Google + Impressions

I was excited when I heard about Google +.  I was even more excited when I was able to start using it.  I usually like when Google introduces a new product, so I was looking forward to being able to use this new social network.

After a week, I have to admit that I’m disappointed.  Google+ is no Facebook killer.  It doesn’t really even have the features to compete with Facebook.  No groups, no pages, no wall, no direct message.  Its more like twitter than anything else.  And I already have twitter.

I keep seeing messages saying “You’re using Google+ wrong” or “Stop trying to use Google+ like Facebook”. I see an inherent problem with statements like that.  You can’t tell people how to use a social network.  People need to be able to use it the way they want to use it.  You can direct your users through design to use it the way you might want them, but you can’t tell people that they are using it “wrong”.  They have to find how they want to use it.  And I don’t know yet how I want to use it, or if I want to use it.

So what did I want?  I guess I wanted something along the lines of Facebook, but without the games and a better privacy policy.  But that’s not what I got.  But I can’t really tell you what I got, because I don’t know what its supposed to be. I haven’t figured out a way to use it that benefits me, or even really interests me.  Its certainly no facebook killer.

What do you think of Google +?

The club

A while back a friend of mine had a dream, in which they visited me in Toronto.  In the dream, in the course of showing them around the city, I took them to a club for actors.  Not a night club, but a “club” in the classic sense: you know like a place where people go to hang out, play cards (or whatever), talk shop, and socialize.  I told her that there was no such place, but had to admit that it was a shame that no such place existed.  And it really is.

As I mentioned before, when actors come together to work on a show, they form an ad hoc family, and when the show is over, that family dissolves.  That family will never be together in that way ever again.  During the rehearsal process, that family of actors socializes, networks, talks and acts as a support group.  It is, for a brief while, a community.  One that separates all too quickly.

What if there was a social club for actors? A place where we could get together, hang out, chat about the business, or chat about something other than the business.  A place where a community could be formed that lasts longer than a show or a season.

What’s preventing this from happening right now?  Perhaps location.  One couldn’t expect to have a designated location right away (as nice as that might be).  But what about a restaurant or bar or pub?  The place would have to be quiet enough that people could talk, it would have to have a reasonably priced food (both vegetarian and not), and it would have to be welcoming to the group.  Or perhaps, instead of that, start off with a pot-luck dinner type thing.

Either way, as far as I can see, we could all benefit from such a thing.  A place where we could form a community, where we could benefit from each others’ experiences, and where we could socialize with like minded people.