Home > Uncategorized > Facebook vs G+, the Condensed Edition

Facebook vs G+, the Condensed Edition

July 10, 2011

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.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. July 11, 2011 at 06:04 | #1

    This post was both concise and helpful and a perfect explanation of something I’d been hearing about, but clearly not paying enough attention to. I know much more than I did before and I read the whole post. Thanks for that.

  2. July 11, 2011 at 20:33 | #2

    Exactly dude! Thanks for saying it. In fact, you could probably have just wrote this for the entire post:

    Facebook didn’t map at all to my actual social networks.

    That line is awesome!

    Oh btw, I can’t seem to login. And when I tried to recover a password using my email that didn’t work either. But unless I’m missing something I can’t seem to find a register link. :(

    • July 11, 2011 at 21:58 | #3

      Ever since you invited me, Webs, I’ve been thinking of joining. But I tend not to use Facebook much. I’m not sure I would get on Google+ any more than I do Facebook. So I’m still mulling it over. Indecision. My middle name.

  3. July 12, 2011 at 08:59 | #4

    Both you and SEB have given some good information on Google+ but I still feel I have to drag my feet on this decision. But thank you!

  4. July 13, 2011 at 23:02 | #5

    I think you’ve managed to highlight an important difference between these services by dropping all that other verbage, George. I’m not sure if I’ll ever use Google+, but the difference you highlighted is one of the reasons I saw no reason to join Facebook.

  5. Karen
    July 17, 2011 at 15:59 | #6

    I use Facebook because it’s the only way to keep tabs on my nieces and nephews, who seem to think that actual email is just way beyond old-fashioned. I have a few friends there, but they mostly seem to be in the same mode I am: read, not write. Then there’s the retired relative who spends his entire life on FB and pounces on me wanting to chat, despite the fact that we share neither a compatible outlook on life nor on politics. (I avoid him by visiting FB late at night when he’s asleep.) For the most part, FB just doesn’t work for me — my FB friends are real-life friends, and if I find something I think is interesting I email the link to just those it might interest.

    I guess I’m hopelessly old-fashioned.

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