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Google PlusJon Mitchel, over at ReadWriteWeb, has reported the results of a stuy about the first 10 million Google Plus adopters (see Who Uses Google Plus Now? Yep, Male Students & Geeks From the US). Big surprise, it turns out that the users were mostly young American men working in technology. About 70% of Google Plus users still identify as men, and the bulk of them are American. The major shift from prior studies was that students have overwhelmingly displaced tech workers. I would say that it is too early to put much validity behind the study. I remember the early days of the Web back in the mid 90s when the average user of the Internet was a young white techie living in Northern California. It took some time, but the demographics of Internet users (in the U.S.) today is pretty much the demographics of the people in the United States.
I continue to believe that Google+ has developed a superior social networking alternative to Facebook. Facebook clearly got the wakeup call and has made improvements in their approach to privacy settings, but G+ is much more intuitive. I don’t even think of “settings”. If I write something that I want to share with my family members, I just post it to the family circle and that is it. I don’t have to think about privacy settings. I have a friends circle too, and only I know exactly who is in it. I just click on any one of my 15 circles and I can see who is in it. Any of the 215 people who are in one of my circles can see that they are in one of my circles, but they don’t know which circle or circles. A person could be in my “Never ever want to run into these persons again as long as I live” circle. Meanwhile 169 people have put me in one or more of their circles. There are a number of these 169 people that I have never heard of before. Some of them have thousands of people in their circles. Why they want me in one of their circles I don’t know, but I don’t care either. If I post something public, anybody and everybody can read it. If I post to my motorcycles circle, only my fellow biker buddies can read it. It is all very logical and intuitive.
The next turn of the crank for G+, in my opinion, is for them to become integrated with the various blogging and social media tools. Like millions of others, I use WordPress to write my postings. I have a plugin for WP that automatically adds my posting to Facebook and Twitter. I have not yet found one to do the same for G+, but I am certain there will be one soon, if there is not one already that I have overlooked. Tools like ShareThis provide the icons to allow readers to share something they read with others through email and various social networks. G+ will surely become part of tools such as this. I expect that G+ will become at least as ubiquitous as Facebook, but more private at the same time. I have just added a G+ button on my blog so that anyone wishing to put me in one or more of their circles (and I won’t know which). The link to do this uses my Google+ ID which is the string of numbers in the following. Click this link and you can add to your circles.