I just signed up for Google+ and I’m not particularly impressed yet. I already barely use my Facebook. I mostly use Twitter, but probably not in the same way most of my co-workers do. I have multiple accounts, each with different names, and each talking about different aspects of my life. There is Work-Bouv, Gamer-Bouv and Coder-Bouv (these are not the actual names by the way) — and the people I want to talk to about each don’t want to hear about the others. My social circles shouldn’t be forced to interact with each other.
I miss the days of nicks & handles. I don’t care about the anonymity, but I want my online personalities separated. Google+ at least allows a sane way to send out updates by choosing who to include (where Facebook status updates you choose who to exclude, which is bass-ackwards). But on Google+, I’m still known as Anthony Bouvier, and not by the online names I choose for my other side of life. I know many, many people by their online names and not by their real names, and I don’t see the issue with that. I hate being forced to do otherwise.
Google+ should allow me to have multiple profiles facing outward. I could link my gamer friends to one because that’s how they know me, and link my work fellows to the other. That’s the whole reason I don’t use Facebook often — except to talk about my dog Beefy because she crosses the social borders. I don’t talk about politics, gaming, code or anything specific to my personality much on Facebook because it is a chore to juggle who I’m talking to.
That’s why I mostly use Twitter. I can follow a whole different set of people and be followed back. We can have conversations about hobby stuff and not think about how my professional profile followers react.
Social media doesn’t have to be everyone knowing everyone like some big hippie love-in. Give me control over how I want to handle my social circles.