Cross-post: Hey, Google+ is not world peace

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Somehow I’ve become a bit spread out too thin across tumblr, the TWIMPACT Dev Blog, and now of course Google+.

I originally set up this blog to be the ideal place for everything with jsMath to render some latex, markdown for the editing, and disqus for comments, but sometimes I find it easier to post something on tumblr. No idea whether this will eventually converge on some platform.

In any case, I posted the following originally on the TWIMPACT Dev Blog:

Some people start behaving like Google+ is the second coming of Christ, a cure against cancer and world peace all rolled into one. Mike Elgan has gone on a “Google+ diet” and is redirecting all his communication (including email!) to Google+. Other bloggers (e.g. Kevin Rose) have shut down their blog completely, redirecting their site to their Google+ profile. Others state that everything else has started to become boring once your exposed to Google+.

Now admittedly, Google+ is very nice and it’s definitely a big step forward, but there is still a lot that needs to be done. I’m not dismissing it in any way. It’s has a lot of potential, but as every complex system out there, there are a lot of details which need further attention.

So here is the list:

  • RSS feeds. A lot of people are still using RSS readers for blogs. Google+ doesn’t have this feature yet. Switching your blog to Google+ currently means that all those people won’t get your updates anymore. Doesn’t sound like a nice move to me. The closest thing you can get right now is an (unofficial) hack at

  • Some form of bookmarking. Just as in Twitter, it is currently very hard to find interesting stuff in your stream again. +1 would be a nice way to bookmark posts, but currently they don’t show up under the +1 tab.

  • Private messages. Sometimes you want to have a small private exchange. You can always go back to email, but that would be quite disruptive. I know that you can have a privat conversation if you share a post to just one person, but that not very obvious. What you need is a button or a menu entry next to the person’s icon or on their profile page.

  • Real-time search. Now that has me really baffled. On all other Google products (email, calendar, docs, etc.), search is an integral part of the experience. In fact, putting full text search on Gmail was one of the game changers back when it came out. Still, no real-time search on Google+, neither for all public posts nor on your private streams. IMHO, this is probably the most important feature that is missing right now.

  • Public API and third party integration. To cross post your stuff to Facebook and make everyone there crazy.

Posted by Mikio L. Braun at 2011-07-19 10:11:00 +0000

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