i-think Twenty-Two

Now with more coherency.

First Impressions of Google+

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Well, I managed to get on to Google+ today. My first impression is it feels like the love child of Facebook and Twitter. It may look a lot like Facebook when you are viewing your ‘Streams’, but the model feels much more like how Twitter would be if you could tweet to specific groups of people. I won’t bore you with the details of Circles and how they work, instead I’ll point out the things I really like and the missing features that I hope are filled in soon.

The Stream

Well, this is all pretty standard. So all the things from your circles that your circle friends have deemed you worthy to see appear here. What I would like to see here is the ability to exclude feeds from certain circles from appearing in the stream. This would allow your default view to be void of noise but still provide ready access to these people.

Circles and Sets

I have no doubt that this is a feature the guys at Google are keen to push out (the math nerds that they are). Basically what is needed is the ability to define composite circles, that is circles that use standard set operations (union, intersection and subtraction) to define their members. Of course they would have to explain it better than me, but some Venn diagrams should make it clear enough to just about anybody.

Suggestions that are smarter about multiple email addresses

Because the suggestions are based partly on the entire contents of you Gmail address book I’ve found that I get suggestions for people I’ve already added (but have multiple email accounts). One suggestion was even to add myself. Where I’ve told Google that I have multiple addresses I would hope that it could prune some of that for me.

I do like the multiple personality approach that Google+ gives you. I’m glad that even though set functionality isn’t available yet that by using circles you can model some pretty complex social hierarchies. Whether enough people will make the switch remains to be seen. I’m not holding my breath, because unless Google rapidly expands their trial interest may just fizzle. So, hopefully Google can bring wave after wave of improvements while the buzz is still in the air.