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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Google-

I'm still not a big fan of Google+.  When I need to engage, I need to engage in as many places as possible.  G+ makes that extremely difficult for me.  I have to take extra steps to engage there.  Sure, I could hook up a set of tools and write all of my posts in G+, but then I'd need to switch away to access the other social networks where I have existing engagements to keep up with them.  I can't access them through G+.

Instead of making it easy for me to remain engaged with my already established social communities, they've decided that they want to own them.  But they, like me, aren't leaving the services that their own constituencies have already adopted.  Basically, it's like changing your phone number because you just changed phone companies.  Google Dudes/Dudettes ... how 20th century of you.

The other challenge I have with G+ is that because each plusser gets one and only one channel that I can see, I don't get to pick and choose which channel I want.  It's like being forced to watch Fox news because I also like to watch Bones.  That's a pretty steep price to pay.

On Twitter I have two channels.  One is very personal.  About 10 people see it.  The other is where I engage in my own advocacy for Health IT and change in the Healthcare system.  Some of my friends subscribe to both channels, and have chosen to.  But with Google Plus, I don't have the option of letting my readers pick which "Keith" channels they want to listen to.

I made a similar switch on Facebook not long ago.  Originally, I was on Facebook to connect with online friends and family from time to time.  Soon, my standards colleagues from around the world found me there.  I let one in, then another, then another ... and so on until I couldn't find the content that was the reason I was there in the first place.  So I "unfollowed" anyone not in my circle of friends, and created a new Facebook account for that other persona.  I then requested friendship with all the people I just "defriended" from the new account.  Having made that separation, I expanded my twitter tweets into that other Facebook space.

When I want to share something on G+, I feel like I'm back in high school.  It's not circles, but cliques.  I have reading cliques, and writing cliques.  What I read comes from one, what I write goes to another.  Something that is posted on G+ is stuck there.  Like Wes, I know the feedback I make is limited to the group that it is shared with, and sometimes I want to broaden the discussion.  I can reshare, but that's another click, and doesn't let those not on G+ get access to the discussion.

I'm glad that G+ released their API, and disappointed that it's still read-only.  I can only hope that Tweetdeck won't be too far behind with an update to support it even if it is just read-only right now.  At least then I can get back to one tool for monitoring all my social networks, instead of simply ignoring G+ most of the time.

My last complaint about G+ is being able to find good content.  It seems that people haven't yet figured out cliques well enough to enable meaningful sharing, and for some reason, G+ is unable to let me set good search Filters.  That just doesn't make any sense at all.  I like Twitter, I can see what I'm subscribing to before I subscribe.  For some folks, I'm willing to deal with a noisy channel because the occasional gold-nuggets are truly valuable.  For others, I'd rather not listen.  I want the ability to share widely and listen cautiously.  G+ just doesn't give me what I want.

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