Google+: initial thoughts, reactions, and a rant.

Thoughts and Opinions
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I’ve been on Google+ now for a week and have some opinions about it.  I will refrain from posting anything about Google+ on Facebook and Twitter anymore because I kind of feel like there is lukewarm reception to it. However, I do have some opinions and since this is my little corner of the intertubes I thought I’d post them here in case anyone was interested in my opinion.

So far I really like it. I am liking it a billion times more than Facebook. I am not sure if I like it better than Twitter yet.

I will come clean and say that I hate Facebook. I hate it with a fiery passion and I’ve hated it for a very long time. I hate it’s CEO. He is everything I can’t stand in a human being and when I look at his picture I, seriously, want to punch him in the nose. But that’s kind of beside the point. I really have always very much disliked the lack of privacy on Facebook. And Facebook’s attitude is something like, “Privacy doesn’t exist. Deal with it.” I have always disliked that when you post something on Facebook everyone on your friends’ list sees it. Maybe I don’t want my Christian friends seeing my posts about Zen Buddhism, you know? Maybe I don’t want my conservative friends seeing my liberal rants. Maybe I just don’t feel like fighting that battle. Because of this I tend to censor myself on Facebook. And, I don’t know. Maybe that’s o.k. But it’s also kind of boring. I like to let it all hang out sometimes. I like to speak my mind. But I also don’t want to offend other people. So there’s always been that weird dichotomy over there.

There is also this weird “worlds colliding” feature of the Facebook social experiment that has always made me VERY uncomfortable. I don’t know why. But I’ve just never liked it at all. I like having my professional life separate from my personal life.  Call my crazy. I have set the privacy levels so that certain people can’t see my wall, but that isn’t ideal at all. First of all, it excludes people. I don’t like excluding people. Also there are times when I do want those that I’ve excluded to see what I post but there is no easy way to allow them to.

I’ve stayed on Facebook, and will continue to stay on Facebook, because my friends are there. My friends are what make it tolerable and I would really miss them if I jumped ship. (most of)The people on Facebook are awesome. Facebook as a company and social networking site sucks.

So now Google+ has come along and guess what? They address these issues! And it is awesome. It is a breath of fresh air for me. Seriously. I saw the initial video where they introduced the “circles” feature and I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. This is what I’ve wanted from Facebook all along. For awhile I thought FB was going to do this because there is the ability to sort your friends into lists. But the process is so clunky and useless and unusable.

Circles are awesome. Very easy to use. Friends can belong to more than one circle, which is nice. For example, I have a “knitting” circle and a “library world” circle and a few of my friends belong to both as they are both knitters and librarians. I have a “friends” circle where I can post  personal stuff that the rest of the world could care less about.  I can post photos and updates about my knitting projects to my knitting circle and none of my other circles will see the updates.  I can also filter my stream so that I see only the circles I choose which makes the reading experience so much better. I don’t feel like I have to censor myself anymore because I get to choose who reads what updates. AND I get to choose what I read at any given time.

The one complaint that I have with circles is that I wish people would use them more effectively. I have quite a few connections on Google+ now and most of them are people I don’t know. I got hooked into the children’s literature world  which I’m very exicted about as a children’s librarian. It will be a good way to keep up with stuff going on in that industry. However, it is a very tight-knit online community and they are very freindly with each other (kind of like the online knitting community is). Some of my connections post personal things to all of their circles, thinking that everyone that follows them would be interested. However these personal posts really need be relegated to thier “friends” circle to keep from cluttering up the streams of those who are more interested in professional development.

This is a long post. And I kind of have more to say about it. I think I’ll cut it short for now and continue this on another day. There is lots more to say!