Why yo daddy won't use Google+: no noise control

OK, there are a few people giving me heck for using sexist language in my last post. Sorry for pandering to my audience, but when I visit engineering teams at tech companies around the world they are mostly male. At the recent WWDC (Apple’s developer conference) there were so few women in the audience that the professional press started talking about it. So the post resonated better than if I had started “why yo daddy won’t use it.” But I wanna be fair and non-sexist, and VC Fred Wilson gave me that opportunity this morning.

He says his dad will like Google+.

Um, Fred, no he won’t (and neither will most average people) and here’s why. But first, I agree with Fred that a healthy competitor to Facebook would be a good thing, more on that later.

Look forward a couple of months from now, or maybe six, when Google+’s new car smell wears off and all of us elitist, sexist, ageist geeks have something new to poke around with and get excited by (new iPhone anyone?)

Then we’ll all judge Google+ by its utility, not by its new car smell (and it is a damn fine smell, believe me).

The big problem will become quite apparent that there’s no noise control. Yes, this is what made FriendFeed, Google Buzz, and other systems seem lame and why Facebook continues to be more interesting to most people in the world.

What do I mean by that?

Well, I spent a lot of time going through thousands of people’s social graphs (IE, their list of friends on Google+) and I’ve picked out all of the VCs and put them into a circle.

I’m looking at that list right now. Problem is it isn’t giving me ONE THING that I expect VCs to talk about. There isn’t one item that talks about funding new companies, gives me some insider look into Silicon Valley, or that gives me tips for how to run my company to get better returns.

Instead I see Joi Ito’s dive pictures, Ryan Spoon talking about Facebook Places, David Lee changed his profile photo, Francine Hardaway posted some funny animated GIF, Paul Buchheit talking about Twitter celebrities. And on and on and on it goes.

There is no utility here. Yes, it’s sorta fun, yes, geeks love to see the dive photos that that Joi shoots around the world (me too, but it’s hardly what I expected to be able to see here and actually it’s better to see those photos linked to from Twitter and displayed in Flipboard).

So, until Google gives us the ability to control noise Google+ will continue not being used by average people (my metaphorical “yo momma and yo daddy.”

The thing is what is noise control?

Two things, one of which Google is known for:

1. Search. The ability to say “show me all cool new items that talk about venture capital.”
2. Sifting. This is similar to search, but goes beyond. “Show me all future items that talk about venture capital.”

Now, if Google+ had both of those things, along with a few other features, then Fred Wilson’s daddy and yo momma might see some deep utility in a service like Google+.

One last thought on this noise control thing. Facebook has a really deep achilles heel that’s associated with this. It’s that everyone over there was so freaked out by Zuckerberg’s privacy grab that they turned on most of the privacy settings. I recently went through many of my Facebook friends and some had gotten so freaked out that they — even though they were my friends and I meet them quite often — stopped letting me see their wall (I unfriended anyone who did that because it totally removed any utility Facebook has, which is to let me see your fun photos of you living your life). Jeff Jarvis noticed this too and totally nailed it as something that Google is doing way better.

So, if you take what Google+ is doing better (encouraging people to share more publicly) and you put it with some noise control (er, search features) then we have something.

Until then, yo momma and yo daddy ain’t gonna be on Google+.

By the way, geeks are arguing with me about this post over on Google+.

Comments

    1. I think what Robert is finding out is G+ is being used as a social utility and not a biz related network (persay).  That is why I like twitter.  It’s both.

  1. Before getting into Google+ I thought “Sparks” was going to be the search / sifting filter, but it doesn’t look like it works that way (seems to be returning a list of stuff from Google News)… I hope Sparks gets hooked up in that way – enter in a term you want to read posts from other Google+ users, and they appear right there.

    1. I was hoping for the same thing from “Sparks” — so you can turn “Circles” into Venn diagrams where People/Interests intersect, when you want to focus on particular topics from particular people.

  2. These are easily solved problems… and if my mom/dad want to see pics of my kids, they’ll have to join G+.

    1. What do you mean?  You _can_ post just to a specific circle, that’s the whole point.

  3. And are you saying that if you follow those same VCs on Twitter/FB, all of their tweets are VC related?

    1. On Quora they are. On Twitter my VC list sees a LOT more VC related items. Why? Because that’s the affordance of Twitter (it’s for pimping your professional stuff).

      1. So perhaps we should be pushing for the ability to make Circles that we can allow people to “subscribe” to. The VC guys could make a “VC Information” Circle that would function much like a newsletter and would only include his posts relating to his trade. On our end we would have a default Circle call “Subscriptions”, although I like “Food For Thought” better, that all those posts would automatically be placed into, and would NOT be included in our Stream. 

        You know, that could replace blogs. All you would need to do is give Google Docs the ability to Post to Google+ Circle and you could write your blogs/newsletters/subscription posts in Docs.

        Make it happen Robert. ;-)

      2. Is that not more to do with the way VCs perceive and thus utilize the the two different service.

        Can you make a post on Google+ that is targeted at the public but does not go out to any of your circles? That makes it easier to use it like Twitter for stuff that is more general and not necessarily interesting to your circles.

        Using it for both Twitter and Facebook style utility offers a one stop sharing platform.

        Still there is the chicken or the egg scaling problem!

    2. On Quora they are. On Twitter my VC list sees a LOT more VC related items. Why? Because that’s the affordance of Twitter (it’s for pimping your professional stuff).

      1. The VC’s are like everyone else right now. Only talking about other things because they are also figuring out the product as well. Give it time, in the end people talk about what they know VC’s talk about what they know just like my dad talks about what he knows and is interested in. People can’t help but talk about what their passion is in life, no matter what service they use.

  4. Robert,
      You’re dead on, but G+ is only a few days old. Give it some time. Right now it’s a toy to a lot of people, myself included, but I’m already seeing ways to use it for promotion.

    1. “It’s only a few days old”: That’s what everyone said about Buzz too… I am ultimately pretty surprised that Google of all companies can’t get SOMETHING useful/snazzy going in the filtering/surfacing department. I mean come on, even Friendfeed has a lot more going there, and that was only about 3 guys doing the coding…
      Also, please hold the spam :)

  5. I like Google+ so far, but it’s main utility will be to (maybe) force Facebook to modify itself to keep up.

    No one is going to leave Facebook for this unless it is significantly better.

    Google+ is as good as, maybe a bit better than Facebook, but it’s not so great that everyone will leave Facebook.

    1. Reposting a comment I posted on AVC

      I think, with GooglePlus, Google has finally found religion. User-Interface-Design-Religion that is. This is the magic sauce that they have been missing. They need to keep this more unified, perceptual ergonomic, user friendly interface stuff coming.

      With a more effective, consistent and universal menu bar of Google services they are creating a great launching pad for integrating social with all their other services.

      Better, more unified, interfacing will allow Google to incrementally, step by step, add transparent integration with all their other services. Creating an osmotic, slipstream learning-curve that eases a user’s transition into sophisticated services integration one step at a time is a much better approach than doing a Google-Wave, master of the universe, mega feature dump that scares the complexity pants right off all your potential users.

      If Google-Wave had have had a more natural interface and it had been introduce as step by step incremental feature additions to gMail it might still be with us. I thought Google-Wave was to social what cell structure is to the biosphere(flexible – universal – recombinant). Hopefully Google can use GooglePlus to weave a Google-Wave like social integration of all their services.

    2. think of it as the digital gold rush. Someone finds a nice big nugget across
      the river, word spreads. There is no loyalty at this point.

  6. Yeah, the problem is if you put VCs in a circle, you can hardly expect them to talk about VC stuff with you (unless you’re in their circle that makes them want to share their work related stuff with you)

    People won’t share with you what you want them to share, but what they want to share with you. Big difference! 

      1. Isn’t that the whole distinction between topical network and social network? Why would you want to get exactly the same UX out of G+ as you do from Quora..?

          1. Social networks are managers of people (with different interests). Quora is a manager of interests/topics. That’s why it makes it more relevant when you search something there – because people on the topic Venture Capital talk ONLY about venture capital. On the other hand, in a relationship with other people, you don’t discuss only one topic.

            People will share different stuff on a social network. You’re only hope is that they are conscious enough to put you in say a VC or Tech circle, and then share something related to that circle. But remember, you can’t even do that on Facebook. All your different shares go to everyone.

          2. But remember, you can’t even do that on Facebook. All your different shares go to everyone.

            Uhm, sure you can share different things with different groups on Facebook. That’s the whole point in Facebook lists. And if you aren’t using lists on Facebook, you’re missing an incredibly powerful tool…

          3. Facebook’s draw is : and sad to say this -eavesdropping.
            It appeals to one of the darkest ,taboos in the human psyche.  Nosy neighbor syndrome.
             

      2. No. Quora organizes people around *interests*, and it’s very different from Facebook, Google+, and Twitter who organize people around *relationships* (unless you count the hashtags?). That’s the difference. I’m waiting to see if Google+’s Questions will try something similar, and hopefully better than Quora because I find it hard going back there often.

        Also, I really hope Google will implement searching content within Google+, the same way Twitter’s search works. It would make Twitter a bit less useful overnight. I know there are other advantages to Twitter and its 140 messages, but a lot of people just go to Twitter to look at other people’s tweets and links. I’d like to see that on Google+ as well.

  7. Good things to think about. Why move my twitter and facebook conversations over here? Let’s discuss topics. I have yet to see a good implementation of what we used to have with Compuserve, Prodigy, Delphi, bix, and even BBS systems. Places to discuss topics. Oh yeah, and let’s see some threading.

  8. Seriously Robert you’re acting like they won’t give us noise control. You’re putting them out to dry like they’re Facebook. They are in closed beta for a reason. They will probably add noise control but let’s not kill them before they’re even out.

    1. Seth: that’s bullshit. This thing is — for all intents and purposes — out now. It is NOT a private little beta and we MUST judge it on what they are shipping today. If I get search and sifting tomorrow we will rejudge the service. Until then it’s not good enough for average people.

      1. Wow – harsh language for a myopic point of view.  Just because everyone _you_ know is on the service doesn’t mean it’s public. According to some numbers I heard earlier today, usercount is something like 250k? Granted, it’s a big private beta, but it’s still private, and pales in comparison to pretty much any other serious social networks’ adoption.

        Let’s get real here – it’s a private beta, Google’s been uber responsive to suggestion and criticism, and things very clearly _are_ private beta as compared to the quality of most other Google products. The quality of the product isn’t as refined as most other Google products (Hangount crashes on about 2 of 10 systems I’ve witnessed), there are occasional Javascript errors, and images and videos are clearly not finished (nor is Buzz integration totally baked).

        So from one early adopter to another, let’s put things in the proper context. This is a promising new social network, what’s there is pretty cool, but you’d like to see some new features that aren’t there yet.

        1. regardless -people from Google are reading every word on here
          and making note if it. So the more criticism on Bob’s blog the better.

      2. It’s out in terms of being sliced and diced all over the tech press. It’s true that they cannot yet rapidly turn off everyone the way they managed to do with Buzz in a mere 2-4 weeks time. So in that, they can still make major adjustments, and us early adopters will be back to take another look.

        But so far, despite the pretty UI, as far as functionality I have to agree with Robert that it’s just not there, and some of the things missing are so basic that it really gets you to scratch your head. In truth, SO MANY of the lessons of Buzz appear not to have been learned, or sufficiently considered.

        See here, blast from the past: http://alexschleber.posterous.com/key-excerpt-from-robert-scoble-dear-google-bu [zz team]

  9. It really feels as though “Sparks” *should* be this and not the weird kinda-sorta connection to Google News that it currently is.  People don’t need *another* non-social news discovery tool (and right now, it seems as though that’s all “Sparks” is).  If “Sparks” did what you’re asking and filtered the *Posts* according to the interest you identify, I think they would be really, really powerful.  As it is, that’s the one piece of the G+ experience that I’ve simply ignored after glancing at very briefly.

  10. I think we are still in the early hours of the brand new day with Google+.  It’s a bit short sighted to think the whole thing is intended to be the Facebook replacement.  Look deeper,  don’t go for the surface comparisons that are easy to make.   G+ is only a few days out of the incubator and into the public eye.   It is smart to limit it’s exposure to the unwashed masses while things get more refined.

    The real trojan horse is not Google+ itself,  but the black status bar that is now making it’s way across Google services.   It’s what is going to keep people tied into Googleland, because it will be there across your searching,Feed Reading, Emailing, etc.Each time you +1 something,  it drives your total Google experience, and with that StatusBar you are always tied into that.  When you leave Facebook to do the “Other” things on the web you do,  (searching,readin,emailing,etc.)  Facebook doesn’t come with you once you leave.

    1. Well, I have put a lot more hours in this car than the average person will put into Google+ in a month. So, yes, the new car smell wears off very quickly.

      1. Isn’t what you actually end up doing in the car more important than its newness? And to extend the metaphor, a lot of people fall in love with their cars and remain thrilled with them until they fall apart – and cars rarely improve over time as much as a software platform inevitably does.
        I can’t see dismissing G+ until I’m convinced it’s useless to me – which took about a week in Wave and two days in Buzz. I see potential here. I totally agree about noise control, it’s one of my favorite features of IRC. Also agree with those who stated their expectations for Sparks. It feels like a stub for when they’re ready to search G+ public content. I also agree that Quora and G+ are apples and oranges.

  11. I do the noise control for those who have added me to their circles. If I talk about mobile phones I only share it with people who know me from an android forum. If I share something about the city I live in I only push it to the people in my Gothenburg circle.

  12. That’s a good point…..Maybe people just aren’t sharing the information with Scoble he thought they would?   When it’s easy to have targeted conversations,   I suppose it’s easy to be left out of the stream too.

  13. You’re one of the least sexist blokes in tech-land. That’s quite obvious from your interviews. People need to judge others on more than a couple of random comments. Anyhow … new car smell. I’m finding sparks quite useful. If there’s a culture of filtering interest-specific stuff using that, then sharing it, things should become more interesting. 

  14. I don’t get the Facebook comparisons, really. G+ is nothing like Facebook, and won’t tempt hardcore Facebookers away. The comparison is meaningless.

    What G+ IS is a better Twitter. Twitter, with built-in Twitpic, Skype, group-specific “Tweeting”, threads and no 140 char limit. You follow people. They may or may not follow back. Just like Twitter.

    You’re right about filtering, to a certain extent, but I follow CEOs on Twitter and they don’t just talk about sales and marketing strategy – why should G+ be any different?

    What Google needs to introduce is hashtags, or plain old tags. Then have Sparks set up so it can show you all the #nexus posts from your Android Circle. Or all the #cat posts from your Family Circle. Etc. Don’t think it’s practical to get that kind of filtering on the Stream level, but on a “watched hashtag” in Sparks it would be handy. Because, at the moment, sparks does nothing Google Reader doesn’t do, better.

    1. I think they just need to let you search through Google+ shares. You won’t really need Sparks for that unless you’re looking for *new* content *outside* the Google+ network. But other than that, a Twitter-like search should be good enough for most uses.

  15. I think you are very wrong on this one Robert. Normal people won’t use Google+ like you or me. They won’t have circles of VC’s, CEO’s, or developers. They will follow their friends. And maybe a few celebrities. Most normal people aren’t looking for insights from the smartest people in industries. They want to know what Ashton Kutcher had for lunch and what there friends are up to. They don’t use social media the way you do. The use it to connect with their real group of 50-200 friends they see on a semi-regular basis.

    1. Even if you follow just five of your closest friends you will want noise control. I can’t stand when my friends start talking politics, for instance. I’d like to sift those items out of my feed.

      1. Ok, I understand how that could be useful now. Overall though I don’t think many non-geeks would use it. I would love to see it though.

    2. Even if you follow just five of your closest friends you will want noise control. I can’t stand when my friends start talking politics, for instance. I’d like to sift those items out of my feed.

  16. “Well, I spent a lot of time going through thousands of people’s social graphs (IE, their list of friends on Google+) and I’ve picked out all of the VCs and put them into a circle.”

    We’ve spoke about this on G+ already. I don’t think that using yourself as an instrument to test out G+ is very wise. You’re not representational of daddies or mums, at al. It’s representational of the mega-user. 

  17. “Facebook doesn’t come with you once you leave” …. wish this were the case, but I see that “Like” button everywhere I go on the web. And half the sites I visit have Facebook Connect to sign up now. FB follows me around like a psycho x girlfriend every time I try and leave. 

  18. I totally agree that “Sparks” needs to be made more social.  Sparks should also serve as a way to meet people with common interests.  Currently most people on Google+ are tech geek super users so that is who I’m following.  How much longer will they want me to comment on their posts or see my words of wisdom?  I will ultimately need to find people with more common interests.  Without allowing people to find and connect with people of to add to their circles Google+ could become like Twitter where you end up following people just because they are popular.

    Side note:  My wife is going to have a baby any day now.  I plan on announcing to birth to friends and family through Google+.  It will be interesting to see how the family responds to it.  

    1. sparks seems experimental, who knows if it will make it out of this month, most users may never use it. So far the services like Huddle, and Hangout are things I have never seen and they make me want to use G+ months down the road

    1. how is it dif than facebook? if my dad wants to follow my friends, he will get noise, and no control. he would have to unfollow them, same applies. I am sure there are algorithms and ways to do it, but my dad won’t figure it out

    2. No, I don’t think it will get worse. Normal non techie friends don’t generate 200 comments on every post. Some of my normal non techie friends are getting in (you can have a large enough social graph to make it in and not be techie) and it’s been great. Why? Because we’re in each other’s circles based on our real personal connection. Save for maybe a celebrity here and there, that’s how normal people will do it.

    1. Isn’t scoble kinda old? his dad may not use it, but my dad who is likely only a few years older than him may use it. the ease of use from facebook alone could get him to switch, his android phones auto picture upload may get him to join. Him being able to talk to his son and daughter and our mom may get him to join. Yeah… he may just join

  19. Tore – Scoble comes in early. It would be like Christmas falling in February if he waited until he was representative of the majority. 

    Robert, you could call any discussion of things you’re interested in ‘promotion’. It’s not all noise. If I was interested in something a company or author was doing, I’d mention it. That would promote them, but that wouldn’t be the reason I was doing it. When you talk about some new tech thing, it’s not promotion, it’s valuable info. Whether it becomes a feed of noise or of valuable information is partly down to the features it has, but most of it needs to come from the culture, surely? 

    1. lets not compare buzz and wave, to G+, just because they failed doesn’t mean this will, both kind of catered to a certain audience, well not buzz, it was just confused and with no app, but i see now why as the G+ app is nice and very buzz like. 

  20. Hmmm… people are using Quora around topics though. At Google+ the there is no structure around topics (at least not yet). Those VCs are posting on topics that they understand. It’s not appropriate to post about the fact that you are eating eggs for breakfast on Quora. Less to do with noise control, more to do with the ethos of the two sites. 
    G+ is seems like it was built to me more of a “personal” network because there are no “business accounts” formally and because the whole thing is based on your gmail contacts. 

  21. I think G+ looks like Wave+Buzz+Add-on’s I am not very keen on the idea, but we will have to see how it develops, after Wave I am not going to get all excited though, done with that Google you let me down before aint gonna happen this time.

  22. I think G+ looks like Wave+Buzz+Add-on’s I am not very keen on the idea, but we will have to see how it develops, after Wave I am not going to get all excited though, done with that Google you let me down before aint gonna happen this time.

  23. I think G+ looks like Wave+Buzz+Add-on’s I am not very keen on the idea, but we will have to see how it develops, after Wave I am not going to get all excited though, done with that Google you let me down before aint gonna happen this time.

  24. That’s a pretty limited view of “utility.”  I think there are many more users that want to see their friend’s diving pictures than want to hear about their friend’s work.  While I agree that managing noise will be a challenge to G+, and they’re playing a little catch-up with FB in this regard, I don’t think it’s as much of a professional networking tool than it is a personal one.  The improvements G+ has made over FB are in features like photo sharing and hangouts but I don’t think LinkedIn has anything to worry about.

    1. OK, turn it around. When the VCs start talking about work (they will) can you only see the cool life pictures in that group? No. WHy not? There’s no noise controls.

      1. True, I guess circles is your only real noise management tool.  You can put people into a specific circle if they’re super high volume and you don’t want them in your stream and then I guess you have to hope that they choose their sharing circles more carefully so people not interested in their work won’t get that content.  I’m trying to create very separate circles for personal and professional contacts so I can make sure I don’t bother people.  Hopefully they’ll offer some settings to choose what circles appear in your default feed at some point as well.

        1. if they are your friends, ask them to make a circle for things you don’t appreciate. Or things you are not interested in, if they are not really your friends, unfollow

      2. The first bit of noise control Google can put in is the ability to filter out any posts in the main stream that are “Public.” I almost wish “Public” wasn’t an option although I understand why Google had to do it. I don’t want to see what you could have easily put on your blog or Twitter. I just want to see what you selected to share with the circle(s) you put me in because of some common interest or category. That’s where Google+ has its real value. In other words, I wish folks would stop thinking when they post “this is what I find interesting so I want to share it with everyone who finds me interesting” and instead move towards “this is what I think you might find interesting based on what I know about you and we have in common.”

  25. That’s a pretty limited view of “utility.”  I think there are many more users that want to see their friend’s diving pictures than want to hear about their friend’s work.  While I agree that managing noise will be a challenge to G+, and they’re playing a little catch-up with FB in this regard, I don’t think it’s as much of a professional networking tool than it is a personal one.  The improvements G+ has made over FB are in features like photo sharing and hangouts but I don’t think LinkedIn has anything to worry about.

  26. Details Robert. Details. Google+ is going to win & win big. Here is why (predictions). (1) Google will incorporate Google Analytics on a personal/social network level for the first time. Individuals will be empowered to see the data that businesses and organizations have been experiencing for years. This is the data that has been teaching and building better online experiences for a decade. Google is going to empower the user to be a better social networker. (2) Google will incorporate AdSense into Google+. Each user will be able to place the AdSense code into their Google+ profile and for the first time, all the efforts we each individually put into our social graphs (posts, pictures, videos, links, comments, etc.) will be monetized and we will be rewarded financially. Note: This is a quick response. Working on a longer piece at http://www.mjcii.com. Keep it up. You ROCK!

    1. # 2 . Google + will cut the ad revenue for FB in 1/2 , and they will be limited in their growth and eventually lose the “”””””””game”””””””. The fat lady will sing in about 6 months

  27. I think you may be missing one key aspect of circles. They can self filter. I’ll post to family my family posts and I’ll post my work stuff to my work circle. My family won’t have to filter the work stuff out because they won’t see it to begin with. Now, if I was stupid and posted everything to all my circles, then they would need filter tools. But I don’t think that’s how G+ is envisioned.

    I do agree that public posts need some filters, but I expect that is where sparks will eventually go. For now it’s limited to news/blogs/etc, but once there are enough people on G+, it will cover public posts.

  28. In my opinion the mechanism of Social Websites like Facebook and Google+ is built on How fast they can drive users to their sites that matter to others and How intuitive and useful it’s social features are. My dad won’t join Google+ but when he would see that his kids are no longer active at facebook then he might consider Google+. And In addition to this Google has built Google+ experience right into Gmail that didn’t work for buzz for the obvious reason this time it’s gonna work because the notifications keep one calling attention back to Google+.

  29. Robert: How much of the seeming lack of quality do you think is due to all of us geeks merely poking at the new tools and not yet contributing any valuable/interesting content? Personally, I’m not yet invested or convinced enough of G+ to post content there rather than in Twitter (my usual hangout). But then, of course, you have the paradox of groups, right? Someone has to start so others will follow.

    1. A very intelligent point there Intellagirl.  A network is largely the networking going on within it and that networking is going on under very particular conditions that do not reflect how it will be used once it is open to the world.  

  30. A lot of people seem eager to leap down Robert’s throat about this but they sound like features that might be worth Google’s time to look at.
    Perhaps the Scobleizer has had a little too much coffee today or maybe he needs to relax a little, he certainly sounds a little crotchety.  But being crotchety is the best way to progress.  Those who are quick to anger at the failures of our systems are those who push the direction of future development.  I really hope Google is paying attention because I think the search idea at least is an excellent idea.
    Many journalists just try to provoke a reaction but I am sure on the subject of this post Robert is the grumpy old man in all of us paving the way for a better future.

    1. Indeed. There are some great ideas… probably the best is the notion that Spark should actually include information on topics from people in your circles. That’s how I *thought* it would worked before I used it. 
      Could be so much more powerful than just a news aggregation tool. 

  31. I feel like these problems could all be solved by being able to have public, subscribable circles. That way, VC’s could create a circle, call it “professional” or something, and people could insert themselves in if they are interested in that topic. The person would then be publishing those items to that circle.

  32. Okay, for the most part I’ve been ignoring + because in the back of my mind, it’s another Buzz/Wave fail.  Until Scoble decided to make an issue of it.  So I’m reading his geek input, and zoning out until I got to the “circles” part.  And I’m thinking somewhere in my fuzziness that I’ve seen something similar to this before from the Goog that I vaguely liked.  I went to Gmail, and there it was: Groups.  And it slowly dawned on me, “hey, they might just have hit on something.”  If they offer an opt-in for merging Groups with Circles, + might not be such a hard to learn or ho-hum feature after all!  Now this is something I’d be willing to give up Facebook for!  So, there, Scoble!  Yo’ Mamma and yo’ daddy might just want to use it after all!

  33. @Scobleizer:disqus  I think Google did a wrong thing by launching it to early adopters first, if they really wanted to go after facebook, they should have launched it only to people with .edu email address starting with limited universities, just like what facebook did. This exclusivity is key for students to start adopting some new technology, make them feel special, If college students started using and posting pictures then eventually mom and dad will start using it. Thats how facebook did it, google just does not get it, they always have tried to build on top of their existing gmail user base, building a social graph requires to start from scratch. Starting with early adopters will get early spike and buzz, but we early adopters always want to try out new things and get bored with old ones soon, so it will never stick.

  34. So I clicked on the link to your Google+ post and started reading the comments. Even though you can do this on Facebook, I don’t think I’ve done it more than once. I would never comment on it on Facebook since I wouldn’t want to populate every one of my friend’s feeds with stuff they wouldn’t care about (I would’ve put this comment on Google+ but I didn’t want to add to the not-yet-fixed noise). Just thought that was worth something.

  35. So I clicked on the link to your Google+ post and started reading the comments. Even though you can do this on Facebook, I don’t think I’ve done it more than once. I would never comment on it on Facebook since I wouldn’t want to populate every one of my friend’s feeds with stuff they wouldn’t care about (I would’ve put this comment on Google+ but I didn’t want to add to the not-yet-fixed noise). Just thought that was worth something.

  36. Again, Robert your so totally and completely wrong about this. My father would use Google plus because he has a gmail account, and that’s that.   Google has more channels to be social on, end of story.

  37. Hmmm.  Choosing relevant content to show people.  Sounds like a tough problem.  There is only one company that has really nailed it. 

    What’s their name? 

    Oh yeah–Google.

    It’s certainly in the works.  Google needs data to analyze to determine relevancy–it’s only a matter of time before they are mining the social graph like they mine the WWW.

  38. [quote]
    The big problem will become quite apparent that there’s no noise control. Yes, this is what made FriendFeed, Google Buzz, and other systems seem lame and why Facebook continues to be more interesting to most people in the world.[/quote]

    Respectfully disagree. Facebook is strong _in spite of_ its noise control, not thanks to it. More on my blog: http://www.kaoskontrolkaos.com/391

  39. Disclaimer – i’ve not used G+ yet.

    The thing is G+ appears to be doing the Twitter thing and the Facebook thing.

    1. Facebook, relationships are two way. G+ Circles seem to cater for this style of relationship where the author decides who sees the comment by choosing Circles that he/she created.

    2. Twitter, you follow people. These are sometimes people you know who follow you back and therefore similar to Facebook – but often these are one way, following celebs (in the broad sense of the word). So I assume you then get only the public stuff that celeb posts?

    In Scobles use case, he is following someone for a particular topic, but can’t stop the other stuff he may post. It seems to me that in one way relationships there is no filtering, you will just get all public stuff.

    The issue is that the creator of content decides which circles see it – but that only really makes sense for two way relationships. If I have some ‘followers’ that I don’t know, I also don’t necessarily know why they are following me. If I was able to publish a set of ‘public circles’ stating what topics I will be posting to them, then my one way relationships (followers) can add themselves to one or more of my public circles.

    Twitter doesn’t solve this problem either, except for with hashtags, but you don’t know what hashtags someone is going to start using.

  40. Thank God VCs talk about other things than venture capital. I like to know people in their entirety if I am going to do business with them. You can tell a lot about the ethics, integrity, and interests of a person by reading their posts outside their main occupational area. 
    And  though there is plenty of talk about in the VC industry and where it’s going, it’s not always breaking news. Venture Capital isn’t like war. People go home from it at night and think about other things. 
    I’m in London this week, and I will be saying plenty about startups and incubators, and the “normal” stuff I talk about.

    However, I would like to think I have a life. (And that was Pirillo who posted the animated GIF. I was the one who posted the dog photos)

    I do talk about other things: health care, politics, family, news, world events, products, and yes, DOGS. I think what +Robert Scoble is saying is that he’d like his circles aimed at topics, and he’d like the posts of someone like me, or McClure, or some of the other talkers, sorted by content rather than by name. That’s a good suggestion. Hashtags are supposed to do that on Twitter, but there’s nothing like that yet on Google+.

    Take heart, though, Robert. Twitter  wasn’t born with hashtags either. If this is a real problem, it will get fixed.

  41. Google+ feels somewhere between Friendfeed and Facebook to me. I’m not enjoying the Facebook like features, and there’s not enough of a jump past Friendfeed to make it a must have part of my net interactions. 

    I’ll give it some time to see how it develops, but my hopes are tempered.

  42. Noise control? Facebook? What??? 2 words: FarmVille. MafiaWars.

    Seriously. Facebook is a cesspool of noise, and Twitter is no different. Sure, you can use 3rd party tools to filter a lot of that crap out, but then you’re judging the 3rd party tool. Not an accurate comparison.

    In regards to search on G+, that’s what “sparks” are for, or at least intended for. Your average mama and papa isn’t hanging out on Facebook or G+ to get the latest in venture capital. They are there to see John’s scuba diving trip, videos of their grandkids, and news about what’s happening in the family.

    In the long run, “noise” is in the eye of the beholder.

    1. I have no idea what he is talking about. He compares the FB / + Wall/Stream to Twitter and talks about how great Twitter is because of the filters. Are you kidding me? YOu need to use 3rd party programs to fix a product that is all about noise. Check Scoble under wikipedia – he tweets 21 times per day on average. He is NOISE.

      Stream compared to Wall offers filters. That is the point. Additionally I can have a PRIVATE conversation in the stream. I realize Scoble is 10 times more experience than me and likely much smarter blah blah blah but he just seems so wrong here and out of touch. 

  43. I took the time to make lists on facebook and find that lists/circles are more about limiting posts than filtering the feed. feed limiting really only has two settings: close friends / everyone. and close friends can be deduced by algorithms.

  44. Wow, for me G+ is just the opposite. I find utility in how you can lock down each post. Suddenly I can speak freely because I know exactly who can and can’t see my posts, and the people I target them to can speak freely because they know exactly who is involved.

    The last thing we need from a new social network is a broadcast podium; that has been done and done better in other mediums. What we really need is a place where you can have the same kind of conversations you would in your day to day life; conversations with real depth.

  45. What a ridiculous article… this does not make sense at all. The reason you see so much noise, is because you added 3000+ people to your circles. No wonder your (main) stream is a mess. If you divide these people in Circles, say Family (10 people), Friends (30 people) and Everybody Else (2060), THEN you would use G+ the way it is meant to be. Want noise and endless yacking about G+? Click Everybody Else. Want important stuff? Click family and watch a cute movie of your sister’s new puppy. Want Good Ol’ Yack? Click Friends, and see a picture of what your neighbor had for breakfast. THAT is what will happen, and THAT is why my Daddy (75) is ALREADY using G+. I couldn’t get him to use FB with a shotgun, he received 3 invites from people he met once and bolted.

  46. So what’s up with Sparks? I expected that to be the filters you are talking about. They should be search terms that pull filtered feeds of the people in your circles. Currently they seem more like generalized web search results?

    Also interesting, my step-mom got on here last night, thanks to me adding her to my family circle. My buddy at work who always buys the latest gear, tweets, uses Facebook, even got a free Chrome laptop…oh he’s still waiting for an invite! Oh well.

    1. I also think Sparks should be somehow linked to circles rather than only for the web. I’m finding most of the content to be lackluster.

  47. Hi Robert,

    I see that you have more than 3000 people on Google+. wow that is amazing. are you still able to send invitations? I would love to check this google+ :)

    Greetings,

    Lorie

  48. robert, i think you are wrong to think that google plus and facebook will remain the way they are today. in 6 months from now they will be different and this post will be irrelevant. facebook will have their new service, followed by google’s, and the ball keeps rolling.

    i believe that in the long run, google plus has a very good chance of taking a very big cut of facebook’s users pool and offer more tools and sharing options.

    it seems though, that with google plus, as oppose to facebook, users are more reluctant to share, as google seems more “open” than the “closed” facebook. google should pay attention to this issue.

  49. I started reading the post intending on disagreeing but I can’t. Truth is, if you create a circle of subject matter experts hoping to only see information regarding that subject, that won’t happen unless they have you in a specific circle and only share information relevant to that circle or publicly. With that being said, Facebook also lacks this noise control so I don’t see this as a real issue at this time.

  50. My daddy won’t be interested in this, because he can barely text, let alone browse social networking sites without being totally frustrated with it.lols. I haven’t tried Google+ will see if it can fit my tastes.