With the help of a few friends, I somehow slipped through this narrow window into Google Plus (my G+ profile, which has lost its vanity URL for the moment) ...
... Google+, the company's recently introduced set of social communication services, briefly opened to new participants last night, between about 7pm PDT and 9:40pm PDT. Google engineering director David Besbris, in a Google+ post, said that the Google+ field trial is going well and that Google is seeking to double the undisclosed size of the field trial...
It's good. After Wave and Buzz failed, and Google Reader Share succeeded but got no love, G+ works. So far Streams is a smarter, better, version of Facebook personal Pages (no corporate/org/group equivalents, however). I don't think it's more complex that Facebook; FB at best is only transiently comprehensible. As soon as I figure it out, the rules change.
FB's constant attempts to hack their own customers has pissed off so many users, including my wife, that G+ has a pretty good chance to compete. At the very least, it should own the Android demographic. Whether iG+ gets the iPhone crowd or not depends on the shaky state of the Apple-Google detente. At the very least, G+ strengthens Apple's hand with both FB and Twitter.
Some quick impressions of my own ...
- I'm looking forward to the day when Google moves Google Reader Shares/Notes into the Streams framework, closes Buzz, and makes Streams/Sparks the "comment" framework for Google Blogs. Until then G+ will be fun to play with, after that I'll be spending a lot of time with it.
- Safari is showing page errors with G+. Unsurprisingly Chrome works best.
- It will be interesting to see how I manage the John Gordon/John F identity clash in G+. I think I should be able to make it work.
- Google Data Liberation has its own home on my post G+ Accounts page. It includes all Picasa web albums, my profile, my stream, by Buzz data and all circles and contacts. Very impressive.
- Profile settings says I can control which circles see parts of my Profile, but that's not working for me yet.
- The Privacy page is excellent.
- My Google Profile vanity URL now redirects to a G+ Profile with my old 1138 .... Google ID showing.
Of the coverage I've read, I like these best ...
- Google Plus: Why Facebook and Quora Should Worry by @ScepticGeek
- 10 Questions for Google’s “Head of Social” by @ScepticGeek (May 2010, interesting to reread now. Remember OpenSocial?)
- Google+ vs. Facebook: the Trust Factor - James Fallows
- Post by Yonatan Zunger - explains circles - bit head-spinning really. He's the engineering director for G+.
- Google+ - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia