I am a Google apps user and I have been thinking about some details that could improve and consolidate the use of Gmail (with Contacts, Calendar and Taks) and G+. I would like to share my thought with you.
G+ implicitly follows the math principles of sets and Venn diagrams.
Some rules to make G+ follow this rational and natural laws:
1 - Each user is an element and will belong to one or more circles; elements are unique;
2 - Each set is a circle, and it can "contains" sub-circles (equal or smaller) or be "contained" in super-circles (equal or larger).
2 - 1 - Each group (any business, organization, community and so on) is a circle. Ex: Petrobras (the Brazilian oil company with branches around the world);
2 - 2 - Each geographic and regional attribute is also a circle; Ex.: Brazil would be a circle and Sao Paulo its sub-circle ("contained" in the Brazil circle) and America its super-circle ("containing" the Brazil circle); Portuguese (language) is also a circle that most of the elements of the Brazil circle will be contained in;
2 - 3 - Each profession, degree, gift, capability, and any other elements attributes (like a birth date) are also circles;
2 -4 - Labels (custom attributes) are also circles.
3 - +1s create circles (Ex.: a circle of people who had +1 the news about the new Nexus "+1" Google phone on GSM Arena)
To make it different from other social networks and tools and to eventually having G+ replace email systems, I think some improvements/implementations and rethinking labeling, is needed:
1) A corporate option, where, just like a real business, where public can get in touch, but with limited access and being prompted by "somebody" (a "delegation" feature would be nice, to transfer an element from your circles to somebody's else circles) and in which security is increased (Ex.: Google apps administrator should be able to set posts to always be to specific circles and not public or to extended circles, avoiding breaching of information by user's mistake);
2) Users should be able to create labels for "intersections" of circles; Ex.: We want to speak the English audience of Petrobras in Brazil: select the circle "Petrobras", the circle "Brazil" and the circle "English", and create a label (a intersection of those circles or a "composed" circle, that could be saved) to filter and make possible to address the conversation to those specific elements. Remember the signs "U", "∩" (union and intersection)? Those should be "labelable"';
3) Users should be able to create labels for common attributes (remember "contain", "is contained"?);
4) Users should be able to see the conversation threads (including emails), shared docs and scheduled activities from each contact page, and from there being able to answer back, create tasks, attach/save files (docs, pics, etc) and schedule activities (including "delegate" and "followup");
5) Users should be able to see the 1st and 2nd level connections of each circle (like Orkut had in the beginning, but using simple Venn Diagrams and for "circles", besides elements through "relationships", which is already a field in contacts);
6) Each circle should also have a page, from where the user could see the elements, the circle threads, the document/pictures shared, the activities and the links/relationships to other circles;
By the way, the name "Google" in Chinese should be 哥哥 (pronounced Ge ge, sounding very similar to Google in a British accent), which means "older brother". This could feed the sensationalist media very well by the association with the "Big Brother" surveillance system from UK, once in the stories of Orson Welles. A Chinese connection! :D:D:D