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Book Review: Google+: the Missing Manual

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Books 104

Michael J. Ross writes "Prior to Google+, the company's previous attempts at social networking — Orkut, Dodgeball, Jaiku, Wave, and Buzz — were largely failures, and tended to frustrate users who had devoted time and effort to contributing content and establishing connections with other users, only to see the services wither on the vine. In contrast, Google+ appears to be receiving far more nurturing by the Internet behemoth, and as a result has arguably better chances of not just surviving, but expanding to the point of eventually challenging Twitter and Facebook. Like its rivals, Google+ offers online help information to explain to newcomers the basics of how to use the service. But there is little to no advice on how to make the most of its capabilities, and even the basic functionality is not always clearly explained. That is the purpose of a new book, Google+: The Missing Manual." Keep reading for the rest of Michael's review.Authored by Kevin Purdy, the book was published by O'Reilly Media, on 30 December 2011, under the ISBN 978-1449311872. The publisher's page has a brief description of the book, its table of contents, some comments on the book from customers and reviewers, a couple errata (as of this writing), and links for purchasing the print version (such as the one kindly provided to me by the publisher) and/or the e-book versions (in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats). The "missing CD" page has links to most if not all of the online resources mentioned in the text.

Like the other entries in the Missing Manual series, this one starts with the basics, and builds upon that foundation. It does not assume any knowledge of Google+, or even possession of a Google account.

The book's material is organized into nine chapters, for a total of 232 pages. The first chapter, "Getting Started," explains exactly how to join Google+, invite friends to your new network, and configure your profile, including your privacy settings and a photo (even tweaking it online). The second chapter, "Managing Contacts with Circles" covers how to create new circles, edit and organize existing ones, share them with other Google+ users, and find people to add to your circles. But, oddly, the information is not presented in that logical order. The author explicates the advantages of using more than the default four circles provided by Google. Some points are repeated, but briefly enough that it is inconsequential.

While the first two chapters lay the foundation for joining Google+ and setting up your account and circles, the next three chapters explore the details of using this service — starting with "Streams, Sharing, and Privacy," which explains the various types of streams (main, circle, Notification, and the now-defunct Incoming stream), as well as the user interface elements for those streams and the individual posts they comprise. The author also demonstrates how to write your own posts, specify who gets to see them, edit your posts, and interact with the posts submitted by other users. The next chapter explores the important topic of notifications, which are sent as e-mail messages, smartphone messages, etc. Helpfully, the author discusses the differences between the user interfaces of the Android and iPhone notification apps. The subsequent chapter fully explains how to share photos and videos with other Google+ users, as well as how to upload and perform basic editing of images. However, it may have been more logical to present the latter information before the former.

For people who want the capabilities previously only provided by commercial web conferencing services, hangouts might be the most welcome feature of Google+. Chapter 6 explains how to set up and participate in these videos/audio meetings online, as well as how to incorporate Google Chat, YouTube videos, and Android devices. The subsequent chapter, "Searching and Sparks," has plenty of advice on how to search for other Google+ users and the content they contribute. The penultimate chapter dives into the differences you may encounter when using Google+ on small screen devices — specifically, Android and Apple smartphones and tablets. The last chapter, which is the briefest of the bunch, is also likely to prove the least useful to most readers, as it covers how to get started playing the games built into Google+.

The book does not cover Google+ Pages, which was likely introduced after the final draft of the book was submitted to the publisher. Readers are directed to an untitled 14-page PDF file that covers the essentials of Google+ Pages. Oddly, the publisher's page links to that file with the text "Download Example Code"; but there is no example code for this book. The supplement contains a few flaws: "box pop-up box" (page 4), "using a promoting your Page" (9), and "his her name" (11).

Speaking of which, given the relatively modest number of pages in this book, and the limited amount of text on each one, this book contains far too many errata: "works different" (page xiii; echoes of Apple's infernal "Think Different" marketing campaign?), "If typing web addresses by hand that isn't" (page 3), "a different a social networking site" (4), "she's added you [to] her" (54), "added to [the] +Add box" (58), "even if [you] just" (79), "and the[n] click the" (79), "settings that lets you can choose" (83), "modicum [of] more fuss" (105), "share its photos [with] specific circles" (117), "where [the] photo" (124), "just like [the] lightbox view" (126), "and or" (147; should read "and/or"), "an job" (148), "how to [use?] Google+ running" (169), "search find" (170), "bring up to the same list" (180), "The form exact" (185; should read "The exact form"), "you can't get start" (191), "in in" (193), and "a box let you know" (194).

Some of the statements in the narrative are odd — for instance, "Halloween right around October 31" (page 7; when else would Halloween occur?). Other phrases are poorly worded — for instance, "whenever you feel irked or like something must be broken" (44), "maybe an extra like a link" (60), and "select an item from the menu that appears to see only circle-related notifications" (80). Lastly, at least one pair of verbs have inconsistent form ("start" and "mentioning" on page 62). All of these blemishes should have been caught by the copyediting crew. But for the most part, the narrative is straightforward. It is occasionally livened up with a bit of humor, which is good, because portions of the text begin to sound the same, as a result not so much of the author's writing, but more the Google+ interface itself.

Only a few technical errors are immediately evident — for instance, on page 61, the author refers to a for-loop in computer code incorrectly: "+1 is a common way of making a program run over and over again." But it is not a program that is being repeated, but rather a code block.

Scattered throughout the text are numerous text boxes — most of which are labeled "Note" or "Tip." Unfortunately, they are set in a font that is a bit too small for comfortable reading. Also, there does not appear to be any difference among these types of information sections, yet there are at least half a dozen different names for them.

All of the key topics are nicely illustrated with sample screenshots, in grayscale, oftentimes with relevant controls circled or otherwise indicated. The only weakness is that the author typically does not mention which figure is being referenced in the text — not that that would help much anyway, since none of them have figure numbers. It's usually clear from the context, but not always.

Yet the very existence of this book may give readers some pause: If a book of this size is required to explain how to use a social networking service aimed at the general public, perhaps the Google+ user interface needs to be overhauled and made more intuitive? Yet that process is probably underway, because Google+ is under constant revision. Thus there will be portions of the text and screenshots that differs somewhat from the current incarnation of the user interface and its features. But for most of these instances, it is easy enough to determine how what you read in the book correlates with what you might see on the screen.

The primary weakness of this book is that it does not attempt to explain how Google+ might be integrated into a business's online marketing strategy, nor how it compares against Facebook or Twitter in terms of its advantages and disadvantages. In fact, as noted above, the book addresses Google+ Pages only in a supplementary document. Such information would have made this entry in the Missing Manual series far more valuable.

However, one forte of this book is that the author has clearly put effort into learning and explaining the privacy implications of the various Google+ features — critical in this era of evaporating privacy and data breaches on an unprecedented scale.

On balance, he largely achieves his objective. Google+: The Missing Manual is an informative and approachable introduction to Google's social network.

Michael J. Ross is a freelance web developer and writer.

You can purchase Google+: The Missing Manual from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Springfield's answer to a question no one asked (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356739)

Was there really a huge clamor of people wanting a Google+ manual? You would probably make more money selling a collection of annoying animated gifs and hideous wallpapers for peoples' MySpace pages.

Re:Springfield's answer to a question no one asked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356947)

I had no idea Google+ had so many features to warrant a manual. This may be an indicator of what went wrong with Google+, too much technology and not enough marketing. This also explains why all the nerds are on Google+ but all the regular people are on Facebook.

Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357097)

This nerd isn't on Google+, or Facebook, and won't be until they officially abandon their "real name" policies. I find it odious that these companies intentionally lock out those who have a need, or even just a desire, for privacy. There are numerous situations where privacy is a critical component of security.

ALARUM!!! slashdot setting help needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357177)

I can't find the setting to show the thread scores. And YES MUTHAFUCKERS, I've looked everywhere!

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357379)

This nerd isn't on Google+, or Facebook, and won't be until they officially abandon their "real name" policies.

I have a couple of pseudonymous google+ accounts and have had no problems at all. Maybe it's because those pseudonyms are also long-time gmail users. I don't see very much of this "real name policy" at work.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (5, Insightful)

Pionar (620916) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357419)

Why do you find it odious?

If you want privacy, don't subscribe to a social network. Simple as that.

How does that make them ethically bankrupt? Is there some sort of forced sign-up that I'm not aware of?

I am actually glad they require that, so I don't have to endure stupid screen names like "KOOLDUDE" or "@yourmom" or even "Pionar".

Quit with the hyperbole, Chicken Little.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358151)

Why do you find it odious?

Because it can very easily put people at risk of harm.

If you want privacy, don't subscribe to a social network. Simple as that.

You think so? Clearly, you've not thought it through, then. Suppose someone is already subscribed to a social network and their situation changes; a spouse becomes violent, a repressive government decides they have said something too much or too far, they "whistleblow" on some illegal activity thereby making powerful enemies, they become victims of bullying, or perhaps they become a target of a private group such as white supremicists or the like. What then? I guess they should have known beforehand, eh? Or, what if they want to join in order to create a social group that discusses issues of considerable divisiveness? Must they expose their lives and their families to possible retribution from those who disagree, or is it your contention that if they don't hew to some imaginary set of safe subject matter you approve of, that they don't deserve to participate in a social network? Perhaps you're overdue for a re-think.

How does that make them ethically bankrupt?

When you artificially class people into haves and have-nots, and/or insist on endangering them, under the guise of "the social" (or darn near anything else), you're ethically bankrupt. Clear enough for you?

Is there some sort of forced sign-up that I'm not aware of?

For a lot of people, there is something almost as compelling: their family and friends and social groups and the businesses they associate with and/or work for are there. Google+ not so much, they pretty much shot themselves in the foot as far as I can see -- but in the case of Facebook, certainly.

Quit with the hyperbole, Chicken Little.

There's no hyperbole here. Perhaps instead, you might wish to learn to recognize valid criticism of serious social issues.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39359111)

So have some sites that are pseudonymous and some that use real names. Like in fact there is. Not every site in the world has to be pseudonymous just because you prefer it. Most sites are already are pseudonymous, so you're not spoilt for choice.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1, Flamebait)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39359551)

But you are "spoilt" for Facebook, where everyone else is... aren't you. And this is the problem. There is considerably less benefit to engaging in a discussion on a site where there are just a few people, none of whom you know or really care about you, as compared to where your family, friends, job, local government, and a lot of sites comment sections now reside, isn't there?

Don't you think it's at least a little disingenuous to suggest that having a discussion on, say, Kuro5hin.org, has serious parity with the same discussion, but as it would take place on Facebook?

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39359597)

There is considerably less benefit to engaging in a discussion on a site where there are just a few people, none of whom you know or really care about you, as compared to where your family, friends, job, local government, and a lot of sites comment sections now reside, isn't there?

And you're surprised that your family, friends and people who know and care about you are to be found on the site with real names and not the one with pseudonyms?

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (0, Flamebait)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39360855)

And you're surprised that your family, friends and people who know and care about you are to be found on the site with real names and not the one with pseudonyms?

What? Wait, did I say I was surprised by that, or imply it? [checks] No, I didn't say, or imply, any such thing.

Perhaps you'd like to try again. Many people misremember what they're responding to from time to time.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39361537)

It was a question, not a statement. A question to which I'd expect the answer to be "No".

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (2)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39360871)

Must they expose their lives and their families to possible retribution from those who disagree, or is it your contention that if they don't hew to some imaginary set of safe subject matter you approve of, that they don't deserve to participate in a social network?

Alternatively, they can just post their stuff only to circles of people they trust, and only read posts/comments from circles of people they trust. Google+ allows you to constrain your social networking as much or as little as you desire. I understand Facebook now allows the same, though I haven't used it for quite a while, so I can't say for sure.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

thej1nx (763573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39361587)

You think so? Clearly, you've not thought it through, then. Suppose someone is already subscribed to a social network and their situation changes; a spouse becomes violent, a repressive government decides they have said something too much or too far, they "whistleblow" on some illegal activity thereby making powerful enemies, they become victims of bullying, or perhaps they become a target of a private group such as white supremicists or the like. What then? I guess they should have known beforehand, eh? Or, what if they want to join in order to create a social group that discusses issues of considerable divisiveness? Must they expose their lives and their families to possible retribution from those who disagree, or is it your contention that if they don't hew to some imaginary set of safe subject matter you approve of, that they don't deserve to participate in a social network? Perhaps you're overdue for a re-think.

.

Won't somebody please think of the idiots!!!

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39362447)

Oh yes, the word social means privacy is completely irrelevant, I forgot.

So since you're commenting here in a social forum, you wouldn't mind giving us all your real name, address, and phone number, would you?

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39362801)

I agree it's a bizarre stance. It's a bit like saying I want all the benefits of being in the phone book, but I don't want to listed by my real name.

If you want to remain private, then don't join the club. Or would you prefer to eat your cake as well as have it?

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357481)

Why do you care if people know your real name? Would you prefer people not know that your name is Ben Williams, you live in Glasgow Montana, you like cats and marital arts, own an iPad, you prefer and extremely broad interpretation of the 2nd amendment, you comment, blog and twit (shudder) religiously, and you're a Caucasian male, 5'11", weight 380lbs, with brown eyes and grey hair, and you were born on July 18th, 1956? Oh yea, and you were convicted of possession of child pornography on February 2nd, 1990. Ouch, that last one sucks. Well, if I'm ever at 538 1st Ave N, Glasgow, MT 59230, maybe I'll stop by for a visit.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (2, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357953)

The issues that I find problematic include the security of people who have violent spouses, oppressive government regimes who have it in for individuals one way or another, or where individuals find their speech restricted for any reason associated with who they are, and/or where they work.

Also, you got the conviction, and the date, and the religious tweeting, and the interpretation of the 2nd, significantly wrong. While I'm willing to discuss any of that at any juncture it would actually be relevant, the main thing you've done here is prove my point: You went data mining, you got quite a few things wrong, and then your misuse of your inaccurate gatherings was in a blatant attempt to poison a perfectly valid and ethical viewpoint: incompetent gathering followed by intentional misuse. You are precisely the type of person that shows why actual privacy is an excellent idea. And of course, you posted anonymously to protect yourself, which is of course wholly understandable. Thanks for making my point through your own considerable failings.

maybe I'll stop by for a visit.

Perhaps you will.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39359857)

From your sig:
http://fyngyrz.com/?page_id=5 [fyngyrz.com]

you telling me this isn't you:
http://www.offendex.com/citydirectory/MT/GLASGOW/BEN_WILLIAMS_238673 [offendex.com]

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39360811)

No, I'm not telling you that isn't me. The way you can tell I wasn't telling you that was -- wait for it -- I didn't tell you that.

What I told you, and will repeat here, is that the facts you quoted are significantly wrong. Looking at the record you refer to rather than at your post, the date is wrong - by years; the claim of conviction is flat-out incorrect; the stated offense is also wrong, as was your recasting of it.

Your misuse of bad data, and your incorrect recasting of it, caused your post to rise above its original lame attempt to derail my post and brought it well into proving my exact point in the GP.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357677)

And Google are making European Android developers bankrupt too!

http://irrlicht3d.org/pivot/entry.php?id=1282#comm

This is just shocking!

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39359057)

Facebook's real name policy makes it a much more pleasant place to hang out than here. Not much good for tech topics. But full of far pleasanter people.

Now if there was a tech discussion site which had real names and a proper friend/ignore mechanism, that would beat Slashdot hands down.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39359635)

Facebook's real name policy makes it a much more pleasant place to hang out than here.

No doubt. The classic "on the Intertubez, every Anon. Coward is superman." And there are other benefits - particularly commercial ones for Facebook itself, and the concomitant benefit for its customers, the companies who mine your information in order to optimize sales. However, these benefits do not, in my estimation, outweigh the harm that can be done by these same policies as I outlined above.

Now if there was a tech discussion site which had real names and a proper friend/ignore mechanism, that would beat Slashdot hands down.

Would it? I've seen quite a few technical revelations here that would not have been made in a non-anonymous context. I guess I have to go with, I don't actually need to know your name. In fact, if you're actually a friend of mine, or family, I probably already know your name. It's Facebook that wants/needs to know your name. And Google. Since you appear to be comfortable with that, I certainly respect your position -- but it really doesn't affect mine.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39359885)

Now if there was a tech discussion site which had real names and a proper friend/ignore mechanism, that would beat Slashdot hands down.

Do you have any evidence for that? Everytime someone close to the source of real information would be tempted to posted he'd know that anything he said would be immediately flagged by his boss...

Would someone who worked for IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, Samsung, Google, Motorola, Apple, Lego, three letter government agencies be able to speak their mind?

Yes I'm sure everything they ever posted would be professional, polite, properly disclaimed, and entirely trite.

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39360671)

This nerd isn't on Google+, or Facebook, and won't be until they officially abandon their "real name" policies. I find it odious that these companies intentionally lock out those who have a need, or even just a desire, for privacy.

Ah.
Google's current name policy. [google.com]

As well as the policy itself, also read the long post by Yonatan Zunger on that page, concerning "name-shaped".

Unofficial summary: Google no longer requires real names; it merely requires that the name represent a real person.

(I do work for Google, but I do not speak for them on this or any other issue. Yonatan does, however.)

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39361619)

There's no official Google policy page where it says you can use an anonymous pseudonym -- it says just the opposite. The post by Yonatan basically says that their algorithm tries to enforce something that looks like a name, but if you are flagged then your profile will be deleted if you can't back it up with either something like a license or a current online following. The official policy, in two different places:

https://www.google.com/intl/en-US/+/policy/content.html [google.com]

"13. User Profile Name

To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of those would be acceptable. "

http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1228271 [google.com]

"Google+ makes connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world. Because of this, it's important to use your common name so that the people you want to connect with can find you. Your common name is the name your friends, family or coworkers usually call you." [emphasis mine]

[..]

"Most people use their legal name, or some variant of it, in the real world. We recognize that this isn't always the case and allow for other common names in Google+. If we challenge the name you intend to use, you will be asked to submit proof that this is an established identity with a meaningful following. You can do so by providing links to other social networking sites, news articles, or official documents in which you are referred to by this name. Note that this name and your profile must represent you, and not an avatar or other secondary online identity."

Re:Google+ and Facebook are ethically bankrupt (1)

gullevek (174152) | more than 2 years ago | (#39360861)

I have never used a real name on any network.

There is a difference between using a retarded name and a fake real name.

Re:Springfield's answer to a question no one asked (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357107)

The manual was misssing? Maybe we could "lose" it again...

Re:Springfield's answer to a question no one asked (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357023)

Shit, even the once-venerable Gmail has turned into a boated, convoluted, unreadable mess of cryptic and contradictory icons swimming in a steaming pile of bloated web 2.0 shite. Good thing they still allow you to use the HTML version, right?

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Springfield's answer to a question no one asked (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357629)

What, they have a webmail service too?

IMAP all the way, baby. IMAP all the way. (Or, "It's IMAP all the way down.")

Re:Springfield's answer to a question no one asked (2)

PGGreens (1699764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357223)

...the manual nobody knew was missing

Fuck Google and Fuck Google Plus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357235)

nough said

Re:Springfield's answer to a question no one asked (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357495)

Google+ has online documentation, but it sucks, is poorly maintained and/or is grossly incorrect. It's also hard to find anything of any consequence.

I'm using Google+ for one reason only - Picasa won't talk to anything else and I need face recognition for a photo project I'm working on. I'm looking at OpenCV and other software, but writing a wholly new, properly collaborative, version of Google+ Photo will not be a small undertaking. Unlike Linus, I'm not starting with a simple need like a terminal emulator.

Google+ doesn't do even a fraction of what I actually need, but it does do some of it and I really do need to know how to get it to do the few things it can. If Google won't cough up the docs, then it's good someone is.

90 million (5, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356769)

90 million people will buy the book, skim through it over the course of a day or two, and never open it again.

Re:90 million (3, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356879)

If 90 million people buy the book, I don't think the author will care if they read it or use it to clean up after their dog. He'll be on an island somewhere sipping fruity drinks while a bevy of scantily clad young women (or men, depending) attend his every need.

I think a more correct statement is "90 people will buy this book,..."

Re:90 million (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357001)

It was an analogy. As of January 2012, Google claimed 90 million users in its Q4 2011 report.

Re:90 million (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357101)

Yes and that.number is heavily inflated by Google setting up a Google+ account even when all you wanted was a Gmail account.

Re:90 million (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357163)

Or, if all you wanted was to actually use your Droid, and didn't want any damn account.

Re:90 million (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39359443)

There are slightly more than 90 million android device owners.

Re:90 million (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39360223)

And the first few hundred million did not need a Google+ account. But now...

Re:90 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39358403)

This is not true. The number only reports users who are actively using Google+ and the associated sharing services. It does not count accounts that were opened and never used or Android activations.

- A Googler

Re:90 million (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357525)

If he can't have the scantily clad women, feel free to send them to me. For safe-keeping, just in case he does sell the other 89 million, 999 thousand and 901 copies.

Re:90 million (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356899)

And there are exactly two types of people in the world. The type that thinks this is genius and the type that has a sneaking suspicion that life is secretly a giant shakespearian tragic-comedy performed for the amusement of disinterested spoiled god-children. In fact, moments like this are the prime reason I'm inclined to believe in a higher power, he's a bastard, his children are spoilt assholes, and Gawdammit NO, I don't WANT to wear the DAMN BUNNYSUIT AGAIN!!!! Fuck, why has my radiator burst you sick sonofabitch?

Re:90 million (0)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357243)

No, there are 10 types of people in the world. Those that understand binary and those that don't.

Re:90 million (1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357891)

Screwed up moderating

Re:90 million (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357937)

No, there are 10 types of people in the world:Those who understand ternary, those who don't, and those who mistake it for binary.

FTFY

Re:90 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357847)

Just for reference, when I wrote a web book (back when everyone was writing web books) the publisher's number for a very successful tech book was 30,000 sold.

That seemed crazy-low to me, given the size of the web, but let's do the math. UK+USA+Can = ~410 million. /30k = 13667. Divide your city by that number to make local sense.

For me, yeah 6 books sold in this little backwater would be a lot for that kind of title. Purdy and O'Reilly are probably going to manage that fine, so it's a good subject, for a web book. (Author makes a little less than a cup of coffee per book, if you're curious.)

Alternative Title (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356789)

Google+: The Missing Mindshare

Re:Alternative Title (5, Funny)

smitty97 (995791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356981)

Google+: Missing People

Re:Alternative Title (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39359145)

I don't understand why they're selling this book through bookstores. Surely Google could have covered all active Google+ users by simply issuing it to staff.

Stupid Images (3, Insightful)

linuxrunner (225041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356799)

Does it tell me how to handle the images? I upload one from my phone. Now... ALL I WANT TO DO, is right click it, and view it, so I can hot link it and post it elsewhere.

You would think that would be easy. But no... the scripting won't allow me, and I can't figure it out. So I would rather use flickr.

That and it's just a bit too confusing on what's viewable, what's private, etc. They really need to fix the images. I really think that's holding them back.

Re:Stupid Images (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356985)

Decent shared webhosting services cost less than $100/year. Why not pay a little and get exactly what you want? Are your photos not worth that much?

Re:Stupid Images (5, Interesting)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357021)

Wow! I only share pics online with Google+, precisely because of the circles. I don't want people who pledged the same fraternity as I did getting pictures of my 4 year old daughter's birthday party. I may want to share the picture of the latest glass of home brew with the fraternity brothers, and not all the friends in the area who have children who go to school with my 6 year old. It's interesting to me that the reason you don't like Google+ is the exact reason that I chose to use it for sharing pictures.

Re:Stupid Images (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357515)

Wow! I only share pics online with Google+, precisely because of the circles. I don't want people who pledged the same fraternity as I did getting pictures of my 4 year old daughter's birthday party. I may want to share the picture of the latest glass of home brew with the fraternity brothers

Its also a circle/hobby thing. The only public posts you see are "really public" like my spouse and I gave birth to a child (odd how the guy always takes some credit despite merely being there at the kickoff meeting).

Very early on there were a couple ham radio guys and at least one prominent linux tech guy making ridiculous public posts about their religion and also the political ranters. I don't want that "spam" in my ham radio circle or my linux circle. Those people are uncircled, blocked, or gone from G+ cause no one listens to them anymore.

If you have a "ham radio circle" and know you're in about 900 peoples "ham radio circle" please don't post bible verses and/or political slogans either to public or to your "ham radio circle". Or you'll quickly find yourself in just about no one's "ham radio circle", and you'll be bored as heck since "nothing is going on in G+"

I appear almost completely dead to the public on G+. To people in the ham radio world, in that circle I'm F-ing around with HF digital modes and weaksignal VHF operations on a semi-regular weekly-ish basis. To people in the hardware hacker circle, every couple weeks something interesting happens on my workbench. But again, I reiterate, without being in someones hobbiest circle, you look dead on G+ to the general public.

Here's an experiment... if you like "slashdotty type of stuff" then circle a guy named Dan McDermott (If there's more than one... it'll be pretty obvious when you've found the right one). No, that's not me. If he read my other /. posts he'd probably be pissed at that idea LOL. About half of his stuff is interesting, which is actually pretty good. Your stream will never be empty or boring again...

Also, no one will add you to a their hobby circle unless you fill out your profile, comment occasionally in other peoples posts, and make useful posts. Lurkers see nothing. If you're the worlds biggest lego maker dude, but no one knows, none of the worlds other lego maker dudes are going to circle you so you can see their posts.

Re:Stupid Images (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358027)

Has anyone posted to the HAM radio circles that the internet has been invented~

Re:Stupid Images (2)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357031)

this exactly. When I see google+ on a pc browser, and it tells me that my photos have auto-uploaded, it still isnt easy to quickly grab a pic and share it out or bury it. Apparently this all has effects on other picasa albums, and as I was never a picasa user I dont have anything set up for sharing permissions and such. This just seems like such an easy things to integrate into the phone camera that would make me want to use the service, and instead it only annoys me.

The other big fail for me is that it offers me to connect to any and every contact that google can connect me to, whether they are a member or not. To me that is just shameless connection of me to people that I know that may not be interested in being tracked this way. I havent tried to add people to circles in months because of this.

Re:Stupid Images (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358381)

Android allows any app to register it's sharing service with it. all you need to do is choose the picture and get the context menu then choose to share and what service to use.

Picasa permissions for your photos are automatically set to anyone with the link for android/G+ auto uploads.

Re:Stupid Images (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358347)

you could share it right from your android phone by press and hold on the image in the camera app and choose share which produces a nice long list of services to share with.

Google+ is dying! (-1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356801)

Netcraft has confirmed it.

Seriously though - I like Google+ and I use it all the time and so do a lot of my friends.

Re:Google+ is dying! (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356867)

i opened it up today after a few weeks of abstaining and it looks dead. compared to a few months ago most posts have no comments.

google calls it a social network but the whole system of circles is to push the bloggers and other social media oprahs on people. google was trying to make a TV for the internet generation and organize bloggers under their control.

I thought Google+ was dead? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356821)

Gadzuks, someone has invested a shed load of time in writing a book for Google+ and the service is pretty much dead. What do people spend on it a month? 3 minutes (about the time it takes to sign up for the service).

Re:I thought Google+ was dead? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356937)

Google+ was ever alive? Outside of fanboi hype it's always been a ghost town.

Android & Google+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356907)

I think one way google can make Google+ ubiquitous is heavily integrate it with the Android phone. The attempt to integrate Google+ with search is not that useful. If you think of social network as essentially a communication tool then it perfectly fits in line with the smart phone rather than the search engine. Plus, the facebook was designed in the era of PC. If Google+ can innovate and integrate social networking aspect with Android they would have much better chance of competing against facebook.

4chan, the missing manual (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39356919)

suck my dick!

i need a book for social media? (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356957)

this is why google plus will fail. no one needed a book to use facebook simply because it was better than email to communicate with people you have met.

google plus pushes this idea of circles and "following" people because they are internet stars which most people don't care to do

Re:i need a book for social media? (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357183)

no one needed a book to use facebook

Let me introduce you to Facebook: The Missing Manual [amazon.com] , an earlier installment in this same series from O'Reilly. Amazon also shows several other Facebook manuals in print. Eventually there's a market for Facebook help.

Re:i need a book for social media? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358061)

Everything: The Missing Manual [google.com]

I don't even understand why there is a missing manual market anymore. ,The only more puzzling thing is the game guides are still sold.

Re:i need a book for social media? (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358269)

Is there a Missing Manual for Dummies?
Or perhaps: Complete Idiot's Guide to the Missing Manual for Dummies?

Re:i need a book for social media? (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358473)

Missing Manual: The Missing Manual: The Missing Manual: The Missing Manual

Re:i need a book for social media? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39358095)

O wow you are so wrong about that. I was just searching for a comment like yours. I have forever been disgusted with how poorly MySpace and Facebooks' interface is designed.

I have two possible explanations: 1) I just don't fit the conceptual model of the target audience. 2) These social networking sites purposely make it hard to perform certain tasks that hurts the overall success of the site.

#2 is essentially the principle seen in religions: thou shall not kill. If killing was directly permissible, the religion would slowly die. Instead, do the things that propagate the religion, like multiple.

Facebook has improved just recently with the pressure put on it by G+. For instance, on your profile page, the link called "Friends" would open up a page to search and add new friends to your list. I see now that they just recently switched that to say Find Friends. There I see a button called Manage Friends. I don't remember that either, because it was hard as hell to remove friends once you had them.

My point is, what is a good design for the success of the business (and how we evaluate and compare its success) is not exactly the best design for the user. My first impression when I saw this Slashdot post is, who did FB pay to write this book. Because that's all Google needs is someone else to try and propagate the idea that FB is for humans and G+ is for nerds and engineering losers. The truth is I have never needed a manual for any of Google's products--that was the appeal to the simplicity of Google's search engine and part of the reason why GMail trounced Hotmail.

Re:i need a book for social media? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39358633)

O wow TL;DR.

GP: Shift keys, use them. We've moved past the candy colored translucent computer era.

Re:i need a book for social media? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39359165)

google plus pushes this idea of circles and "following" people because they are internet stars which most people don't care to do

They did it because they were trying to compete with both Facebook and Twitter at the same time. They've failed at both. The only question is how long before Google+ is officially pronounced dead.

Re:i need a book for social media? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39363069)

it's just a company meme. missing manual meme, a brand, like "for idiots".

http://missingmanuals.com/ [missingmanuals.com]

"the book that should have been in the box"

your money: missing manual
your body: missing manual

the kindle one is just a mini missing manual though. maybe they came to their senses with that one.. "so.. we're making a book about reading books, should we publish this as an ebook on amazon?? "

(yep.. g+ is social media for socialising with people you don't know)

Does he have a chapter on White Flight? (2)

Parlett316 (112473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356965)

Worked for Facebook.

+: The Missing Operator (2)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39356973)

I was hoping for a manual on how to remove Google+ completely from my internet experience and re-implement the '+' operator in search. What were they taking when they decided to break what they did well in order to replace what they did not do well? [wikipedia.org]
 
... still waiting/hoping for the shrooms wear off in Mountain View.

The Missing Scruples (2)

gumpish (682245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357103)

Agreed. Having never created a Google+ profile, I was unsettled when the youtube homepage began featuring uploads and favorited videos of people I'd contacted via gmail. (People who had presumably set up G+ profiles.)

I mostly use duckduckgo for searching now and switched to a non-google-harvested e-mail account.

I wonder what Google would charge for people who wanted to use their services without being profiled.

Absolutely no appeal to my non-geek friends... (4, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357025)

All my non-geek friends really have no idea what Google+ is other than it's something Google is doing, but unlike services like Gmail or Google Docs or Google Maps (all three are exactly what it says on the tin and they can relate to that) they have no idea what Google+ is. I've run across more than few people who thought it was some kind of new enhanced search engine that you had to pay to use with no ads.

Personally I've not spent a lot of time on Google+. I have an account, but all my family and friends are on Facebook.

Re:Absolutely no appeal to my non-geek friends... (4, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357141)

Its a hobby network not a friends-family network. A somewhat different concept.

My ham radio circle won't shut up... very busy. Slider cranked way down on those guys.

Hardware hacker and software hacker circle kind of busy, always something cool going on.

Linux-tech-podcaster-host-types constant chatter

I've heard its The Place To Be if your a photographer

Friends and family? Not that kind of thing.

I deleted my facebook account years ago now, but when I was on it was exclusively the friends and family stuff you're talking about. I couldn't find anyone on FB interested in discussing any hobbies other than watching TV or getting drunk. Nobody talks about anything other than that on FB, even people famous for doing tech stuff. It was, frankly, boring.

Re:Absolutely no appeal to my non-geek friends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39358973)

I think it's precisely because of the circle aspect that G+ is more about hobbies than family. If you have multiple hobbies or interests, it's easy to post something relevant to that hobby circle for their amusement or enjoyment. With FB there's only one circle, so you tend to share the common denominator items -- family and friends.
I think there is a place for both social networks; they serve different needs.

Re:Absolutely no appeal to my non-geek friends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39362317)

You and your f'ing ham radio circle again. Consider your point made- you and your ham friends use it, the rest of the world does not. Can we stop hearing about it now?

Re:Absolutely no appeal to my non-geek friends... (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358075)

Think of it as facebook where you get to shut up the annoying family members.

Oh cool, let me msg this to a friend on G+ (1)

exabrial (818005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357027)

_Oh cool, let me msg this to a friend on G+_ ....

Oh wait you can't.

Re:Oh cool, let me msg this to a friend on G+ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357081)

Post msg.

Choose friend.

Done.

Re:Oh cool, let me msg this to a friend on G+ (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358703)

You don't even have to actively choose the friend after you've written the message, you can just type "+[friend's name]" in the message itself and it will automatically tag them (or whatever the appropriate verb is.)

Re:Oh cool, let me msg this to a friend on G+ (2)

YojimboJango (978350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357715)

They have a service for that. It's called GMail.

All they had to do was not be Facebook. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357093)

Every time I remember to stop in on G+, another several people in my circles have left G+ - or been pushed.

They've been destroying its usefulness themselves, destroying their brand across all other services, behaving in a socially odious and reprehensible manner ... it's like someone with a years-long track record as a nice person has suddenly got into petty thievery, started smoking crack and joined Scientology all at the same time, and is trying to use their previous goodwill to get away with these things.

How toxic do you have to have made your brand for people to seriously consider Bing for search?

All they had to do was not be Facebook. All they had to do was not be Facebook.

Re:All they had to do was not be Facebook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357479)

mod parent up.

i was a devout apple-'hater'. Why? Closed-source hardware (hw engineer), authoritarian rules (no flash).

Now, I am considering leaving Android after getting one of the earlier Android smartphones. Why? I'm tired of Google assaulting my privacy. Off to bing and hotmail (should leave gmail, too).

Obligatory... (1)

gregarican (694358) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357109)

...Sixth Sense movie quote. "I see dead people."

Where does this guy live? (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357119)

Prior to Google+, the company's previous attempts at social networking — Orkut, Dodgeball, Jaiku, Wave, and Buzz — were largely failures,...

Prior to and including you mean. Maybe Google++ will be 'one' better.

Re:Where does this guy live? (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357255)

Orkut has actually been hugely popular. Just not in English-speaking populations.

Re:Where does this guy live? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357389)

No it's only "hugely popular" in Brazil and to a much smaller degree popular in India.

Re:Where does this guy live? (1)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358493)

Actually people in Brazil found out that only they're are using Orkut so almost everyone who has an account there either has an extra one on Facebook or has left Orkut altogether in favor of FB, so that's something people from other countries are the most likely to use.

Re:Where does this guy live? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357271)

Regarding '++' -- the name of the language C++ is in itself a bug because one wants to improve something first before using it; hence it should have been called ++C.

Ditto for Google+ -- it should have been called ++Google if they wanted to follow this trend (of misnomers) -- at least it would have been a clever take on this fad.

Of course C++ and Google+ are misnomers--to quote Wikipedia, "An older name being retained as the thing named evolved"

Re:Where does this guy live? (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358629)

if you dont evaluate it first how do you know it wont overflow and become absolute crap?

Social networks shouldn't require manuals to use (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#39357227)

</endthread>

This is why Google+ will fail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39357861)

No one, none of the "real" people have time or the inclination to read a bloody manual to participate effectively in a social networking service.

If it needs a manual, then Google+ is a certifiable bomb!

Is it only me? (1)

emt377 (610337) | more than 2 years ago | (#39358763)

Or does anyone else also think that perhaps part of the problem is that G+ requires a 232-page manual in the first place?

http://www.younow.com/shows (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39359415)

http://www.younow.com/shows

Non imaginative names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39361091)

Like Twitster and Faceboot, the humans and botnets down at Goosle+ need to rethink the old adage, "what's in a name?" and come up with an imaginative catchy name that is more than just a name for a wishy washy social site and give everyone a chance to get involved naming this monster. Make it fun, rewarding and get a real name that people would be proud to call their own.

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