The Google+ Project
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The Google+ Project
The strategy, concept, implementation and reactions to The Google+ project.
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Google's Social Network++ From Search To Social Collaboration 2.0 | Oliver Marks, ZDNet

Google's Social Network++ From Search To Social Collaboration 2.0 | Oliver Marks, ZDNet | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
Google’s pivot from search to social technologies occurred last week and my early impressions of their new service Google+ are very positive, particularly around their efforts on allowing you to group your contacts.

For Google the challenge is now principally around allowing users to more efficiently filter their contacts and topics. We are in an era where the sheer volume of information available to us is overwhelming unless we have the ability to organize it by importance, creating more efficient use of our time.

Where setting up credible enterprise collaboration environments requires orchestration and permissions filters to be put in place against relevant governance by dedicated resources, our multiple online social spaces in this overcrowded era are much more like places we are forced to go and visit if we want to meet particular people.

At best Google’s entrance into the social graph market will bring more order, structure and findability to our lives. At worse the distopean world described in Evgeny Morozov’s ‘The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom’ just connected a few more dots, as dismally experience by the Belarusian ‘Social Media’ clapping protestors as they were tracked and led away to jail this weekend.

Overall though greater competition at scale in the social graph market has to be a good thing for consumers.
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Personal Networking Sites: Path, Fridge, and Google+ - 1stwebdesigner

Personal Networking Sites: Path, Fridge, and Google+ - 1stwebdesigner | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
So you have your Twitter and Facebook, why do you need to join a private/personal social network? Ask yourself first if you’re really connecting to the people close to you, like your family and close friends, not just an acquaintance or a friend of a friend.

Path, Fridge, and Google+ seem to have found a solution: developing a private network for people. No worries about your boss seeing things he shouldn’t see.

Another reason to join one of the three? I’m pretty sure that your feeds are so filled with updates from websites you are subscribed to that it no longer looks like a social networking site but a feed reader. Then there are people who’d add you as a contact even if you’ve just met once or twice, it’s a little awkward to just reject or ignore them (at least for some) right? Worry no more, read on!
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This is just the beginning – Are you thinking inside out? Paul Adams, Facebook, About Curation Of Relationships

When it comes to representing relationships online, there are two big questions:
1. Our offline relationships are very complex. Should we try and replicate the attributes and structure of those relationships online, or will online communication need to be different?
2. If we do try and replicate the attributes of our relationships, will people take the time and effort to build and curate relationships online, or will they fall back to offline interactions to deal with the nuances?

We’re only at the beginning of trying to answer these questions. Google+ is a well designed product, but it is not “the solution” to the problem of representing complex relationships online. In fact, there probably isn’t “one solution”.
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Google+ Must Focus on Sharing With Purpose, Not Privacy

Google+ Must Focus on Sharing With Purpose, Not Privacy | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
Out of the box, Google+ seems to have got this right - the entire project is geared towards limited and selective sharing.

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.

if users do not define circles, there is nothing to do on Google+ -- absolutely nothing.
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Conversations Matter in Google+ Chris Brogan

Conversations Matter in Google+ Chris Brogan | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
So far, one thing I notice about Google+, is that you get rewarded for starting and carrying on good conversations. Wow, doesn’t that sound like the Kumbaya phase of social media? Well, it’s true inside of Google+, at least for now. There’s a ranking system that puts people’s most interacted-with stuff at the top of the stream of information, such that the most talked-about pieces are the most relevant. To that end, conversation certainly matters.
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A VC: Why I'm Rooting For Google+ - Fred Wilson

A VC: Why I'm Rooting For Google+ - Fred Wilson | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
I've never thought that there would be one social service to rule them all. I've never thought that there would be one social graph for the web. I believe we'll need a multitude of social services to satsify the needs and desires of all the users of the web. Google+ fills a void between public and private, it serves what is likely to be an older demo less interesting in hooking up or hipstering out and more interested in the social utility it provides. That's a good thing.

So I'm rooting for Google+. I think it will serve users who aren't being served well (or at all) on the social web right now. And I think it will be a strong new platform for developers. And both of those are great things for the web, our business, and entrepreneurs.
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Google+ Can't Scare Facebook, But Google+ has the potential to replace Twitter

Google+ Can't Scare Facebook, But Google+ has the potential to replace Twitter | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
Google’s new social networking site Google+ will take a long time to catch up with Facebook, which boasts a following of more than 500 million active users.

It would probably make more sense for Google+ to target Twitter, which is more like a broadcasting platform. The "friends connecting" network has already spun its web to a large extent.

Google can play its card by serving the publishers on search engine optimization to increase the ranking on Google searches. That is the key interest of publishers, to drive traffic.

By posting content on Google+, the publicity of the article increases as it goes up in search rankings.
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Why yo momma won’t use Google+ (and why that thrills me to no end) - Robert Scoble

OK, I’ve been putting many hours into Google+. Your mom won’t use Google+.

So, what is Google+ for then?
It’s for us!
Come on now, we geeks and early adopters and social media gurus need a place to talk free of folks who think Justin Bieber is the second coming of Christ. That’s what we have in Google+ right now. Do we really want to mess that up?

That all is a long way of saying that I really love Google+ and I don’t care what the average user thinks of it. I’m getting a ton of utility out of it and I am having a blast with it. Hope to see you there soon, but please leave yo momma over on Facebook, OK?
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Social is for sharing, not hiding - Jeff Jarvis

The meme about Google+ Circles is that it beats Facebook on privacy because it gives us upfront control over whom we share with. That’s true: Every time I share something I make a decision about whether to share it with the public or some of my circles. That is better, clearer, and easier than digging into Facebook’s settings once and for all to silo my world. It is better than not bothering to change those settings and depending on Facebook’s defaults, only to find them change and become more public. Google+ got to learn from Facebook and start with Circles to enable this difference.
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Google Social Network Attacks Facebook And Foursquare : Zennie Abraham : City Brights

Google Social Network Attacks Facebook And Foursquare : Zennie Abraham : City Brights | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
The problem is that Google didn't think about how the "circles, hangouts, Instant Upload, Sparks, and Huddle," all fit together, or about what really binds people to each other. Google's system connects people but it does not let me see what people - my friends - are doing.

People like to know what other people are doing. Facebook's News feed allows that, even more than the status updates. Google should find some kind of way to incorporate Facebook's user experience into the Google Social Network, or else, it's just not going to catch on with many other than early responders.
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Asymmetric Sharing - A Visual Guide to Circles in Google+ - Ross Mayfield

Asymmetric Sharing - A Visual Guide to Circles in Google+ - Ross Mayfield | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
Google Plus has a different privacy/sharing model than other social networks. Different from Facebook's confirmed tie model that they have been gradually breaking with ever more granular complexity.

Different from Twitter & SlideShare's model of Asymmetric Follow, where people can follow/subscribe to posts that are public. Google+ is Asymmetric Sharing, where you selectively choose to share, but to make it into the main stream of view, someone nees to choose to share back. I give it high marks on privacy, but it inherently comes at a cost for complexity, virality, discovery and retaining social context.
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Would the real social network please stand up? Danah Boyd asked 2 years ago in apophenia

Would the real social network please stand up? Danah Boyd asked 2 years ago in apophenia | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
Written by Danah Boyd 2 years before Google+:

People mistakenly assume that:
1) any social network that can be boiled down to a graph can be compared and
2) any theory of social networks is transitive to any graph representing connections between people.

Such mistaken views result in broad misinterpretations of social networks and social network sites. Yet, time and time again, I hear problematic assumptions so let me start with some claims:

1. Not all social networks are the same.
2. You cannot assume network transitivity.
3. You cannot assume that properties that hold for one network apply to other networks.

To address this, I want to begin by mapping out three distinct ways of modeling a social network.
- Sociological “personal” networks
- Behavioral social networks
- Publicly articulated social networks.
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Google+ and its two-pronged relevance problem - What Will This Place Be? - TNW Google

Google+ and its two-pronged relevance problem - What Will This Place Be? - TNW Google | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
Despite a positive early reception to the service, the big challenge for Google+ isn’t pleasing users in its first few days, it’s finding a solid place for it in their lives in the long term. What will that place be? At present, it’s difficult to say. Looking at the currently big social networks, they fit into a few core categories:

- Sharing and communicating with friends: Facebook, Hyves, Orkut etc.
- Sharing quick thoughts, news and opinions: Twitter
- Business-focused networking: LinkedIn, Xing, Viadeo etc.

So where does Google+ fit into this? It manages to sit across all these verticals. The big question is, can Google convince a groundswell of people to make the switch from their existing social networks?
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The Return of Friendfeed (as Google+) Mario Sundar, Marketing Nirvana

The Return of Friendfeed (as Google+)  Mario Sundar, Marketing Nirvana | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
Google got to get it right this time (and frankly I think they nailed some of the subtleties that they didn’t in their past avatars). That said, there’s just something about Google+ that doesn’t seem right and — that’s got to do with its relationship model.

Google Plus is a curious amalgam of Facebook and Twitter but more interestingly this is the same model that Friendfeed pioneered (with far slicker tools: “like” and “real-time feed” anyone).

There’s an incentive to build your REAL social network (a la Facebook) that Google+ is trying to foster with Circles, but at the same time they pollute that atmosphere with the follower model, where people you don’t know jump in with comments that you don’t feel like responding to.

That was the problem Friendfeed faced and that’ll be the problem that Google+ will inevitably encounter.

Now, granted the asymmetric model gains traction and followers fast, the question remains: is it sustainable? Time will tell.
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Where is Your Audience - Your Real "Circles"? Stay N Alive #Google+

Where is Your Audience - Your Real "Circles"?  Stay N Alive #Google+ | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
The future of "Social Networks" aren't social networks at all. The fact is, social networks will "be like air" in the future. They will be integrated into everyday "circles" that you participate in.

As social networks are able to communicate better and better with each other, and more and more standards are built to federate the different circles you participate in, you won't go to Facebook.com or Google+ or Twitter. You'll go to the brands and the areas you're most familiar with and your friends and family will "just be there". Those are where your real "circles" are.

The fact is no social network is going to be a "Facebook killer" or "Twitter killer" or even "Myspace killer" (remember the stat I shared above?). If anything kills any of these it will be branded experiences that make it easier for you to communicate in the environments you're most comfortable with. In the end, it's about where your audience is, who you want to communicate with, and the best places to do that.
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The Power of Google+: Privacy "Circles" the Entire Experience - Stay N Alive

The Power of Google+: Privacy "Circles" the Entire Experience - Stay N Alive | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
The entire experience is built around its equivalent to Facebook lists: Circles. From the very beginning you have to choose who will be in what circle, and every time you add a friend it automatically pops up your list of circles with little to no effort. To "friend" someone, you don't friend them - you add them to one of your lists. It's that simple.

Google+ take more of a Twitter approach, allowing anyone to "follow" anyone, no matter what. In a sense, this puts Google Circles at a greater risk to putting Twitter out of business, as it takes the Twitter follow model and lists, and adds privacy settings to it, using those lists to make that happen. I bet we'll see Twitter do this in the near future as a response to Google Circles.

The biggest thing Google did right this time around is they did what no other social network was doing. They took privacy, and put it smack in the face of the user to make their own conscious decisions.
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Google Plus: Why Facebook and Quora Should Worry - in The Age of Relevance - Mahendra Palsule @ScepticGeek

Mahendra Palsule right now on Google+ and the interest and social graphs: "Facebook has done a not-so-great job capturing users’ interests. Many people have ‘Liked’ hundreds of pages just because they were asked to do so by their friends. Facebook’s obsession with and overreliance on the social graph has corrupted their interest graph, and this might well be Facebook’s Achilles Heel in the long term. Google Plus takes a different approach. The goal of Sparks is to capture your true interests. It is in a primitive state at present, but I’m talking about the Big Picture here!"

Mahendra Palsule last march on the "Age of Relevance":
http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/03/the-age-of-relevance/
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Google+ could make Twitter the next Myspace

Google+ could make Twitter the next Myspace | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
There are numerous comparisons between Google’s new Google+ social offering and Facebook, but most of them miss the mark. Twitter’s position as a broadcast platform for 21 million active publishers is a much more achievable goal for Google to reach.

There are two different types of social networks, private and public — each defined by its default privacy setting. Facebook is by default private and meant to connect actual friends. Twitter by default is public and anyone can follow anyone else. Google+ is decidedly in the Twitter camp.

Although Twitter is growing (having just hit 200 million tweets a day), Twitter has left itself open to be displaced with a slow pace of adding features. Even newly returned founder Jack Dorsey has said that it was too difficult for “normal” people to use Twitter.
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Google+ Leverages Google’s Strength as a Communications Platform | Charlene Li

Friend management has been the bane of my Facebook experience because I don’t want to share everything with everyone. I also made the mistake of accepting far too many friend invitations with the result that I share very little on my “personal” account. While there are tools like Facebook Groups and friend lists, they are incredibly cumbersome and difficult to use.

Google+ leverages the fact that you already have your “real” friends listed and possibly even organized in your address book. Google can leverage all of that behavioral information into helping you easily manage your relationships. Because face it–who you share with, how often, and with what other people you do that sharing provides valuable insight into the nature of the relationships.

I don’t expect Facebook to stay still for long. Look for them to roll out improved friend management tools in the near future. But regardless, they will always lack the behavioral intelligence to help me truly manage my friends, unless I am a devoted Facebook user.
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Google+ hands on: lacks the social aspect of Facebook and simplicity of Twitter - Charles Arthur in Guardian

Google+ hands on: lacks the social aspect of Facebook and simplicity of Twitter - Charles Arthur in Guardian | The Google+ Project | Scoop.it
Overall score from Charles Arthur: 4/10 Not as bad as Buzz – which ignored privacy altogether – and Circles is a clever idea. But "being social" isn't just about involving lots of people in things. It's also about getting out of the way. The irony is that Google's biggest product, its search page, is a classic of simple design. But everything else it does becomes too complicated. Google+ might work better if it tried to do less, and then built it up.

Time will tell, but if I were offered the choice of this or Facebook, I'd take Facebook. But I'd take Twitter's simplicity and speed over both.
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