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This is Google's new social platform, very similar to Facebook, but not quite Facebook. Yes it's still in beta/alpha, whatever and you need an invite to get it. I am assuming at least some of you are in, so let's talk. What do you think about Google+? 

 

I like it so far. I love the design. Much cleaner and smoother than Facebook, which seems to be loaded down with a lot of stuff right now. I like the fact that you are forced to put people into particular circles or groups right at the outset, unlike Facebook where everyone is in one big bucket. 

 

It's still very early in the game and the service will change and grow. I assume they will wrap in more tightly other Google services like Picassa is already connected via photos in Google +. 

 

What are your impressions, even from the outside looking in. Are you the least bit interested?

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Just be aware of the fine print.


http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS

“By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”

“You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.”

“You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.”

Good point Judi, but in reality, this is not much different from the Terms of Service you will find with many social media sites, probably Facebook included. It's standard boiler plate stuff designed I believe mostly to protect Google and not for them to act nefariously. It also allows them to plugin Adsense as well. 

 

That being said, it's the perfect example why you need to use these services carefully. I have always said, and I know Cliff agrees that you need to own and control your own platform as the primary place you live online. It's even more important if you are brand building in anyway.

 

I will say, Google does you a big solid on this platform as there is a super easy to find place that allows you to download all your content off Google+. Kudos to them for that. You can do the same for Facebook, but it's harder to find and it took them years to come out with it. Here, from day 1, Google allows it and makes it very easy. 

 

Terms of service for any online service will never be in your favor as a consumer. Heck, terms of service from any company in the "real" world won't be either. What you are counting on is the underlying trust you put into the company. Here, Google's Do No Evil mantra becomes very important, assuming you buy it. 

 

 

That is right and why I don't post any pics on facebook either. But also depends on whose interpretation of evil we are talking about. Someone saying they might take your content without permission or compensation and benefiting from it would not be defined as angelic.
So far I like the experience of + (have to get used to that instead of spelling it out..) I saw a comment that really explained what Google+ really feels like. Facebook and Twitter combined. As for the fine print I tend to think that's more the legal suits they have to deal with slapping something on there instead of actually what they intend to do with the data. Of course they will use it a bit to understand us more and make the search better but that's something that happens with every social network that exists. Once the API comes out then the service will really show its full potential as it can wrap into all sorts of applications and services. I like what I see so far and am looking forward to seeing what they do from here. Only features I hope they add in the future is a search of posts and tieing youtube posts into your video tab. They are intending + to tie all the google things together and hopefully they do it right.
My main issue is still feeling like there's yet another neighborhood I need to either get notifications from to join in the conversation, or take time to stop by and visit every so often. I'm definitely liking the look and feel of it, and even if for nothing else than the stuff it has that Facebook doesn't. It's also a very cool way to manage your Google profile overall. Google+ has very much become your Google account.
So, yeah, this is the key thing really isn't it. Too many services but it's more of an issue I think for we social media geeks. Most "regular" folks decide which service they like or find most of their friends on and stick there. That leads to a potential problem for Google in that so many "regular" folks are already using and hooked up on Facebook, why are they going to build all that all over again on Google? Personally, my tech oriented frieds are kind of spread all over but virtually all of my "regular folk" friends are on Facebook. Unless Facebook does something monumentally stupid, they aren't going to bother worrying about other social networks. Because of the nature of social networks, you would have to have to enmass move to Google Plus to effect major change of the current status quo. This is why none of the Twitter alternatives ever made a dent, even when Twitter was pissing users off left and right with the fail whale in the early days. People were angry but it was like, ok, well you first, and nobody moved. This means Google has to play for the future, for the coming generations who are not aligned yet with a network. This is a long play for Google and it will take great persistence and patience on their part. If you're thinking, what about MySpace and their quick demise, the people at Facebook are worlds smarter than the guys at MySpace.

I'm very eager to dive in and play with the service.  Personally, I'm looking forward to another environment as long as it is done right and allows new functionality that others do not.  Hangouts seems like such an awesome concept.


Though, I'm trying to fight the urge to sign up with all the invites that I've been given. I want to hold off until I can get in with my Google Apps account.  I HATE that I still have to use my old Gmail account to log into my YouTube Account.  Though I have heard I can transfer it over, I've never found out how.


I want to be done with my Gmail Profile and only use my Google Apps profile to run everything.  I'm tired of either having to sign out and back into services all day long or the need to load another browser for other services. ;)

 

Other thoughts from Erik and I are here:

http://gspn.tv/097-social-media-serenity-how-cliff-fell-in-love-wit...

I am about 1 day into using G+ and it is great so far. The circles idea is great. I still haven't tried to group chat, but I like the idea. It is very much like a fb and twitter combination. The great thing about it is that we have control over the direction it will go. FB is very personal-social, twitter is more business-social and G+ is currently being defined by the users. Looking forward to what is to come.
I like the idea of the circles, so that I can organize the people that I want to share with. My facebook & twitter accounts sometimes feel like just a "broadcast" into cyberspace instead of a conversation. In that regard, maybe Google + can give me a chance to do it over again. The time factor- I'm active on Facebook & Twitter, so only time will tell if they all three have room in my already busy life.  If you are not already in and want an invite, let me know.

I really like the circle concept and being able to view different versions of the stream... this alone is really appealing to me.

Hangouts are also very cool. I like that the person that starts the hangout can leave and the hangout keeps going. I tried the facebook video chat and I prefer the google + interface.

 

The look and feel is good and I'm looking forward to the new redesign of gmail as well.

I need to play with it more but so far I think it is a winner.

 

I just started using it last night, i like it so far, Love the clean design so googly :). The circles is cool, the sparks felt similar to Google reader, I still want to test the hangouts.

i guess when the number of users in the circles expand that is when i will really be able to test its effects

I like what I see so far. As with other Google products, it is not so flashy, but the Circles concept and interface is cool. It does contribute to my status-checking OCD, but I am trying to cut back anyway. Really. The email updates help to remind me that it exists (for now) but eventually I will want to turn those off. I am meeting a  new crowd as people receive their invites when available, with some new connections.

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