Facebook vs G+, the Condensed Edition
I wrote a TLNWR (Too Long, Nobody Will Read) post about Facebook vs G+, but before pasting it into WordPress, I realized the whole spiel could be compressed 70% with very little data loss. So now it goes like this:
When I first started with Facebook, my “Friending” came to a halt because I just couldn’t make myself put people I only knew professionally or casually – or hardly at all – into the same formerly meaningful category (friend) as actual close friends or family members. Because I knew that every time I shared something, it would be seen by people with whom I wouldn’t normally share that item, no matter what it was. For instance I wouldn’t normally share an article on cost/capacity evolution of memory technology with my wife. And I wouldn’t normally share anything I wrote about global warming or partisan politics to certain people with whom I generally avoid non- work related subjects. It works the other way too; if someone at work wants to vote for Sarah Palin, I’d just as soon leave that out of any professional conversations.
In other words, Facebook didn’t map at all to my actual social networks. Every time I clicked on anything, I had cognitive dissonance. Worse, even if I painstakingly set up sharing rules and security, I couldn’t trust Facebook not to dump all my settings at a whim. In fact they did just that – several times.
Now if one of my professional contacts were to Google me and find my blog, that’s perfectly OK – the point is I didn’t send them there. And my wife actually knows more about technology than she lets on in casual conversation, so there’s some overlap. But I don’t want one click going to everybody.
Enter G+: it maps to my actual networks, so there’s no cognitive dissonance. It’s intuitively easy to create Circles for work contacts, for work friends, for online friends, for relatives – anything. Then when I share an item, I just click on whichever circles apply and it’s all cool.
There are other reasons, like data (ex-)portability and hangouts and integration with Gmail and Picasa, but that was the big one.
There! I just deleted about fifty paragraphs that I wrote earlier. And it feels great.