Yes, I know that I’ve had my say on this topic, but I still have some questions. I start with the ones that drove me out of Google+, and then move gradually into the realm of metaphysical contemplation. . . .

What circle should I put this person in?

Oh wait, I can put people in more than one circle — so how many circles should I put this person in?

Do I even want this person to be in any of my circles?

How many circles should I have, anyway? This subdividing thing can go too far, can’t it? and what should be the core principles I use to design my circles? Degrees of intimacy? Spheres of interest? An elementary division between Work and Play?

I can’t even use this service unless I create a public profile, so what do I want to reveal on my public profile? How detailed should it be?

I’m ready to post something . . . but should this be a public post? Who would be interested in it? Maybe it should just go to this one circle? Though there are people in other circles who might be interested also . . . but others in that circle who wouldn’t be interested . . . so maybe before I post it I need to rearrange my circles a bit.

Wait . . . if I move that guy out of one circle will be still see the posts and photos he saw when he was in that circle? If not, then do I want to do that to him? What will he think when he figures out that I’ve removed him from a circle (especially if he doesn’t know what my circles are)? Will he be able to see that?

When I signed up I discovered that my two choices were “Link Google+ with Picasa Web” or “Don’t Join Google”? Why can’t I join without linking my Picasa photos to the service?

Google asks me if I want to be notified when someone “shares a post with me directly” — but what if I don’t want people to share posts with me directly at all? Can I keep anyone from doing that? Or by using the service do I make myself vulnerable to anyone and everyone who wants to “share” with me? Is there no refuge from oversharers?

Google also asks me if I want to be notified when someone comments on one of my posts — but what if I don’t want anyone to comment on my posts at all? There appears to be no option for turning off comments — why not?

I believe that if I turn off every single one of these (email or text) notifications I still see a badge numbering everything people have tried to do with me or to me on Google+ at the top of every single Google page when I am logged in. What if I don’t want to see that badge?

Can I prevent someone from starting a Huddle conversation with me? I can, I suppose, just decline to reply, but what if I just don’t want to Huddle at all? What if Huddling kinda grosses me out?

In short, what if I want to start by having minimal social interactions on Google+, interactions over which I have a great deal of control, and I want to have very few and very simple decisions to make about whom I interact with? In that case, I can’t see that Google+ is the service for me.

Text Patterns

July 14, 2011


  1. C'mon, it's BETA. It's been out for like a week. Give it more than a few days and these questions will be answered. We don't even know what it is yet, really.

  2. Word processing and email are still the killer apps.

    (I still don't get how any adult has time to be a Twit…er, I meant…to Twitter. 🙂 )

  3. @ Anon

    Somehow I knew what was coming before I clicked that link.

    I wonder if yours is the first Inferno analogy for G+.

  4. > I wonder if yours is the first Inferno analogy for G+.

    I'm sure not. And I'm sure it won't be the last either.

  5. Oh for a system that arbitrarily created circumstances that defined my circles at any given point. Annoying sometimes, but would free the mind from pondering the construction of audiences.

  6. I thought that the future technology was going to enable me to only interact with the people I want to and never have to rub shoulders with anyone I didn't choose.

    I didn't realize it was going to be so much more granular. In the future, I'll be in control not just of who I interact with, but what topics they're allowed to speak with me about and under which circumstances I will suffer them to speak.

  7. I think I found an elegant solution to the problem: I've created as many circles as I have contacts, and each circle has the same name as the contact, who is the only person it in. Voilà.

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