Lessons I've learned about Google+ watching reactions to my post about brand pages getting wiped out.
1) I've never, ever seen a place that's more pro-Google than this. Consider that usually, I'm having to defend myself as not being a Google fanboy, I've found a home where apparently, some people seem to think I chant "Death To Google" in my spare time. Twitter, Facebook are far, far more balanced. And if I write something that might seem "anti-Twitter" on Twitter or "anti-Facebook" on Facebook, the reactions are far more balanced.
2) However things are growing, the activity is clearly not as much on Twitter. I did four posts about the brand issue today, one in the morning, then three fairly close to each other in the afternoon (all times Hawaiian). This caused a reaction among some that I'm all obsessed with the issue, flooding their streams, all I talk about, whatever. On Twitter, these would hardly be noticed by most people, who seem to have streams filled with information. Here, clearly it's an annoyance to share more than one subject item.
3) Related to the above, on Twitter it is uncommon to share different links close together on a common subject. Here, as I said, it seems to be an annoyance. I'd wish that there was a way to have more than one link to a story. But if I were to wish that, it would probably be taking as an unfair criticism that Google+ isn't perfect, and therefor I must hate Google.
4) While getting instant feedback is nice, some of the comments are of so poor quality that it reminds me why I often don't comment at places like Hacker News or Slashdot. There I often find people want to argue back off the cuff without having actually read anything I've written or ignore things that I've documented. I love comments. I don't love uninformed knee jerk reactions. Does anyone?
5) A profanity filter would be welcome. There's only so many times someone can tell you to f-off that you begin to feel the community of a place isn't that much of a friendly community.
6) Turning off comments would be nice. Because you know, at some point you've said all you want to say, responded to all you can respond to, and having them keep running and running just feels like unnecessary work. CORRECTION: As noted in the comments, I've entirely missed this is possible. Excellent. Good thing I didn't turn them off here.
7) That some people seem unable to grasp the concept that a company actually likes to get criticism, that a smart company grows from it. I have written far more indepth criticisms of Google in my years of covering them than pointing out the relatively minor issue of their brand problem today. I've had Googlers themselves thank me for it, Some because they agree, and it gives them the ability to push ahead for change. Some because they don't agree, but they appreciate that I took the time to explain an issue, why it's an issue and clearly care enough to want it to change.
The experience has led me to think that ironically, Google+ is perhaps the worse place to talk about issues with Google. The posts people seem to like are "Hey, check out today's cool logo" or nice pictures or cheerleading for Google+.
I think that's kind of sad, especially when there are so many people who actually work for Google who read what's on Google+. Today's experience has just given me a personal chilling effect that I have never, ever felt with Twitter or Facebook. And I'd have never, ever expected that to be the case with a Google social network.
Finally, unless you really have to be profane (and I like to swear as much as anyone), don't. And you know, in general if I think someone is so full of it when they post something, I generally don't bother to comment at all. If I do, I'll usually do something more substantial to explain why. And the comments I've seen on critical pieces I've posted or other have would be 1000% better if that were more common.