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Why would I want to join another social network?
Yes, another G+ post. Sorry.
Facebook is changing, everyone's going crazy with complaints, and so I broke my "no more evangelizing for G+" rule and suggested people come over here for awhile. In response, a friend asked if I really like this site, so I guess I've been doing a pretty good job of not talking it up lately! :D

Obviously, I do. I really, really do. But I'm not doing the whole "diet" thing anymore where I will only use Google+. When I first started here, I was so excited about having everything in one place, being able to condense everything to one site and talk to everyone while still maintaining privacy. But then no one else came! And eventually I realized that I don't really want everyone to completely switch to Google+. Having these other sites makes for great quality control.

Not everyone wants to read blog posts on G+. They don't like that it's so much harder to track posts and that they can't follow someone in reader. For writers it limits the audience, and for readers it's not always worth the effort to follow someone. And with so many blogging sites tailored to certain types of content and equipped with lots of extras to give you pretty much anything you want, it'd really be a shame to focus only on G+ and miss out on all that.

On Facebook, I pretty much accept anyone I know who adds me first. I don't really value my friends list there, I don't bother to read my friend feed most of the time, and I don't post anything I consider private. On blogs and forums, I can easily meet more people with similar interests and have topical conversations, not limiting things to people I know.

I've come to think of G+ as a sharing site rather than a friend/social site, so I don't add people I don't want to read. When people circle me, even if they're friends, I don't feel pressured to circle them back. It's nothing personal, it's just that our sharing interests don't seem to overlap for whatever reason. Maybe I'm not that interested in the content they share and would rather just not have it in my feed. Maybe I don't share anything in my circles (as opposed to public stuff) that I think would be of interest to them. After I got over my initial delusions that everyone would come over here and I could do all my socializing here, I started to see that that really wouldn't even be a good idea.

This isn't Facebook where the statuses are Twitter-style nonsense that no one cares to read, I actually want to see everything in my stream. Cluttering it doesn't make sense. And as for personal social communication with friends I don't normally share with, that doesn't have to happen here either. It's much easier to send an email or a Facebook message, and then I don't have to worry that they won't notice it in their own stream.

So, if anyone actually takes my advice and comes over here, welcome! Enjoy. But go slow and don't totally jump ship from other sites, and don't try to treat this like Facebook 2.0. It's different, and it will work best if you can separate the two.
Stephanie Wibby (Zeph)'s profile photoAnsel Robateau's profile photo
Thank you for sharing. This was a very well written and thoughtful post and I didn't realize that I agreed with you until Google opened up the sit to everyone. That is when I realized that I don't want everyone on Google+. I think of Google+ as a place to share ideas and things of value. I would hate to see it turn into facebook noise.
Kevin - I've seen lots of people suggest similar solutions, but I think I like yours the best. It definitely has the potential to work, and it will be interesting to see if Google actually implements something like that. It would probably make a big difference in bringing people here, especially if they also worked in an easy way to follow a G+ user on an RSS feed. And even more if they allow OpenID comments so people who aren't sure about joining can try following people and building a community first.

Think I'm asking for too much?
Ansel - Thank you! That was what made me fully realize it too. I've thought about some of this before, but when some of the tech writers I follow started talking about how G+ was going to change now, I was absolutely certain I did not like the changes. It's very important to me to keep G+ the way it is now (at least in the way I use it, one of the things I love about circles is that everyone can do it their own way), and my solution for that is to keep my circles focused only on content that I find valuable and that adds to my experience here, like you said.
+Kevin Peuhkurinen , I like your idea as well. Your proposal solves two problems. It allows you to focus your stream on topics and it keeps those categorized posts public.

I imagine a channel cloud from your circles (or currently selected circle) on the right of the page above the "go mobile" section.
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