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G+: damming the stream: Networks & Frontiers

(yet another post on improving the G+ new user experience... this one with an international slant)

examples of legitimate concerns:
- +Jaana Nyström: would like finns to find more finns through the SUL
- +Youssef Hachhouch wonders how G+ will "cater to each possible community in a tailored way"
- +M Sinclair Stevens suggests that G+ provides better guidance "built into the sign up experience"

what do i think?
-from all my experience in interfaces & design, i see no way to do that without creating "frontiers" - which is so much not what the internet is like & what google (at its best) would like to be.

i see two extremes:
1. example: myself: a (k)no(w)mad, a flaneur, a w(o)(a)nderer, someone with very specific tastes who likes to take a wide view of what is out there, from his mountain peak & then zoom in / focus on what tickles. i want to see chinese posts even if i don't read chinese. games without frontiers...
2. example: the britney spears fan that joins G+ only to see britney's posts...

in between those two extremes you have most people. depending on which end of the spectrum they are, they will use, more or less, metrics, ratings, gurus, curators & chance in their reading experience. how do you help them as google? you don't - the network itself will

what do YOU think?

M Sinclair Stevens's profile photonomad dimitri's profile photoYoussef Hachhouch's profile photoDiana Studer's profile photo
I agree with you that a certain amount of planning and a certain amount of serendipity has worked well. But this takes time. I do think that the experience needs to be structured in ways that help intermittent users find communities of interest. Although, again I think we are in agreement that subdividing into what one poster called "tribes" would be a bad idea.
What if you could choose the languages with which you can see the posts in your stream?
My public posting in Finnish would not bother people then. It seems to bug some now.
+Gaythia Weis you travel to a country for the first time: you can go prepared or you can just arrive at the airport. you can buy guidebooks, consult blogs, buy a package tour or you can get in a cab, ask them to drop you off downtown, sit in a coffee shop, strike a conversation & take it from there.
- the government's tourist office official website will guide you one way
- the lonely planet guidebooks another
- the mysterious stranger in the coffee shop another
- the person next to you in the flight yet another
- ad infinitum

why should there be a definitive way to do this?
doesn't the way we explore life define us as human beings?
Offer choices. Opt-in or Opt-out. Like I am now capable of selecting the languages of my browser and search results or define what localized content I want to see or not. For newcomers in the sign up experience: with 'choose now' or 'skip this step'. If some are not capable of easily and intuitively finding tailored content that has appeal to them, they'll opt-out on the product altogether. If Google keeps forcing them to work hard for it, forcing them to curate and tweak and manage things for themselves, they'll run away. If Google force feeds them content without appeal to them, they'll run away.

I like to configure my experiences, optimize them for better results. But there is already so much I have to configure in life that I'm overwhelmed. From my phone over my tablet/laptop/desktop/consoles/camera/tv... to even my fridge.
I could use a digital assistant that sets up my configuration preferences in everything I use. It would set up the best solution for my G+ experience if Google allowed that. But there would be vast amounts of companies interested in catching that info from my assistant to know my consumer profile...
+Jaana Nyström: but I, on the other hand, LOVE your finnish posts, the extremely long sing-song words, the consonants mixing in unexpected ways, my fantasy / clueless translations of what it is you are talking about. another case in point: click on the +1s on this very post: you will see a name in arabic : +مشبب المطيري. i have no idea how to read his name, but i am delighted for this +1 particularly. the world somehow, momentarily, seems friendlier
+nomad dimitri True and I'm not complaining at all. It seems people on the other side of the duck pond are, however... :-)
+Youssef Hachhouch : i always found this line incredibly interesting: "Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show". if you are trained that way, no matter what tweaks the software gives you, you will just take the path of least resistance (AOL). but if you are a searcher, no matter how sick & tired you are of endlessly tweaking, you have no choice but to keep searching (& to keep tweaking). i am not worried about anyone running away: in my view, slower acceptance of G+ is actually all around net positive
I prefer to be an armchair traveller. Someone out there is seeking the Lonely Planet guide to G+. +Jaana Nyström I've only tripped over one G+ser who 'doesn't read posts in funny' languages. I use the translate app for G Chrome when I need it.
Are you here to follow celebrities or are you here to find community? Are you here to keep up with people you know or to discover new people? Do you want to constrain your world view or expand it? Do you want to broadcast your ideas or have intimate conversations? Do you take pleasure in tweaking and customizing your experience or do you just want it to work out of the box?

All answers are valid. 十人十色

I've interacted with 3 out of the 5 people in this thread. How do I find more people like the people who are here? How did you find me +nomad dimitri ? I remember the moment I met you. You read between the lines of something I wrote and your resulting questions brought something more clearly into focus for me. I love serendipity, too, but that seems very hit-or-miss.

I don't want to dam the stream. I like to dip my hand in it as it rushes by, never twice the same river. But I also want to wander on the land to known places. I don't really understand what you mean by the term "frontiers" in this context. Do you mean settlements? borders? I think we need walled gardens and wilderness, settlements and frontiers and the uncharted territories beyond.
+M Sinclair Stevens [i was using "frontiers" a la peter gabriel ("Games without frontiers") but, yes, i meant mostly borders. nomads are allergic passports & borders & nation-states, so this post for me is much more emotional / impressionistic than objective / policy-oriented]
you will seldom find me disagreeing with plurality so i applaud any call for "walled gardens and wilderness, settlements and frontiers and the uncharted territories beyond."
[i am glad to see you quoting Heraclitus & have to add that i think he also meant that not only the river is not the same but also the one who crosses]
[for me, the medium is already breaking down; each thought here is many posts, many pages, many directions, so many directions...]
so i will pick one of the several points: your question: "How did you find me?"
(some background first)
- this is the only social network i have ever joined
- i have never owned a TV & dread the very idea
- i have no friends on any social network
- friends that hear that i am spending time one consider it an eccentricity at best & cannot reconcile it with "me"
- i place very little probability that i will ever be interested in anything truly popular (TV, bestsellers, "What's hot?" in any form or format, mass magazines, mass newspapers; there are exceptions with some really well-made films, once in a while)
- yet: i find Wikipedia to be a miracle & it is crowd-sourced. it is not just that i find it useful - it also touches me

How did i find you? ("Journey of a Follower")
when i first joined, i was immediately horrified by the stream, so i quickly found the curating sites. one of them had a list of the "top 10 people" or something like that. i was horrified by the other 9, by their posts, by the fawning comments, by the pandering. but i immediately knew that i would enjoy reading you & interacting with you. i also immediately knew that i would start by following your recommendations on how to act on G+. i said to myself "M is my Miss Manners." (of course, i follow nothing religiously but you are the reference).
i was horrified when you thought of quitting & immediately tried to shore your courage up. i said to myself "if he goes, i go" (but i also knew you wouldn't).
i wanted also to contribute to you & early on i decided that the way to do that is to attempt to make you more comfortable in posting more personally. so i was particularly delighted when you started doing that.
(i have inspired / guided others all my life - but i much prefer to find others to inspire / guide me. but i also know how complex all that is & how the mentor is also shaped by those he mentors &, how, at some point, this paradigm ends up breaking down. this is also what i am interested in.)
so, there was serendipity, there was active searching, the curators played a role, there was intuition, but, perhaps most importantly, there was intentionality! if you don't seek, you don't find. i notice plenty of seeking in your posts, which is why i am following, and interacting

what is on my mind now? i think we should curate something together here. i don't know what. maybe the flaneur path will guide us into coming up with something. it is not natural for me to work with someone on equal terms so it is especially interesting. the thing that makes me feel like it is a good idea is that we would not be black vs white, which is so tedious in all these oscar & felix types of curations. we are not opposites, yet there is tension.

now what kind of "comment" is this! ;)
Make a The social nomad(s) page and I'll follow it with pleasure ;)
(an interesting conversation for me as M has blocked me, so I can only see +nomad dimitri's quotes) I first found M as one of those I circled as the 'nym wars unfolded.
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