Imagine spending an afternoon sharing pie and drinks with the vice president of products for Google. And having all your questions answered about Google+, the latest project from Google that has everybody talking.
That’s exactly what I did this past Sunday, along with 30 other people who gathered at Grand Traverse Pie in Plymouth, Michigan.
Bradley Horowitz, who grew up in southeast Michigan, was in town for a short visit. He offered, via Google+ of course, to have a casual get-together for anyone who wanted to stop in.
And we did.
Developers, social media specialists, marketers, web designers, Social Media Club Detroit members, and University of Michigan students chatted with Bradley for an hour and half about Google+, how we’re using it, what we like, and learned about what to expect next.
Bradley was gracious and charming in answering our questions. It was like a gathering of your friends in your living room. Excellent conversation. And we enjoyed great pie as well.
The three things I found most interesting from the Google+ chat was learning about:
- User experience
- Interest Based Circles
- Bradley explained that Google+ was developed differently and gave credit to the phenomenal UX team.
- It’s a breakthrough experience for Google. The team worked hard to make sure Google+ had an excellent user experience.
- It was a serious foray into understanding how people use the application on the web. With Plus, they laid foundational framework that will make applications better.
- The team is getting a lot of feedback from people regarding “noise control” – how the stream is dominated by active users who post frequently. They’re also hearing from people who can’t find their network or friends. The Google+ team needs to be sensitive to both aspects.
- With the group dominated by developers, I wasn’t surprised by the number of questions about the platform, what to expect, when to expect it, as well as some of the features developers want in the platform.
- It’s coming, said Bradley. We’re committed, but “we want to do it right.” He didn’t commit to when the platform would be launched. So we’re in wait mode.
Interest Based Circles
- Several people asked how to share with people who only have specific interests. They want to target people who care about a specific topic.
- From what Bradley shared,& Google has some clever ideas for how to accommodate that need.
- Google+ Sparks (video) has a bright future. It could move Google+ from Circles to Interest-Based Circles.
Key Things to Know About Google+
- Have patience. The Google+ staff are also early adopters of the product, they feel the same pain points we’re all feeling.
- They’re eager to have search, tablet support, business profiles.
- The team has a pulse on what’s going on for users and that’s been invaluable.
Asked what he likes best about Google+, Bradley replied he’s encircled by 60,000+ people.
It makes my experience amazing. I hope my celebrity status fades over time. While the early adopters are there, it’s a lot of fun.
That photo of the cool Google+ pins at the top of the post? Bradley handed the pins out to people during the chat. Yep, I got one of them. Thanks Bradley. Hope you enjoyed the cherry pie. 🙂