All the buzz lately, Google’s new Facebook killing Social Network has finally arrived! They are calling it Google+. This has some vague connotations of “Google only better”. They seem to be gearing it up to finally better unify Google’s multiple products which certainly would be “Google only Better”. It’s too bad they didn’t go with Google++ and get the nerd angle. In the C and C++ programming languages, you increment a variable or number by adding ++. Who know, I suppose that the single plus may work in some other programming language. Also, most people wouldn’t get the in joke and it would just look funny.
I’ve been a huge Google Fanboy for a long while, probably ever since I got a Gmail account. I’ve used Gmail for years, I used Reader religiously until I stopped caring about RSS and News, I get irritated when my wife tries to run directions through MapQuest over Google Maps. I’ve done the Homepage thing, I use my YouTube account, and of course, I run all my searches through Google.
I still can’t really get myself into Google+.
Maybe it’s just too early. It’s hard to envision how this is going to actually merge everything together, if at all. They have some Picasa integration going on, and I could see maybe the option to push your Reader feeds into your stream, though that would get really cluttered really quickly.
Maybe I just don’t have enough friends on the thing yet. I started really adding random folks a few years ago on Twitter and I found my stream quickly became unreadable. I trimmed back very quickly. When I finally managed to get myself into using Facebook I was reasonably selective on adding new folks. Basically I either already knew them, or they seemed like they would be an interesting and decent person to follow. The general rule I use now for adding total strangers is that I’ve had to have noticed them elsewhere more than a few times, then I check them out and see if they lists any interests. This applies to Twitter and Facebook and I’ll likely push it for Google+. What I mean is, as an example, I follow Team Fortress on Facebook. If I see a person comment on a post and they seem interesting or I notice them somewhere i make a note. If i notice them again a few more times, i check them out.
Most of the people I follow now on Google+ are people I already know and follow on Twitter or Facebook.
There is also a problem about where it fits into my whole online mess. I sign up for a lot of services I don’t use. I used to sign up for more but I actually went around actively shitting down some of those accounts after a while. There are two philosophies at work. First, if the service becomes a hit, I want to be there. Two, if the service becomes a hit and I want to be there, I want to secure my username before some other joker comes along and takes it. As yet, Google+ doesn’t really have the username issue, you can bet when they roll it out I’ll be securing @joshmiller immediately.
The final snag and hangup I have is that Google+ still does not support Apps for Your Domain email accounts. Apps for our Domain is basically the ability to make an gmail address and Google account using your domain, ie, @lameazoid.com. I’ve been suing this service a long whole, for a while I was filtering all of this email to my @gmail account. A couple of years ago i went to a lot of effort to port @lameazoid to be the primary account. I transferred all my contacts, all my calendar information, all my reader subscriptions, I flip floppwed around my Youtube accounts so that @lameazoid would have control of YouTube.com/lameazoid instead of lameazoid2. I don’t use Blogger anymore buy porting those and getting them to work was a pain.
The point is, if I really want to take advantage of Google+ as it grows, this need is critical. If they add say, “Anything your star or share on Reader shows up in your +stream”, I’m screwed because I don’t use Reader on my @gmail account anymore. How about the ability to invite people to an event using Gcal? Oops, nope, my Calendar is on my @lameazoid account.