After trying G+ out for a bit, I decided that I just didn't need it. A lot of my less technical friends & family use FB. I don't care much for it, but I've come to regard it as an inherently privacy-free unsafe/insecure zone and treat it accordingly. I stay logged out of it when I'm not using it and keep it out of my usual online activities.
G+ blurred the line too much between regular browsing, search, gmail, my RSS reader, and all these "circles" of FB/Twitter-like social interaction. It just felt like it would be too easy to make a mistake and say the wrong thing in the wrong context, or find that I was sharing in a way I didn't want to. And that's assuming the service works as intended without flaws, without FB-style policy changes.
I've come to realize that fragmented, disconnected identities on separate websites is a feature. Yes, the dots can be connected by someone with significant resources. But why should I make these connections easy to make, or searchable? Doesn't do anything for me.
I've come to a similar realization, and reacted against G+ in much the same way. Maybe the NSA or ONI can figure out who 'revscat' really is -- and honestly, in my case it wouldn't be that difficult -- but Google already knows more about me than I feel comfortable with. The only way I would consider switching from FB to G+ was if Google completely reversed their 'real name' policy and allowed/encouraged pseudonyms.
The internet has a long, long history of anonymity. I will continue to do what I can to support this.
I decided to do a little experiment and try to find out who you really are. In about 20 minutes I found out your internet service provider, in which city you live and your username seems to be linked to "Rev. Scatological Warfare". Am I on the right track?
> but Google already knows more about me than I feel comfortable with
But how exactly are they going to link all your google searches to your real identity, if you've always used a pseudonym when using Gmail or any other Google service?
As a social network, G+ has too many warts. It's a royal f@cking timesuck.
As a social service, it's a huge privacy suck as well.
And I'm looking to get off of my Android phone and gmail account in the future (it's principally associated with the phone).
It'll be interesting to see what happens to the G+ early adopters from here.
I'm reminded of a SciFi short story probably written in the 1970s. A global identity system was being created, and one of the members of the team was given the opportunity to opt out of it. There's enough "papers, please" associations I have with this whole concept that it's highly disturbing.