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July 7, 2011

“You know nothing of my work!”
Posted by Avram Grumer at 11:39 PM * 77 comments

Marshall McLuhan said that “the medium is the message”, meaning that a new communications medium is itself at least as worthwhile of attention as the messages sent through it. History has borne him out: Every new communications medium that comes along is initially dominated by discussion of that same medium. It’s the nature of that discussion that changes.

Remember the days when someone would get their first email account, and their first email message said “Hey, I just got an email account!”? Or when airplane phones were new, and every flight was full of people saying “Guess where I’m calling from! — The plane!”? Life on the cutting edge of technology! The future coming into being around us! Exciting!

We should have known the bloom was off the rose when everyone’s first LiveJournal post basically said “Yeah, OK, I finally got a LiveJournal, but I’m just using it to comment; I’m not gonna actually post or anything.” And man, Facebook! So many people I know — myself included — were (are!) resentful of the felt necessity of getting a Facebook account. “Alright already, I signed up! Happy??”

Google opened Google+ up for new members for a while today. I snuck in before they pulled the drawbridge back up, to find Patrick, Teresa, Abi, and Jim already there. Perhaps because of a high proportion of technologically sophisticated folks among the early wave of users (at least among my circles), the early discussion there seems dominated by detailed discussions of the services shortcomings. The early G+ user is neither excited nor curmudgeonly, but sophisticatedly critical. There’s something relentlessly self-referential about the fact that we’re not just using the service to criticize the service, but complaining most about the feature we’d like to use to bring more of our friends in, so they can experience for themselves exactly what we’re complaining about.

(And, of course, I’m writing this post so I can try linking to it through Google+.)

(Edit: No, Jim’s not there. The little icon representing him has an envelope on it, meaning it’s an email address from my gMail contacts list, and Google’s encouraging me to invite him. See what I said about the interface problems?)

Comments on “You know nothing of my work!”:
#1 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2011, 11:53 PM:

And, since I followed it here from there, it appears to have worked.

FWIW, I really feel like it's got a lot of potential, and I'd like to see it take off. Hopefully all of this constructive criticism will be listened to!

#2 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 12:32 AM:

On Facebook: it's becoming a requirement for commenting at the LA Times online. A lot of people are Not Happy with the website.

#3 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 01:02 AM:

Heh. My first Google+ post was about how the only circle of mine which had anyone in it was my "Friends" circle. My family and high school classmates will presumably follow in the weeks and months to come.

We don't have anything to talk about yet, so we talk about the one thing we have in common -- the service, and the experience of being a new user. Also, as a friend puts it, you can tell a technologist by how much they complain about technology. Because of course the first step to making it better is to identify the problem, and us glass-half-empty types are good at that, can't help doing it often even when we want to.

#4 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 01:08 AM:

I've gotten several Google+ emails; haven't yet tried to follow up on them. It's bad enough that I had to set up a real account on Teh Twitters the other day (a friend of mine died, and that's how his friends mostly keep in touch, as opposed to LiveJournal which he and his wife both occasionally used at rates I could follow. I may or may not close the account after the funeral and followups.) And I've even got a follower on that, so I should probably drop a "Hi, I'm not likely to tweet very often." note.

#5 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 01:31 AM:

Someone on my Twitter feed recently tooted something like "On Twitter you follow the people you want to know. On Facebook you follow the people you used to know."

That's not entirely true, but there's something to it.

#6 ::: David D. Levine ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 01:34 AM:

In this case it's entirely appropriate to discuss the service's problems and shortcomings. This is a "field trial" and we've been invited to pound the hell out of the service and provide our feedback. The process of discussing how we feel about the service's various features and misfeatures is important; the developers are watching, I'm sure (many of them are our friends) and the arguments we are having right now about how things should work are an important input into the future shape of the service. I'm excited about this service and the opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

#7 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 02:18 AM:

If you're interested in the uses of new media for communication (and I expect folks here are), may I mention Bryan Alexander's book The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media? I met him through another online community, and I think this is a really interesting and important book about new ways to tell stories. Not really about Google+, but I expect there will be new stories that end up happening there. (ISBN 978-0-31338749-4, if you want to look for it. I hope Locus publishes the review I just sent them.)

I'm still waiting for any of my Google+ invitations to actually get to me....

#8 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 02:42 AM:

Tom: I got my invitation via Clifton Royston and after clicking the Join button on and off for about 3 days finally got in. Of course I added you into my circles, so you should get an invite that way if necessary...

#9 ::: aphrael ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 03:22 AM:

There are things about G+ which I find vastly superior to FB. But until more people are on it, I can't use it as a replacement for FB, which means I now have the problem of deciding what social-media-communication stuff goes where. Which makes me less likely to use G+, because I'd rather not have to deal with the decision-making process.

Which is an odd reaction, I think, as the platform seems like a substantial improvement (minus the missing companions), and I certainly trust Google more than I trust FB in terms of protecting my data.

#10 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 03:26 AM:

On the subject of facebook, I think I may finally have found a good enough reason to get an account.

#11 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 05:41 AM:

aphrael, #9: "I certainly trust Google more than I trust FB in terms of protecting my data."

The distinction I wound up making in a conversation the other day was this: Google sometimes fails to live up to its famous admonition "Don't Be Evil." Facebook has a large sign up over the employee entrance reading "Have You Met Your Evil Quota Today?"

This is perhaps a caricature, but it's one that both companies have earned.

(And yes, in the long run, don't trust any corporation or "cloud" that you don't control. I've snarked about Facebook a few times on Making Light. What I may not have mentioned is that several months ago I stopped using Gmail altogether, because I don't want to entrust anything as important as my email to an organization that I can't reach on the phone.)

#12 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 07:39 AM:

Avram @ #5


(Or should that be "like?")

#13 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 07:50 AM:

The early G+ user is neither excited nor curmudgeonly, but sophisticatedly critical

"Who designed this thing?"

#14 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 08:32 AM:

So I just got this in the email and on Facebook:

You are receiving this message because Facebook deleted something you posted that violated Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Among other things, content that is sexually suggestive, graphic, hateful or threatening is not allowed. Content that attacks an individual or group is also prohibited. Continued misuse of Facebook's features could result in your account being disabled.

Anyone else ever gotten that? And would it have been too much trouble for them to tell me what I did?

My only guess as to what triggered it was a friend's fill-in-the-blank game of "I'm on a ______ and I can't get off," to which I answered "Sybian". But that's still there. I'm really puzzled as to what I did.

#15 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 09:22 AM:

I'm there? How the heck did that happen? I don't recall signing up for G+, don't know where it is or how to access it, and certainly don't plan to visit.

There are three places I line I visit regularly and post to. This is one of them. I do have a Livejournal account, which I visit only when I need to delete spam. (I have it so that I can visit the LJs of friends who have their LJs locked so that you need to have an LJ account to visit.)

And that's pretty much it.

#16 ::: Jenna Moran ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 09:59 AM:

James D. Macdonald @#15:

If you've used google, and you've used plusses, you may be subject by the inexorable logic of the Internet to their terrible transitive closure. (Something similar happened to people who'd previously used Google, Wikipedia, and time machines, and found themselves subject without ever formally signing up for it to the Google Open History Project, without which our unlikely cosmos would never have been born.)

#17 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 10:25 AM:

Avram -- true, I do follow people I used to know on Facebook. But it's resulted in my getting to know them anew. A lot of them turn out to be pretty cool. I'm glad I got back in touch with them.

#18 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 10:26 AM:

When a friend wrote to say that she'd 'encircle' me on G+, I immediately thought of Toy Story's Jessie roping in Woody.

#19 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 10:58 AM:

I've at least finally gotten an invite - I have yet to see a Join button. I'm hearing pretty good things about it - one exception being the fact that the *only* thing in your profile you can't obscure for privacy is your gender, which seems odd.

#20 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 11:00 AM:

OK, that's freaky. I clicked your link and got a Join button - and it worked. WTF, Google?

#21 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 11:11 AM:

I see a lot of people as "there" and recommended to me who aren't using the service. In every instance, the person has gmail accounts and that email address is a contact in my Google contacts list. However, they aren't actually "there" as in a part of Google Plus. If you try to add those people to your circle, a little envelope appears to say that the person can be emailed (but isn't on the service yet).

This confused me to start; I thought a number of people were using the service already. Only when I stumbled upon a few who I knew were not using it did I make the connection.

#22 ::: Richard Robinson ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 11:12 AM:

Serge #18

When I saw that, I thought that if you can persuade people they want to perform a verb that's only available via your product, you've won a shiny new internet.

#23 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 12:11 PM:

Richard Robinson @ 22... I expect that FaceBook earned a shiny internet too when it came up with the atrocious 'friending'. The patina has worn off since then. :-)

#24 ::: Russell Letson ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 12:17 PM:

"The food here is terrible."

"Yes, and the portions are so small."

#25 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 12:18 PM:

Looking at the world of self-published ebooks (as I have been lately), when you read the advice on how to promote them (which you must do, so that your little gem isn't lost in the endless mudflats of raw slush), the first thing you hear is, "If you aren't on Facebook and Twitter, drop everything right now and join them!" so that you can spend 8-10 hours a day pimping your ebooks.

Not that the ability to spend 8-10 hours a day pimping your ebook has anything to do with your ability to write an entertaining/useful book, mind you.

#26 ::: Dave DuPlantis ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 12:31 PM:

Facebook is actively working on ways to share more of my information with people whom I haven't approved as recipients, and only reluctantly implements privacy measures after being publicly shamed into doing so.

Google periodically shares a good bit of my information "by accident" with people whom I haven't approved as recipients, and only reluctantly implements privacy measures after being publicly shamed into doing so.

I'm not sure that intent is really that important to me; behavior, I think, is more important. I trust Facebook and Google about equally. That being said, I do hope that the early adopters of Google+ can shape it into something "better" than Facebook.

#27 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 01:38 PM:

The basic problem with social networking sites will remain, though. The providers of the service have no way to make money except to sell advertisers access to the users, or to sell the users' information. And for selling ads, the real value comes in targeted ads of various kinds, which makes it really hard for the social networking site not to eventually expose a lot of information about us[1].

Even worse, this is another place where we build friendships and a community on someone else's property, where it's subject to be taken away from us, or paved over to put wall-to-wall billboards or strip clubs and porn shops, at the pleasure of the social network site's owners. Eventually, we need to find a way around that--a way to build communities that doesn't involve trusting that a large, distant organization will always find it in their interests to refrain from being evil and to provide us a nice place to socialize.

[1] For example, you probably want to present me ads based on what my friends like. Oops, there's a leak of information about my friends' interests. Ads for everything from dating services to online car buying services make sense for some users but not others. (There's little value in offering married users ads for a dating service, for example. Similarly, you might as well not try advertising the great sale on hybrid minivans to teenagers.)

#28 ::: Kelley Wegeng ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 02:36 PM:

I would like to claim that I am so sophisticated and critical that I have not yet gotten a G+ account, or signed up for it, or whatever the vernacular is. Sadly, I think I'm just cynical.

Google has been happily crying "Hey, look at me, I'm so cool," so loudly and frequently recently, only to fizzle out as undeliverable hype, I am sort of burned out. Google Wave, Google Buzz, Google Apps (that one is a real joke - if you open a Google Checkout account for your company with your company email and then later switch to Google for your company's domain hosting your Checkout account gets hosed and you can never use your work email for a Checkout account again - other Google Apps have data transfer, but not Google Checkout)...

So I am apathetic about G+. Maybe it will become the next big social networking thing. But the track record of making things work, keeping things working, and actually having something cool when they say "Hey, we have this new cool thing," isn't really there.

#29 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 03:00 PM:

Wait! Maybe Jim is there! "James D Macdonald" just added me to a circle, I've been notified.

#30 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 03:09 PM:

Yes, I'm there now. Patrick tempted me and I did eat.

Can't guarantee that I'll be there if you know what I mean, but I'm there.

#31 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 03:11 PM:

They seek him here. They seek him there. They seek him everywhere...

#32 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 03:29 PM:

Avram #5: I'd say there was something to that. I'm amazed at how many of my FB friends are former schoomates, workmates, people I was at university with, or other people who form part of my past (including different categories of exes).

#33 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 03:33 PM:

re 27: I think it's even below that-- at least if it's like Facebook it will be. There are are a couple of people I primarily interact with on Facebook, mostly for the reason that I don't have any other more direct connection to them. But the whole thing is really constructed more or less beneficially/parasitically on the communities we already have. For the most part one "friends" people one already knows; for me at least it isn't a place where one makes new friendships. The flip side is that one can put a more positive spin on "the people one used to know": it can help revive a connection which distance or other impediment had silenced.

#34 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 03:37 PM:

Actually, that was what motivated me finally to go to the trouble of deleting my Facebook account; I kept getting accosted by people from my past, and not the ones I would have liked to get back in touch with.

"Helloooo! I left with no forwarding address for a reason..."

#35 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 05:21 PM:

Serge @31

Is he on Facebook, or Tweeting from Hell?
Or plagiarizing Pimpernel?

#36 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 05:44 PM:

I was invited and just got in, and Patrick has added me to a circle. I'm so proud! ;)

#37 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 06:14 PM:

The trouble here is that google needs your truename to connect people.

At any rate, /me is on there. I think this is my first "social network" that I've actually joined, as opposed to networky things that are social.

#38 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 06:58 PM:

#33, C. Wingate: [discussing Facebook] "For the most part one 'friends' people one already knows; for me at least it isn't a place where one makes new friendships."

This is very tentative, and I may wind up being wrong about it, but from what I can tell about Google+, when people you don't know, or people you're not sure you know, "add you to one of their circles", you don't need to do anything about it--all they'll ever see is content you chose to make public. _But_ (by clicking on your "incoming" stream) you can browse the content these people put up. It's possible that people who you don't know who find you interesting...might be interesting to you. And no, I don't mean that in a creepy wocka-wocka way.

For me, it's a huge improvement on the energy-suck that is Facebook's mutual "friending" model, in which every "friend request" amounted to a demand that I rack my brain (and, usually, pound on Google) trying to remember where I might know this person from.

#37, Eric: "The trouble here is that google needs your truename to connect people."

From Google+'s content policy: "13. Display Name To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of those would be acceptable."

I can immediately imagine criticisms of this policy, but it's a far cry from demanding that you use the name on your birth certificate, driver's license, or passport.

#39 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 07:06 PM:

Ah, of course that does put me in a bit of a bind.

My family calls me one thing.
My friends - especially my online friends, and especially especially my online communities like this one (where I would like to think I have some people who would be friends in time and with other connections) - call me something else.
My cow-orkers call me something else yet.

So. What, Google?

#40 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 07:08 PM:

Oh, and of course, my "if I ever see them again in my life, it will be too soon" people called me something else *again*.

One of the many reasons why I don't use that part of my name online.

#41 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 08:15 PM:

Once one signs out of Google +, how the heck does one sign back in?

#42 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 09:04 PM:

My invite came in from an unexpected quarter, and now I'm in as well. Adding people slowly, playing with circles. I think nested circles would be a much more interesting idea....

#43 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 09:11 PM:

You log back into your gmail account and look for the +yourname in the upper left hand corner.

At least, that what worked for me. (I'm in there, with the email I use for blog comments, as opposed to the email address I use for Facebook or the Other Gmail Address.)

#44 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 10:07 PM:

Thena @ #43, Hey, that worked for me too! I don't call that intuitive by any stretch, but whatever works.


#45 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 10:45 PM:

Linkmeister at #41:
"Once one signs out of Google +, how the heck does one sign back in?"

You can check out any time, but you can never leave.

James Macdonald #30:
"Can't guarantee that I'll be [italics]there[/italics] if you know what I mean, but I'm there."

There used to be a virtual world called There. Sort of like a precursor to Second Life.

#46 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2011, 11:05 PM:

Or when airplane phones were new, and every flight was full of people saying “Guess where I’m calling from! — The plane!”

#47 ::: Shane ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2011, 09:26 AM:

Tom Whitmore@42:

I've been thinking about that today. I guess you fake it by having people in multiple circles. (e.g. Loved ones might be in "loved ones", "friends", and "acquaintances", making them effectively three nested sets).

Would there be advantages to displaying it like a venn diagram?

#48 ::: Thena ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2011, 09:36 AM:

@47 It would be cool. I'm not sure what organizational advantage there would be, but it would be cool.

#49 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2011, 10:04 AM:

I'm still uncertain about what one does at G+, where one does it, or why I'd want to.

#50 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2011, 11:35 AM:

Shane @47 -- like most graphical displays of information, it would be helpful for some people and some situations. The "multiple membership in circles" thing gets more complex very quickly the larger things get (and harder to keep straight in my mind, at least). The process of designing a data display for analysis/personal use is a process of hiding irrelevant (for this use) information: the process of designing one for communication (including communication to a future self) is learning what information to add back in. A single level makes each of those tasks harder. (And I just realized how compressed that comment is -- does it make sense to anyone other than me?)

#51 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2011, 08:07 PM:

re 33: I have a long list of unfulfilled Facebook friend requests. If I don't immediately recognize them I might check to see who their friends are but I don't feel much compunction to establish links. Basically if I don't feel I want to see your status remarks pouring every day, I don't respond.

#52 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 12:56 AM:

Seems to me all the sites have the same features by and large but a different user base.

The only thing that distinguishes Linked In from Live Journal, as far as I can tell, is different crowds of people are on it.

#53 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 01:00 AM:

I see LinkedIn and LiveJournal as entirely different kinds of communication. LinkedIn is more about business connections, LJ about the equivalent of blogs -- journals with comments. I certainly don't use LinkedIn for any journaling!

#54 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 01:53 PM:

In FaceBook, if I post a link to one of my LiveJournal's entries, I can choose which of the entry's icons & photos to display at the FB end of the universe. G+ doesn't give me that option, and no picture gets posted at that end. Am I doing something worng?

#55 ::: cheyinka ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 05:18 PM:

Serge Broom @ 54:
You're not doing anything wrong; LiveJournal has put in specific code to integrate with Facebook and Twitter, so unless/until they do the same with G+, there won't be similar options.

#56 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 05:32 PM:

cheyinka @ 55... Thanks. And drat!

#57 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 06:28 PM:

Albatross @27 (There's little value in offering married users ads for a dating service, for example. Similarly, you might as well not try advertising the great sale on hybrid minivans to teenagers.)

Facebook believes I'm single and it does offer me a lot of online dating adverts. On the other hand it also believes one of my hobbies is binge drinking and hardly ever suggests anything booze related :(

#58 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 06:45 PM:

One of the presentations at Ignite Seattle recently involved someone who was sick of the ads Facebook presented her with when she went from "Engaged" to "Single" so she started doing what she calls "subvertising" -- buying ads aimed at her specific age group designed to counter the concept that single people are losers who need to use dating services, to lose weight and to stop being hopeless unfashionable dorks. The ads pointed to her website, and she ended up getting a lot of traffic for a relatively small outlay ("cheaper than the outfit I'm wearing" was how she described it, which means a low three-figure sum).

I like the idea of subvertising, and recommend it to others.

#59 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 06:48 PM:

Facebook used to be convinced I was a stay-at-home mom with a horse; these days it seems to believe I'm a dog-owning Arizonan who does nothing but play Facebook games all day. I'm really not sure where it gets these ideas, but at least it's not advertising Eco-Friendly Baby Toys and Pink Tack For Your Special Horse! at me anymore.

#60 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 06:49 PM:

Adblock Plus does a wonderful job at Facebook, I have to say. I never ever see any ads there.

#61 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2011, 11:45 PM:


Yeah, between flashblock, adblock, and noscript, it's amazing how pleasant my browsing experience is in general--including facebook. This also blocks a large fraction of web exploits. And I find the kind of flickering banner ads and such that a lot of sites have incredibly distracting and annoying--not having to tune all that crap out is worth occasionally having to decide what permissions to give a site that doesn't work on the first load.

#62 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2011, 01:27 AM:

albatross@27: The providers of the service have no way to make money except to sell advertisers access to the users, or to sell the users' information.

ISTR reading somewhere that Facebook's success lay in convincing its products that they were actually its customers.

#63 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2011, 01:52 PM:

So you have facebook on the one side, and google+ on the other. So far I prefer google+ over Facebook? Why? The UI is better, no app crap, and the concept of circles appeals to me. Of course right now it's a more select group so signal to noise is lower.

They are trying to replicate real world relationships. There is family, there are friends, there are acquantinces, and colleagues.

Right now I am trying to figure out a way to integrate with Twitter. I may need to write me a plugin of some kind.

Tom @58: Love that idea!

#64 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2011, 11:28 PM:

I got an access notice about four days before I could get in. I like it. There is something about the look which appeals, and there is a sense of sharing, which Facebook never gave me.

In someways it allows for following (a la Lj/DW and Twitter, and in some ways it allows for reciprocity.

Since I can look at things which aren't "friends" posts, people I am aware of, but not at all intimate with, I can comment to.

And, unlike FB, I can tailor to whom I show things, and whom I get things from.

Some of the UI is clunky, and I can only hope the complaints/comments they get will reshape it.

But I am doing something with it that FB and Twitter never really managed... using it.

#65 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2011, 02:13 AM:

Linkmeister@60 - Adblock Plus does a wonderful job at Facebook, I have to say. I never ever see any ads there.

Oh, noes! Our IT department at work finally got around to supporting Firefox, after many years of pretending it didn't exist, and installed their supported version over the newer version I was running, but the catch was that they're not yet sure which extensions and add-ons to support and they're certainly not supporting any that the Corporate Lawyers might have Issues with, such as Adblock and Flashblock.

It hadn't actually occurred to me that Facebook might have ad banners, as opposed to merely having lots of notes from your friends about how they just got a new Shrubbery and became Godfather and would like to give away some sheep (Abi was saying in one of the Open Threads that we don't talk about sheep enough here, and I'd recently been having trouble acquiring enough wood and brick... oh, wait, nevermind.) It's bad enough that the LA Times now offers to let me comment using my Facebook Picture, but now I'm not sure if I should log in to Facebook with Mozilla until Adblock is back.

#66 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2011, 04:31 AM:

we don't talk about sheep enough here

Never tell an Australian to stick to sheep.

#67 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2011, 11:01 AM:

Adrian Smith (66): What would you use for that, anyway, Superglue?

#68 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2011, 12:55 PM:

Well, according to the old jokes (offensive to Australians, New Zealanders, Scotsmen, or Engineers, depending on whether you are a New Zealander, Australian, English[1], or not-Engineer): rvgure n pyvss be bar'f Jryyvatgba obbgf jvyy fhssvpr.

signed, an Engineer that collects sheep jokes for some strange reason.

[1] And to be fair to the Scots[2], I present the old math/history joke: "When the Angles (with the Saxons) invaded Britain, they came at last to the Land Debatable: that is, the north of England and the south of Scotland. The acute Angles went north; the obtuse ones went south." -- Anon (presumably a Scot).

[2] I see no reason to be fair to the Ring-rappers.

#69 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2011, 05:51 PM:

Hmmm...I have a G+ invite, but I haven't tried it out yet. There's only so much time in the world to look at this stuff and I'm already not keeping up much with LJ or FB

#70 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2011, 07:33 PM:

Mary@67: Technical details are to be avoided. What matters is that it would be adhering in the face of perversity.

#71 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2011, 08:40 PM:

Adrian Smith (70): But isn't perseverence a good thing?

("Pssst, he said 'perversity' not 'perseverence'."

Oh. Never mind.)


By the way, speaking of being mis-nicknamed, I'm 'Mary Aileen', not 'Mary'. :)

#72 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2011, 10:30 PM:

Mycroft W #68:

What do you have against Ring Rappers?

#73 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2011, 10:49 PM:

James @72: The Ring thinks Rappers should only be male. That's annoying to those of us who prefer to dance mixed.

#74 ::: Matt McIrvin ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2011, 02:27 PM:

For me, Google+ solves a very specific problem, which is that I want some convenient way to send access-controlled updates about my life, with pictures and such, to my family and friends who are not old-timey Internet folk like me; BUT I do not want to join Facebook, which is the existing mechanism for that.

I blog on LiveJournal, but I'm never going to get them to join LiveJournal to see restricted posts, and besides, most of the things I say publicly there are of no interest to them. That leaves mass emailings, which is what I did up to now, but it's an awkward solution and I don't do it often enough and they all wonder if I'm dead.

The clever thing about G+ is that it's a Facebook clone that can gracefully degrade to email if someone in a circle is not a member. I suspect sharing G+ posts by email would piss off all my online friends, so I haven't added any of them to my circles if they're not in there already, but for, say, my mom it's actually the best channel to use.

Also, they took the multiple-overlapping-friends-lists mechanism that most social-networking tools have but most people do not use, and built in user-interface affordances such that people will actually want to use it. That's huge.

So I'm willing to give it a chance. The Android app is amazing. I've been following the criticisms of it with interest and I hope they are too.

#75 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2011, 04:42 PM:

Now that I'm actually on Google+, I have a reason to read this thread. :-)

Bill, #4: I have a Twitter account, which is linked to my Facebook business page and really not used for any other purpose. I post to that page (and therefore tweet) a couple of times a month on average. If someone on Twitter decides to unfollow me because I'm not prolific enough, that's not something I consider to be a problem -- different people use online services in different ways.

aphrael, #9: Heh. I already do a lot of that. If I have something to say or a link to share, do I post it on LJ/DW, on FB, over here, or just send it to relevant people in private e-mail?

Right now, G+ feels like semi-private space while FB is very public. That will probably change over time, both with more people getting on and as I figure out what I'm really using it for. I mostly use FB as a social calendar and news-gatherer; I'm hoping that G+ will end up having a little more substance to it.

Caroline, #17: I have remarkably few people from high school/college on my FB, and no ex-co-workers. The few old friends with whom I've reconnected are okay people, but I've had enough cases elsewhere of discovering that someone I used to know has turned into someone I don't want to know that I'm really gun-shy about making the attempt. (And I haven't made it easy for them to find me, either -- I don't use my birth name on FB.)

Serge, #23: LJ had friending before FB did.

Erik, #52: LinkedIn will also periodically scrape your address book and spam everyone in it with invitations, whether you want it to or not. I had to threaten them with CAN-SPAM to make them (mostly) stop, and then they got all snooty about it -- threatened that if they once took me off their lists, I'd have to BEG to get back on. Like I'd ever want to.

Adrian, #62: Oh, SNAP! (And right on the money IMO.)

#76 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2011, 07:19 PM:

James Macdonald@72, Tom Whitmore@73, on ring rappers -

This is just to say, yo, yo,

I have eaten, yo, yo,
the Ring, yo,
which was on, yo, yo,
your finger, dawg,

and which, yo, yo,
you were probably, yo,
saving, yo, yo,
for the fire, dawg,

[dance break]

forgive me, dawg,
it was preeeciousssss, yo,
so shiny, yo, yo,
and so mine!

[dance break]

Dark Energy Morris and Sword also dances rapper mixed, but then Mad Molly's dancers are currently all women, which is not the traditionalistically correct gender for Molly dancing either, and Dark Energy is a Mad Molly project, so that shouldn't be much of a surprise.

#77 ::: Jenn ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2011, 09:25 PM:

Still resentful of the push to Facebook.

Happily dived into Google+

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