Anti-Social Networking

My new piece on Dialect is my second discussion of G+ and Facebook.

Google’s circles, I’m constantly told, allow you to share content with different groups. You can skip the updates who bore you! You can make an unread circle of people you’d feel guilty unfriending, and they’ll never know that they’re in the Guilt Circle!

But… Facebook’s already offered filters with the same functionality for posting and reading. Facebook users can already take people off their feed and still maintain Facebook friendship with them. And, just like in the Google+ Guilt Circle, they’ll never know about it, so your uncle’s political links can go totally unread without any unfriending awkwardness at Thanksgiving dinner. Facebook users can already lock what you post to select groups of friends, allowing you to post your snarky work-hating updates on a colleague-free list, or protect your epic bar photos from your mom. So that’s hardly innovative for G+.

I simply don’t see any functionality praised in a Google circle that isn’t already offered by other social networks. Lest I come off like a Facebook fangirl, I’ll point out that proto-blogsite LiveJournal offered filtered lists 10 years ago.

Via Anti-Social Networking / Meg Stivison / Dialect Magazine

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2 Responses to Anti-Social Networking

  1. Darktouch says:

    I still say it is a question of implementation. The question isn’t whether you can do that on facebook or google plus or both. I’m not on google plus so I don’t know the implementation there but for facebook I know that while I CAN filter people, it is a pain in the butt to go several layers down in order to get to the filtering options.

  2. Lexton says:

    I don’t think it’s what G+ offers, it’s how it offers it. I’m not exactly an idiot when it comes to computers and the internet but deciphering Facebook’s arcane and constantly changing site design and finding out a) whether a feature I want exists in some form and b) how to find and use it if it does, can be a constant headache. People keep pointing out that other things offer and have offered the same basic functionality that G+ does but the fact that they are having to point it out at all says something. I’ve yet to see a social networking site that’s as easy to set up, navigate and customize as G+ is. Whether the basic idea behind circles is original or not is irrelevant. That they let me set up and organize who gets to see my stuff and what stuff of theirs I want to see in a way that’s quick and easy is what matters.

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