Today’s Reading List – Google+ Plus Edition

After three days on Google+, I think I can safely say that Twitter and Facebook are going to need a new gameplan. No, I don’t think either of them are going to go out of business anytime soon. They both have legions of loyal followers who don’t just love the platform, but have built relationships and followings that they would hate to abandon. Both platforms are safe for now, but the days of lazy development (Twitter) and user exploitation (Facebook) are coming to an end. Both companies need to start serving their audience better if they hope to continue to grow (or at least avoid shrinking)

Here are the top five things Google+ brings to the table.

  • Circles: G+ gives its users the ability to create circles of people and communicate with these circles differently. Your professional contacts no longer have to hear about how cute your kids/pets/drinking binges are, and your friends no longer need to scroll past your business-related discussions.
  • Clean Interface:  Both the Twitter and Facebook interfaces have gotten increasingly cluttered over the years. Facebook is especially guilty of forcing clutter on the users. While Google may someday fall victim to that as well, for the moment their interface simple and clean.
  • Following: This is the feature that FaceBook never got right, even with their Fan Pages and Groups.  Sometimes you just want to follow someone without expecting a reciprocal relationship. This is especially true with celebrities and pundits. Twitter is better about following, but they lack the next feature…
  • Nested Comments: Facebook users are used to the way that nested comments work. When you see an interesting post, you leave a comment. That comment stays attached to the original post instead of just scrolling by (the way it does on Twitter). This is the one essential feature (beyond a general interface similarity) that G+ takes from FaceBook. They enhance it further by adding…
  • Plus: The “Plus” button is like the “Like” (thumbs up) feature in FaceBook, except that on Google the Plus has more clout. Clicking the Plus button gives an individual post more weight and pushes it higher on your comment stream. The cream rises to the top. Facebook also has a “Top News” feature, but Facebook doesn’t really discuss how something gets to the top. The decision is made for you, and your input is undefined if not negligible.

Now on to the reading list, with some Google+ articles to start, plus the usual writing and organization related articles.

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