This post is about my first couple of days experimenting with Google Plus. Some of my review critique may be known or answered on the forums, but there’s already over 1500 posts on some of the forums, so I’ll give it a miss for now.
This isn’t a general review about the product per se, but more about it’s design model; it’s not just another social network.
Then I get deeper into their execution of the design model. I pose that the "Circles" functionality (which the whole product hinges on) seems simple at the surface level, but when you look into it, it’s more complicated than you think. I feel people will use it thinking one thing is happening, when indeed it’s not precisely the case. Unfortunately you need to read the manual to understand just what’s going on.
Google Plus is very impressive…it’s a shot at being a Facebook/Twitter hybrid and more…I pointed to a mashable post in Jul 2007 (4 years ago) to hints of Google social networking, then it was called Socialstream. See the reviews so far on: Google, Techcrunch, Read/Write Web, Mashable (pros and cons), as well as a roundup, and the history.
I’m not going to talk about all the other components like Sparks, Hangout’s, etc…instead in this post I’ll focus on Circles (ie. the stream-if you haven’t seen it-it’s the Facebook Newsfeed type thing)
But first let’s quickly cover the question people will ask you…
How is it different to Facebook and Twitter?
As an online relationship model; Facebook is symmetric, Twitter is asymmetric, and Google Plus is asymmetric
- Follow (asymmetric) - enables you to follow people (those people don’t have to follow you back in order for you to see their content in your stream…you are basically their fan)
- Public - your posts are shared in the public
- Friend (symmetric) - you cannot read and send each other updates unless you both follow each other (this is called "friend")
- Private - you posts are not shared in the public, instead they are shared with all your friends only (this is called a "walled garden")
- Selective Reading & Sharing - you can also read and share with just a selection of people (this is called "Lists"…this isn’t a primary design feature and isn’t used that much as far as sharing goes)
- Follow (asymmetric) - enables you to follow people, just like Twitter, where those people don’t have to follow you back
- Public and/or Private - your posts can be shared in the Public, or just shared with All Circles or a selection of Circles
- Selective Reading - you can also read posts in a stream from just a selection of people you follow (this is called "Circles")
- Selective Sharing - you can also share posts with just a selection of people (this is called "Circles")…BUT unlike Facebook, unless "those people you follow in your circle" follow you back, they won’t see your post in their stream, instead they will see it in an alternative stream called "Incoming".
Posting to Circles
I post about my trip to Melbourne and limit this to my Family circle (this circle has 6 people in it)
Because I’m so used to Facebook I have assumed that all those 6 people will see my post.
Wrong? Only the 4 people that have followed me back will see that post in their "Stream".
The other 2 people will only see that post if they look at their "Incoming" stream.
The 101 - when you choose a Circle only the people that follow you back will see your post
Posting to Public
It simply means that all people that follow me will see my post in their stream
Just say Judy follows me, but I don’t follow her (therefore I don’t have her in a circle)
And just say I post to a Circle, and not Public.
This means Judy will not see my post at all.
Posting to Individuals (Mentions)
This has nothing to do with Circles.
But just like Circles and Public; Individuals are a selection you can make in choosing an audience to post to.
The way you can post to Individuals is pre-fixing their name with an "@" or a "+"
The difference in limiting to who sees your post using this selection is that it will also send that person a notification that you have "mentioned" them. Which kind of makes it very similar to the Twitter @mention feature. In Google Plus there is a stream called Notifications where you can view all these pushed mention posts.
NOTE: Notifications isn’t just for mentions, it also displays comments on your posts, and comments on posts that you have commented on, and a few more things. The good thing is you can limit the Notification stream by these selections.
Here’s a use case combining Circles and individuals:
I’m posting something to my family circle (which contains 6 people), but since 2 of those people don’t follow me back I will mention those people as individuals
The result is the 4 people in my circle that follow me back will see my post in the stream; and the 2 people that don’t follow me back will get a notification to take a look at my post in the "Incoming" stream
Another use case is that I post something in my friend circle (16 friends follow me back and 4 don’t). I want to make sure that 2 of those friends who follow me back will see this post in their stream and read it. But there is a potential that it will stream by them without then noticing it, so in this case, even though they are in my circle and follow me back, I will still mention them as individuals, this way they get pushed a notification. As for the 4 friends in my circle that don’t follow me back; I’ll leave it up to them to see my post in their incoming stream
Ross Mayfield has a visual illustrating Stream, Incoming, and Mentions, ans another on Public, Extended, and Limited
BTW - If you see a post in your stream that has the label "Limited" this means you are in that person’s Circle/s. So who else can see that post? ie.who potentially is in this conversation. If you click the "Limited" label you can’t see that person’s Circles, but you can see a selection of people (which is good enough for your purpose). If there’s 65 people that post was shared with, you will see a photo list naming 20 people, and a word saying +45 more…read up on it here.
My gripe with Google Plus Circles is a design problem with "Selective Sharing" in relation to how we cognitively think.
I think Circles work well for reading (as it’s what we are used to with Facebook Lists), but when it comes to sharing they are not what you think.
Yes you are still sharing with all people in that Circle, but for some of those people your content will not appear in their main stream ie. for the people that don’t follow you back it will appear in their incoming stream (where they probably won’t see it for a long time as it’s not really an important stream that gets their attention)
Compare this to Facebook lists; you may read content from all people in a list, and you can share content to all those same people in that list…the content appears in their main Newsfeed.
To me that’s how my brain immediately thinks what would happen.
But as explained above this doesn’t happen with Google Plus as it’s design is not the symmetric model, yet the execution of parts of its sharing design makes you think it is.
You have to think of it like this; a Circle is not an Email List or a Facebook list…all the people in your circle will not see your post in their stream (only the people that follow you back see it)
If 8 out of 10 people in your Circle follow you back then these 8 people are the "email list/facebook list type feel", whereas those other 2 don’t miss out.
NOTE: But it is unlike an email list by design anyway, as it’s not a push model and you don’t get pinged…unless you use the @mention feature.
It may not be a problem for some as they may be ignorant of what they are actually doing, they will just assume that all people in a circle will see your post in their stream…similar to a Facebook List.
They perhaps will be aware of their ignorance later on when they ask someone if they read their post, and that person replies that they have never read any of their posts.
I told you Google Plus is complicated when you look deeper. I think it’s a problem as it’s not in tune with how we cognitively think things work, especially when our brain already has an established pattern (ie. here’s a list of people, I will send this content to that list, and all those people will see it)
But perhaps that’s what you get when you try to be Twitter and Facebook at the same time; which is a good idea, this way I’d only need to use one product.
Recommendation for posting to Circles
I think there should be a better name for the "Incoming" stream. When I first read that label it didn’t mean anything to me….it’s "posts from people that follow you that you don’t follow"..but this label ain’t gonna work either.
I would like to see an icon on Profile photos that informs you if people follow you back or not. And somehow design this into the context of posting ie. at time of posting, when I choose a Circle, I want something to say" did you know that these 2 people in your Circle do not follow you back so they will only see this post in their Incoming stream."
Or perhaps we need two types of Circles ie. Reading circles and Sharing circles. The Sharing circle only has people that follow you back. But you don’t create sharing circles, they are just the portion of people from your Reading circle who follow you back.
In my profile page there’s two sections "People I have in Circles" (people I follow), and "People that have me in their Circles" (people that follow me), but what is lacking is a section called "People that I follow that don’t follow me back"…not sure if I need a section called "People that follow me that I don’t follow back" as I can just see this in the Incoming stream (but at the same time it would be good if their profiles were listed in the sidebar of my Incoming stream). Same goes with having these sections in my homepage; actually the homepage even lacks the section "People that have me in their Circles"
Recommendation for posting to Public
When I choose Public, I would think that Circles would be greyed out so I cannot select them ie. if I’m posting something as Public there is no need to limit it to a circle as well, as the limiting is having no effect since it’s public anyway. By greying out selections the user feels they are doing the right thing.
UPDATE: ‘your circles’ may deposit posts in their incoming stream if they are not following you, while public does not
Same goes with "All Circles". If I’m posting to "All Circles", any other circle selection should be greyed out; as what’s the point of choosing a circle when I’m already posting to it via All Circles.
UPDATE: "All Circles" does not allow you to also share with a non-G+ user via email, this option is only available via a single circle, so this may be the reason why you can post to both "All Circles" and a single circle at the same time. In that case why not just make the emailing non-G+ people feature available when posting to "All Circles".
And to be complete, if I’m already posting to "Public"; why would I choose "All Circles", for the same reason above.
UPDATE: ‘your circles’ may deposit posts in their incoming stream if they are not following you, while public does not
NOTE: "All Circles" is different than "Public". If you post to "All circles", people that follow you that you don’t follow back won’t see it. And when it’s "Public" it’s indexed by the web.
What it comes down to…
If you post using "Public" then this is no different to Twitter (it’s the same follow model, and your posts are available to see for all who follow you, and those who browse your profile on the web)
If you post using "Circles" or "All Circles" then your posts are not available for all your followers to see, they are only available for a selection of your followers
CAUTION - in your "Circles" you will probably have people that don’t follow you back, so don’t get tricked that your post is displaying in their main stream (it’s not, it’s in their incoming stream)
The broadcast / sharing design model
- Broadcast medium - I post and people who follow me will see that post in their stream. In addition my content is public for the world to see (unless you go the private option).
- Broadcast medium - I post and my friends will see that post in their stream. The difference here is that you can only see my posts if I follow you back…in fact you can’t use the product unless we follow each other, called "friends", as part of the design model. And your content is not public to the world.
- Sharing medium - additionally there is an option to divide your stream (Newsfeed) into lists (these are I suppose sub-streams). An example is to make a family list in order to read just posts published by your family. You can also limit who sees the posts you share by posting to a list, rather than sharing it with your whole stream; but this is designed in the background, it’s not quick and easy so people tend not to use this feature.
Facebook is primarily a broadcast medium, and secondary as a sharing medium
- Broadcast medium - Like Twitter it’s a follow rather than a friend (following each other) model. You can decide to post "Public" which makes it no different than Twitter when used this way.
- Sharing medium - Like Facebook I can group people into Circles (lists), in fact I can’t use the product if I don’t do this. This way I can read sub-streams, just like Facebook, but the difference is, it’s a background feature in Facebook, whereas it’s part of the primary design in Google Plus. When you share a post in Google Plus the design forces you to think, "should I post to Public (all people that follow me…and also displays on my profile for all on the web to see), and All Circles or a selection of Circles (people that follow you that you don’t follow back won’t see it)
Google Plus is a selective sharing medium, I’d say more than a broadcast medium…or perhaps equally.
Again, it’s complicated isn’t it. Whilst writing this post I had to re-read the same thing so many times as it just doesn’t stick in my head. Whereas I know exactly how Twitter or Facebook work.
So let’s break this down
Twitter - Public, Follow model (asymmetrical), Broadcast medium
Facebook - Private, Friend model (symmetrical), Primarily a broadcast medium, secondary a sharing medium
Google Plus - Public and Private, Follow model (asymmetrical), Primarily a sharing medium, secondary a public medium
Ross Mayfield has some visuals on some of my explanation above, see them below
Selective sharing vs. ambient awareness
The primary design of Google Plus is based on grouping people you follow into Circles (lists). If you don’t do this then your stream will be empty. So this tells us the whole premise or differentiator of Google Plus is that it’s designed around selective sharing. It’s not that you can’t do this on Facebook; the difference is it’s a just another feature, whereas in Google Plus the whole design is based around this feature.
You can read posts limited to a Circle (one of your lists), or read posts from all Circles (called Stream)
Same goes for sharing; compared to Facebook, sharing to selective lists (ie Circles) in Google Plus is very upfront ie. the design is structured this way that it triggers you to think when you share a post (Public-is this post for all my followers, Circle-or just a selection of my followers, Mentions-or just a few individuals, or a combination of all).
I congratulate them on this; they have a vision for people to share selectively, people don’t have to be told, instead the design makes them do it.
Why is selective sharing good?
How’s your Facebook Newsfeed going for you…lots and lots of crap you don’t care about hey. Why is this? Because people don’t share selectively, not because they don’t want to, but the design does not lend to that sort of behaviour. Look at the style and how many steps it takes.
Firstly you can post as usual without selecting a list ie. it lacks a prompt or feature that’s in your face at the time of posting to remind you to share selectively if it’s appropriate
Instead there is a lock icon that I’m guessing most people have not even noticed.
If you do click the lock icon, then you click customise, then specific people, then type in a list or person (there’s no browsing here, instead you have to starting typing and the auto-suggest will do the rest. This is over 5 clicks to share your post with a list instead of all your friends, and the labels and design don’t make it that clear or obvious. There’s a video illustrating this on the older interface.
With the frequency we post on Facebook, and the cumbersome steps and non-intuitive design, why would we ever selectively share…we might if the design nudged us to, but it doesn’t.
Now this is all OK as this may be purposefully designed this way as Facebook is big on ambient awareness. But they have to be careful as noise can be another word for ambient awareness.
Now let’s look at Google Plus. If you follow someone you will only see their posts if they share it in one of their circles that you are in. We are so use to the receiver doing the filtering, well now the sender is choosing whether you should see one of the posts or not.
Now the sender is doing you a favour to help you manage the speed of your stream, but this design choice is at the expense of exhaustive serendipity…one good thing about noise is there’s serendipity in it, but then too much noise kills you…so like all things in life we need a balance. And I think Google Plus is a good step in that direction.
As I said many times in this post; not all people in a circle will see your post, it’s only those that follow you back (ie. have you in one of their circles)
So it feels misleading to me…I’ll send this post to the people in this circle (but at the time of posting I’m not sure who in this circle are following me back) which means not all people in the circle will really be seeing my post in their stream
Natural human behaviour to me is that all people in a circle will see my post…but it’s not true is it?
Even though I know it’s not true, the design keeps tricking me or I keep lapsing. I keep thinking in email or Facebook terms ie. I’ll send this post to this bunch of people, or all my friends in this list will see this post…but in Circles it ain’t true…so at the time of posting the design isn’t clear in telling me who I’m actually potentially having a conversation with.
Now this sort of thing is a worry if your post is about coordinating a task. As not all people you think are seeing the post. That may be OK as Google Plus isn’t designed to do that sort of thing yet, but if you are an experienced observer of web 2.0 unstructured platforms you know people use the tools in many ways the vendor didn’t intend or foresee…this is the whole enigmatic thing about web 2.0.
Alan Lepofsky hits this one perfectly:
"Whether I create a group of analysts or college friends, when I post something to that group I expect them to be able to see it. I don’t care if they are following me back or not. Without those assurances, my use of a tool like Google+ will be limited to "stuff I want to share" but not "work I need to get done." That is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just choosing the right tool for the right job, which is nothing new. (phone vs. email vs. chat vs _____ )"
But let’s just probe Facebook a little deeper. I said all people in your Facebook list will see your post in their stream (as we all follow each other), so it kind of has that email list feel.
But do you really see every post in your Facebook News feed, nope. Instead you only see posts from friends you interact with a lot. ie. based on your past behaviour; basically Facebook is constantly tuning your newsfeed.
This is also a worry if your post is about coordinating a task. Why? cause not everyone in your list may get your post. You best use the private message feature, or a Facebook Group.
NOTE: Facebook lists and Google circles are not collaboration group spaces. Think of it like this; Friendfeed has lists (just like the concept of Facebook lists and Google Plus Circles), but it also has Rooms for groups to collaborate…I guess similar to a Facebook group. I’m sure in the future Google Plus will release this feature (perhaps even revamp its Google Groups product), but right now one thing at a time.
Rachel Happe has something to say about knowing what we are and not seeing and how it affects our decision making:
"One of the issues that I find, generally speaking, with social media monitoring tools is that it is very difficult to understand the scope of what you are looking at and therefore challenging to make good decisions with the information. Talking about this issue recently caused me to have a striking aha moment about what has bothered me about Google for so long: the algorithms are considered ’secret sauce’ and very tightly controlled. This is highly problematic for decision-making because whether it is search engines or social media monitoring solutions we absolutely need to understand what we are looking at (and what we are not seeing) and how that information has been prioritized for us. Without that context, our decision-making is biased toward to proclivities of the tools we use and that is extremely risky.
We don’t even like eating chocolates without knowing what is inside… how are we to make good decisions if we don’t know how we got to the information we have?"
See more on this thinking here.
Google Plus puts segmentation at the core of the user experience
And another thing is that in Facebook you don’t even have to create lists, whereas in Google Plus you are forced to create Circles, otherwise you can’t use the product.
Jonathen Allen puts this so nicely:
"…there is something fundamentally wrong about the design of Facebook. It’s almost the opposite of real life. In "real life" we don’t live our lives as if we are a single monolithic public identity that does not differentiate our behavior between groups of friends. In fact, on a daily basis we are constantly adapting our behavior to different ’social circles’.
One of the first, most obvious aspects of Google+ is that it puts segmentation at the core of the user experience. As soon as you get into Google+ you are prompted to put your friends into ’circles’ that they suggest, or create your own. It is no different to Facebook friend lists, except that much of the functionality of Google+ does not surface until you have done that basic activity. Once you have, you can browse through different streams being shared within the social circles you have defined.
Out of the box, Google+ seems to have got this right - the entire project is geared towards limited and selective sharing.
Google+ relies on users manually creating these classifications and if they don’t (simply because people will not do things they are forced to do), they can’t generate any value from the sharing platform. Put another way, if users do not define circles, there is nothing to do on Google+ — absolutely nothing"
Ossian’s pithy comment was integral to the analysis of my post:
"Facebook isn’t about sharing. It’s a broadcast medium."
"Yep exactly - whether you like it or not, the incentive to ’share’ on Facebook is to broadcast stuff to all your connections. If you dont like sharing, you join anyway to maintain an ambient presence among your friends - because the critical mass is there."
Jonathen goes on to point out that this still isn’t the panacea:
"However, this is where Google+ gets into hot water. There is a lot that can start to go wrong at this point. To get it right, Google+ relies on users being able to fully articulate their social circles, which people actually cannot do. We’re simply not wired to be fully cognizant of what social circles we actually move in or who they are made up of. Beyond friends and family, every other social group we belong to is induced by a common purpose.
"Social groupings are induced by a common purpose or goal - and therefore, for Google+circles to work, it’s got to push the collaborative aspect of the tool, and not just try to control who’s sharing with who, just for the sake of sharing
…the social circles thing is straight out of academics, but in rushing to copy Facebook functionality, all we get is another way to share photos and links - when really Google+ strength lies in task orientated live sharing.
Controlled privacy is not enough of an incentive to use the site unless you actually need to control the flow of information. Managing the flow is one thing - but it’s just more management for it’s own sake. Ultimately Twitter and Facebook have made us much better at managing our online identities.
Google has to ultimately bite the bullet and auto-suggest circles and perfect that - then the product can really take off - but if we all have to manage the contacts for it, we’ll lose interest - unless we identify our own reasons to create niche collaborative spaces. But if it relies too much on the user, i think most people will use everything and just want two circles - one that’s public and one that is private."
The interest graph
Robert Scoble alludes to selective sharing perhaps helping with filtering, but is still looking for quality based on the interest graph, as opposed to the social graph. ie. if I follow 10 people and put them in a Circle called KM, it doesn’t mean they will post about KM…I might see posts about their vacation, etc…So Roberts alluding to a super intelligent filter, that I’m not sure can exist (or at least at the expense of leaving good stuff out). But that’s life isn’t it. All people have a forte or a passion, and they will speak about that alot, but they also speak about other stuff in their life.
UPDATE - JP Rangaswami hits the nail on the head here, and suggests the publishers have various versions of their profile, and then subscribers can subscribe to the version they like…here’s what he said:
So basically what he is saying is that he is a blog, and he has categories, and you can subscribe to a category, rather than all of JP
"I guess I’m warped. What I really want is to break myself up, classify myself, into a series of circles: cloud, food, music, books, cricket, politics, hippieness, freedom, whatever. Then others who put me into their circles can choose to put bits of me or all of me. Publisher circles are like hashtags and channels. Subscriber circles are filters and balancers. That combination creates the best signal-to-noise ratios"
In addition to this how about being able to follow a person’s comments…kind of like following someone’s disqus profile.
Re-sharing and editing
You can’t re-edit a post to change or add a Circle/s, or make it Public, etc…as the post might have comments that were not intended to be made public.
When I re-share someone elses post that was made to a "Limited" audience (ie. Circles, not Public) it cautions me of this via the overlay box, but there is no way it can control which of my followers will see the post (ie. which Circles I post to), but it does make the "Public" selection not available
But what about re-sharing to Facebook or Twitter…will it allow breaches of privacy
Wall-to-Wall, Private Messages, and Extended Circles
UPDATE: See my follow-up post Google Plus : Closed group email collaboration done online
At time of posting when you use "@mention" without using any other selections like "Circles" or "Public", I take it this is a wall-to-wall conversation.
From what I’m guessing this is different to Faceook as only the two people in the conversation can see the post; which means it’s kind of like private messaging
But then you’d want a feature where you can collect these types of conversations eg. where’s that individual to individual conversation I had with Gerry last month
In Facebook when you have a wall-to-wall conversation you don’t initiate it from your profile, instead you visit that person’s profile to make your post.
Then the way it works is that only your mutual friends will be able to see your posts (but I think you can change this in the settings to make it more open).
NOTE: In Facebook if you @mention someone from your own profile, that person will get a notification, but all your friends (not just mutual friends) will see it.
Lotus connections wall-to-wall posts are open by default ie. followers of both people can see the post, not just the mutual followers. And I think the reason why is kind of what Google Plus is trying to do with Extended Circles:
"…let’s say Nediva is in one of your circles, and Jadon is in one of Nediva’s circles. You don’t know Jadon and he’s not in any of your circles. If Nediva chooses to have Jadon visible on her profile among the people in her circles, and you choose to share with your extended circles, your content could appear in both Nediva and Jadon’s streams."
…but surely this would appear in Jadon’s incoming stream as he is not following me (just like people in my circle that don’t follow me back will see my post in their incoming stream)
Here’s a use case from Ron at IBM. He thought George might help him with an answer to his problem, but instead of @mentioning him from his profile, he instead posted on George’s wall.
What this meant was all the people that follow George will see the post. So in effect it allows you to tap into someone elses network to problem solve. Since IBM is it’s own world I’m guessing you don’t even have to follow that person, or that person follow you, to be able to post on their wall.
Context is important here - the Lotus Connection wall-to-wall posting design is perfect for people wanting answers and solving problems in the enterprise, but it would not work on the open web as this would be open to spamming…in the enterprise you’d just get fired for effing with people.
NOTE: If I post in "Extended Circles" does that not imply I’m posting in "all my circles and more" in one selection. If so, then all other circle selections should be greyed out, this way I feel I’m using the software the right way.
UPDATE: extended circles may deposit posts it in the incoming stream of people in ‘your extended circles’, while public does not
Pushing in a Circle (can Circles act like email lists after all)
Like I said earlier in this post; some people in your circle aren’t necessarily going to see your post as they may not follow you back…they will only see it in their incoming stream ie. it’s not a Facebook list where all people in your list will see the post in their stream. This was the whole reason for my post as I don’t think users of Google Plus will realise this. Anyway the way around this is; if you want to properly ping someone so they get a notification, you add them as an individual to the post as well by doing an @mention.
But I noticed another feature…when posting if you hover over a circle label, an overlay box pops up where you can check it to notify people in the circle (there is a limit to 25 people). Does this feel a bit spammy; this is indeed like pushing to an email list. Something like this can’t happen on Twitter, as you would have to manually type in 25 @mentions which no-one could be bothered, and the other thing is the 140 character limit nulls this anyway. And in Twitter is the conversation would be very messy as it lacks threaded comments.
Some people in my Circles have a mail icon which means they are getting content via Gmail rather than visiting Google Plus…I think this is because they have not yet created an account to Google Plus
But surely I’m not pushing them content am I. I hope my posts are not emailing them. I’m not notifying others that are in my circle (the posts are just appearing in their stream or incoming stream), so why should it happen to those accessing via Gmail only.
I know it’s early days yet, but here’s some more review…
Hoping collaboration rooms come soon (maybe some left overs from Google Wave)
Comments don’t have hyperlinks
Comments are not threaded in a tree
I can’t +1 from the Notification pop-up, but I can in the notification stream
Need to expand /collapse comments as some posts have too many comments (try +comment toggle)
Comments need to also appear as posts in their own right…remember Jaiku…but I think Google Plus is doing the Friendfeed thing where posts with new comments jump to the top of the pile UPDATE: perhaps comments as their own post is a bad idea
+1’s tab is only for stuff I +1 outside of Google Plus (I want a bucket that collects the +1’s I make inside Google Plus)
Lacks a favourites
How does Google Buzz and Google Latitude come into this…will they be merged?
Awesome feature is that you can view how someone else sees your profile or how anyone on the web will see it (this helps you understand how all the features work ie. who sees what when I do this). You can even edit how they see your profile…now that’s granular.
The Share button and notifications are available via the Google menu in Gmail, Google Reader, Google Docs, etc…but not Google Web search…This is a subtle killer feature. This is very powerful. Potentially people that have Gmail can share something on Google Plus with one-click…this has the potential to grow a hug user base quickly
Posts have a mute button (opt out of a thread)
It would be good to re-share a comment as a post
It would be good to mute a circle (this way you can read the main stream without having posts from a particular circle bother you…sometimes in Facebook I’d like to read my main stream without having posts from pages bother me, but I can’t mute it just for an hour)
It would be good if it could collapse posts that point to the same link, this way I wouldn’t have to see a post about the same thing again and again…basically a personal memetracker kind of like Google News
"I thought I understood Google Circles until I tried explaining it to someone. So, let me see if I have this straight.And if I do, then I have a suggestion for Google Plus: Instead of saying that we post to “Public,” tell us we’re posting “To Followers.” And instead of letting us look at our “Incoming” stream, tell us we’re looking at “From Followers.”
Now, it turns out that my coworker Carol hates my guts and hates hearing from me, so she hasn’t put me in any of her circles. Does she see my posts to my Coworkers circle anyway? If not, then either (a) I have the illusory sense that I’m posting to her when I post to my Coworkers circle, or (b) Carol is seeing my posts even though she does not want me in any of her circles."