, if I had to come up with a 'meta' thought, would be to integrate iGoogle with Google+. That way, some of the games on there could be modified and played with friends, without having that annoying wall comment saying what my high score was or asking for assistance. It would also allow the users to use themes. That's my meta idea.
 
When we talk about talking about G+, we're meta-meta.
 
Great post. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
 
This is a much broader point than just the meta conversation - it applies to every conversation here about anything. We all have our own definitions of what is signal and what is noise. Negative comments on what's perceived as noise are utterly unnecessary here, period. If someone has a good signal to noise ratio by your personal definition, muting is easy enough to cut out the noise. If they don't have a good ratio, unfollow them. Commenting about how there's too much discussion of something is pointless negativity. I think over time that will be an unspoken rule of civil interaction here, like not posting in all caps, etc. If you don't want to see it, don't say so, just mute or unfollow.

+Jeff Jarvis has a good post on this for his followers who aren't interested in his passion about Murdoch at the moment.

What I do think Google can do to help is add more flexible and powerful ways to mute. Like muting all content from a specified group or individual about certain topics. They also need to fix muting a little. It should be one click to mute, and if you mute something, you should mute re-shares of it automatically. If you mute an album post, you should mute mentions of all the images in the album. Muting should be natural and easy to make sure that it's the mechanism that people use. Not telling other people to stop talking about topics.
 
+Martin Richards I think that can be done by having like some sub circles within a circle, or having a category within a circle and empowering the option for the audience to choose what category they want. This way, they can accurately filter out what they want to hear.
 
I so agree with this.

I have so many real life friends who rushed on here and just got bored instead of bothering to really explore it but they kept saying stuff about how cool it is to be some of the first users of the newest social network. They've since abandoned G+ and went back to Facebook posting stuff about how they're finally on Google+ and how boring and empty it is. :(

I have to admit I felt the cool-factor and the "ooh shiney" feelings at first, but now as I've settled down, I'm truly enjoying all the great posts I've been reading on here on a whole range of topics (some I never thought I'd be interested in before!) It's hard to keep up, but the fact I actually want to keep up with everything and everyone here is a good sign of how engaging and meaningful this has become for me. It's gotten to an addictive-level for me lol

I still do enjoy reading and sharing Google+ related things though. It's a geeky pleasure almost. :) It's a pleasant mix of geeky, intelligent, interesting, funny, and more on here. And beyond the actual posts, the discussions in the comments are usually just as interesting and substantial. :) Truly engaging and I'm proud to watch this community grow and be a part of it all too!
 
+Julie Delio I'd guess they will add it soon. If they don't, I'm sure that there will be some plug-ins that add options for muting (if there aren't already).
 
I, for one, am happy with the meta conversations. I can't tell you how many new people to Google Plus have received the URL to one of Christina's first posts about how Google Plus isn't Facebook from me. It should be the equivalent of a Google Plus sticky at this point.

However, I am also happy that I have a wide variety of circles with varied streams so I can escape the meta conversation and engage in conversations about photography, tech, gamer stuff, illustration, art etc...

When I see people complain about the meta conversations I wonder if they really have added enough people or created enough circles to reflect their other interests. Food for thought.
Jason S
 
+Sarah Slack I made a circle called G+ Meta last night for that very reason. :-)
Xin Li
 
I think there are basically two themes emerging here. One is an appeal for people not to give up on the meta conversation so quickly. Because most likely you don't know what you think you know.

But the other point though is that we do need better conversation filters beyond just circles, so that we can control when we engage in these meta conversations, and when we don't. Like Mike Elgan posts a lot of good meta level discussions about G+. But he also has other insightful articles not directly related to G+. The circle mechanism alone is not enough for me to filter his stream by topic.
D Chen
 
+Xin Li That's a good point. I think eventually there is going to be some sort of stratification between content producers, sharers, and consumers. But it's not realistic to expect that producers are going to be cranking out content focused only on a single area. I'm curious to see how this might be addressed.
 
+Xin Li You do make an excellent point. Many people will post on a variety of topics. Even in some of my photography, art or writing circles there is a bit of overlap.

I wonder how Google will end up approaching that or how that will end up being curated ultimately.
 
Does Google need hashtags for indexing? Will hashtags allow +ers to hide G Stream posts not near the hashtags? For example only show posts with specific Hashtag and hide others like long comment streams?

It might be helpful to provide simple explanation of how to determine what information should be public and why and how open sharing is important with examples?
Xin Li
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+Vivienne Gucwa +Derek Chen +Hairless Orphan Hashtags might be one way to go, but its not the ideal solution. Hashtags were boostrapped onto twitter after the fact. Given what twitter was, it was probably the best that could be done. But G+ being a new social network, has the benefit of hindsight. I think we can do better.

One of the problems with hashtags is that different people will tag the same topic with different hashtags. For example, I might tag my Lindy Hop related posts with #lindy, others may tag it with #lindyhop. So if you formed a circle strictly on the basis of an exact match with a hashtag, you will miss one or the other.

Google could help with this problem by suggesting related hashtags, based on the ones you specify for your circle. After all, Google already has that technology which is widely used during search to search for concepts that are semantically related to your search terms. By making related hashtag suggestions, Google could help people converge on a canonical hashtag for a given topic overtime. I would still like a more formal construct for topics other then just hashtags though, even though hashtags could be made to work.

Once the concept of topics are introduced, Google could then rank various people's reputations based on those topics. So for example, I might be ranked more highly on topics related to technology, but I would have a very low rank when it came to things about wine or Justin Bieber. So when someone subscribes to a technology circle, my posts will hopefully bubble up more.
 
+Xin Li There's also the issue of hashtags just being plain ugly. It was a necessity in Twitter because they weren't able to create a cleaner, better integrated solution first - so it started out as a user-implemented workaround.

Please, please, please, no hashtags.
 
I've been craving a mode of public posting that skips the circles except any i've specifically targeted. I dabble in hacking toys/tools for this, have a circle for people interested in that topic, but also want my posts to be discoverable by searching. No way to do this (currently) without spamming your non-interested friends.

Just cause I want to make something public does not mean I want to put it in everyone's face today (or worse, imediately with the notify feature).
Xin Li
 
+Nick Perez Well the best thing is if Google can infer the topic of a certain post, and then you should be able to define the topics you are interested in free form text, much like the way you search Google. But I don't know how accurate that would be.
 
+Xin Li relying on an AI to infer the topic sounds hazardous, so some form of manual categorization is probably needed. I'm convinced that there's a way to do this without having any kind of shortcode within the content itself. Circles seem like the perfect groundwork for this - we need public circles that work similarly to hashtags (though it might be confusing for the definition of a circle to be so ambiguous).

edit: I didn't read all the way up, and it seems like this may have already been discussed to some extent. All I'm really getting at is that hashtags are a visual annoyance on Twitter, so I hope that can be avoided.
 
+Ryan Gallagher - I was thinking more along the lines of being able to add Sparks the same way as circles to make posts public. That way they're discoverable by people interested in the subject matter.
 
+Michael Westbay For sure, topic/tag/magic is definitely warranted too. But in the mean time there are some posts that just can go out there, without nagging anyone except those I've identified as likely to enjoy it. (It's the "push" equivalent of what you are discussing... which is the "pull" model).
Xin Li
 
Which is why I thought some form of manual tagging, a la hash tags, would work better. Though of course mastery of the semantic web is the holy grail of search. So Google is definitely working on that. But I agree there's still a lot of work left for us to do there.

But then what better way to bootstrap that effort then to use it on the G+ population, and have user feedback train the algorithm to be better. That's basically what Google did with GOOG-411.
 
I hope when they said hashtags are coming, that they meant a google version of hashtags. I really hate reading posts imbedded with hashtags, they're so abrasive to read.
 
On a fairly unrelated note: sustainable equals something that just happens. The case in point is that if something needs to be made sustainable, it will never be so.
Xin Li
 
Maybe it'll be something like Labels in Gmail, where it doesn't have to intrude into the actual content of the post.
 
The "Post To" area would be fine. Usually, I only post to one circle, and there's a lot of width in that space that isn't being used. One could add circles and/or hashtags to post to in there.

An ideal solution would allow me to follow specific topics from specific people - so I can decide if I want to follow a person's posts on music, or only their posts on technology, for example.

This kind of goes along with what I was originally saying about 'public circles' - the categorization of people and their interests already exists with circles, but it could be expanded further using already existing UI elements.

And that could work very much like Gmail labels, which would be awesome.
 
I think I am one of these 'discussion suppressing' types, and the post, and the discussion that followed it, don't seem to get where I am coming from (though I can't speak about any others who this lable may be attached to).

As far as I am concerned, G+ is the facebook we all wanted, or at least it is the facebook I always wanted: It is easy to use, there is post formatting, and no limit to post size that I've encountered. It is a dream come true. And the circles, oh, god the circles...

So all this stuff about 'don't use it like facebook' seems to me to be some kind of hipster nonsense in the form of "we got here first, so lets determine the culture of it and be all snobby to the mass of people who use facebook!" And this view is seen above in this very convo.

The problem is, the first people on here were all techy business and creative types, and they want to create a culture that works for them as well as the Google+ system itself works for them. That's great, I don't care what you do among yourselves, but this snobbyness about "It's not facebook!" will scare people away, either because they won't realise that it IS facebook, or they'll just be offended by the culture they see initially, before they have a chance to filter it all out.

You may want that, I don't. So it's not just a question of muting people. I can mute the snobby stuff I see and be done with it, but the people I want to come here, they won't at first, and they might get massively turned off. So seriously, tone it down, please. The 750 million facebook users are just normal people, not the Silicon Valley types who got first try, or their favourite bloggers or artists, or tweeters that they invited.

If you actually care about this service gaining a mass base in the real sense, if you actually think that people deserve to see and use it, then you'll hopefully be aware that they simply aren't you, that they like the notification button, that they like spamming their friends with nonsens pics, that they like the "is picking my nose" comments that are readable by all.

If not, then fair enough, continue as you were.
 
They could combine the entity sites with these hash tags so that I could filter my posts by these tags (companies, topics, artists etc.) but also visit the entity site about it where I have two streams: What the owner of the entity site posts and posts from others, that I can officially see. These would include public posts as well as private posts about the topic by my friends.
Xin Li
 
I think the point of saying that it's not facebook is that yes, you can use it like FB, if you want. But you don't have to be constrained by the limitations of FB's interaction model. The biggest plus G+ offers is its asymmetric follow model. You don't have to worry about following the wrong people. So in the end, you can follow generously and follow often without worrying about revealing your intimate or embarrassing moments.

So yes, if you want to treat this like FB, and that serves your purpose, then go for it. But if you take a minute to understand some of the new concepts G+ offers, you would get a lot more out of the service.
 
+Gracchus . I think the notion that this shouldn't be used like Facebook is based more on the fact that G+ and FB are engineered in very different ways, and they're in very different stages.

Right now, G+ is thriving as a blogging platform and a Twitter replacement. There simply aren't enough people here for it to replace Facebook, which is primarily used to communicate with everyone you already know.

So should we conclude that it's some form of hipster snobbery? I don't think so. I think the early adopters do need to find ways to make this service useful, and share the knowledge and ideas. Eventually, common use-cases will become common knowledge and our guides and ideas will be obsolete.
 
+Gracchus . this doesn't need to have some monolithic culture that is attractive to the "average" facebook user. It's not even possible. People will come over, and if someone's posts are full of stuff that doesn't interest them, or is a turn off, they just won't follow them. They probably won't even ever get to their posts. You don't need to make it a mission to shut people up. If you could be successful it would only be counter productive anyway. Anyone can talk about the culture of G+, but it's not going to be a monoculture, it's already over 10 million users, and it's going to be what it's going to be. At that size it's going to be organic. You're not going to control it with your posts, and neither are the people you object to. If you want it to grow, better to spend your energy on getting people over, or on adding content you think will appeal to them.
 
+Gracchus . A part of me wonders if the point of the It's not facebook post was lost somehow. What Christina and many have been talking about is that individuals should remember not to limit themselves in the ways that facebook artificially limits them currently. Facebook right now is a platform where people share amongst those that they already know, and rarely expand to share and interact with strangers. One of the main tenets of G+ is the ability to find and interact with strangers who have like minds or similar interests. Noone is saying that people who like to post lolcats or "I'm picking my noselol" posts shouldnt do that, the point I've been trying to make with my FB friends as I convince migration is that they can have that with a wider and more varied audience now. Theres no need to limit themselves to the 300 family, friends, and former schoolmates that they interact with. Sure they can, but they would be doing a disservice to themselves in the process. There are already plenty of people who have been developing their G+ circles around concepts like Posts funny Gifs so that they know who to share the ones they love with. The point is that unless there are people out here posting topics that can show the recently joined what is possible, they will never expand beyond the exact same interactions with the exact same people as on FB, and then what was the point of migration anyway?
 
Considering G+ is still in the just-born invitation phase, I would think this is only the beginning of the meta conversation. If G+ becomes as successful as Google hopes, there will be many, many more waves of folks in need of 'how-to' information. I guess what I'm saying is if the meta conversation already has become tiresome or annoying to you, expect that feeling to increase exponentially in the coming days/weeks/months. An attitude adjustment may be required.
 
It may be an advantage to be able to be able suppress all shared posts in your stream or circle and see only the original content. In that way you can have a power users mode.

The same goes for the commenting and voting up of shared items, these should (also) go to the original content producer. I am voting on the content, not on the ability of somebody to share content. I actually needed to jump through hoops to visit your posts and comment here on this item. I've seen +Louis Gray go into items of his which were shared so he can post a link to the original content as he gets none of the reactions that are made on a post which he created and is shared by third or fourth parties. These are just some of the issues with post syndication which G+ has at the moment.

Not that the competition does much better, and they've had longer to solve these issues.
 
Just a field for tags would work great. We don't need the #. Lots of platforms already use tagging so people are pretty used to it conceptually.
Hashtags are so ugly!
 
Well, from the viewpoint of an 'average Facebook user', I find G+ much more interesting to use. but I have a question... since G+ public posts and profiles are searcheable on Google, I looked to see if there was anything written about a favorite band of mine. I found someone in another country with similar interests in music. I was going to follow them, but since it is a bit odd to have someone follow you here without knowing how they found you, I thought maybe I should introduce myself in an e-mail. But many people (myself included) don't open e-mails from people we don't know. And what if the person just never answers... Should Google offer an option to write a short introduction when you follow someone? It would overload the popular people on G+ , but for 'average users', an introduction would help to figure out how someone found you. My wife finds it 'creepy' that anyone can follow her without a 'friend invite', but she likes using Google+.
 
The non-reciprocal nature of Circles is quite difficult to get used to, actually. I see strangers putting me in their Circles and think 'hold on, I didn't say they could see my stuff' and then recall that this doesn't let them see anything they couldn't before, just lets them send things to me (which I can block if I want). Then there are the times when a friend says 'I've put you in Circle X' and I have them in a Circle with the same name, but we have to remember that there is no actual relationship between the two Circles. Perhaps we need to have some concept of mutual Circles - Venn Circles, perhaps: you and someone else are in a Venn Circle if you each have the other in a Circle with the same name.
 
I challenge you to talk about something other than G+.
 
I wanted to address what Gracchus said, but uhh..you guys pretty much did it perfectly.

Thank you. This community is totally awesome so far.
 
I'm all for Christina advocating further for the "meta" conversation, I've always found "out of the box" to be suitable but I suppose meta is more apt for this type of discussion. (why not.) It seems to me however, that weather you agree with him or not, the comments +Graccus made are just as important as any other made here. Isn't he being a bit patronized for doing exactly what the concept advocates, thinking differently? I have a recollection of being in college, sitting outside on campus, chatting it up with some friends over the noon hour. Hundreds of students were out there and once in a while a rapture enthusiast would come around and start screaming at us all about our sins and handing out flyers. For most people it was the wrong approach. But now and then, someone would take a flyer and even chat him up a bit. Now I'm not advocating for screaming here but the fact is, a lot of new comers are going to see Christina's posts and they won't be drinking the "meta" Kool-aid. But they might come by the comments of someone who isn't either and they might form their own think tanks, which in turn shape the very fabric of G+ through their own natural process.

I also don't think it's fair to throw out terms like "irrelevant" to early adopters who aren't focused on dictating protocol. I'm starting now because I don't want jump in once there is really some momentum behind it and be totally inundated. (that and because I'm a total Google junkie). I do hope to find a spin off of G+ for Facebookers that focus on simplicity and transition. I really like the offering Google has put together so far and I want them to be successful in replacing twitter and FB (mainly to simplify and centralize my life online). But in order to do that they will need numbers; to reach those numbers they will need to reach demographics that want simple. (Imagine someone pitching to their 85 year old Nana that G+ is like Facebook but more. Nana is gong to hear "more complicated". I don't think I'm going to get meta with Nana.)

Apologies for the extended comment. At the end of the day I hope i don't come off as discouraging the discussions going on here. I'd just like to serve as a reminder for people that you don't necessarily have to agree to be relevant to the discussion.

Thanks for the post Christina. Despite my grandstanding here I really appreciate your contribution to getting people thinking. I'm still following. ;). 
 
You are now the lone inhabitant of the 'interesting meta-posters' circle. I hope to find others to add to that, so that you won't feel meta-lonely :P
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