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+Mike Monteiro makes the interesting point that, unlike on Twitter, where each post is the same uniform size and shape and structure, Google+ may have too much going on, with images, videos, links, reshares, hangouts, and plenty of long form content.

Curious what people here think. Too much stuff on Google+?

(Edit: For the record, I like the rich content myself. Keeps me coming back for more.)
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53 comments
Kang Lu
 
G+ is a little bit like Chinese social network product :) with many native features
 
I also thought it would be a problem at first but I got use to it.
 
I actually prefer the images & videos etc. When scrolling through the stream, they catch the eye. Plain text messages can get kinda boring.
 
I'd say the variety is a virtue more than anything. Twitter gets old real fast. I could do without the animated gifs, though.
 
I like that it has the ability to be dynamic! Its difficult to conform to a twitter post and with G+ the posts feel natural and engaging. I think it works well.
 
I think the length of posts are great. I am more inclined to read an entire article with a couple of paragraphs than one with a short tag line. As for the videos and reshare noise; I don't see a difference from Facebook's application noise.
 
Only thing it needs is an "auto-mute all animate gifs" option.
 
mmm I see his concern - it will require good design to not get cluttered and busy. It's not the content variety that I find distracting if anything though, it's the left and right sidebars. I need to feedback this, but there are items taking space in the UI that I don't always need or want to see (Suggestions for new people, Hangouts, etc on the right. A lot of that is visual clutter when I'm reading the stream and it would be nice to maximize the stream and have the sidebars vanish.
 
I think it is less the variety of stuff than the lack of density of stuff. on my laptop screen there is even less to see than in Mike's screenshot. no room for mental filtering. This was a big problem with buzz too btw.

It takes too much effort here currently to figure out what to ignore. I end up muting posts less because I'm done following along with them than that they command far too much real estate.

One thing FB gets right is info density in the feed.
 
I agree there needs to be higher stream density.
 
Twitter needs too much click to follow a conversation or links. I like g+'s simplicity that I can quickly scroll to see what is going on. Interesting point from aspect of design, though.
 
DeWitt, this goes back to the whole Attention Management issue and noise factor... we don't necessarily need twitter-like homogeneity, but we do need better filters so things don't get lost or too difficult to follow.
 
I am loving the long form content and comments. My only gripe is that the email notifications should be toned down a bit.
 
Ever since SXSW, where a lot of Google Employees were live-blogging the presentations, I really came to appreciate easily-commentable (is that a word?), variable length, posts.
 
I do find it fairly busy. Maybe there's something to be said indeed about the uniform nature of Twitter. But it might get better when there's true sharing, IE, you share the original post with others, not this reposting stuff.
 
No way. I think its great that it has all these features we can use. Google makes me feel like I don't need to go anywhere else. Their products are good and would not go anywhere else. Actually I have been to other websites but Google products are more user friendly.
 
This topic reminds me of the rather torturous speech by Polonius in Hamlet expounding the virtue of brevity (at length):

"My liege, and madam, to expostulate
What majesty should be, what duty is,
What day is day, night night, and time is time,
Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time;
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. Your noble son is mad. . . ."

Being concise is important, but having the freedom to expand one's ideas in words and pictures can be critical to effective collaboration.
 
+Danny Sullivan Can you elaborate on that? What do you mean by "true sharing" vs "reposting"? You mean, inline the third-party content? Sort of like we do with videos, but also with blog posts and the like?
 
I mean like I saw this post from you, but when I shared it, I wanted ideally to share the original post you did. Instead, it spawn off into my own post -- with its own comments. And Gina spawned her own thread, and others will do the same.

I wanted to point people at your discussion. But there's no ability to do that. Sharing effectively opens a new discussion. Sometimes you want that -- sometimes you don't.

If you take Twitter, if I retweet (using the native retweet feature), I'm sending the original tweet out to my followers. In contrast, if I "quote" a tweet (or can't use native retweet), I'm spawning a fresh tweet.

Sometimes I want that -- to add my own comment. Sometimes I don't. But where it really gets crazy (see, I didn't say insane!) is when multiple people I know all share the same thing. Then I'm getting it over and over again.

Hope that helps explain it more.
 
Thanks, Danny. That makes a lot of sense, actually. The current 'share' model effectively forks the thread, creating disctint conversations for different audiences. This is what exactly what happened when you and +Gina Trapani's shared this post to your circles: separate threads of conversation were created about the same bit of content.

Whereas there's another potential model, one currently not implemented, that would effectively pull bits of content into your own stream for your circles to see and interact with, but the thread would remain the same. This indeed is more Twitter-like. I wonder what the right verb for that is... 'Note'? 'Join'? +1? Maybe this model should be 'share', whereas the existing model should better be called 'repost'?

Great food for thought. Thanks again, Danny. Much appreciated.
 
Definitely agree there needs to be be a distinction between sharing and reposting (or whatever is the appropriate terminology). I'm often finding what is essentially the same post appearing multiple times in my stream. 
 
This new "sharing" might be somehow paired with commenting; this way when you "share" someone's post you can add your thoughts without forking a new comment thread. In the original thread, this will show as one of the comments with an indication that the post was shared. In the sharer's (and her followers') timeline the original post and this single comment will show, with all other comments collapsed.
 
Add my +1 to a true "share" in addition to the current buzz-like "reshare". How about calling that model "spread"? (or "spread my circles"; I'm not a native-english speaker, so please be lenient)
 
You see, G+ has to find a way to combat stuff like this ^^^
 
Collapse by default to uniform size, have controls to expand/collapse under profile pic.
 
I'm so tired of people still comparing Twitter and Google+ or Facebook an G+. They're completely different animals.
Twitter is a megaphone that i use to get my message in 140 characters to the masses.
Google+ is a conversation where sometimes i need more than 140 characters to put things in context including images and / or videos.
Both are excellent tools for its purpose, so please stop comparing them.
BTW Facebook is for showing off (BlingBling) or putting it in a historical context, Facebook is the new MySpace.
 
"Facebook is the new MySpace" +1! Exactly what I've been thinking these past few days.
 
I've tried to mute out posts containting photos (:cough:Scoble:cough:) and I barely see any now. A declarative filter would be better, but bayesian feedback seems better (say, not to exclude schemas).
 
I quite liked how your Google Talk status could be published to Buzz... It kind of reminds me of Twitter, short and sweet and no expectations for comments and such like. It might be nice to have those on G+ although it will probably be too much being posted to the main stream. Perhaps a status box on your profile might help, and it only breaks off to its own separate post if someone comments on it?
 
I agree with +Chris Rossini in that Twitter is almost TOO uniform. When I look at my Twitter stream I almost sigh instinctively with fatigue, knowing I will need to need to read most of the Tweet to determine if it is... well, something I want to read. I guess I disagree with the original author on that point. For me, very little stands out in my Twitter stream.

And while I enjoy the rich content and variable length of Google+ 's stream, I'm sure it might become tedious to scroll through a huge TON of that content as more people are added to the service, and I add them to groups.

Some thoughts... and this speaks in agreement with what +James Snell said about filters.

I think Google+ would benefit from two improvements. Toggled filters and possibly views.

I would like to be able to toggle one or more circles in the left navigation to limit the content in my stream. In this way I would be able to toggle on "Friends," "Family" and "College Friends" in order to quickly catch up on my inner circle news and entertainment. I could even take that idea a step further and place those three circles into a new circle called "Friend Filter" (or whatever) and simply toggle that one circle to effectively view the same limited stream. Doing it this way would leave me free to address my original groups individually, depending on who I wanted to see a particular post I was posting.

Another idea might be "views" for lack of a better word.

If the volume of content is low for a particular circle I'm filtering, I actually prefer to see all of the content (as it is currently.) Being able to immediately enjoy all of the posts, photos, etc. is rewarding and easy, requiring no additional steps.

However, if I'm viewing one of my circles with a ton of content, like "Android," then I'd prefer an even more concise listing than Twitter provides.

It would be great if I could toggle a view (maybe even set it as a default for a circle) to collapse posts down to just the first line or perhaps title (if titles were implemented/optional.) This would give me a view similar to the list view in Google Reader !!! And for me, nothing lets me scan volumes of content (to determine if I even want to expand them) faster than Google Reader.

Anyhoo, my 2 cents. LOVE Google+ by the way. Keep up the amazing work!
 
+Jeff Rhine could you please post your comment in 140 characters for readability ;-) just kidding, nice comment.
 
+Jeff Rhine Great ideas that tie in very much with some of the stuff I've been thinking too. Google Reader style list view would be really useful for scanning quickly through to find what you're interested in, especially in the main stream view where even a small amount of activity can quickly make it feel extremely crowded and difficult to keep track of anything.
 
I would also love to see an easy way to "share" or "post" stories from Google Reader to my Google+ feed (as I do to my Buzz... at least until the same functionality applies to Google+... then it's bye bye Buzz!)
 
The basic problem is that post previews are too long. I'd ideally like to see 5-10 on the screen at once, not 1-2.

(And just jam something more like google reader into the sparks spot. The Sparks view of a feed has too much whitespace, not enough content, the default view never changes)
 
Comments should be collapsed by default and I should have the option to show/hide photo/video posts in my stream (or even show/hide text posts if I want to see photos just now). At least, that would be useful in making it less noisy.
 
I suspect there will be more manual controls of posts and conversations as Google watches how we start using G+. Right now it feels a bit chaotic, but its advantage is that it provides a lot of different usability. Right now it's simply a matter of passing through the learning curve.
 
Doesn't the success of Facebook pretty much quash any argument that rich media feeds are too overwhelming?
 
+Adrian Holovaty no. Most of the people I know who use facebook do not use the feed. The post on each other's walls and make status update and comment on stuff and use groups, but they don't use the friendfeed-alike features.
 
I would love something between twitter and Facebook. I want to see content, but I don't want to lose the streamlines ability to read current posts. G+ filled with multimedia content is a lot like FB. As the activity increases on G+ it is getting confusing fast. Plus notifications are still a bit slow and there are server errors to the notifications. So, you click, there is an error, but then the notifications are all cleared. Its confusing. It makes me wonder what will happen to my head when the pace in here goes up by 1000.
 
So far I am pleased with the clean layout and intuitive UI. However, I am concerned of overload once additional Google products are integrated (Blogger, +1's, YouTube, Latitude, Music, Offers, etc). Not to mention third-party apps.
 
Maybe make settings for amount of content displayed per post. I myself like to skim to find something interesting, 3 or 4 lines of text are sufficient. Others maybe leave default for full post view. Id coin the term, Google briefs.
 
Google Briefs would work for me if a simple means was included to interactively toggle the view between modes
 
I feel like Twitter is a subset of g+, but it's such a special "informational" mode in which g+ cannot currently conveniently run.
For g+ to work in Twitter mode it needs some separate stream which may even have optional/advisory message size restriction but, most importantly, should not be displayed in a regular overall stream. Otherwise regular stream will be full of those endless short pseudo-Twitter posts.
Question is how to implement such regular vs. pseudo-Twitter stream separation without introducing special case to g+. I have a feeling that it could be achieved as a side effect of adding hash tags / labels / Facets +Peter Arrenbrecht http://goo.gl/CFubb .

P.S. +Greg Madhere just posted about necessity of a Linkedin in a g+ era http://goo.gl/A1yh2. I feel that Linkedin is another example of a special case; it's a special case of Professional/Career network, just like Twitter is informational network. I doubt that more powerful but generic g+ could and should replace them.
 
Greg, I fully agree.

+Danny Sullivan Non-forking reshare (i.e. just creating a link to an original post without creating new post with its own comments) was discussed for Buzz. But I think for g+ it's much harder to implement, because of Circles/ACL rules http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Access_control_list. When you reshare here you often change a circle of people who see your post vs. original circle. People who see your post may not have rights to see an original post and commenters of original post. I suspect that its because of these difficulties we don't yet see a direct link to an original post on a reshared one.

Perhaps, it should be relatively easy to implement non-forking re-shares for Public g+ posts. Or, as we did on Buzz, reshare and forbid comments, so user would go to original post to comment.
And I agree with you - it often does make sense and is better that creating numerous forked discussions.

+DeWitt Clinton I'm sure you agree that this topic deserves its own thread. It's not a first discussion on forking (repost) vs. non-forking (share) shares in which Google employee participated. I remember similar discussion on Buzz with +Ade Oshineye and/or +Roberto Bayardo Maybe you would create a separate post and ask other Googlers to participate too?
Thank you
 
I would like to be able to toggle one or more circles in the left navigation to limit the content in my stream
+Jeff Rhine - there was recently an idea to use check boxes next to circles for easy toggling them on/off.
 
A "Twitter mode" we could toggle on our streams for browsing the firehose might be a way to get the best of both worlds.
 
I like Justin's idea of toggling a verbose mode off/on.
 
I like it. It looks and feels like friendfeed.
 
I can't speak to anyone's preferences besides my own because I haven't seen any actual quantitative research on the subject, but for me it's different tools for different jobs. I follow a relative small number of people on Twitter - < 350 - and I read more or less everything posted. I can do that because of the limitations of that format.

G+, on the other hand, allows me to post things with a bit more context to them, things that don't by themselves justify a blog entry or other longer form reponse. From a consumption standpoint, however, the longer format responses do have a cost overhead associated with them. I'm less likely to follow longer discussions on G+ - particularly from people I am not acquainted with - because of the increased time it takes to consume them.

My consumption, at this point, is Twitter first, then G+ as I have time. Facebook, which I was never a heavy user of, is an even more distant third than it was previously. How my usage will change as more people begin using G+ I can't yet predict.

Either way, it's not a zero sum game for me as it often seems to be portrayed in the media. Different tools, different jobs.
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