DISCLAIMER: You have all spoken, and I have seen the error of my ways. Full story here.

Original post follows:


My initial Google+ experience has been lukewarm at best. For those of you who don’t know, Google Plus (AKA Google+/G+) is Google’s hell’s-heart-originating stab at the social networking arena. They cut wide and deep, but I think it’s still too early to judge whether the things about it that annoy me will become its downfall, or whether G+ just has some kinks to iron out.

Today’s comic is hyperbolic and absurd, but it correctly portrays some of the questions I’ve had while using G+. (Seriously, plus one what?!)  If anything below seems factually wrong (it probably is) or is so easy that even a bearded monkey could do it (they have one up on me… oh, I think I get the +1 now), Full disclosure: I just haven’t spent that much time in it. It’s another tab to look after, it’s another icon with numbers floating above it indicating how many notifications I need to attend to. [Edit: Though as Roy pointed out in the comments, it is a very spiffy notification menu!] The rest is laziness. Everything G+ is trying to do, Facebook has already honed to an art form, and I am a luddite, unable to accept this new feed of information into my brain.

I find myself maintaining Google+ more than participating in it. I constantly need to trim my stream and hide posts I’ve made snarky comments on, because at the moment I can’t keep track of everything going on and the notifications just pile up. Twitter is one thing, but the 140 character limit with no embedded images keeps it manageable.

Also, because I’m a neat freak on G+ only, I spend my time arranging my contacts into circles that would make Bertrand Russell weep and Mark Summers proud. (In reality, you can place people in multiple circles, and that pretty much dashed my dreams of contracting an obsessive compulsive disorder from a website.) The ability to categorize your friends in such detail—along with G+’s group video conferencing—are what sets the service apart from Facebook. But other than that, it’s more like “FB lite.”

On the issue of the random adds: This seriously threw me off for a while! I thought they were you. Maybe they are, but there seems to be an awful lot of you. Too much perhaps. What gives? No presents? No words of praise? Identify yourselves! Then I realized that this is like twitter, where you can just peruse a contact’s follow lists to see if they’re following anybody cool, and then add them to your own.

If the thought of random people following you in an intimate FB setting worries you, you have to remember that you can choose what circles to share in. I still want presents though. Lolcats will do.

I guess my only real gripe about Google+ is that, while it contains the features of both Facebook or Twitter, it’s not as good as either of them. I’d still rather use two social media services rather than combine them into one Google platform. Am I missing something? Maybe I just need more time with it [Edit: Yes. Thank you all for the criticisms and gentle guiding hands].

Those of you out there who are really enjoying G+, I beseech thee, show me the way. I’ll be waiting over here, wondering what ever am I going to do with John Asshat.

This post was brought to you by Uranium (U).