Google+ Feature Suggestions

Google+ is awesome. But it’s not perfect. This is Google’s first real take at creating their own social network to compete with Facebook and Twitter. Let’s be honest, MySpace isn’t much competition these days.

Over the past week, I’ve been seeing things that Google should do to be a better platform.

  • Shorter profile permalinks, ie is just too long, maybe acquire or use instead
  • Endorsements; think..LinkedIn and Namesake meets true social networking. LinkedIn is never going to be a full time social network. It’s great for business, recruiting, job seekers, etc, but for simple social network, it’s never going to be prime time. Think about endorsing your friends for say, the subject of WordPress or SEO or advertising or people management. Then being able to filter and contact friends based on those endorsements. That could be huge.
  • Writing on someone else’s “wall” is difficult (if not impossible.) You can “mention” someone in an update, but you can’t just message them directly…without emailing them
  • Circles should update faster. When I first joined, it took 3-4 days to update…I’ll give them some slack that it was probably just a bug

  • Ability to sync up Flickr photos. I don’t use Picasa really, so my photos are really lacking in my profile. On Facebook, I update directly to Facebook and I’ll eventually do that for Google+…however, I have a ton more photos in Flickr and to have the ability to either sync those up or import, would be amazing
  • Real-time comments (instead of having to refresh the page) apparently this is only a Safari issue

Overall, Google has done an amazing job on a product they can be proud of. Plenty of room to grow, but they’ve come a really long way in such a short time.

Google Plus…It’s So Shiny!

Google+ is actually pretty awesome. I got my invite just a few days ago and so far, it’s great.

What’s so great about it?

It’s clean. Even cleaner than Facebook.

Let’s rewind back to 2004. Facebook was “” and the site required you to be at a college that it had registered on the site. The school I was attending, Azusa Pacific University, finally got added to the site. I was ecstatic. I joined immediately and was probably one of the first 500,000 people on the site (there are now over 750M users on Facebook.)

MySpace was also in the race for becoming the social network of choice. MySpace sold out to News Corp and Facebook held tight on the reigns.

Facebook won my attention because it was cleaner than MySpace. You could customize all the pages on MySpace and that drove me absolutely nuts. Add Friend and every button click was somewhere different on every page — I hated this.

Facebook, it was always in the same spot, every page, everywhere. This, I did love.

Facebook today still holds this true. While a photo can be longer or wider, a link is going to be where I’m expecting it to be.

Welcome Google+ to the stage.

Google is taking social networking to the next level.

Twitter-like “lists” as Circles and “fixing” the privacy problems that Facebook has, Google+ is taking the best of both worlds and pushing them into a single experience.

The first problem I have with Google+ is that I’ve invested 7+ years into Facebook. I feel…”stuck” on Facebook. My entire social graph is there. I have over 900 friends on Facebook.

A large number of my friends are not tech-savvy folks, so they probably won’t care enough to fully switch from Facebook to Google+. That’s the battle that Google is facing right now: “How do we get everyone people to switch over and delete their Facebook account?”

Ideally, Google wants people to delete their Facebook account and switch to Google+, and I admire that goal (presumption on my part.)

As one of my friends [who works for Google], puts it:

I’ll be deleting this facebook account soon and moving to Google+. Let me know if you want an invite.

There’s one. Now just 749,999,999 to go.

What Do I Love?

The feature that I really love the most about Google+ is the ability to put friends into Circles. I then have the ability to share an update just to a particular Circle. You can..sort of do this with Facebook, but it’s really difficult to manage a List on Facebook. Google+ made it easy to manage circles, +1 for Google on that.

Comments are so much cleaner than Facebook. The crispness in the design and layout is so much better. You can also edit a comment after the fact, where in Facebook you must delete the update and recreate it. +1 for Google on that.

You aren’t forced to be mutual friends with someone. I can add someone to a circle of mine, but it doesn’t have to be mutual. Kudos to Google for creating this Twitter-like environment. That way I don’t have to share all my information to people I don’t necessarily know, but they want my public updates.

The list just keeps going about what I love more about Google+ than Facebook.

I’m just a few days into using Google+ and so far, I’m absolutely in love with it.

I’m not deleting my Facebook account [yet], but maybe one day I will.

Until next time, find me on Google Plus.

Secure Your Facebook Session

Gmail announced the always-secure feature last year, and now Facebook has finally got around to adding it as well.

This account feature will allow users to use https whenever possible, making it a more secure experience.

You can access this feature by going Account » Account Settings » Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible

The Firefox extension Firesheep, has brought to light many concerns about security on social networks such as Twitter. It’s great to see Facebook being proactive about making the experience more secure.