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Google Plus Me

If you’ve been living under a digital rock, you may not have heard about Google plus, Google’s new social network.

So far, I have to admit I like the hybrid approach between twitter and facebook. It’s got the best of facebook’s group system, and the best of twitter’s follower system. And while the press is all on board for it to be everyone’s replacement for Facebook, I personally have a problem with that for the moment (but hopefully not for long). Here is my personal wish list of features that will need to exist before you see me jump off of Facebook as my central hub.

  • A well developed API – Facebook’s API isn’t perfect, but with it, you can build pretty much anything. Without the API (which I know is coming), I can’t connect everything together the way I want to. Right now, with facebook, my photos come from Smugmug. My blog comes from here. My twitter powers my status updates (on a good day). In fact, I can be active on Facebook, without even being active on Facebook… which is exactly how I like to roll. As soon as I can integrate everything with Google plus, I’ll be in good shape.
  • An open system. I realize the invites are getting out very quickly, especially if you have someone send you a message or two from within the system… However, for it to work, I don’t want to have to wait for my mom to join. Facebook was hindered by this in the beginning (remember the days when you had to have a college email address). To really be the connector for everyone (which Facebook has grown to become), you have to let everyone connect, today. Again, all in good time.
  • Higher adoption rates – This relates directly to my previous one… but part of the reason I spend any time at all on facebook is that my friends are there. If I’m going to spend time on Google Plus, I need more people to be there than the handful of techies I know :-).
  • -OR- If they can’t get the user rate up… An API to integrate fully with Facebook (can you image… Mark did mention partnering with people who do things better than them instead of doing it in house today in his speach.. Maybe now that Google has proven they can code what looks like a better UI for Facebook… maybe Facebook will outsource that :-)).
Needless to say, I’m very happy to play around with it, but for now, it’s more a toy than it is a platform. Here’s hoping Google doesn’t drop it like Wave or Buzz.
In other Google news… I’m really enjoying the new image search. It’s fun to see Google identify things based on a photo. For the most part it doesn’t do a very good job… But I do get a kick out of what happens when you search for this image:
Hope you enjoyed yet another random musing by a soon to be father.

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