Like a hole in the head

G+ iconI refer, of course, to Google+. It's another social network. Why am I even bringing this up? I already have this blog, my Twitter feed, a LiveJournal, my mage blog, I sort of keep up updating GoodReads, have a Facebook account, and I read oodles of things via RSS. I'm full up on crazy, shop it somewhere else, because I need more of that like a hole in the head.

Right?

Well…

Google+ is actually a bit different and it's different enough that even at this early stage I've decided to dump LiveJournal altogether, I'm prepared to not log on to Facebook again. If I can somehow link my Twitter feed with Google+ then I'd have everything all in one, practically.

What's so hot about G+?

Asymmetry

The core of Google+ is circles. When you meet someone, you put them in one of your circles, like "Friends" or "Family" or "Assholes." Then, when you post something, you decide which circle(s) to share that post to. In this way, you can tell everyone about how you got that red raccoon look by slipping on the ice and getting chili pepper in your eyes. But, when it comes time to totally bitch about that thing, you know?, you can share that only with people who Need to Know, namely, the people in your "Bitch Buddies" circle.

You get the idea.

One of the problems with Facebook is that it's symmetrical. Whatever you post on Facebook is transmitted to everyone.

Also!

You don't have to follow someone who's following you. How many times has this happened to you on Facebook?
"Some Unknown Freak" wants to be your friend. Approve?

Who? I used to approve everyone because who cares? Facebook just mirrors what I put on Twitter anyway. But then I friended a spam bot and that was unpleasant—for everyone in my Facebook stream. With Google+, you don't see other people posting to my stream. You only see what I post. If you're in a circle with someone, and they comment on a post, of course you can see that comment. The whole idea of a circle is so we can all talk comfortably amongst each other without non-circle people automatically listening in. I think that helps all of us.

Speaking of posts

They're editable. That right there is double plus good.

They're long—as long as you want.

The design

Elegant. That's the first thing that came to my mind when I started using it. Things were at the first place I looked. That's kind of a powerful thing right there. If I want to change which circle someone is in, or add them to a new circle, or make a brand new circle with two people, it's all clear where to go and what to do. Likewise, if I want to share a post with one circle, or five, or two circles plus these three individuals, or the entirety of the internet, it's plain where to go and what to do.

This guy says:
From my comparison, G+ feels light, easy to read, and spacious, while Facebook feels cluttered, squished, and crowded.

Yup.

Making Extant Irrelevant

I found out, only upon reading about comparisons between Google+ and Facebook, that Facebook offers "lists" of people. If you want to post to just "Family," for example, then you can do that. I did not know you could do that. But I have no idea where to go to start doing it. No one talks about using it. I wager most folks don't know it's there or, if they do, can't tell you without looking where to go to set it up.

If a function is designed in the woods and no one uses it…then, no, it doesn't exist.

But it's the core of Google+. It's impossible to miss, it's the central function of the service, one might say. It doesn't matter if Google+ duplicates features of another service, the fact that it makes it easy to use—and without clutter—is what makes it better.

Google+ is not the only social thingamajigger on the internets. Far from it.

But it's better.