Google+: Circles, Squares, and Sparks

We’ve already shared a cheat sheet with the world for how to use the growing social networking site Google+, but there’s more to it than just that small infographic. We’ll get to that later though; for now consider these links for the Top of the Berg news of the day:

  • appleinsider.com– Google posts $9 Billion in revenue while android activations reach 550K
  • Techcrunch.com– Will Google+ be integrated into Gmail? Top of the Burg hopes so!
  • gigaom.com– Should Twitter be afraid rather than Facebook?
www google
Now for the details on the Circles, Squares, and Sparks: According to the Official Google Blog:
+Circles: share what matters, with the people who matter most
Not all relationships are created equal. So in life we share one thing with college buddies, another with parents, and almost nothing with our boss. The problem is that today’s online services turn friendship into fast food—wrapping everyone in “friend” paper—and sharing really suffers:

  • It’s sloppy. We only want to connect with certain people at certain times, but online we hear from everyone all the time.
  • It’s scary. Every online conversation (with over 100 “friends”) is a public performance, so we often share less because of stage fright.
  • It’s insensitive. We all define “friend” and “family” differently—in our own way, on our own terms—but we lose this nuance online.
+Sparks: strike up a conversation, about pretty much anything
Healthy obsessions inspire sharing, and we’ve all got one (or two, or three…). Maybe it’s muscle cars, or comic books, or fashion, but the attraction is always the same: it comes up in conversation, we immediately jump in, and we share back and forth with other fans. Often for hours. The trick is getting things started, and getting over that initial hump. Fortunately, the web is the ultimate icebreaker.
The web, of course, is filled with great content—from timely articles to vibrant photos to funny videos. And great content can lead to great conversations. We noticed, however, that it’s still too hard to find and share the things we care about—not without lots of work, and lots of noise. So, we built an online sharing engine called Sparks.
+Hangouts: stop by and say hello, face-to-face-to-face
Whether it’s inside a pub or on a front porch, human beings have always enjoyed hanging out. And why not? It’s how we unwind, recharge, and spend unscheduled time with old and new friends alike. Hanging out is deceptively simple though, and the nuance gets lost online.
Just think: when you walk into the pub or step onto your front porch, you’re in fact signaling to everyone around, “Hey, I’ve got some time, so feel free to stop by.” Further, it’s this unspoken understanding that puts people at ease, and encourages conversation. But today’s online communication tools (like instant messaging and video-calling) don’t understand this subtlety:

  • They’re annoying, for starters. You can ping everyone that’s “available,” but you’re bound to interrupt someone’s plans.
  • They’re also really awkward. When someone doesn’t respond, you don’t know if they’re just not there, or just not interested.
So reader, are you wanting a Google+ account yet?
Jonathan Hawkins

Jonathan Hawkins

Jonathan Hawkins is founder and CEO of Topoftheburg. Since a young age he has been involved in website design and search engine marketing for business owners. at Topoftheburg, LLC
Jonathan Hawkins
Jonathan Hawkins
Jonathan Hawkins

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