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Google+: Tools, Names, and Facebook 194

Several readers submitted stories about Google+ today. CWMike writes in with an article about the lack of developer APIs from Computerworld "Currently, external developers don't have any Google+ APIs or tools to tinker with. A Google spokeswoman said, 'We definitely plan to involve developers and publishers in the Google+ project, but we don't have specific details to share just yet. Please stay tuned.' The spokeswoman declined to say specifically if Google+ will be compatible with the company's OpenSocial set of common APIs for social networking applications." Anita Khanna writes "Facebook is trying real hard to block users migrating to google+. Although the recently announced Google+ social platform is still in private beta, it has generated enough excitement to have Facebook making some preemptive measures. Shortly after the announcement, Facebook made a peculiar change to their TOS that resulted in the ban of popular Chrome extension Facebook Friend Exporter. Over the weekend, another personal data migration tool, Open-Xchange, has also been deactivated." Finally, an anonymous reader notes that Google is requiring real names for profiles, and may have already suspended some users for using aliases.
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Google+: Tools, Names, and Facebook

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  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:08PM (#36740550)

    I was going to check it out, but if they're requiring real names, then I'm not going to use it.

    • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:11PM (#36740610)

      I had an invite and put it off trying it out.

      until today. created an account and just had a bad feeling about the whole thing. really don't WANT a 'public profile' forced on me. don't want to get too far along and then have something happen to my data.

      probably the best thing is a regular old website for a lot of us. social 'networking' is out of control and won't come back to OUR control any day.

      google just FEELS wrong, these days. hard to explain, but its the constant watching over me that creeps me out. no, I never joined FB and my 1 day affair with g+ turned me off from the whole thing.

      • hard to explain, but its the constant watching over me that creeps me out

        Welcome to the internet. Not to freak you out, but all the sites are constantly watching you. Hope you didnt switch from gmail to hotmail or yahoo....

      • What "feels wrong" to me is all these people that don't think the world is watching whatever they put online. If you don't want damaging info about you online, then don't post it. Granted others can and that is where tagging has some issues but as your mother should have told you: if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
    • The only company I would trust LESS than Facebook with my personal data, the only company with an even more cavalier attitude towards privacy, is Google. I'm more likely to hire Casey Anthony to babysit my daughters.

      I find it truly, genuinely, startling that anyone outside of spinster aunts, fourteen year-old girls, and twitchy Marketing Suits whack-a-mole-ing anything and everything termed "social media" are giving this thing a second, un-shuddering glance.

      • I trust Google vastly more than Facebook. I'm still not sure what, exactly, Facebook does with my data. Google on the other hand, tells me up front that they're going to datamine my information to use for advertising.

        I'd much rather see ads for things I stand a chance of being interested in, than tampon ads for example. Additionally, Google hasn't had a major privacy issue (Buzz foolishness excluded) in 10 YEARS. Mark Zuckerberg was applying to Harvard 10 years ago, and Facebook has been much less than stellar with regards to personal information privacy.

        So Google has a much better track record. This is, I think, difficult to dispute - but I'd be happy to read your argument.

        • You'll get a lot of anti-google replies - but you're absolutely right. Some people dont want their data used for advertising research, and in their twisted logic they think they should still be allowed to access google's services for free, even if google can't profit from it. There are paradoxes everywhere if you go down this path. So someone doesn't like advertising, but wants the company to survive, but then they dont want the company to survive, but they still want to use Gmail...its real confusing.


      • The only company I would trust LESS than Facebook with my personal data, the only company with an even more cavalier attitude towards privacy, is Google. I'm more likely to hire Casey Anthony to babysit my daughters.

        I hope you're exaggerating...

    • by RJFerret ( 1279530 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @06:46PM (#36742076) Homepage

      ...but if they're requiring real names...

      They don't, and haven't as of yet, they want your "common name". Here's their remarkably readable brief policy [].

    • by yuhong ( 1378501 )

      Personally, I would not go so far to require real names if I was doing a website. I'd prefer people be non-anonymous and use real names if they can (I do). But in the real world I know it is not always possible because of various problems.

    • I haven't put my full real name in my Google Profile, but I was caught between a rock and a hard place with Google+. I use my GMail address as a private address but much of my online interaction is via a pseudonym. (Slashdot is an exception from before I switched.) I can use my pseudonym with Google+ but then friends and family will see my e-mails as coming from that name. Or I can use my real name but then my pseudonym will be worthless since everyone will see my real name. For the moment, I've resolv

      • Complicated, but essential if you are to have any form of seperation between personal, social and family life.

        Hi Mom! I just got my new Google + account.
        PS. Please don't try to look up this name, or else you'll find out about the highly detailed tentacle-porn artwork I made. With pokémon in.
    • but if they're requiring real names, then I'm not going to use it.

      Umm... why not?

    • It seems you're going to be a minority then. And it seems that the "real name" requirement shouldn't be taken so serious anyway, see other comments in this thread.

      An estimate 10 million users since launch some two weeks ago, and growing exponentially with an expected 20 million by the weekend. Sure it's a mere fraction of Facebook's estimated 750 million (which surely includes a lot of fake/ abandoned/ company accounts while Google+ is much fresher and thus cleaner in that respect) - yet it's impressive. T

  • G+ doesn't have apps yet but creating fake accounts on facebook is quite normal to test your apps without sending notices to the walls of all your friends or getting your friends's data into somebody's database (maybe your customer, maybe someone else). Fake accounts enforce the separation between what you do at work and the rest of your life. Either Google let's developers create them or writing and testing apps will get unpleasant.
    • The whole point of Google+ over facebook is that it natively lets you separate your work life from your friends from your family from your old school buddies. Now, if you don't to identify yourself by name to any of those groups then social networking of any sort is not for you. Fair enough. But don't blame the tool for acting as designed.

    • Actually you are not allowed to create fake accounts with facebook, you are supposed to create test accounts []. I believe one of their blog posts threatened app and account closure if you were found to be created fake accounts as opposed to test accounts.
      Since google+ doesn't have a developer API yet it doesn't really need test accounts. Once the API is released I'm sure they will come.
  • Google Apps (Score:5, Informative)

    by Scared Rabbit ( 1526125 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:24PM (#36740832)
    it's okay, I can't sign up for an account anyway. Why you ask? It's because my email is hosted with google apps, and google apps doesn't support google profiles, which are required for google+. I'm the admin for the domain, so it's not a case of I haven't flipped a switch for myself and my users, it's a matter of google not offering support for it. I'd love to use google+, but as an adopter of other google services I find I'm left in the cold here. My google apps use is much more important to me than google+ is.
    • by Spad ( 470073 )

      Ditto, although at least this time they're promising profile support for Apps accounts "within the next couple of months" rather than the previously nebulous "coming soon".

      Interestingly, if you try and sign into the Android + app with an Apps account and then follow the "Learn More" links it points you to an Apps help page on how to enable it, it just happens to be a 404 at the moment.

    • Re:Google Apps (Score:4, Informative)

      by Necroman ( 61604 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:42PM (#36741148)

      A Google employee confirmed [] that support for Google Apps is coming. I think the more interesting point [] is that it sounds like Google Apps users will be able to send G+ messages to people only within their Apps domain. So it sounds it will be a service sort of like Yammer [] for Google Apps users.

    • You're an admin, but are incapable of signing up for a regular, free gmail account?
    • My google apps use is much more important to me than google+ is.

      So do what I do, and just run your public google profile in a separate account on a separate (instance of) browser. Route all your (public) emails (if you choose to gmail) into your domain account.

      I see no reason why there has to be a choice between the two.

    • by Cinder6 ( 894572 )

      I just signed up for G+ on my Google Apps account via an invite. A while back, I created a Google profile and put my Apps email address as the contact address. It often pesters me to create a Gmail account, but it's not that obnoxious, and it apparently lets me use G+.

  • I like it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Is0m0rph ( 819726 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:27PM (#36740884)
    So far I'm digging Google+. The Android app for it is nice too. Hopefully it doesn't get clogged up like Facebook with tons of games, quizzes, etc. I'm using G+ only for people I actually know unlike Facebook.
    • by luder ( 923306 ) *

      I'm using G+ only for people I actually know unlike Facebook.

      Funny, I'm doing exactly the opposite. Facebook treats all of my contacts as friends and when I share something it has to be shared with all of them. Yes, I can exclude people, but for that I have to pick them one by one...

      G+ circles let me organize my contacts in as many categories as I want and I can choose which circles will be able to see what I'm posting. So I can have something like this:

      * Family
      * People who would not be offended by goatse
      * People I know
      * Random people I met online
      * People I subscribe

    • if you already KNOW those people, what the hell's wrong with email?

      you people are butt-stupid sometimes, I swear! this is a tech forum and you kiddies are eating this social spying stuff up like there's no tomorrow.

      you'll learn. the hard way, but you'll learn.

      • by lennier ( 44736 )

        if you already KNOW those people, what the hell's wrong with email?

        Theoretically, email (or RSS) should be able to do everything social networks can, and I'd be in favour of it, because I dislike walled gardens when there are perfectly good open protocols. Practically, though, there are a couple things missing with email:

        1. Social networking is many-to-many communication. You want to tell short things to "all your friends" or subgroups of friends at once, not have to send an email multiple times. Email can do this, but it needs mailing lists to be really useful - otherwise

        • by lennier ( 44736 )

          PS. For those of us oldies who remember the 1980s "online service" and BBS worlds, Facebook and the other social networks are very familiar. The BBS mail and chat scene had a similarly "cosy" feel which, for whatever reason, the Web and email doesn't. I think it has something to do with centralised identity and authentication, or with the ability for users to rapidly self-select chat communities and create ad-hoc groups in an environment like Facebook which in practice tend to be very small, localised and p

    • Yeah I'm happy with Google+ as well. The android app isn't avalible for my country (for some reason . . .), but I like how we can have basic Principles of Least Privilege.

      Now once the rest of the rabble come in, I hope/guess each circle will have its own detailed permissions, so maybe I don't want to see Friends of My [Aquaintences]'s stupid app requests, but I don't mine my Friend of Friend's or whatever.

      This has potential.

  • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:28PM (#36740902) Journal

    How about linking to the real source [] instead of a spam site stealing content.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:33PM (#36740998)

    Look at this terrible misquoting:

    Currently, external developers don't have any Google+ APIs or tools to tinker with

    My sources say the actual quote was

    Currently, external developers don't have any Google+ APIs or tools to steal private user information under the cover of "gaming" and "surveys" and sell the info to spammers, HR departments, and miscellaneous unregulated data warehousing companies do be used against the end users

    I know we're all supposed to be in the "Privacy Stockholm Syndrome Groupthink" so I am very naughty for preferring they continue to not get access. Everyone please face their telescreen, and direct their "Two Minutes Hate" toward me and not poor emmanual goldstein who is too busy recording episodes of "off the hook" for 2600 anyway.

  • Worked for me. All you really need is email. Other tools can add the rest I think.

  • by PC and Sony Fanboy ( 1248258 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @05:39PM (#36741108) Journal
    Seriously. That guy/girl has issues. If the government hasn't issued you a legal name change, you can't just conduct business with another name. Sure, you can try ... but good luck getting a bank account in your "preferred" name if it's not official.

    Why they'd QQ about that is beyond me...

    I go by "Gary" []...
    • Sure you can. It's called "Doing Business As" here, and you pay something like 150 to 250 dollars to register. It's useful for people who write using pen names and don't want to have to make sure that every place they write for gets the proper name on the check come payment time.

      • Sure you can. It's called "Doing Business As" here, and you pay something like 150 to 250 dollars to register. It's useful for people who write using pen names and don't want to have to make sure that every place they write for gets the proper name on the check come payment time.

        So there is absolutely no reason to complain about not having documentation for having documentation that states you're using a different name. Name change or DBA documentation, it comes back to the same thing ...

        Which is why I'm calling BS on the article.

  • Waak waak. Lack of API's.
    They want it all and they want it now and they want it for free..
    Cry babies...

  • In today's world, that isn't acceptable and a breach of ones privacy. If they dont change that policy they can forget it ever being 'the next big thing'.

  • Wasn't it Google's former CEO who talked about children who are growing up now needing online aliases (having to change their names)? To separate their digital and real lives.
  • Companies start to have policies that regulate what you can post with your real name. Prospective employers check what you have done online, also in social networks. I could not post here with regard to anything security or economically related if I had to use my real name.

    Seems Google is increasingly out of touch with reality.

    • 1. Unless you have a very rare name, there will be more than one person with your name

      2. Put the stuff you DON'T WANT OVER THE INTERNET in its own circle. Put the messages about how you're saving children in Africa in the public one. Its meant to be used like that. Its designed to be used with these groups.

      3, If you're leaking company stuff to the internet I think a social network is the last place to do it.

  • by rueger ( 210566 ) * on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @06:07PM (#36741564) Homepage
    Now that all of the Usual Suspects have crapped all over G+, Facebook, MySpace and anything more technologically advanced than a BBS running on a Commodore 64 or usenet...

    If you hate social networking sites, then ignore them! Millions of people find them pretty damned handy. Like any other tool, there's good and bad, and no shortage of idiots and/or corporations that can make a good experience into a nightmare. Same is true of e-mail, or IRC, or plain old letter mail.

    Of course maybe you're the guy who announced that he would never again write a letter or mail a check once he got his first piece of unsolicited junk mail from Publisher's Clearinghouse.

    I genuinely am liking G+. It's early days yet, but it seems to do just the minimum that you would want in social networking, but without the layer upon layer of crap that Facebook has added over the years. Less is more!

    Do I trust Google more than Facebook? At the end of the day, yeah, I do. I trust Google to archive my e-mail, but I wouldn't for minute give Facebook the same choice. It's not a black and white issue - there are some things that I will trust Google with, and a lot that their servers will never see. Likewise I do have Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts (and possibly an old MySpace account somewhere) but am pretty careful about how much information they can get their hands on. In Facebook's case it's the utter minimum.

    But oooh! Privacy! That boat sailed a long time ago. If you think that you can be active on-line and maintain anything more than a limited amount of privacy you're dreaming. You're constantly creating a stream of data transactions on-line. You maybe able to limit those somewhat, but ultimately you're leaving behind a trail that will likely be around for years or decades. Deal with it - that's the reality of the time we live in.

    Unless you're the guy who has refused to own a telephone for eighty years because you were pissed off about having your name and address published in the White Pages.

    Finally I'll say a word about the G+ app for Android phones - it's one sweet little item, that seems to work flawlessly on my crappy Moto Charm.
    • Couldn't agree more. I'm loving G+. And unlike Facebook, Google has proven quite happy to give you all of your data in an open format. And unlike Facebook, the privacy options of EVERYTHING on your page and everything you post is an integral part of the UI, not something that seems like it was tagged on as an afterthought. Every post you make it shows you exactly who it's going to be shared with. Makes the 'oh, we update the privacy settings and now all your shit is public' stuff that Facebook always pulls

      • Considering the number of online services Google has, I would be very surprised if we didn't start to see them get integrated into G+ in one way or another. Calendar, Docs, Groups, Reader....they could end up with one seriously killer set of functionality, all in one place.

        • Yea, from what I've read that is the plan. I just hope they're integrated well enough that they become a part of G+, not a separate entitity accessible _through_ G+.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      If you hate social networking sites, then ignore them!

      I don't have a Facebook account. I graduated in 2003; by the time Facebook opened, my college e-mail account had been shut off. Since then, I've used that as an excuse to ignore social networking sites, along with the perceived dangers of spreading myself too thinly []. But it just irks me when I find a web site that sells a product that I want to buy (such as a monofin swimsuit) but won't let me learn about the product until after I have logged into Facebook.

    • If you hate social networking sites, then ignore them!

      Easy to say, but now that many clubs and social activities are being organized solely via Facebook, not being in the soc-net club is actually quite difficult. I'm a fairly quiet guy so I don't have much need for things like Facebook and frankly I don't trust Facebook, but clubs that organize via Facebook kind of force me into it.

  • Since it says it was a chrome extension that was banned, I have to wonder how hard it would be to get around that ban. Could probably make a greasemonkey script or something too, I don't really know, haven't messed with that stuff...but I'm assuming all Facebook is doing is revoking app access codes, right? So...use theirs!

    Load this page: []

    Scroll a bit down the page and you will see the following link:

    Clicking that link (not here, but on the actual page) gives

    • I used a pretty easy method:

      - Open a Yahoo mail account. Use their 'import facebook to contacts' feature.
      - Export your Yahoo contacts to a CSV file.
      - Upload the Yahoo/Facebook CSV file to your Gmail contacts, perhaps in a 'facebook' group.

      Google+ automatically uses your contacts to recommend contacts for your circles, so you know pretty quick if your facebook friends are on G+. Has worked well for me so far.

      • Open a Yahoo mail account. Use their 'import facebook to contacts' feature.

        It doesn't work any more. I don't think Facebook want Google+ stealing their userbase!

  • I tried adding my Facebook e-mail address to a 'status slaves' circle, and then included it for updates.

    Facebook is truncating them at 50 characters, apparently only when they come from Google's servers.

    If there's somebody at the FTC who's been wanting to poke his bureaucratic nose up in Facebook's business, they sure are making it easy.

    The Proprietary Phase is over. Facebook needs to participate in confederation if they're to survive. But it looks like they're going to take the 'kicking and screaming' ap

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