There has been a ton of feedback in the early going about the Suggested Users list on Google+, which launched yesterday afternoon. Members displayed concern that the list seems incomplete, and is lacking some of the lesser known Google+ users, who post engaging content on a regular basis. Well, that’s because it is in fact incomplete. The Suggested User’s list is a work in progress, and will continue to improve, as well as become tailored to each individual. This takes time, however. Bradley Horowitz answered a few questions regarding the list moments ago in the post below:
- How can I get on the list?!
Be interesting. It’s your thing, do what you wanna do. Say something that literally engages people, and inspires them to add you to a circle, read your posts and +1, comment, and reshare them. Oh, and Hangout! Folks who are engaging with their community face-to-face-to-face are typically both interested… and interesting.
- I’m probably the world’s foremost authority on extreme knitting… but you don’t have an extreme knitting category. What should I do?
Be interesting and stick to your knitting.
It’s true that right now we don’t have categories for every interest in the world, but we consider this a bug. A Google+ user ought to be able to find and connect to experts, interesting people, and compelling content in virtually any domain he or she cares about.
- Isn’t this the “filter bubble?” Doesn’t driving a lot of attention to the same few users defeat the entire point of social media? Isn’t it “elitist?”
Today’s list isn’t yet personalized. At first personalization will be “lite” – users in different regions and languages will get different recommendations. But per above, we intend to allow people to deeply personalize and connect with like-minded people that create great content around almost any topic they care about. Just as Google Search helps connect you to web pages about almost anything, Google+ should help connect you to people who deliver content you’ll find interesting – on any subject. Stay tuned!
There’s actually quite a lot of diversity on the initial list, and I expect that very few of us had discovered all of these folks. I know I’ve discovered some great new folks I’d never heard of!
- Won’t the “rich get richer” with any system like this?
Not necessarily. In order to retain a position on the list, a user will need to continue creating compelling content. But we should probably allow for folks to take an occasional vacation without concern about their rank dropping…
But more importantly – see above. Almost everyone is an expert in something, for some audience who trusts him or her… Allowing users to harvest that contextual expertise is a lofty goal, but one that we take seriously.
- Did you use an algorithm exclusively for the initial list?
Google+ is still only weeks old, and we don’t yet have a long history with our users. Interesting users are joining every day. As such, in addition to algorithmic ranking, we’ve seeded the list with some folks we knew were either already creating great content on Google+, and/or were known to be interesting on other systems. Consider them hypotheses we’ll test. Inclusion in today’s list is no guarantee of placement into perpetuity (see above.)
- You tweeted and said you wanted to talk to Twitter users with more than 100k followers? Do they get on the list automatically? I have 11 followers on Twitter. Don’t you want to talk to me?
We want to talk to users of all kinds. I’ve had no trouble finding people or talking to users with less than 100k followers on Twitter. There are approximately 6.5B of them on the planet! According to twitaholic.com, there are only single digit thousands who have amassed that many followers. We’re curious about their experience and expect we have a lot to learn from them.
No one gets on the list “automatically.” But again, in the early days, we do want to make it easy for users to connect with people they might find compelling. If they prove not to be, justice will be served, and all will be right in the world.
And of course I’d like to hear from you… leave a comment! Start a conversation. Do your thing.