After several frustrating months of Facebook B.S., privacy settings changed, an overload of messages from groups that won’t stop – despite repeatedly changing my settings – I’ve longed for a new network to take the social world by storm.
It’s no wonder that Facebook is in the top 10 of most hated companies, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Google hopes to change the way we network with Google +1, an interesting – but frustrating – new network that combines all things Google with the beauty of social media.
For the past week, I’ve experimented with Google’s answer to Facebook: Google +1. I found some things easy, other things incredibly frustrating.
Google +1 gives you the ability to stop comments on any post and put your friends into “circles.” When you post to your news feed – like Facebook – you choose which “circle” will see it. If members of your circle are not already members of the network, Google +1 sends them an email with your news feed updates. (Sorry to everyone who got those! I really didn’t know!)
Your “friends” are automatically imported from your Gmail account. If you hit a button to put them into a “circle,” they apparently get another email inviting them to the service.
Anyone can subscribe to you – sort of like Twitter. You cannot control it – which is a bit frustrating.
For some with Picasa accounts, they are required to link their photo albums to the service – they do not have a choice. That stinks and I’m thankful I don’t have one.
Anything you “like” with Google +1 will immediately show in friends’ search results. So, if I decide I want a blogger to know I liked their post, I click the button and my information is automatically imported into someone else’s Google search results as a recommendation.
I don’t like that AT ALL.
JR Raphael says it best in this PCWorld column:
That aside, Google +1 invades what I view as a sacred neutral ground. When I perform a Web search, I don’t want to see what my old college roommate thinks of the results. I don’t want to know if 20 random people approve of this link or that one. I want a clean, clutter-free page showing me the most relevant results based on aggregated global measurements — you know, that whole “algorithm” thing. To me, all the social stuff in search amounts to a bunch of added noise I simply don’t need.
I agree. I also find the service frustrating to use. (Have I already mentioned this is a frustrating service?) I don’t really have enough friends on the network to use some of the features – like the chat function. Maybe that is why I feel like I’m missing out.
Google Chrome users are able to important Facebook friends into their networks through a new extension, PCWorld reports. I didn’t have much luck with Chrome when I tried it, but it might be interesting to give it another go to see how the import function works – just as long as it doesn’t SPAM my Facebook connections like it did with my news feed items.
Or it could be that Google +1 is just another network and I really don’t need anymore to distract me from writing. Certainly, it is better than Google Buzz, which was tied to email, but I’m not sure it offers what I need to break away from the behemoth that is Facebook.
Of course, CNNMoney touts reasons people should switch to Google +1 in a recent post. A new post at Business2Community.com says that the Google +1 button could become the next hot social bookmarking tool – though I cannot imagine life without Delicious.
The Washington Post calls the site “empty” in a recent review.
For me, Google +1 is a confusing, sometimes frustrating social network that offers a few cool differences from Facebook. Right now, I’m not sure I like it enough to continue working with it.
For those who dig it, you can track your ratings at SocialStatistics.com, which offers a Top 100 list of Google +1 users. Ironically, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is the top of the list.
What are your thoughts on this new network?0