If there’s one thing every social network user can agree on, it’s the amount of noise on most services is at near unmanageable levels. Too many dog, cat, baby and horse pics for anyone to sift through or care about. And while many of us need another social network like we need a hole in the head, Google+ certainly has some great things going for it.
Circles are the bomb. Instead of worrying about crafting messages that make your friends laugh but colleagues cringe, Google+ Circles takes the worry out of your way. Write your post, share your video, make your check in or post your picture and make it viewable to ONLY that selected circle.
Manage the noise
Compared to Twitter lists, which allow us to filter incoming messages, Google+ Circles make it possible to do both. For me, I have my contacts separated into Circles like Family, Friends, Gangplank, Smart People and Popular Kids. This way I can easily avoid the tech elite (Brian Clark, Chris Brogan, et al) when their posts become too saturated with comments to follow, but I still can quickly check in with their streams to see what new things the cool group is talking about.
As with Twitter Lists, Google+ Circles allows me to have people in more than one group, so my fianceé can keep up with my daily posts in my friend group, but also be privy to the vacation pictures my family posts to our Family Circle.
But one thing still bugs me about this, as I was hoping to use Google+ as a web-based, email group: I can’t be sure people that are in my groups see my messages. Sure, I’ve adjusted my settings to make sure they can, but there’s no way I can quickly check to see if they’ve subscribed (added me to a Circle) without checking each individually.
Google+ has a long way to go, but it’s certainly the best Google introduction since Gmail. Let’s hope we all figure out how to use it.