I confess I’m not the most active user of Google+, the new social network that’s currently in private beta, or so-called “field trial”, with already over 25 million users… and probably a majority of Google+ people are already active on other social media. And what makes a social network great is both the people and the technology’s features/ functions. For Google+ to have a smaller feature set, and using that magical number “3″ to frame its features (circles, hangouts, sparks), it’s looking to be the next big thing (and seasons for a social network’s popularity ebb and flow, a la Friendster, MySpace, Facebook…), btw, here’s a free invite to Google+ http://ow.ly/5ZhVf
What’s great about Google+ is how it’s easy-to-use for sharing stuff, be it a status update, a link, a photo, a video (especially YouTube)… and to share that in select circles (or select individuals). And I do like to share. There are 3 things that are missing for me, and how I’d like to use Google+
1. search. Yes Google is the king of search. I’d want to search my own stream, or a stream of one of my circles, or all my streams. There are things I remember seeing on my stream but want to get back to it more quickly than scrolling back to try to find it. (there are some hacks + workarounds)
2. filter. I don’t keep Google+ open in a web browser all the time, so I kinda miss hours of stream shares at a time. I don’t want to scroll back to see everything, but I do want to catch when certain topics or keywords get mentioned. What if Sparks could be applied to just my stream and/or certain ones of my circles?
3. my +1′s. From what I can tell, +1′s adds to the count of people who liked a certain shared item. Good that the person who shared it knows how many +’s and subsequent users who see that shared item. What I’d also like to see is a stream of items I have +1′d. That’d be a good bread crumb trail of goodies I would like to reference, or even to share that. [: aha! found my +1's listing - thank you Google!]
Aside: when the name of something is difficult to type or has more than one way to identify it, that does make for some challenges.. so on a keyword search, does one search for Google+ or Google Plus? One thing I kept running into with my work at L2 Foundation was gently informing people that it’s “L-Squared” and not elle-two. Such as it is when you can’t superscript in plain text.