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Author Topic: Google+  (Read 67094 times)
sciagent
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« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2011, 04:24:00 PM »

Still it would be nice to try Google+ and then form an opinion. Does anyone already have an account there?
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« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2011, 04:29:58 PM »

Still it would be nice to try Google+ and then form an opinion. Does anyone already have an account there?

Or better yet, let other people try it out and rely on their opinions before trying it~! tongue (Yeah... lazy...)
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daddydave
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« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2011, 04:31:22 PM »

Still it would be nice to try Google+ and then form an opinion. Does anyone already have an account there?

Agreed, I'd liked to see if Google has learned from its own mistakes, and from Facebook's. And if it's really supposed to be like Facebook except that it's not Facebook (like the xkcd cartoon says, and that is exactly how I would explain it to people), everyone should gain the ability to sign up for it at the same time I would think.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2011, 04:40:18 PM »

Waiting for my invitation. Word 'round the Interwebs is that it's very promising from those who are already testing it...

- Oshyan
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sciagent
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« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2011, 04:46:04 PM »

Oshyan, will you be able to invite then some members of this community?
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JavaJones
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« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2011, 05:04:28 PM »

I'm not sure how it works yet, I hope so. Going on past Google product launches like this, invites should become available to people who get in, but sometimes there's a delay. Note that I don't yet have my invite either. Wink

- Oshyan
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sciagent
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« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2011, 05:32:10 PM »

Yes, sure, understood smiley

So, let's wait until someone will bring the Google+ opportunity to all of us here. Then we can make the DonationCoder circle there and check, how it will supplement this forum if any need for that cheesy

Yes, when I'll get an invitation from outside of this community, I'll be able to invite anyone here – those who are interested in having such accounts.
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rgdot
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« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2011, 06:42:10 PM »

Waiting for an invite myself, if they also give me some to share I will post here first.
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« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2011, 07:43:08 PM »

my profile has Atheist status. Facebook uses tag feature for location/religion/hobbies, so you can insert any custom <religion><random word> on profile fields. I guess you never filled your profile on facebook.

Yes I have, but that's just it -- it's not an option, you have to fill it in. FB recognizes various sects of god-believers, but not atheism in and of itself. You have to write that in. No big deal to me, but not all of us are religious. I'm proud of my atheism; why isn't FB?
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- zaine (on Google+)
zridling
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« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2011, 07:45:43 PM »

Waiting for an invite myself, if they also give me some to share I will post here first.

I applied, too, but nothing yet. I'll report back if I do get in. According to many, it needs tweaks and changes, but for an initial (beta?) launch, it's far more developed than most of Google's half-baked apps.
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- zaine (on Google+)
mahesh2k
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« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2011, 07:50:08 PM »

I think they made it easier for us to choose custom tag to fill in religion, hobbies and location. I mean you can change religion from atheism to pastafarians or some custom tag. System doesn't restrict us (like orkut) to selective options in drop down which is a good thing IMO. BTW, i was under impression that Atheism/Agnosticism are not labeled as a religion.

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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2011, 07:59:34 PM »

Although I'm more hermit than social guy, the only time Facebook makes the news is when it gets people into trouble (much like Twitter). And without the filters and categories that Google+ project is introducing here, Facebook is too often used against you. For example, divorce lawyers mine your Facebook page to use it against you -- "You friended Becky, you bastard!" Or employers use it to find out that you're not a god-believer... oh wait, Facebook has NO option for telling the world you're an atheist! But if you're a tongue-speaking snake handler, you're covered.

With this Google+ project, you could conceivably let only those you want know what you want them to know or see. Much safer.

Not that I want to defend Facebook in any way, as I hate the entire idea of it but all my idiot high school friends use it so it's the only general grounds for communication. Anyways, I don't see how anyone with two brain cells can't figure out how to lock down their Facebook profile from unwanted eyes (though I have a lot of friends with one brain cell, apparently).



I have things as locked-down as possible. I've got HTTPS enabled and multifactor authentication as well. Unless I add you, all you see is my name, gender, and display picture.


Anyways, G+ sounds interesting. I'd trust Google more than FB, simply because Google has been around long enough to handle user data properly and are competent in what they do. That, and Google already has a moderately large amount of information about me. Not that I'm overly interesting anyways.
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Renegade
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« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2011, 08:23:55 PM »

For agnosticism/atheism, I think you can just figure the whole lot as "religious beliefs", and not "religion".

Anyways, G+ sounds interesting. I'd trust Google more than FB, simply because Google has been around long enough to handle user data properly and are competent in what they do. That, and Google already has a moderately large amount of information about me. Not that I'm overly interesting anyways.

You have much more faith in Google than I do.

I suppose that I've just seen to many outright deceptive ads in Google's ad network. It rubs me the wrong way. And I don't mean "mildly deceptive" or "could possible be interpreted in the wrong way" -- I mean flat out designed to deceive. It's not really related to privacy, but... where there's smoke there's fire?

Either way -- I think I've given up on the idea of privacy. It's largely an illusion. We have a little of it, but not much.

What size is your brother? Big you say? smiley tongue
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Deozaan
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« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2011, 08:27:01 PM »

For anyone interested, I got an invite from a friend, so I'm in. It appears that I can send out as many invites as I want, but I'm not sure yet if they are sent out immediately or not.

So some of you folks who are already in my address book for one reason or another may be getting an invite from me. Anyone else who is interested can give me their e-mail address and I'll add you to my DonationCoder circle and send out an invite.

EDIT: I'm not sure exactly what's going on, but before when I added people to my circle(s) it automatically prompted me to send invites out. Now it no longer does that and if I attempt to send out an invite it says that e-mail invites will be enabled soon. So I'm not sure if Google temporarily disabled invites or if they're still being sent out automatically, but just to reiterate what I said originally: I'm not sure if they are sent out immediately or not.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 12:34:29 AM by Deozaan » Logged

JavaJones
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« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2011, 02:10:28 AM »

Well, it's official. I am PLUSSED. Wooo! They're not officially allowing people to invite anyone they want yet (I got the same message Deo, thought I could invite that way but no). BUT I do believe I've found a loop hole that lets me invite as many people as I want (until they close it, heh). So PM me if you want an invite.

What's that? You want to know what I think of Google+ so far? It rocks! Yes, there are some rough edges, yes some things don't work all of the time. But the things they are doing are either an improvement over Facebook (Circles), a totally new and potentially interesting feature (Sparks), or something Facebook doesn't have and may potentially be a "big deal" (Hangouts).

There are 4 main tabs/buttons to the primary UI. First is Home, this is basically like FB's home, including the stream of what your circles are sharing (like FB's "wall", of course), as well as controls and tools like stream selection, Spark links, Chat, Hangout, Contact Suggestions (suggestions from inside your own contacts as far as I can tell, but maybe later like FB's "do you know this person?"), and a people search bar.

Next is photos, which get top billing as one of these 4 buttons. Here you see photos from your circles (they also seem to show up in the Streams), photos from your phone, photos *of* you (face tagging is of course available, with one critical difference: you can control who is allowed to tag you without explicit confirmation), and "your albums" which are your Picasa albums. Google has a nice photo system in Picasa, so this is a great thing to get integrated. They've come up with a decent UI for browsing photos too, although sharing settings are not entirely clear yet (there's no explicit "share this photo" that I can see, although you can share whole albums; but if you make a comment on a photo it posts the photo and comment to your wall, so it's basically sharing it). You can also upload new photos. The photo viewing and commenting experience is definitely an improvement over FB (unsurprisingly as Picasa has been around for ages and is fairly mature).

Then there is a Profile link/tab. This kind of surprised me. My profile is actually somewhat barren at present. It shows my photo and my activity stream, like looking at your own profile and wall on FB, and there are additional tabs for About, Photos, Videos, +1's, and Buzz. This is in fact the only place I have seen Buzz, and it's interesting that it's still around and being semi-integrated into G+. But I would expect it to be a major tab/button up top if they actually intended to keep it. Otherwise one wonders how it differs from +1 and posts to the Stream(s). A nice touch is you can click on a button to easily and quickly view your profile as *anyone* in your contact list or as a general anonymous web surfer, so you can check to make sure your privacy settings are working very fast. Also nothing (or almost nothing) appears to be public by default, i.e. I click to view as the public web and nothing shows up in my Stream. When you click to Edit your profile, you just point and click on any part of your profile to edit it, including adding photos, links, places you've lived, personal description, etc, etc.

Last but not least is the Circles button/tab. Circles are exactly what you've heard, they're groups you can use to categorize your friends and enable sharing of specific content with specific groups extremely easily (or, seen the other way, they enable you to easily *avoid* sharing content with specific groups, e.g. the general public). They've made the Circle-making UI fun and this helps a lot in wanting to make your circles. It's also powerful, you can multi-select, drag-select, etc. so you can easily deal with hundreds of contacts, and it's all drag-and-drop with nifty animations. This functionality is definitely a big step over Facebook (and yes I've tried FB's "Groups" system). You can add people to multiple Circles, share with 1 or multiple circles, all your circles, or the public. It's a nicely flexible system that is also easy and fun to use. This to me is a big win. I know it's not as important to many other people as it is to me, but this is a "killer feature" that I have been waiting and wishing for. Once nice touch is you can easily control people's Circle membership from almost anywhere you see their profile pic (e.g. hover over a pic of "Joe" on a post he made to your Stream and you get a pop-up allowing you to add or remove him from your Circles). Little things like that set the UI apart.

Unsurprisingly the Home area seems to be where you'd hang out the most, just like Facebook. On Home are two things that also deserve some description. First there's Sparks, which I think is probably the least impressive and interesting feature, but still has some potential. This is basically like a topic-driven web link discovery system. You enter some key words and it finds you content based on them. This is not like a regular Google search, I'm not sure what they're doing, but it seems much more culled than that. I think how recent a result is plays heavily into whether it will be shown. Better than a simple search though is that you can save this to your "Spark List" and it will continually update you on new info for that area of interest. Naturally you can easily click to share anything in your Sparks. Like I said it's not too exciting, lots of other services already do similar stuff and probably do it better, but if they continue to flesh it out it could make the G+ home page even stickier by making it a real dashboard not only for all the info on your friend's activities, but also *all* your interests around the web.

Then there's Hangouts. This one seems like a possible game changer. It's not revolutionary in basic function, but its integration with a social network just may be. Basically it's "just" group video chat. It works through Google's existing Google Chat system that has included video for years. Only now it allows multiple people, and it has a pretty slick system for keeping focus on whomever is talking, or letting you choose focus, or selectively mute people. One cool feature is that it allows you to watch YouTube videos "together" (simultaneously), so you can get a fun shared experience. It's actually pretty novel, believe it or not, though it's not necessarily amazing or something you're likely to use a lot in the long run (though some people who like watching YT videos with friends more than I do might love it). It also includes text chat, and lets you invite more people in very easily. Incidentally inviting people to Hangout is the way I've found to get anyone a G+ invite. Shh, keep it under your hat! Wink When you start a Hangout it posts to your stream and others can easily join. It also documents who was part of the Hangout ("Oshyan was Hanging out with Katy and Corey").

I jumped into a Hangout with a friend who was in the room and another friend half way across the country who happened to just call me and I was able to send him an invite. I really just wanted to test the functionality but it ended up being really fun and cool. It's a well-done system and, despite the occasional glitch, works nicely. It has a simple, clean UI and just enough features to be exciting and useful, while not being overwhelming.

So you're probably wondering why I think Hangouts could be a "game changer". Well, so far group video chat hasn't really been easily or widely available. Skype, for example, just introduced it recently and they *charge* for the feature. I'm sure we all know someone who uses Skype or even Google Chat to keep in touch with friends and - especially - relatives in distant places. It's becoming almost cliche for grandma and grandpa to video chat with their little niece or nephew on the opposite coast. But until now it's just been one person at a time. Now imagine grandpa and grandpa being able to get on to chat with little Johnny and their parents, plus Sarah and her new husband living in the UK, and Bob on his trip in the Philippines. The reason I think this could be significant is because it's a potential "killer feature" that might drive adoption with "everyone else", i.e. people who aren't techies, aren't hanging out on this site, but love Facebook because it lets them (re)connect with people easily, and love Skype because it lets them see and hear their loved ones for free. Google is giving them more, and it's giving it to them in the context of a social network. People will want to be able to do this, and the only way - so far as I know - is through G+. So sign up to G+ and you can group chat with anyone you want, for free. This could be a big incentive.

Back to the Home page. The "stream" (like FB's wall) is nicely formatted and clean, and otherwise almost exactly like FB's version. All the controls and tools you'd expect are there including who is involved with a given post (for Hangouts it shows thumbnails of the people who were there for example), details of the sharing status (public, with particular groups, etc.), the ability to comment on, +1 and share any post, to mute a post/thread or the entire person or report abuse, etc. You can even disable comments and reshares on individual posts which is quite nice and another privacy-preserving feature (after all, just because you post something privately doesn't mean others will keep it private!). There are also individual streams for each Circle as well as an aggregate stream.

Another piece of the puzzle is that new black Google bar you've been seeing on the Google home page. When you're signed in to G+ it follows you around on any Google web property, letting you easily share, +1, and do other G+ type stuff. It's nice to have and I'd even like the option to let it follow me around on general browsing to make sharing easier from other sites. I imagine they might implement that sooner than later. Surprisingly +1 and other features don't appear to be rolled out across all of the major Google properties even, with YouTube one notable omission. But Shopping, meanwhile, does have +1, as does the general web. Interesting.

Last but not least, there are lots of controls in your G+ settings allowing you to adjust notification types and methods (you can even be notified via SMS). The "Data Liberation" system you may have heard about is built right in to the settings, allowing you to export data for Picasa, your Profile, Stream, Buzz, and Circles and Contacts. Facebook has similar functionality, although it didn't debut with it, and I haven't compared the two. But the easy accessibility and existence of the feature right from the start is very nice. You can also, interestingly enough, link other accounts with your G+/Google account, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Yahoo, and more. I'm not entirely sure what the linking really does yet, but it at least (optionally) adds a link to your page on that service to your profile's About area.

The one thing some have said is odd is that it's not integrated with Gmail like Facebook's new "messaging center" email thingy. I don't think that just because FB is doing it Google should too, but I do note a distinct lack of a real "private message", "direct message", or similar type feature (as far as I can tell). Your G+ contacts are your Gmail contacts though I think (haven't tested whether adding someone through G+ adds them to my Gmail contacts though), so theoretically you can just jump over to gmail to email them if you want. There's also direct chat and Hangouts. Still I see this as something that needs addressing somehow. Many a mini embedded Gmail interface or something.

Last but not least, Google nicely includes a slick Feedback tool/link. Clicking Send Feedback in the lower-right of any G+ page pops up a nifty feedback tool. It has the comment form you'd expect, but also tools to highlight or black out multiple areas of the screen just by clicking and dragging. Highlight and blackout areas can also be easily removed. When you're done marking up the page and commenting, you preview your feedback and it shows how they'll receive it. This is all very nicely done and makes giving feedback easy and even kind of fun.

Now I should mention that my impressions about the UI might need to be taken with a grain of salt depending on your perspective. I hate and have always hated the Facebook UI and find it very unintuitive. I'm usually quite good with web UIs and software UIs in general, so it's always frustrated me that FB's is so opaque to me. Google's is much better, but I don't know how objective that is. I'm curious to hear the opinions of people here as I trust the viewpoints to critical, diverse, and interesting.

I've also just installed the Google+ Android app but haven't had a chance to play with it much yet. The UI is fairly nice though and some good ideas like auto-upload of new photos and videos for later sharing. So I'm looking forward to exploring it and expect to be using it much more than FB's app.

Overall I'm impressed and I was *not* impressed by Wave or Buzz. They appear to have gotten this right for private beta, and hopefully the rough edges will me smoothed out soon so the whole world can check it out. I'm super curious to see if this makes a dent in Facebook's domination. Like I said there are some potential killer features (Circles, Hangouts) that might just make the difference...

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 02:35:06 AM by JavaJones » Logged

The New Adventures of Oshyan Greene - A life in pictures...
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« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2011, 02:31:55 AM »

@Oshyan - You have me convinced. Nice write up~! I think your enthusiasm for it is the clincher for me. You almost make it sound like a huge chocolate ice cream sundae covered in bikini models. smiley

I now have 2 questions:

* When will I get an invite? Wink
* Do they have an API for it yet? cheesy

I'm sure they'll have an API, but I'm really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, hoping that it is better than some of their other API documentation, and much better than Facebook's docs.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2011, 02:35:49 AM »

Dunno about an API but I assume that will come.

PM me your Gmail address and I'll see if my invite trick still works (got 3 people in earlier today). cheesy

- Oshyan
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« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2011, 02:46:31 AM »

Heh...

https://plus.google.com/up/start/?sw=1&type=st

Quote
Already invited? We've temporarily exceeded our capacity. Please try again soon.



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JavaJones
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« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2011, 02:51:03 AM »

Did you click the link in the email I sent? I guess maybe they're not even letting in people with invites now. I can understand that. I'm seeing some slow down at times, heh. Hope they can ramp up capacity quickly though. I'm really interested to hear other people's thoughts!

- Oshyan
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« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2011, 02:52:30 AM »

Hmmm... They seem to be quite busy:


https://plus.google.com/1...4777130055707057991/posts

From:

http://www.pcmag.com/arti...le2/0,2817,2387836,00.asp

Quote
Larry Page also has a single public post, but Sergey Brin has yet to publicly announce himself on Google+.

Shows this:




@Oshyan -- Looks like they've plugged it. I didn't even get the email. Sad
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JavaJones
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« Reply #45 on: June 30, 2011, 03:01:51 AM »

Odd. I'll try again with the email. That at least should have gone through.

- Oshyan
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« Reply #46 on: June 30, 2011, 03:08:28 AM »

Attempted sending out 2 invites again. Ren, Jibz, let me know if either of you get an email. Note: ironically my legitimate Google+ invite earlier today ended up in my Gmail spam folder! So be sure to check there. Wink

- Oshyan
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« Reply #47 on: June 30, 2011, 03:10:13 AM »

Odd. I'll try again with the email. That at least should have gone through.

- Oshyan


Google hates me~!  ohmy

Same thing. Didn't go through. My guess is that they've got a serious backlog. Hmmm... Wonder if there's an "ex-lax for email servers" app out there... Or maybe they're just not using iPhones at Google. smiley

I did check the spam folder. Alas, only rolex watches and viagra there...
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« Reply #48 on: June 30, 2011, 03:24:48 AM »

Ah well, best to wait then I guess. Again, I hope they scale this thing super fast, because the demand is here and now and the more people they can get on their, the more momentum it will have and the closer it will get to critical mass and wide adoption.

- Oshyan
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JavaJones
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« Reply #49 on: June 30, 2011, 03:37:38 AM »

Update: The Android app is pretty darn nice. It covers most of the functionality of the web system, is relatively intuitive, and fairly pleasant to use. I could definitely see using this more than the Facebook app. One of the coolest things is that the "Huddle" feature (which I didn't mention before because I don't know where it is in the main web app, lol; it's basically just group chat anyway, so maybe accessed through the Chat functions) works on your mobile phone. So you can easily setup group chats with people on the go. Great for planning a meet-up, figuring out where to go for dinner, or whatever.

Edit: Oh yeah, in terms of photo functionality, it has the expected built-in rotate capability (though nicely implemented), but also some basic photo editing functions like contrast and other filters. Kind of cool.

Also there's a grayed out "Send an Email" button on the home page under my profile picture. Hmm...

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 03:47:13 AM by JavaJones » Logged

The New Adventures of Oshyan Greene - A life in pictures...
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