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Why yo momma won’t use Google+ (and why that thrills me to no end) (scobleizer.com)
128 points by BvS on July 1, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 108 comments

I read an interview with a record executive a long time ago and he answered the question, "How do you find the next big thing?"

"That's pretty easy," he said, "I just look for something that parents will hate."

That this is a successful strategy is self-evident. (American) kids want to differentiate themselves from their parents and will pay money to do so. They'll probably latch on in some form to anything as long as it fits the criteria that their parents don't like it.

I think it's a safe bet that the social networking site that replaces Facebook will have fewer features, be ugly, be more difficult to use, and have no redeeming qualities other than nobody's parents are going to participate in it, and kids will identify with it as the cool thing for that reason.

> "I just look for something that parents will hate." That this is a successful strategy is self-evident.

Quoting Joshua Ellis's piece on the grim meathook future:

> Feeding poor people is useful tech,

> but it’s not very sexy

> and it won’t get you on the cover of Wired.

> Talk about it too much

> and you sound like an earnest hippie.

> So nobody wants to do that.

> They want to make cell phones

> that can scan your personal measurements

> and send them real-time

> to potential sex partners.

> Because, you know,

> the fucking Japanese teenagers love it,

> and Japanese teenagers

> are clearly the smartest people on the planet.

The full text is at http://zenarchery.com/?page_id=1180. It's short. Read it.

> I think it's a safe bet that the social networking site that replaces Facebook will have fewer features, be ugly, be more difficult to use, and have no redeeming qualities other than nobody's parents are going to participate in it, and kids will identify with it as the cool thing for that reason.

Ugly or not, it will happen. Since human time is limited, a smart social strategy is all about identifying the right "circle" of people you want to join, and then performing activities that increase the chances of your interacting with people from that circle while reducing the chances of your interacting with people from outside.

What this means is that even when your social site is small (compared to say Facebook), if you have all the right people in it (meaning people with high social favorability factor), you will succeed.

Some people make the mistake of assuming that the larger their site is, the better off they are. It's not only about quantity, but also about quality. Low quality eventually leads to decline in quantity by driving people away. That's what happened to MySpace and what will happen to Facebook.

The South Park guys recently had a funny take on this: http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/388732/its-called-gett...

The idea is that, to the extent their kids are 'hip', you could also seek out the parents who are having a mid-life crisis.

He's not saying parents will hate this, they just won't hear about it or understand it if they do.

Isn't that close enough to the same thing?

There was also a period of a few years where facebook was college-only. Now everyone's mom is on it and some aren't fans of being FB friends with their parents, or friend's parents. They keep them on limited profiles, or even decline to friend them.

Grandparent might have been saying that while that is close enough for now, as you pointed out with your allusion to Facebook, that won't be enough to keep it excursive for long (ie. its not exclusive because of a core feature, but rather because most people haven't heard of it and can't be bothered).

If it does become popular, everyone's mom will be on it, because she will have heard of it, and someone will take the time to explain it.

Wherever pics of their grandkids are, my momma will be.

Your momma doesn't have to be there to see the grandkid pics. You can add people to circles on Google+ with only an email address (doesn't have to be Gmail) and it will just email them updates/pics.

That is the most succinct and accurate insight I have heard to date.

Exactly! If I told my family that the grandkid photos were moving from Flickr to Google+, that would be the end of it. I'm thinking about doing just that too.

Heh, I wish mothers were that predictable. I have a single data point that shows the opposite.

I've always thought that social networks like Friendster, MySpace and Facebook follow a clear and old path laid out by the fashion industry.

Fashionable things are almost by definition meant not to last.

The early adopters will often take up something, be it Facebook, or new clothes, or a new band, largely because it is not (yet) popular. Or because it is exclusive.

Remember when Facebook was for just for ivy leaguers?

I remember when years ago Joel (of Joel on software) wanted a Facebook that really is strictly restricted to college students. Remember that?

The late adopters will often follow the early adopters for no other reason then because the new thing is cool.

And this pattern guarantees there's always something new and nothing is cool for too long.

Now there's been a lot of talk about lock-in, social graphs, walled gardens, etc.. all reason why no one can do to Facebook what Facebook did to MySpace.

But.... I have my doubts. Google+ vs Facebook, I'm going to get some popcorn and enjoy watching this.

This is the most braindead review of the service that I have read. Any social network goes through the ghost town - early adopters - your mom stage, When your mom arrives, you can't say "fuck" anymore, and so you feel the need to move to another service. Add to this the copious amounts of wall-spam generated in Facebook and a lot of people are excited about Plus. Particularly because Circles is central to the service, even when your mom finally arrives, you'll still theoretically be able to let your mouth off. That's why this thing might have legs. Not because some nebulous and self-congratulatory definition of "geek" would theoretically like it.

I don't believe he has the required evidence to make this claim.

(1) I have a lot of non-techie friends that are interested in using this just to try it out -- they are early adopters but consumers instead of creators; they do not have technical ability.

(2) Whether or not Plus gains market traction is dependent on how it fits into the current social application space. 'Hangouts' and 'Circles' will help differentiate them but to gain a foothold the network effect is of greater importance. Google are making a very calculated move by inviting people with higher quality social graphs as this will help them here!

Plus' success will depend on:

(a) whether they can keep non-techie early-adopters interested in the new features they are providing.

(b) how well they manage to cross-pollinate between each of the services in their eco-system: the changes in Gmail, the navigation bar, and UI across their services point towards them realising this.

(c) easing the move in-between other social applications by providing APIs that could be accessed by more generic desktop and mobile applications that users often use to interact with networks: Tweetdeck, etc... As I said, it's all about harnessing network effects and getting the right people on the service. At this point, I don't see any reason to doubt they have momentum and if they're smart they will continue to connect their eco-system together in a way that creates long-term growth long after the buzz dies.

(3) It's quite presumptuous to assume that since many early-adopters are techies that this is how it will remain: does anybody remember when Twitter was only used by techies?

Let's just see how it plays out and avoid creating mindless tech gossip...?

My non-techie friends are interested in it too, but they heard about it through xkcd. It's quite the positive review as I interpret it.


If your non-techie friends read xkcd, they aren't terribly representative of non-techies

I know a bunch of non-techie xkcd fans that don't fit the tech geek stereotype. They tend to be nerds (ie, lawyers, biotech researchers,, etc). They also tend to be young.

xkcd is surprisingly accessible to folks who are brainy (more folks than you realize).

I don't believe XKCD is actually targeted at tech geeks. It describes itself as "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language."

I am entirely unsurprised non-geeky brainy folks might enjoy it.

There's a reason for the website Explain XKCD.

i knew i should have googled for this...

thanks, time to lose another 10 hours of my life to xkcd (hooray for 3 day weekend)

My Mom is already on it. The first thing I thought when I saw hangouts is "My Mom will be on this a lot chatting with relatives." She wanted the group video chat on Skype but it only works if everyone else pays for it. No barrier with Google+

Yes, i wish it was Google who bought Skype. They could just integrate the service with Skype, and get every user on Skype automatically to Google+.

Immediately, they will have more than 500M+ users from Skype only, not to mention Gmail.

Read http://www.stevenlevy.com/index.php/05/10/why-google-does-no... to find out why it was that Google didn't buy Skype.

Google doesn't need Skype. Their Google Talk voice and video chat is robust and more stable than Skype's infrastructure. Heck they don't even need to compete with Skype, as Skype is self-destructing from the inside out. Maybe Google could have come up with some migration plan from Skype to Google+, but it would have been too much trouble and then they'd also have a lot of technology overlap.

IMO Google Talk, Chat, and Voice are already superior to Skype.

Last time Google used users of one service to kick-start another it turned out really well :-)

It is a pretty big jump to say that since Google+ is geeky, therefore the masses won't adopt it. We are talking about an online social networking site. No matter how slick and friendly it looks, the early days of any website are bound to be geeky. Sure, Facebook was never really that geeky (you know, as ungeeky as a Harvard social network can be), but Twitter sure as hell was. That is the lifecycle of these sites. More importantly, yo momma may not have much of a choice. Google is making it pretty clear with all of the redesigns that the Google+ tail will be wagging the Google services dog. Once yo momma starts googling her friends and seeing their profile pop up in search results, looks up directions and see recommendations in the area from her friends, and so on, I'll bet she'll start using it.

Now whether that is good or bad is another question, but Google does seem to have it set up so your mom being on there won't hold you back much.

I think he's trying to make his wife what she isn't: an early adopter. The mainstream wants something that their other mainstream (not early adopter) friends are also using. The early adopters are revolutionaries. The mainstream likes status quo. But that's true about every single technology. Facebook has gone through this, too. Twitter, as well. Would your mom or wife use Twitter in the first year after Twitter launched? But I think Google+ transition to mainstream will be pretty smooth, because it's a great and easy to use product, and it's just a matter of having enough early critical mass to get everyone to hear about it.


You raise some good points about Facebook and Twitter going through the same cycle. I can't think of a service that people adopted immediatelyl; strangely, I can think of a few devices.

it's just a matter of ... get[ting] everyone to hear about it.

That's very true as well, but Google+ has something Facebook (and Twitter et al) didn't -- google.com integration and exposure [1].

[1] http://www.allfacebook.com/the-one-google-plus-feature-faceb...

Yes, deep integration with all other Google-services gives it advantage over others. Gmail, Calendar with social.. sounds awesome (Really like hangouts)

I wonder if the whole restricted invites thing is part of a marketing strategy aimed at Facebook:

- Preview ahead of next week to steal FB's thunder about their "big announcement"

- Invites quickly pulled

- Everybody who doesn't have a G+ invite begging around for one, they're even up for sale on eBay - everyone's just waiting to get onto G+

- On same day as the FB announcement, G+ goes public, everyone invited

- Zuck makes his "big announcement" (I dunno, maybe video chat or something) and everyone shrugs.

Nobody in my family uses Facebook. We all have the same sort of privacy concerns. For us, there is no switching cost. At the same time, all of us use gmail. From what I've seen, Google+ looks like it has better privacy features built in (although it's privacy from the public, not private to teh Google). So, I hope my momma will use Google+ because it make sharing things with family a lot easier.

>From what I've seen, Google+ looks like it has better privacy features built in (although it's privacy from the public, not private to teh Google). So, I hope my momma will use Google+ because it make sharing things with family a lot easier.

// Can you expand on that please. What privacy features does G+ have that FB does not (now) have? How did Google make sharing easier?

G+ asks you to decide who is going to see all your posts by default. It begins from an assumption that you want privacy, and lets you affirmatively remove it, rather than the other way around.

You can go to your profile at any time and easily see what you're sharing with others by typing in the name of any person or circle, and see how you appear to them, so there's never any question about what you're sharing.

Sharing on G+ is asynchronous, meaning that you can follow unilaterally like Twitter if you want to.

Google makes its privacy policies much easier to find and read than Facebook, and works from the default position that you want your data to be private, making it up to you to share, rather than the other way around, which is what Facebook does.

Perhaps most important of all is that Facebook has a history of being a bad actor, changing their policies without notice and always defaulting to exposing personal data. Google has had its stumbles in the past, but their history shows them to be a more trustworthy custodian of your data.

They might not always adhere as well as they should to their motto of "don't be evil," but at least they have that starting point to go from.

I believe the quote Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is best known for is "They trust me — dumb fucks."

Content that you post to Google+ seems to be more private by default. I have to choose who I want to see it. It takes a lot of effort figure out privacy settings on Facebook. Plus, it feels like Facebook is trying to game you into sharing more personal information than you really want.

Sharing with family would be easier with Google+ than without it, not necessaryily easier than Facebook.

Google appears to have learned from the Buzz backlash. G+ pushes privacy by default from the first person you put into a circle. You can't 'friend' someone without first thinking about who they are, what they mean to you, and what you want them to see. This alone is a big step up from FB where groups are a hidden, not often used feature.

g+ is going to be like a "grown up" facebook - without the farmville games and the like. It'll be the social network for people who've avoided facebook over perceived privacy slights. It'll be somewhat like a cross between facebook and a friendlier linkedin.

It'll be a lot of things to a lot of people, but it won't be a 'facebook killer' any time soon. G+ is going to be expanding the social network user pie for a while, rather than siphoning off large chunks from facebook.

I think that you're fooling yourself if you don't think that G+ is going to have Farmville on it soon. It's too big of a draw and too big of a money maker for it to not have them.

I really dunno about that. I suspect there will be some, but they only flourish with network effects. If people on g+ don't play them now, they won't invite others to play, etc. And why would you leave facebook to play the same game in a different chrome setting?

If there's some g+-only games, I'd see that happening.

I just hope it doesn't degrade into what Facebook has become because of all the useless game shares. I'm probably ok with seeing a game on my feed that a friend +1'ed or shared something about it once, but I don't want to see 20 shares in a day with his achievements in the game.

Google doesn't need to enable that, because they don't really have to make money by taking a cut from the game developers. So I hope they are much more strict with what developers can enable for users to share.

I do think it's possible G+ will end up having farmville (google has done business IIRC with Zynga before).

However, if it shows up like on Facebook, I (and others) will likely leave G+ for that reason alone.

Google shouldn't try to "beat" Facebook (and I don't think they are trying to). Differentiation is key, since Google really makes it's money elsewhere.

The big "Play Angry Birds NOW" button in Chrome seems to be evidence to the contrary.

I remember when facebook was the "grown up" MySpace... oh wait, I mean 6 years ago.

Why not? Give it time and soon enough, everybody will be in Google+. The video conferencing is a huge attraction. If you want a social network non-geeky types will not go, you go to rstatus.com or identi.ca where they don't have features for mass consumption.

The article isn't bad, and I more or less agree with a lot of it, but I feel like this individual is dramatically underestimating normal people vs. Silicon Valley folk.

Namely: Being a geek doesn't mean you don't have a developed social graph. I've got several friends who don't really mess around with the techy side of anything, who range from 400-1000 friends. Mostly, they're women, but there are one or two men there.

Basically, good article, but presumptuous attitude.

Scoble can come off that way, but he advocates for new and exciting technology and loves to share it with like minded individuals. I met Scoble last week at the 6sight Social Imaging conference in San Jose. He's a talker, and when you get him started he makes sure to leave you with his opinion. Presumptuous is not a word I would describe him with, however I see how that can be interpreted from his blog. I found him to be a nice guy, well informed and willing to talk to anyone about anything.

- To bold text you surround that text with asterisks. Like this GEEKY ALERT!

If non-geeks are using @ to mention people on Twitter, they'll also use * to make text bold.

> Oh, and that’s not even considering the new "Hangout" videochat feature

I've just realized that lots of "normal" FB users browse it from work, where chances are close to 0 that they'd use any videochat service whatsoever (you don't want your boss overhearing your discussion with your best friend about how stupid Rihanna is or about how Mark fucked up his entire life because he married Sue, just to give a few examples). So, yeah, Hangout is cool to power/media-guru users, like Scoble is, but I fail to see how Google is supposed to make a shitload of money on the back of them only.

Since everyone in my department at work managed to get invitations to Google+, we've been using the hangout feature between our offices in different cities.

I can honestly say it just revolutionized the way we connect as a distributed group. We just leave a hangout open, and anytime someone feels like dropping in, they do. It's like a virtual lounge that everyone has access to.

Just wait until Lady Gaga joins Google+. You'll see millions of her fans alone joining Google+. I think she'll do it soon if she's not on it already. I know she likes tech stuff and she's also a fan of Google.

It is best to first ship a product to early adopters and keep a healthy feedback loop as you expand to more people. I am not saying that it will succeed, but they have a good rollout strategy.

I bet the big announcement FB makes in upcoming press conference is

"We are announcing these fantastic new features to Facebook users: <copy-paste G+ features here>"

Yes, but it is fair because Google+ copied the whole [almost] look from Facebook too.

Honestly, while the UI looks nice, I don't see any major advanage in switching.

Facebook: Proprietary network without federation

Google Plus: Proprietary network without federation

So great, I can now jump from one locked-in network into another locked-in network.

Personally I think that Google Plus was the worst thing that can happen to networking in general, as it pretty much killed the chance of an open XMPP-based alternative.

I think that your data in Google+ will be (at least slightly) less locked-in than data you add to Facebook: http://www.google.com/takeout

I agree with you that Google is pretty good about letting you export data. I just exported my Picasa pictures a few days ago. I use POP3 to keep a local copy of GMail. I also periodically take a local snapshot of my Blogger based blog.markwatson.com.

All that said, I also used Facebook's export facility several weeks ago. It worked fine, but then I realized that I didn't care about backing up my Facebook data and deleted it :-)

Earlier this morning I sent a review of Google+ to my customers as a FYI. I made the same point that Scoble did: techies will like the fine grained control, most people will not care.

Of my friends, the list of people who have been somehow burned by misconfigured or misunderstood Facebook privacy settings is growing steadily.

In general, I'm bullish on G+. A reviewer linked here made the best viral case for it I've seen so far: He hadn't made a profile or put any information out there on G+ but his friends with Gmail accounts added him to their various circle's and he, even having not yet chosen to participate in G+, got a big red notification stream in the top-right corner of every other Google service he uses.

Being able to download a dump of your data is a very poor substitute to a real federated network.

One good thing about Google+ might be that I don’t see it getting private messaging that is not email. So at least the messaging will stay open and you won’t be stuck with inboxes that don’t work on your phone etc.

Right, I don't either yet. I've only just started with it but I see nothing in "circles" that is mind-blowing or amazing. I already heavily use Facebook's lists so this is not that much better/different.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Google set up federation, considering that Google Talk started out without federation and they were trying to get Wave to have federation.

To bold text you surround that text with asterisks. Like this* GEEKY ALERT! Italicize? Put underscores around the text. Strikeout? Put hyphens around it.*

Really? The most trivial markdown syntax is for the Geeks only? I don't want to live in that world; that sounds like a nightmare of truly incompetent users.

I can't stand this. Asterisks in the geek world denote actions, not bold. Underlines are frequently used for computing purposes. How is Markdown in any way friendly to geeks?

Actually, this arcane styling might make a lot of sense to non-geeks (even mothers!) who used a word processor in the early 1990s.

Also, Facebook chat uses asterisks around text to make it bold.

This geek elitism is tiring, and I find myself unwilling to filter it out so I can evaluate the actual message.

> This geek elitism ...

What's wrong with geek elitism? Geeks are in fact a dominating[1] group in society, atleast on an intellectual scale.

[1] Have you noticed that half the population is below average?

It's tiring because it's unjustified. There is a spectrum of users, not two separate sets. Scoble is saying what he is saying because it's emotionally satisfying for him to feel like he is part of some elite, while basically he is just a well known blogger. The tone in this article reinforces my prior suspicion that he is a douche. Such hubris also clouds his judgement apparently, as I disagree with him on who will adopt this. G+ currently has the potential to be a completely mainstream product.

Half the population is below the median.

I get annoyed when anyone talks about how stupid everyone else is, but how awesome they are. You're probably not that awesome, and everyone else probably isn't that stupid.

I must say I disagree with this post. Based on how my "normal" friends use facebook, I'm impressed to the lengths they can go just because they love the product, or because it's trendy. Many non-geeks today like to think of themselves as computer savvy, and I think little tricks like the bold and italics will seem cool for them and not "geeky" or "hard". But that's just a circle of hipster twentysomethings.

In the end, if your mom doesn't understand the internet, she'll go to what she hears is popular and not what's simple. And if the hipsters join the bandwagon many people will follow independently of wether they understand it or not (I find this to be especially true for twitter, where a lot of people I know joined because a lot of others were using it, but they never really understood the service).

I was hoping someone would offer up this argument and I'm glad it was Scoble. I think that Google is filling a void with plus because it's doing exactly what Scoble mentions, providing a social network for geeks. Sure, their intent is most likely to knock at Facebok, though, at the core, I'm sure the push behind the project was to develop something for people like them...or, us. Those who are deterrent should really put some time into this. I haven't gotten to use it yet and based on the reports, I know I'm going to love it. As opposed to creating a Facebook "killer," Google has drawn a dichotomy between SoCiAl and social. Smart. And keep in mind, this is just the first version.

"I’ve followed 2,723 people"

This kind of thing baffles me. How can anyone meaningfully follow that number of people? Surely all you're going to get from that many is a stream of mostly trivia that you're not really interested in.

> Since most of the people who are on Google+ so far are geeks, insiders, social media stars, journalists, and other people

This is what I fear the most with +. I'm just as nerdy as the next guy, but I like to have some good un-clean fun with my friends, and Google+ comes off as conservative and parental. If Google stays too clean it won't draw the non-technical users I converse with on Facebook, and enjoy conversing with. Part of the fun of Facebook is the college atmosphere where few things are off-limits.

Our experiences are opposite. My friends do not know the existence of the lists features. And because they have coworkers in their audience they just post political correct content. Read: farm & shit.

As their personal technical advisor, I am going to promote google+ for their freedom speech qualities. Ie. I made them migrate from hotmail to gmail. I predict an easy 20% migration and 50% dual usage.

As the op tells, I'm not going to convince my gossip, spammer, trash talk (i luv u guuuuuuys) friend, nor i'm going to try hard.

One thing that I haven't heard yet is that Google+ is the worst name they could ever come up with!

"+"? Are you kidding me?

On the other hand: here is a feature that would help G+ to take of: Tight integration with Android (2.1 and above at least!!! not 3.1) with android video hangout over wifi and 3G for free(!) international! A tough move, I know, but without something on this scale, this could just be another wave.

I think the name Google+ is way better than some arcane name like Orkut.

At least you can search for "Orkut" easily, and there's no ambiguity.

The worst of it is, if you google "Google+", the site is the 4th result. If you google "Google +", it doesn't even show up. I guess Google doesn't hire SEO experts?

The beauty of it is that it doesn't need to be SEO-optimized.

Go to google.com and G+ is at the top before you even have to search.

The rules of the game don't apply in the same way when you're the game-master :-)

No matter how awesome Hangout is (and I thinks it's very cool), I can't use it yet with a lot of people I talk to. Skype is more ubiquitous and thus I can call "normal" people. If this guys prediction is true, and Google+ won't have widespread adoption outside of geeky communities, then it will fail. I need something like Skype that can bridge from geeks -> non-geeks.

Agree with this assessment. G+ is geeky enough to dissuade the non-tech people so mom-and-pop users will probably not switch en-mass from Facebook.

The real question is, is this enough for Google to not kill it (like Wave)? Or are they in the Social scene domination business and a core geeky consumer base is not enough to sustain G+ and they move on to the next Social "thing"?

Please explain how G+ is more geeky than Facebook. It's a much more intuitive product. It enables features in such an easy way that Facebook can't even dream about.

Did you even read the Post that we are commenting on? There is a whole section that starts with " There are pieces of Google+ that are mighty geeky....".

It is ok to be passionate but as a minimum courtesy - please read before commenting

Google+ may have geeky aspects to it, but Scoble saying it doesn't make it so.

It does seem like Google+ could use a little bit of polish, but Scoble's examples are pretty poor. Non-geeks don't want to organize their friends into groups? I'd guess some will want to, and some won't. But it doesn't seem like enough of a barrier to keep people from joining if everyone else is.

Another commercial with Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber will get them around 10M users, that's for sure ;)

I haven't personally tried out Google+ (I wish i could), but if Google holds it back long enough to create enough buzz about it and people already invited keep saying that it is awesome, i believe they will have enough adopters to grow strong.

Arg! I misread the title as "Why Yo-Yo Ma won't use Google+..." Interesting article anyway. I've heard more than one person say that people aren't going to switch from Facebook. As someone who doesn't use Facebook... I think I might actually use Google+ Then again I said that about Wave too.

How do you bold and italicize on Facebook? I'm not aware of the ability.

Personally I think having a Word interface for a textarea is pretty darn geeky. Using Markdown or some other markup language is better solution since those who don't know just won't use it.

Facebook Notes support simple HTML. You can't use bold or italics anywhere else, to my knowledge.

You can in chat. Pseudo-markdown, * for italic, _ for underline.

Or they'll discover it by mistake, it's pretty intuitive.

So Google's facebook-beater is a product that appeals only to hardcore geeks and not "yo momma"? I doubt it. Maybe for now, but not for long.

Anyway, if it's that important to dodge your mother online, there's always Orkut.

google+ isn't a jump-ship kind of product. It's a creep into your life while you weren't looking and never let you go kind of product.

People will use it slowly at first and it will just snowball.

While I haven't used it yet - my biggest difficutly with the service seems to be that Circles actually act as "silos" and are mutually exclusive.

That is, you cannot add "Robert Scoble" to different circles such as "friends" and "Tech feed" - you must choose EITHER "friends" OR "tech feed".

This draws difficulties [and again I haven't used it so please someone clarify if I'm wrong] - if I have a friend who is both a work college and a friend ? Where do I place this user ? I'm assuming "lay tech" people will want the ability to overlap contacts ?

Edit: great thanks for clarifying! :)

You are wrong. I have added people to different circles, which is quite nice.

Also you don't know which circle you have been added to, so no worries about other peoples feelings....

Oh and if you want an invite, put your email in your gorram profile.

I can confirm that my google+ allows the same person in multiple groups so you can customize broadcasts to multiple different types of groups or individual people.

The neatest thing is the "hang out" mode where you can video/audio/text chat with up to 10 people. This mode already has a neat youtube plugin so everyone can watch the video/movie and comment on it.

Have no fear, Circles are not mutually exclusive. More like Venn diagrams, really.

They're actually just sets, they have nothing to do with Venn diagrams.

It would be pretty neat to be able to see your overlap between circles as a big venn diagram or something of the like. I keep finding out that I have handfuls of mutual friends with people I didn't know shared any of my friends (does that make sense?).

All a Venn (well, Euler, really) diagram would do is show you friends common between circles. I agree that building the graph and finding mutual friends would be nice, though. I generally just go to Facebook and look at our mutual friends, and I'm sometimes surprised, but it would be nice to have a tool that did it automatically.

I wonder if the API has a "mutual friends" call, you could write that pretty easily if so.

Venn diagrams and sets have a good deal to do with each other...

I was referring to circles.

hmmm, i don't know if scobleizer is a benefit to a product or the kiss of death ...

for me Google+ is missing key features, like a decent messaging system, and events ... it's also lacking a feature to link up with similar interest groups ... On first impression, i'm not really convinced

_like a decent messaging system_

Well they do have gmail, google talk/chat and hangouts. Is another messaging system really needed?

_and events_

This I think I agree on, and is something I've been thinking about as wel.

My mom already wants to join. :)

This means that it will end up having the size of twitter?

I wonder what Google learned from it's social network popular in India and South America, Orkut.

Not all of South America, just Brazil.

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