Floodgates vs Features

Google has a choice before it over the next few days and weeks as FaceBook prepares its initial response to Google+ by introducing video chat. Maybe Google has already made this choice but I'd just like to chime in with an unsolicited bit of advice.

It sounds like there will be a lot of changes and new features being released that will address some of the problems people have found. This is fantastic. All I suggest is that the core changes are released before the floodgates are opened. This isn't just a selfish desire to see the features first, it would be better for the success of G+. Right now most people on G+ (plussers? blech, need a better term for that.) are fairly nerdy and meta. If the discussion format changes they will investigate it, explore, learn how it works and optimize their approach to the new system. Just like they would when playing a board game, which they all do I expect.

But most people aren't that meticulous or patient. So if you let in lots of people and then change a bunch of features on them before they even get comfortable, you'll loose people right away.

So, (1) fix the main shortfalls

  • add search to the stream

  • allow merging or circles in some way, at least a "not-in circle" circle

  • an API to let people develop apps and connect services to this stream

  • for God's sake, add the ability to temporarily disable the red box notification in the corner so you don't destabilize this delicate economic recovery with a millions of lost work hours while people constantly check for messages. :) (but really, I'm serious, I'd love a pause button)

(2) Give us a bit of time, hell, even 24 hours will do.

(3) Open the floodgates so we can start talking about something other than G+ on G+.

Oh and by the way....good job.

Meta: so I started writing this post as a message in G+, it got longer and after I hit "Share" I realized, wait, this is a blog post! G+ is a very natural platform for blogging and having discussion automatically integrated in. Of course, right now, its quite the gated community. Hopefully one of the first things Google enables is some kind of API that allows us to push posts out to wordpress and twitter. Ideally this would only happen when selected and would be outgoing only. Buzz is the place to import from the outside world in my opinion.

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