So, it’s been a while since I wrote a last blog post. I had recently been writing about the ideal social network. Google Plus fits a lot of what I’ve been looking for, although it still needs some improvements to bet the best social network ever. Right now, it is a closed beta, so you will need an invite to get in. But don’t worry, those who get in get plenty of invites to share with their friends. If you have a few “techy” friends, chances are, they probably could send you a Google Plus invite.
Connecting with Others
Google has created the ideal “friend request” system. It’s sort of like the privacy of Facebook merged with the “following” of Twitter. Instead of having to request to be friends, users can choose to follow/receive posts from whomever they want, and a user can choose to share posts with whomever they want. Circles make this happen, which is Google’s form of lists. They are a very core part of the social network. When adding someone to the stream, a user chooses to add them to a circle. After a user is added to a circle, they are notified, and then can choose to or not to add that user to a circle of their own.
Circles allow privacy within Google Plus. A user can choose to share a post with only a certain circle of friends. For example, if a user had a circle for Friends and a circle for Family, that user could choose to just share posts with the Friends circle. Then, if anyone in that circle has added that user a circle of their own, they will see the post in their Stream (kind of like Facebook’s News Feed).
It’s very easy to filter the Stream by Circles (lists). All the users Circles are listed in the left-hand sidebar for easy access. When viewing a certain circle, users will only see posts from the people in that circle. And creating a new post while viewing that circle will only share it with people in that circle.
Finding Interesting Content
Another part of Google Plus is Sparks. Sparks allow users to save certain searches for news items and quickly access them through the left hand sidebar. For example, adding “Apple” to the list of sparks presents the user with a list of recent news stories about Apple. This allows users to quickly find news about the interests they care about most.
It’s Not Ideal, Yet…
Right now, one of the disadvantages to Google Plus is that not everyone is on it. It will take some time for all users to join.
Another cool feature would be the ability to add circles to circles. For example, if I wanted to add all of my friends to a list of everyone I had ever met in person, then there should be a way to link those to circle, or to have a sub-circle, so that all Friends will be counted in the circle of everyone I had ever met.
That’s all for now. I’ll write more on this later.