Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Thursday, July 14, 2011

one dead horse, well beaten

Yes, I know that I’ve had my say on this topic, but I still have some questions. I start with the ones that drove me out of Google+, and then move gradually into the realm of metaphysical contemplation. . . .



What circle should I put this person in?

Oh wait, I can put people in more than one circle — so how many circles should I put this person in?

Do I even want this person to be in any of my circles?

How many circles should I have, anyway? This subdividing thing can go too far, can’t it? and what should be the core principles I use to design my circles? Degrees of intimacy? Spheres of interest? An elementary division between Work and Play?

I can't even use this service unless I create a public profile, so what do I want to reveal on my public profile? How detailed should it be?

I’m ready to post something . . . but should this be a public post? Who would be interested in it? Maybe it should just go to this one circle? Though there are people in other circles who might be interested also . . . but others in that circle who wouldn’t be interested . . . so maybe before I post it I need to rearrange my circles a bit.

Wait . . . if I move that guy out of one circle will be still see the posts and photos he saw when he was in that circle? If not, then do I want to do that to him? What will he think when he figures out that I’ve removed him from a circle (especially if he doesn't know what my circles are)? Will he be able to see that?

When I signed up I discovered that my two choices were “Link Google+ with Picasa Web” or “Don’t Join Google”? Why can't I join without linking my Picasa photos to the service?

Google asks me if I want to be notified when someone “shares a post with me directly” — but what if I don't want people to share posts with me directly at all? Can I keep anyone from doing that? Or by using the service do I make myself vulnerable to anyone and everyone who wants to “share” with me? Is there no refuge from oversharers?

Google also asks me if I want to be notified when someone comments on one of my posts — but what if I don't want anyone to comment on my posts at all? There appears to be no option for turning off comments — why not?

I believe that if I turn off every single one of these (email or text) notifications I still see a badge numbering everything people have tried to do with me or to me on Google+ at the top of every single Google page when I am logged in. What if I don't want to see that badge?

Can I prevent someone from starting a Huddle conversation with me? I can, I suppose, just decline to reply, but what if I just don't want to Huddle at all? What if Huddling kinda grosses me out?

In short, what if I want to start by having minimal social interactions on Google+, interactions over which I have a great deal of control, and I want to have very few and very simple decisions to make about whom I interact with? In that case, I can't see that Google+ is the service for me.

10 comments:

  • C'mon, it's BETA. It's been out for like a week. Give it more than a few days and these questions will be answered. We don't even know what it is yet, really.

  • Give it more than a few days and these questions will be answered.

    All of them? If not, which ones?

  • Vince Virgilio said...

    Word processing and email are still the killer apps.

    (I still don't get how any adult has time to be a Twit...er, I meant...to Twitter. :) )

  • What circle should you put people in? This handy guide should be of assistance:

    http://tinyurl.com/6gc3lhu

  • Vince Virgilio said...

    @ Anon

    Somehow I knew what was coming before I clicked that link.

    I wonder if yours is the first Inferno analogy for G+.

  • > I wonder if yours is the first Inferno analogy for G+.

    I'm sure not. And I'm sure it won't be the last either.

  • Oh for a system that arbitrarily created circumstances that defined my circles at any given point. Annoying sometimes, but would free the mind from pondering the construction of audiences.

  • Michael Straight said...

    I thought that the future technology was going to enable me to only interact with the people I want to and never have to rub shoulders with anyone I didn't choose.

    I didn't realize it was going to be so much more granular. In the future, I'll be in control not just of who I interact with, but what topics they're allowed to speak with me about and under which circumstances I will suffer them to speak.

  • > > I wonder if yours is the first Inferno analogy for G+.

    > I'm sure not. And I'm sure it won't be the last either.

    http://mediumlarge.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/medlarge1232.jpg

  • I think I found an elegant solution to the problem: I've created as many circles as I have contacts, and each circle has the same name as the contact, who is the only person it in. Voilà.

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