What is Google+? A collection of tools in search of an aim (apud Farhad Majoo)

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
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Google+ is the search giant’s response to Facebook’s recent raise as the most visited site in the world. The tools aim to make the web experience of Google account users a little bit more like that offered by Facebook. The problem is, however, that there is no compelling reason to switch from Facebook or from other, established social media tools, to what Google has to offer.

Majoo summarizes Google’s predicament in this pithy statement:

From what I can tell, Google+ is several different social products rolled into one, an amalgam that currently lacks much coherence or any compelling reason for participation. Among its many parts is a stream of your friends’ updates—pretty much the same kind of thing you see on Twitter or Facebook. Then there’s Huddle, a group chat system, which is like any number of other group chat systems online. There’s also a snappy video chat feature, called Hangout. And, most important of all, there’s Circles, which is a way to segregate your friends into discrete groups. For instance, you can have a circle of work friends, a circle of college buddies, a knitting circle, and a circle of jerks. (Who could resist?)

Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

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