Web: Why Google+?

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Note: This is a first person editorial.

Let's be clear. I love Twitter. I don't think it's threatened by Google+. While I can't promise the same for Facebook, many things need to occur before G+ kicks anyone off the block. With a gorgeous photo display interface, simplified networking "circles," robust "about" section, and a live video chat feature, they are definitely aiming for several company's throats (*ahem* Flickr, Skype, Facebook, Facetime *clears throat*)

I found an article by Chris Brogan that summed up the shortcomings and A pluses for G+. Here I've highlighted a few of his and placed them into categories for you.

THINGS THAT ARE AWESOME

As noted in the first paragraph, Google+ has much to offer, and updates are being made daily based on user input. Here are some things that make it amazing.

4. With Circles (how one groups people), you control privacy in a way that makes clear and obvious sense.

5. Your “about” section is rich, robust, allows links, photos, QR codes, and more. Marketers rejoice.

10. The live video chat feature is a powerful addition to collaboration and workshifting scenarios.

18. If Google integrates Calendar into + and makes it like Tungle, then social calendaring gets pretty interesting.

48. Small Businesses would benefit from an integration of Places, Pages, and Google Plus. That whole social customer service movement? Pow. Done. Easy.

THINGS THAT SCARE ME

I love lots of things that I'm afraid of. Here's why Google+ scares me. I remember watching a TED video, a year or so ago, where Google said it wants to be involved in people's every move — phone calls, emails, chats, locations, etc. This next set of mentions illustrate why:

12. With G+ seeing our comment streams, their ability to better plot social graphs and integrate AdSense and maybe even Google Affiliate opportunities is huge. (Yes, FB does this, but Google thrives on Adsense.)

31. If you enable location on your mobile device, G+ creates circles by “nearby,” thus allowing for instant location-centric social networks.

40. There are no private message functions built in, but that’s because there’s a “send an email” on everyone’s profile page. This is still clunky. This belies the motivations of Google (let us see it all) versus Facebook/Twitter (you just keep feeling like you’re private, if that helps you!).

50. The notion of “trending topics” would be exponentially more valuable inside of Google+, depending on how the algorithyms reflected this.

THINGS THEY NEED TO FIX

I prefer lots of user control with every piece of technology and software that I use. While Google often lets users "personalize" spaces, they don't really allow much control. Things are definitely on Google's terms and it's no different with Google+.

41. The Spark area isn’t that compelling yet, but add user-created materials, plus let us curate that area differently, and we’ll eat out of your hands.

42. If I were Google, I’d buy Alltop and replace Spark with that.

44. There is talk about how some of us are using hashtags inside Google+, even though they don’t function that way. What we’re saying is, “Please let us have tools to create our own folksonomy,” and when Google listens to that, they will see even more interesting social graphs.

[Source: Chris Brogan]

[Originally posted at Granola and Rhinestones]

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