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Here's what I love about Google+ in general and the Google+ Diet in particular:

Instead of saying, "I'm going to write a blog post now," or "I'm going to send an e-mail" or "I think I'll tweet something" you simply say what you have to say, then decide who you're going to say it to.

If you address it to "Public," it's a blog post.

If you address it to "Your Circles" it's a tweet.

If you address it to your "My Customers" Circle it's a business newsletter.

If you address it to a single person, it can be a letter to your mother.

I'd say this is pretty revolutionary.
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I just hope you can time your comments, so you can haunt your children for decades after you are dead.
I would add one more. I created a circle with only me in it. I can send things to myself that I want to get to later. Like a diary/to-do list.
Curious, how would you describe extended circles?
If you address it to your business partners, it's a memo.
Nice description for a multicard tool.
I think of "public" as the tweet... 
if you address it to your favorite lover, it's online pr0n.
Extended Circles seems like something new entirely. It's your Circles, plus the people in their Circles who have publicly shared who is in their Circles on their profiles. It's two degrees of separation.
+Victoria Harres, that's perfect! One of the most beautiful thing about G+ is the flexibility - everything from a to-do/to-read list to a letter to your Mom.
Agreed, maybe in keeping w/ current nomenclature when shared w/ a single person, it's an SMS.
I'm not sure you got the first 2 right. If you post to "Public", it's a Tweet. Twitter is a public feed people choose to tune into or not (but it's still out there). If you post only to your circles, it only goes to those YOU follow, not the other way around.
If you address it to "Public" it pushes it to everyone who has you in a circle and makes it searchable to anyone on the internet.

If you address it to a circle, it pushes it only to that circle and it isn't searchable.

Some of us want more control over the searchability part of that.
I agree with Jason. At this point, a Public post is more like a tweet, because it's not seen outside of G+, which has a fairly small userbase compared to a Web blog.
If you address it to "Notes/To Do List", articles to read later, etc., it's, well, you get the idea.
Problem with the public / blog is that it will show up in your business partner's stream. Don't really like that. If only I could decide what type of posts I want to see...
Great description. You no longer have to decide "where" you're going to creTe something, just "how" you're going to share it. No wonder it's so addictive.

The only use case as a "consolidator" I don't see integrated is IM. Sure, you can chat in theeft column, but only with Gtalk/AIM folks.

Google+ has many similarities to the previous Google Wave. I'd like to see better thread/sub-thread control of comments. 
Same line of thinking I've used when explaining to people why I couldn't care less that I can't "post on someone's wall."
+Mike Elgan So, have you tried to add your blog to a circle via it's email -- then you would actually be blogging by doing that, no? Curious minds want to know..... But then I just tried and recalled that the message has to come from a specific address.... oh well -- I'm sure you'll find a way :-)
If they add an option to make each reply in a thread an image/gif/video it will be perfect to lure the younger generation.
what do you mean by tweet ? Something like a dent ? but in the closed proprietary spyware called twitter ?
Definitely a fan of the centralized communication stream
Don't want to be that guy and say, "Yes, I agree" and leave it at that. I will offer though that this concept, even though so simple, is still a paradigm shift making it difficult for me (and maybe others) to just act on it.

I like how you are sharing that you are on this Google + diet and sharing your reactions...makes it easier to comprehend the shift.
+Mike Elgan speaking of the Google+ Diet... I've lost four pounds since being here... I'm so busy reading and posting during the day... I've been forgetting to eat!
Not to mention some people don't think Google+ can be private and you prove a point I tried to make to someone else that you can single out an individual person with a note and no one else can see it.
Good point... so will that make google+ more like an email device, and Facebook will remain the primary social network?
Re: Email. Is it possible to recieve your Gmails in G+, or just send?
Interesting perspective. I love this simple way of looking at it.
The idea of using a circle that only has the email address of another service works well. I use it for Facebook updates from G+, so it could work for any address.
I would share, if I wasn't on the Android App. 
+Ramssen Maragoluf I know Google is huge and sucks up a lot of user data, but I think Google (in G+, anyway) is being much more careful with your data than FB is. Facebook is always working hard to make your privacy settings more obscure, and extracting your data from Facebook is like getting your appendix removed via your mouth.
exactly, that is why it's so powerful, they really have generalized most of the social web with this, as long as they implement a few of the most requested features such as circle overlapping, exclusion etc it could be quite disruptive in the long run.
+Robert Campbell I was under the same impression in sending to Posterous, but someone convinced me to try and it WORKED. You can post from here to Posterous, but not photos.
A tweet is public. A tweet only visible to people you follow is not a tweet, but something else.
I liked +Mike Elgan's take on this. My question: If you were addressing a post to your mother in the G+ stream, whether she were in G+ or you were using let's say her Gmail which shows up with the email icon indicating a non-plusser (sorry for this probably overused pun), does it kind of freak you out writing a personal message in what looks like a very public stream? Obviously, a lot of trust involved as well as caution in the scope of your post.
semantics Benoit :) the main thing is that one platform, lets us communicate in such diverse ways. Heck, i havent even checked my private email for the past week.
IMHO, it isn't a good idea to post to Google+ instead of writing a blog post. Get your own domain and hosting.
I have not check my email either. In fact I have not even looked at twitter once today!
+Mike Elgan I really like this explanation of G+ as a revolutionary tool for communication. I don't agree with what you say first though. Who ever simply says what they have to say, only then to decide whom they're addressing? Every message has a purpose, which includes a target audience. Everything after that, couldn't agree more. Well put.
In that same frame of mind, I've been thinking that it might be useful if you could set certain circles to have some equivalent of an email account's unread count. A sort of flag saying: "I never want to miss a post from people in this circle."
Questiosn: How can I follow a blogger, but only get his content about Movies and not his content about Video Games, if he doesn't put me into his own movies circle. If he posts everything public, then I'd be getting some content that I don't want.

On twitter the blogger might create 2 twitter accounts to solve this problem.
So +Mike Elgan What you are also omitting is that you will

1- address it to Public (and your public/blog circle) for a blog post,
2- address it to a specific circle (and your Tweets Circle) for tweet-like,
3- address it to customer (and the "specific company circle") for business
4- a single person for personal letters.

This way you keep track of what you send in which context and can find it faster. I wonder if I can put myself in those "special" circles or simply keep them empty.
And its a HECK of alot more social than FB.
Mike as a non-techie I have two simple questions for you. How do I get my tweet feed and my Gmail to appear in my Google+. 
You might be the only person who has the patience to +Mark Bienvenu.
FB doesn't make the lists obvious or easy to use. I can remember when it (or something like it) was, but everytime they update it, it's harder to control who sees what. That's why a lot of us don't like FB very much.
+Mark Bienvenu: How do you get facebook lists to work under "Top News", the default facebook view?
I agree with you +Mike Elgan. I love it. For those of you frustrated with your stream who have commented here, I just put up a post about how to handle your stream to make it a little more feasible and manageable. I actually think the streams are very easy to use once you start using the tools G+ has given us to manage them, but you have to get out of the FB mindset to do that. My post is here...
(Not meaning to spam, just think it might help a few of us here).
thanks, help is always welcome!
+Mike Elgan I have a slight different understanding.
"f you post to "Public" it's a blog post"

Yes, but say you want to write that blog post and at the same time alert an individual or circle of your post. Then you share it to both Public and to the individual/circle.

Most of my posts I do like this. At some point Google will hopefully give us the type of search we have in Buzz. At that point all those posts that are public, will be discoverable and you will make new connections.
This is what I love about Google+. Until now I had to use different tools to write different things for separate audiences. Now I decide what I want to write and who I want to share it with. No tool constraints!

I'd add -- If you share it with a circle and Disable resharing, it's a Facebook status update.
Circles work great outgoing, not so sure about incoming (especially incoming from people you're just following and who are not following you.)
I have a suggestion for improving circles by allowing profile owners to create and publish their own flavored quarks which could be added/subscribed to circles by others. My G+ post:
Don't forget: if you share it to a circle with only yourself in it, it's a note.
You can do it with a circle empty too. I use it for the grocery list ^^
Kurt H
Mike I would say that if it is just a quick statement set to public it is also like a tweet. 
I wouldn't exactly call that revolutionary. has had that same differentiation since 2004.
Ah, and this is just the beginning. The gEngineers are tuned in and I cannot wait to see what is next. But does too many options force exclusion of the Facebook masses?
I think it depends on how they do it, Joe. There's a way they can do it where all of the options get out of your way if you don't need them. If you feel like you need to change something, though, you hit an Options menu, and if things are clearly laid out, there's no problem. The problem comes in when you design things the Facebook way and make them intentionally arcane so that people don't use them (e.g., privacy settings).
Joe, I think that would depend on how the options are exposed. Expose the few popular ones to the masses and bury the more interesting ones in menus/dropdowns that the more geeky would explore.
Mike I openly resigned active duty on fb a nber of weeks back aside from client duty, and the obligitory like my sons photos >:~} hated fb for all the stupid comments and now way to control it but woth circles here yes can find a place for my online home quite easily and feel happy, never felt this way about fb and abhoured myspace the way it was enabling Too much user control.····· just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Brian and Jim, I agree. the "options" will be key. They need to be simple for those wanting simple and detailed for those who want new cool functionality.
It looks like the "Shares" count tops out at 1000.
Yeah, because some kind of google wave is integrated as Stream. Great stuff!
Considering G+'s ability to blog right into the public stream, I've been thinking whether it's going to be worth the efforts of having your blog indexed here? What about the SEO part of your contents? Will it stay viral after the first week?
If you send it to an "Employee" circle, it's an intranet.
It would be cool if we could somehow prioritize the in-stream in a differently defined set of circles.
Like your views, taking me a while to grasp, but I think your take is spot on. G+ enables the correct level of expression, to the right audience, at the right time. Now if only we can keep Gaming crap out of the equation......
That is an excellent insight. There is a useful general model of social connection underlying Google+.
Great take here Mike. This is way too late in coming. We used to segregate our email lists 10 years ago and it worked great, great for marketers, great for subscribers. Circles is simply the same idea but applied to social. Can't believe it took so long!
But you could do this on facebook, too. On the status bar, there is a little lock. You can send it to any group you want. Facebook groups are just like google circles.
+Mike Elgan Unfortunately, a public post on G+ is not even remotely like a blog post. It's much more like a tweet since it means everyone following you (no need to follow them back) will get it on their stream. Something addressed to Your Circles is very different from a Tweet as well and is more like a wall post on FB since the relationship needs to be reciprocal.

As for why it cannot be a blog post aside from that, blogs have much richer formatting and the ability to place images/videos wherever in the flow you'd like. And MORE IMPORTANTLY, they are discoverable and can be looked up via tags, categories, and by date. Public posts here are non of those things. I suppose you could take the permalinks of each post and nicely title or describe them and try to make an index (maybe on Google Docs) so that people can find your stuff without having to scroll through pages and pages of other content hoping to find something interesting, but that's the most retarded way to "blog" I can think up. Also, I don't think g+ posts are really going to be individually indexed on search either. We need Blogger integration (or even GDocs) before we can call anything on G+ a true blog.
I thought Tweets were public by default, so it's probably better to say "If it's long it's a blog, if it's short it's a tweet" Daniel Wolf's comment also applies.

Also, G+ as a substitute for private email? Spare me. Can I arrange incoming & outgoing in folders? Can I set retention periods on my archives? Can I easily move to another provider?
I don't understand how sending to public makes it a blog post/??
Stop posting horseshit about Google+ on Google+. Unless the point of Google+ is to form a social network devoted to talking about Google+, you're doing it wrong.

If you can't find something to post on Google+ other than your latest musing on Google+, then you really need to eat a bullet.
+Matthew Baron You mad bro? I think the point of Google+ is to talk about anything and everything, which (guess what!?) includes Google+. Considering Mike Elgan is a technology and culture writer and given the very recent release of this site.. I think all his posts are pretty on-topic. Eating bullets however, as you suggested, is both asinine and obscure. Gtfo.
No. I just think that when everyone on Google+ spends all their time talking about Google+, all you have is a fancy dancy circle jerk.

There's more to life than Google+ and better uses for Google+ than just standing around and writing posts on Google+.
+Matthew Baron Your extremist views as to what is important to the world in general to discuss may have held some validity, except that your jumping on a technology and culture writer for discussing, in his posts not on yours or randomly in other non-relevant posts, about a recent technology that has social networking features (i.e. culture). Google+ is at the very core of what he discusses.. it would be like going on a blog about pets where the blogger owns a dog and saying "What's with all the freakin' dog talk." Not to mention as +eric carpenter stated you are in complete control of the content you see here, hence why Google+ is so awesome, and why everyone can't stop talking about it.
Circle Jerk: To kneel in a circle with others and pleasure oneself. Also refers to a pompous, self-congratulatory discussion where little to no progress is made.

Usage: Endless posts about how whiz-bang cool Google+ is with its shiny Circles and gee-whiz newness is inane chatter that is little more than a circle jerk
Well, I know I'd rather read Mike Elgan's stream than Matthew Baron's any day.

Nicest thing about places like this is that I have a choice.
Troll: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument

Usage: Despite his attempts at creating a valid argument, it was universally apparent that +Matthew Baron was just a troll.
Matthew Baron, what then would you suggest we discuss? Why don't you lead it off?
Suggestion that probably won't be seen, but I'll post it anyway. Get all people who shared this to come back and +1 it (unless they shared it to bash it) to get an idea of the max +1s possible
I shared this as a test - now it says 1001 shares.
+Mike Elgan ...and if you address it to an empty circle, you're talking to yourself. Just like in real life! :)
So how do I find all my friends past blogs? All their other status junk will show up in the same place.
+Michael J. Mahony "The idea of using a circle that only has the email address of another service works well. I use it for Facebook updates from G+, so it could work for any address" --> How does that work exactly? you mean you post something here and it get's posted to your facebook profile too?
The message is usually better thought out if you know who your audience is before you start speaking.
+Mark Bienvenu well it's about as revolutionary as the first iphone was (most of it's feature weren't new either, it's the way they were integrated and implemented that made it the "jesus" phone ;-) )
information stream, never more thinking about tools to communicate
For using Google+ for everything to work, though, they have to lift that 5000 contacts limit. Some of us genuinely have more than 5000 people in our address books.
this type of thinkig is really helpful.
Kurt H
IMO just because it is public does not make it a blog. I think a Tweet and a Blog can both be Public. When you tweet on twitter it is generally public unless you do a private message I think referred to as a DM?
I think you have found good use cases of G+
I think googlers will eventually fix maximum share of circle issue if they want to compete with twitter.
The OP can actually disable re-sharing by clicking top right arrow on their post...
Thanks for this quick summary - you actually made me realize that there's even more to Google+ than I'd originally thought.
Isn't that how it always was? I can't remember the last time I read a FB or Twitter status that started with "Hey everybody here comes my status update, I'm about to write it in 4 3 2 1..." or "I think I'll tweet something" or "I'm going to write a blog post now" in fact those are no-no's of writing! Similarly, a long time no-no of blogging that many ppl fall into the trap of doing is writing a blog post about how they have been too lazy to post lately. These posts are a turn off and discredit your entire page! But, it can be just as easy to do the same thing on Google+
Quite true, I never though of it that way. It does make tumblr and twitter seem less relevant and due to the convenience can replace facebook altogether.
yes, with exception of Tweet comparison -when u address it to your circle it is sort of like you post it to your twitter followers but still on twitter is public beyond ur followers. If you write about NYC lets say ..anybody can see it if they search for NYC even if they don't follow you or one can go to your profile and see what you were tweeting even if they dont follow you so with twitter you tweet to your followers that could be your circle so to speak but is still public(but that option of complete privacy of circles is a PLUS for +)....and yes I think it's Revolutionary too.
Good idea ..! I am inspired by your ideas.
I will try to apply.
Public - Tweet.
Circles - Incoming = Private Twitter List / Outgoing = Multiple @ replies (but not really)
Single Person - DM
Most importantly - you don't have to have a Google plus account to have something shared with you, so every time you send anything it has the potential to recruit more users more quickly than facebook did.
I do agree with each points of this post, except the "revolutionary" one.
The revolutionary point belongs to Google Wave because it allows all the advantages listed above + many more:

Thanks to live-typing it can turn into a chat anytime.

If you add the appropriate robot or gadget it's: a brainstorming tool, a project management software, a trip planning utility, an international discussion without needing an interpreter, a RSS reader, ...

If you use the Saved Search and tagging functionalities it's a content management platform

If you federate with other Wave servers it's an omnipotent medium for online communication, collaboration, publishing, ...
This is what was needed to revolutionize e-mail.
I used to think that google has lost out to FB & twitter in the social media arena (based on orkut's flop show) .. but now I think FB / TWITTER has unfortunately (for FB & Twitter) become a minimum viable product (MVP) for google ..
Is that correct like this? If you share to "Your Circles", it's only visible for people who follow you AND you follow them as well. And if you want to send out a business newsletter to your customers this way, this would mean you would have to follow your customers as well, which should be most unpractical for most companies...
As an alternative to My Circles, I've created a circle which contains everyone from my other circles except for "Following", which by its nature tends to be journalists / organisations - so stuff visible to them is probably semi-public. Extended circles are a bit like Facebook's "Friends of friends", which I've never really seen the point to.

As for circles being equivalent to FB lists, in one sense they are, but then again as others have pointed out, lists are frustratingly maddening to use: write your post, click the padlock, select customise, click on the drop-down list, select Specific People, type in the name of the list.

What would be a cool feature for G+ is a learning logic, so the people / circles you post to the most appear at the top of the list.
I've posted this comment on +Paul Allen 's sharing of this post but wanted to repeat it at the source.
I think there are problems with this approach. Most people aren't disciplined enough to keep their circles separate when posting, even professionals. And if you are Mike's mother the letter from your son is likely to be lost amongst all the other posts from people sharing videos and so on.
I couldn't agree more! I hope Google implements tags or hashtags soon, so that users can categorize their posts by different topics. Thereby followers or readers can easily follow posts from the same category.
While I haven't gone cold turkey - I am off much of the others - and I created some LinkLanguage for this observation of communication organization:
I post everything to Public and I have a feeling that could be the problem that nobody really responds to my Public posts. I did post a public one say does anyone see this? and I got like 6 responses.

I'd like to figure out how to increase my fellowship.
Well put! That explains it perfectly... (sharing now)
Shared this with my feed, but I'm in total agreement with you. I've also added you to my 'following' circle, because I like what you're examining. Thanks!
Completely agree - I wrote a post to answer "Why Google+" - in response to a sincere question from a friend. Check it out - - the bottom line is I love Google+ because it is flexible but yet not unwieldy (you never get that feeling of not being in control of your privacy).
The most interesting thing about your usage pattern for G+ is that it was probably not intended like that... G+ will be what we make of it, not (only) what Google intended with it!
good post ... however the problem I think here is that sharing something public-ally doesnt make it a substitute of blogging... blogs are searchable... I doubt google+ posts are or will be searchable ... Come to think of it - are twitter tweets searchable? I know fb updates/posts are not...
It says 1001 shares now, are we sure about the 1,000 limit on shares?
+Ripu Jain You would think Google (King of the search engine) would allow information in posts to be searched... Maybe they are still working on how to add search-ability and still maintain the privacy levels of the info... Maybe they could start with "public" posts first?
Let's think of swiss knife. It got so many functions and so useful. But why do almost no one use it at home or at restaurant?
I just saw this again (I saw it first time 'round too) and I noticed it was stuck on 999+1's and I thought to myself, you know, that was a good post in it's day and it most certainly deserves to hit the big 1000.

So +Mike Elgan there it is. 1000 +1's
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