Shared publicly  - 
 
I... just, wow. Yishan Wong really misses the mark on how I think about privacy, and social user design. Goodness.
Danny O'Brien originally shared:
 
I am really fascinated this post by Facebook's +Yishan Wong on why Google+ is broken, partly because it does actually characterise something I'd noted earlier about public posts, but primarily because of its meta-insight into how Facebook people see Google people, and how everything is aligning. For instance, he's posting it on Quora, which is clearly in the Facebook-o-verse. (And G+'s "preview link" is choking on the Quora link because it can't access that site, but I don't know whether that's a bug or not.)

http://www.quora.com/Yishan-Wong/How-Google+-Shows-That-Google-Still-Doesnt-Understand-Social
18
9
Sean Casey's profile photoAdina Levin's profile photoDavid Colahan's profile photoUriah Maynard's profile photo
49 comments
 
Jesus Christ. I hate to use terms like house slave, but it kind of rings true. That's a companyboy post if i ever saw one. Anyway, it smacks of apologism badly.
 
This is "too complicated"? Perhaps I've been overestimating the average human's level of intelligence all this time....
 
+Fox Magrathea Quite possibly. However, facebooks privacy features ARE complicated and unweildy. Other than a situation I HAD to lock down, I haven't had the energy to use them at all.
 
Yeah, it reeks of follow the money.
 
+Sai . Circular logic indeed. He also seems to (IMHO deliberately) miss the point that users don't HAVE to have a particularly complex Circle arrangement if they don't want to; the pre-labeled Circles that are default seem pretty straightforward.
 
+Sai . i don't trust or like companyboys of any flavor. They make too many excuses for their masters. Loyalty is one thing, but drinking the proverbial Koolaid and bragging about it is embarrassing and inane.
 
Yeah, it's a really striking example of not getting it ... Agreed with +Sym Bioid about the cultural divide. Yishan isn't at Facebook any more but clearly still has their worldview pretty deeply embedded in his thinking.

I don't think +Fox Magrathea is overestimating the intelligence of most people. compared with driving a car, doing a job, fighting with government forms, or running Windows, Google+ is pretty darned easy. Most users are reasonably intelligent; most software designers make it very hard on their users.
 
I'm particularly impressed with his whining about "privacy" and "discretion" - hello? This is FACEBOOK he's talking about, hardly a paragon of virtue in either discussion. "Knowing when it's appropriate"... I definitely get the FB roots in elite college culture here.

He's got the nub of some points in the mutuality argument, but he hasn't really thought them through.
 
I'd also like to point out that the masses that are supposedly too stupid to be interested in a network this powerful follow the thought-leaders. They were happy enough with MySpace, and they left. If the cool kids come here, people will learn to use friend grouping, just the way they learned to use social networks in the first place and the way they learned to buy and use Apple products and the way they do all sorts of stuff. And FB will quickly become a ghetto for people who haven't switched yet. FB may have these features, but they're hard to use, and they're not baked right into the user experience, so you don't HAVE to use them, yet they make the user experience significantly better.

Also, I think it's silly to act like google+ is getting the public commenting thing wrong when it's so apparent that they're attempting to leverage what is best about twitter. FB will never get that. I LIKE that public posts can be publicly commented on. Because this is not the street, and it's not a restaurant. It's a bar, where the welcomeness of your interjection out of nowhere is determined by how smart and/or entertaining your comments are. Google+ makes it easier to make friends on the internet than any other social network, and that's why it will win.
 
Great comments, everyone!

There are a couple of things about Yishan's post that I find really striking. First is definitely the attitude - he comes off as really condescending in a very "drank-the-Koolaid" kind of way. I think +x jeremy jarratt makes a good point about someone who sounds like a fanboy being immediately worthy of skepticism.

Beyond that, +Sai . nicely identified the circular logic in his argument - an feature that is hard to find and unwieldy to use will only be used by power users, and thus while other users might desire a similar feature, they won't put in the effort to do so. Way to miss the point! In fact, I count in this group. When I started with FB, I didn't set up a system of lists because I didn't know it was there (for that matter, I've had the account for a long time, so maybe it wasn't there back then) and then my network grew out of control. It's really not exciting to sit down and spend several hours making appropriate lists for my 700+ FB friends.

One of the things I really love about G+ is that this filtering system is built into the adding process so that I can set this up to begin with and not have to worry about dealing with it after the fact.

The other big thing is, like several of you, I like public posts with comments from people I don't know, In fact, Yishan's metaphor even has it wrong. I deeply treasure some of the interactions I have had when a friend and I have been having a semi-private conversation on the street and a stranger has jumped in. In fact, I have met a few good friends this way. FB was explicitly not a tool for making new friends, and that is very much a feature I desire in a social network. If I don't want random strangers to stop by, I can always make the posts to my circles only. (In fact, his point about public/extended networks postings on FB disallowing comments from strangers is actually something I dislike about FB, not something I think they got right.)

Much of what I am finding fascinating about the launch of G+ is unpacking the underlying assumptions about human behavior. I don't want G+ to turn into the "let's discuss G+ vs FB to death" channel either, but at the moment I am really interested in the politics behind the UI design on both systems and how it shapes our interactions.
 
I agree about the comments by strangers. That's actually kind of nice. With FB, i felt like i didn't want to expand my circle. This feels less like meatcruft. It's nice to have people poking their heads in. I don't mind expanding my circle so much, especially since i can label the door i push them through right at the outset.
 
Hello!

I should confirm: I left Facebook over a year ago; my Google profile did not reflect this because until the advent of G+, no one ever looked at peoples' Google profiles so it reflected my employment status from the last time I updated it, which was years ago. I have now rectified this.

Secondly, I do have a non-trivial financial interest in Facebook's success. However, since I've left, I am now free to sell [via secondary markets, etc], so I can potentially diversify away from Facebook if I think that e.g. G+ is about to crush it, and even go long on Google itself. This puts me in a very interesting position: my financial interests now depend more on accurately gauging the viability of G+ vs Facebook (if the two are in fact in conflict; see last paragraph), rather than merely shilling for Facebook. It's unlikely that I could sway a market of a million users, but if I predict it correctly I can choose where I want to put my money, including moving it entirely out of Facebook. This makes my personal interest in this a bit more complicated than just being a company shill. You will notice that, for instance, actual current Facebook employees are conspicuously silent in public forums about this issue; I am no longer an employee. I am also in touch with a large number of ex-Googlers, some of whom have worked on Google's prior attempts at social.

One of the sources of information I have access to is the fact that I was at Facebook for a long time and am therefore privy to how all of Facebook's attempts to introduce "friends lists" (i.e. Circles) to users played out. I can't sway the actions of millions of users, but I have observed them under a variety of A/B testing conditions. As with G+, the friend-lists were very popular with power users (prior to Facebook, they were a proven and key feature on LiveJournal) but outside of a tech-literate minority, either incomprehensible to regular users or simply not worth the effort to learn/use. More accurately, users aren't dumb; they are drunk - see http://blog.bumblebeelabs.com/the-5-guerrilla-user-test/ which explains it much more clearly, in that users are not so much unintelligent as they are distracted and indifferent.

It's worthwhile to note that the userbase for the G+ field test consists of self-selected individuals who especially value privacy controls and are willing to put in the time to configure and explore them. I'm no exception: I'm here to explore how well G+ works as a Facebook-killer because I want to know if I should sell my Facebook stock. But the average user has a lot more things going on in their life, and as we discovered at Facebook, they just want to share-and-forget, and their attitudes towards privacy exist in a strange tension between exhibitionism (people want comments and approval, even from strangers) and discretion (they want to avoid awkward embarrassment).

Interestingly, because I wasn't here specifically for the privacy controls (I was here for the insider information), I initially couldn't be bothered to sort all my friends (only 50, a tiny subset of my FB friends) into buckets but because I eventually realized that I needed to get the "real" G+ experience, I dutifully sorted everyone into buckets and learned how to work all the selective publishing controls. I realized that if I waited any longer to do so, I would soon have way too many connections to be able to sort them all at once. Afterwards, I found the experience of sorting all my friends mentally exhausting, especially trying to decide certain border cases. And there's always the nagging worry later about whether some key "border" person is in the wrong bucket or not.

If you'd like to experience this from the viewpoint of a regular user, try out circlehack.com, a site that uses Connect to give you a way to sort all your Facebook friends into circles, whereupon you can then use FB's own selective publishing tools to publish to a subset of them. I have ~800 friends on FB; most people have around 200-300. Do you want to sit around and make sure everyone's in the right bucket? It's not because G+ has a better UI (though it does); it's because it doesn't have users yet - if you don't do the sort right away, you'll never get around to it - the energy barrier is too high. If anyone with more than 250 friends successfully uses circlehack.com to sort their friends into friend lists, send me your email address and I will PayPal you $5.

It's tempting and fun to mock people who fuck up and say that it's their own fault that they didn't know how to work the privacy tools, as many of you have done with me here. We did that sometimes at Facebook, when there was some privacy "violation" in the news that was actually due to user error (90% of them were). But ultimately it's not helpful. People to whom privacy "violations" (gaffes) are going to happen are a biased selection of people who don't pay attention using privacy tools; they just use the defaults because they are either busy, not careful, actually dumb, or (most often) actually drunk. People who are willing to explore and use the tools don't have problems in the first place. This is why all of my G+ posts have been public - I'm not oblivious, I'm simulating the "dumb" (drunken) behavior of normal, indifferent users and how they'll perceive G+ when it's fully opened up. Do you think that, when regular users join the site and make such gaffes, your mockery will endear them to the service?

Lastly, the reason I'm saying that Google doesn't get social is that they seem to be targeting G+ as a more-private Facebook killer. In this, they have made a laughably poor clone. It looks like Facebook, but it doesn't function like it. In fact, it functions a lot like... Twitter. A lot of people understand Twitter, and Twitter provides its own unique value, but one of the things it doesn't provide is privacy. If, in fact, Google is trying to position G+ as a Twitter-killer but trying to employ misdirection to take Twitter unawares (for example, I know that the "flaws" I've pointed out were the result of deliberate product decisions), then they are strategic geniuses. (I am not the only one who has advanced this possiblity: http://venturebeat.com/2011/06/30/google-could-make-twitter-the-next-myspace/) But I don't think that's really the case.
 
Of course, if someone i'd disparaged popped their head in, i might feel a little differently.

I'm sorry, what? Where?
 
I'm actually giving +Yishan Wong +0.73 because i can dig where he's coming from with this, but his conclusions and mine still ultimately differ.
 
+Yishan Wong As a user of Facebook who uses Friends Lists on a regular basis and did, at once point, go through and sort every Friend I had into lists and then subsequently sorted Friends as I added them, I can say with confidence that Facebook never did a good job making that feature useful. It's great that, when you friend someone, it offers you the chance to sort them into a list right there. But then actually using lists? Was a cock up. Is still a cock up. Worse than before. You can see one of my recent posts here on G+ for examples of why that is and why G+ does it better. Also, if sorting 50 people into circles mentally exhausted you? You're overthinking it. This is not rocket science.

But really, facebook never, ever did well with the usability of lists. That's why only power users ever utilized it. It was far too difficult to use, so only dedicated folks bothered. The fact that LiveJournal users (who are no more or less savvy than Facebook users in general) were able to figure out Filters with ease makes the case that FB filter/lists UX just sucks.
 
Yishan, that's a great response, thank you. For what it's worth, I see the shape of a 3-way battle running on multiple fronts - Google vs Apple/Twitter vs MSFT/FB/Skype/Nokia, at the moment. But I don't think any of the answers to the privacy/confidentiality questions or "how best to model social networks of actual humans" are anywhere near complete, or even will be the determining factor as to the overall winners, also-rans, and losers.

The inclusion of Nokia is deliberate - the big front is mobile, and social is just one dimension of that.
 
I second the kudos to +Yishan Wong for responding here.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with +K Tempest Bradford (as well as many others here) that Facebook's implementation of lists is clunky and difficult to manage enough that it causes only "power users" to want to go to the trouble of using it. (Even services much older than Facebook, such as LiveJournal or tribe.net, made this function much more intuitive.) I'm sure a portion of this was because it was implemented as an afterthought instead of from the get-go; that seems to be the case of many of the upgrades and added features that have been added to Facebook. I'm sure that the more easily lists are accessed and managed in the UI the more likely it is for them to be used by a wider number of users. Were more intuitive implementations of lists and filtering tested with users and rejected in favor of the more difficult and convoluted methods that ended up in the released version? I somehow doubt it.

I also take issue with Yishan's contention that Facebook has no interest in users making their entries and data public since Facebook already has access to all of that information. This may be true in being able to provide raw analytical and marketing data, but is not necessarily the case for attracting new users or allowing present users to more easily find more friends and acquaintances on the service, increasing their usage time and thusly increasing Facebook's ad revenues.

Also I'm having trouble understanding how privacy is somehow more about who responds than who can read, that's a really a pretty alien paradigm. Most windows in houses have curtains after all....
 
+Greg Burton: I agree. I find it particularly interesting that very few people seem to be thinking about how Apple/Twitter are starting to manage many social networking aspects in a much more client-sided model in the integration of application in iOS rather than as some separate web site. I think ultimately Facebook's long-term vulnerability is that it is a website, not an operating system (that is unless/until they merge with Micro$oft)....
 
+Yishan Wong First, welcome! Thanks for the reply. In fact, replies like this are exactly the sort of interaction with strangers I am looking for in a social network. I was a power user of LJ, and I met a number of my closest friends by adding them as strangers because they said intelligent things in LJ communities, or in the comments of a mutual friend's post.

A lot of my comments do come from the bay area geek echo chamber. I'm a native of Palo Alto. I'm in my thirties, and have spent more of my life online than off. Most of my friends work in technology. I work in email anti-abuse for a marketing automation company; I am one of a handful of people who respond to the privacy@ email alias at my employer. In a sense, I'm a privacy geek.

I have tried to keep most of my comments about G+ vs. FB on the level of what I personally do and don't like, rather than what I think will necessarily be beloved by the general user. While I have used it quite a lot, I have never much liked FB; its overwhelming popularity attests to the fact that clearly, my tastes are not echoed by everyone. Unless everyone who uses FB just secretly hates it (admittedly, not entirely unlikely - see the recent article on how FB is apparently one of the ten most hated companies - http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/facebook-in-the-top-10-most-hated-companies-in-america/1833m ), what's good for me is probably not what will drive adoption to the most users.

I imagine you are right in some ways about what you have said about the general user. The general user probably doesn't think about this stuff all that much, and they may not want to. I like that Circles essentially forces people to think about this stuff. Good user design is not 100% reactive, it should be mostly reactive and slightly proscriptive. Forcing someone to think about privacy spheres is a good thing. (Now, that said - I'm not coming at this with a financial incentive at all. I realize this will turn off some potential users. Personally, I'm ok with this. Should Google be? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on their goal.)

It's interesting that you see this as a Twitter predator rather than an attempt to hurt FB. One of the things I like here is that there is no character limit for posts, and no differentiation between a short post and a long one. Replies are in relation to the specific comment, and become more a round discussion than the ones I usually see in FB. Only things specified to be public are public. While G+ doesn't have games, events, or groups yet, it is still a more satisfying experience for my social needs than FB. I use Twitter for witty one-liners, not at all my experience with G+ so far.

What happens going forward remains to be seen. No one wants to be the next MySpace, and if I had your stock, I would hang onto it for a while. I don't think G+ is likely to kill FB any time soon, but for my needs, I do think it is a superior system.
 
Google+ is shaping up to be a LiveJournal expatriate paradise.
 
It may be a lost Tribe paradise, as well.....
 
His logic goes like: Because we haven't been able to pull it off, so it isn't social and since Google isn't duplicating everything that we're done, they dont' get social.
 
Here we go, I'm not a thought leader or technologist, but the cool thing about G+ at the moment is the quality and smartness of the conversations AND due to, I suspect the limited population, the ability to find them. +Robert Scoble and many others talk about noise, without rethinking some of the basic paradigms. We've been trained to reciprocate - to build momentum/buzz/interest. (You only have 400 FB friends?!!)

Facebook, Twitter etc, have lured us into the mindset that more is good. Does that translate readily into a real world experience? I know that I would have a lot less than 50 people who I was genuinely interested in personally. But as well there are a lot more than 50 people who have valuable insight and knowledge that I can learn from just by listening in to what they have to say. Some of them even make a living sharing their thoughts publicly.

In my mind G+ is a little counter intuitive. Over here less is more. Make your default posts public, unless you want to share a secret, or share information that you know only a limited number of people are going to be interested in. Don't be stressed about reciprocating. It doesn't matter who adds you to their circles, as long as you remember that they will see all of your public posts. If you are a thought leader, celebrity or professional content producer, then you might have some thinking to do about "oversharing".

One of the problems we seem to have at the moment is that much of the current G+ experience is like a huge forum on how G+ could or should work. There's too much smart and not enough social around here...I suspect that what might work for the current G+ population might not transfer readily to the man in the street. Less is more....
 
Well said Autumn, Fox, Tempest, Udnaan, and Greg ...

While I agree with Yishan about +'s competitive threat to Twitter, it's also a huge challenge to Facebook. Even if people don't abandon Facebook completely, and a lot of people find Google+ too challenging or uninteresting to use, suppose 20-30% of Facebook's most valuable demographic starts spending a lot more time on Google instead? As +Vic Gundotra points out, Google has a lot more assets, and with employee bonuses tied to their success in social they're going to be mighty focused. Of course they still have to execute, and Facebook may be able to counter.. But it's very easy to imagine a situation with headlines "Facebook slide deepens", and their $70B valuation becomes increasingly difficult to sustain. We shall see.
 
+Yishan Wong The very fact that you're making your post "public" means you are okay with:
- anyone on G+ reading and resharing it.
- anyone on G+ commenting on it.
- the post going viral.

If you're not okay with any one of the above, please don't share it with "public" circle. If you do, please don't complain. Having worked for FB alone is not a qualification to "get" social.

--
Let me respond specifically to your Quora points:
"On Google+, people whom you have not friended can comment on your public posts."
- When you choose public circle, you understand (and in fact welcome) external participation. If not, you would remove public circle. Think of yourself like a journalist or a public blogger who publishes an article on the web. She cannot distinguish between her friends and a stranger commenting on her article when she chooses to make the article public.


"On Google+, strangers consider it perfectly normal to insert themselves into a conversation between you and your friends any time you make a public post."
- Why do you think strangers go out of their way to insert themselves between you and your friends? It is "you" who is inviting anyone to comment by making your post public. Maybe blaming strangers is not correct.
 
We humans are social animals. While we search out collecting our mates, we are also selecting/de-selecting others. I started using FB and kept my friend list very short. I did not know about lists until a few months ago. Once I knew this, and started categorizing people; and soon, I noticed I added more "friends." G+ was set up this way from the beginning (well, at our entrance into it). In the matter of a few days, I have 81 "friends" on G+ compared to a few years of collecting 163 on FB, yet only two of my FB friends who have made it into this G+ pre-beta test. I have 9 circles compared to 5 lists on FB. The circles, as Yishan Wong noted, is part of a better G+ UI experience, which makes it easier to work out the "thinking" and learning we must do here.
And I will say one more thing; Yishan, I hope you don't think we have all "moved away from you on the Group W bench" (Alice's Restaurant, jail scene) but most will move back once they see that you were here "to disturb the peace" because you, too, are looking for a 'home.'
 
Another key factor +Yishan Wong failed to mention is, that while he is able to sell his shares in Facebook and walk away, no one is willing to buy them for the price Facebook and it's stockholders claim that Facebook is worth.
 
I don't think, that +Yishan Wong groks, what Google+ is about, or what politeness and appropriate behavior is. One sure sign is, that he is abusing Quora as a blogging service, a platform clearly stated as a service to pose questions and discuss the answers seriously. I consider this quite inappropriate and even a little impolite :)

But that's superfluous, probably. Polite behavior is so rare these days, anyway. On a more serious level, a good indicator, that he fails to grok granular privacy:
# if I post something to the public, its is a public discussion anyone can join in
# if I don't want to discuss something with people I don't know, I don't make the post public

btw: even in a real life situation it is not necessarily impolite to join a conversation of people, that I did not know. When I travelling by train, for example, or at cocktail parties, I quite often witnessed discussions about public topics (not intimate ones), where others (sometimes myself) joined the discussion - after asking, if its OK to do so, of course.

On the other hand: in these and other situations I witnessed discussions about quite intimate topics, which would have better been kept private. Discussing something in public can be grossly inappropriate in some cases, too. It is not always the listener or the one joining in, who shows bad manners.
 
Am I understanding this wrong? If you just add everyone you want to "friend" in he "friends"circle, don't you end up with essentially FaceBook? IF, that's what you want? And if you want finer grain control you can move certain friends, over time, to specific circles for future communications, as is necessary/desired? Who says breaking it all down on the initial use is a requirement?

Public posts are like being behind a microphone at a public hall meeting asking anybody for comments, if you want it to behave like FaceBook, simply add everyone to your "Friends" circle and Post stuff ONLY to that circle... of course if you want to have finer grain controls that exists too...
 
+Autumn Tyr-Salvia I think that the reason most "normal" people don't think about privacy (or other tangents of this thread) is because this medium (the Internet) is too new. Even my undergrads at the University of Washington have not, as a general rule, thought much about privacy. +danah boyd has research that suggests that too many "net natives" believe that they have locked down Facebook (ie, they think about privacy) but when they investigate their settings they discover that their view of their settings and their actuality differ significantly. Facebook is easy to "use" (post a status update) but very very hard to customize (whether we are talking about lists and segmenting people into limited profiles or moving away from FB's default privacy settings -- which, contrary to +Yishan Wong's assertion, default to "open." (hmm. + isn't working for me with his name)
 
+Kathy Gill: Yeah, this is why I find +Yishan Wong's (and from all appearances, Facebook's) Normal-People-Don't-Want-To-Think-About-Privacy-So-We-Won't-Make-Them attitude so distressing.
 
Most people don't know how to fix a lawnmower. Privacy is harder. It needs to be made default sensible, and beyond that the user experience needs to be comprehensible. Models that mimic the real world should be used.
 
I'd consider my self pretty normal, well I know a lot of normal people. These normal folk understand privacy, they just don't know how to really achieve it. They're driven by what they see in the media, which in Australia is nightmare stories of identity theft and good old fashioned grifting (using new technology). Facebook, presents to the typical user as a place to share with your "friends" - quotation marks intended. Facebook implies privacy. The average user, takes this implied privacy at face value - they don't read the manual, they just talk to their ever increasing number of "friends".

Here, we're starting from scratch, we've all seen numerous social networks in operation and how they approach the connections between people. For mine, privacy issues (percieved or otherwise) might be one of the big issues that move people from Facebook to G+. But if we can't agree on how privacy should work here, what chance do the normal people have. The best approach is to somehow translate our social customs onto the net. We're trained as humans from an early age to understand these customs and rules and the most easily understood online experience would be one that mirrors our human training. If we have learned anything from our online experience to date it should be that we shouldn't have to learn what the rules are - because most people won't, they will just follow their instincts.

Here's my G+ rules for normal people


1. G+ is not Facebook for nerds (ok it is now, but just wait a while...)
2. G+ is like just like every social networking tool you have ever used - but different.
3. Less is more - accumulating 900 people in your circles might not work for you in G+. Hasten slowly
4. Do not feel the need to reciprocate.
5. Get comfortable with making your default posts public - hey you walk down the street every day - we see what you wear. Lot's of people can listen in to your conversations - treat G+ like the real world.
6. Create circles and add people to them only if you want to share a secret, or you know you want to "talk shop" around a shared interest.
7. Use the "Following" circle for people who you don't know personally, but are interested in what they think/have to say - and you can't find a place for them using rule 6. You'll soon work out if they are interesting or not.
8. Just like real life, secrets are only as reliable as those you share them with. if you post a secret online be aware of the consequences....
 
From +Yishan Wong's Quora post:

"On Google+, people whom you have not friended can comment on your public posts . . . On Google+, the display of the reply mirrors the UI of Facebook rather than Twitter, essentially injecting a stranger's reply into a conversation thread nominally between you and your friend"

While I agree with everything +Yishan Wong has to say about circumspection, discretion, and cliques in his post, I don't think the appropriate conclusion is that Google doesn't "get" social. I believe they are in fact targeting both Twitter and Facebook with this platform. I would not be able to share my viewpoint with +Yishan Wong (and any other interested parties on this thread) if this were not the case. I could never participate in a conversation like this with my friends on FB.
 
Posting on Google+ is like posting on a blog that exists inside of a social network instead of just out there in the world. Like LiveJournal or Tumblr. Just with more Facebook-like tools for interacting.
 
He says, "It does, but the sorting of friends into buckets (friend lists) is something that only nerds do. (If this is the first time you've heard of this feature, here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/help/?f...) When you have a feature that only power users like, you don't put it front-and-center."


I'd like to remind him, that is our word. He doesn't get to use that.
 
Was reading the discussion about what "normal" people would think about Google and Facebook and privacy and circles this evening and my mom called. She sells houses in the Phila area, and she asked me for a Google+ invitation, because her real estate colleagues were discussing it. When I asked her about why she'd be interested in g+ compared to facebook, she talked about being concerned about what she shared with whom - she doesn't want to talk about politics with her potential customers. She has no idea who Robert Scoble is and has never heard of TechCrunch. She is not in the tech world at all, the Facebook sharing dilemma is part of her life, and she's looking forward to G+ to help solve it.
 
@Adina -Sounds like universal appeal to me.

The Facebook War Room must be really something right now.
 
w00t! Quora fight!!!!!

and great anecdote Adina!
 
some people are wrong about thinking people not knowing how to achieve proper privacy even though it can be achieved. Its this that people dont want to spend loads of time to get this sorted..ultiamtley which leads to them getting angry so u need a good fun ui nd simple ....Social Networking should be cool not serious nd fun..Yioung adults nd teenagers should love it
 
Good stuff. Probably the most in depth comment thread on all of G+ thus far (that I have seen at least).

I wanted to respond to Yishan on Quora, but he's closed his comments off (which sucks). So I added some comments to this counter-post instead: http://www.quora.com/Arik-Beremzon/Why-I-disagree-with-Yishan-Wong-and-whats-really-wrong-with-Google+

Looks like you guys have it pretty well covered here. :) I just don't get the bluster to be honest. And the fact that he can't seem to get his point across in less than 1,000 word essays... as Einstein once said: "If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
 
+Alex Schleber +Yishan Wong just wanted to be the first G+ troll and do it in a big way, by slinging around ignorance and ridiculous comments...
 
@alex there is an interesting contrast between the college socializing model that Facebook was designed for and the experiences of grownups. I wrote up the call with my mom last night (that I talked about here as it happened) in a blog post, and that is sparking some interesting discussion about the social software needs of adults, perhaps especially women, who play a variety of roles in their communities. http://www.alevin.com/?p=2609&cpage=1#comment-6392
 
+Adina Levin good point. Yes, G+ feels somewhat more grown-up/professional overall. I'd like for it to own the Interest Graph discussions (and yes, that includes initial strangers) in ways that Facebook won't be able to match, precisely because of its mutual friending model.
 
Oh, so in this way, Google+ is like 'global forums' (boards/BBS). People from all around the globe post a topic, and people from all around the globe reply to the topics. Or so it seems.
Add a comment...