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Posted by on Sep 6, 2011 in Science & Technology | 0 comments

Google Rolls Out Suggested User List For Plus

It’s Twitter all over again.

While you were enjoying your Labor Day holiday weekend, Google rolled out a list of 100 or so suggested folks to circle. Erh, follow.

google plus suggested follows

Google Rolls Out Suggested Follows

If you have already set up a G+ profile, finding these recommendations is not straightforward. For example, it doesn’t show as an option when you visit your Circles tab and click “find people.” I don’t know how you are supposed to find it.

google plus

Google+ Suggested Politicians

And if you do find it, you’ll find that content is a bit thin, but perhaps that reflects the early days of the service.

Here’s the politicians list, for example.

  1. +Jerry Brown
  2. +Newt Gingrich
  3. +Stephen Harper
  4. +Gary Johnson
  5. +Gavin Newsom

Note: the list does not provide a link to the suggested person’s profile (even though the names are blue in color).


I’m to take this recommendation on blind trust? When you also don’t categorize people correctly or provide their tag-lines?

For example, my friend +Beth Kanter is listed in “news”. Beth is a great resource if you’re interested in non-profits but she’s mis-identified as “news” which most people would probably think of as “journalist” given that there are no businesses on G+ at the moment. As Beth writes, “The list is not well-curated.”

Compare what you’d see about +Maggie Koerth-Baker (BoingBoing) if you mouse-over her name while in Plus versus what Google offers on its suggestion page. And remember, the suggestion page does not link to the person’s Google+ profile, unlike the mouseover. Which is the more information-rich?

maggie normal

Maggie Koerth-Baker : Mouseover in G+

maggie suggested

Maggie Koerth-Baker : G+ Suggestion List

You’d think Google would learn a little bit from those who have come before it. Almost two years ago, RWW wrote:

Twitter’s Suggested Users List (SUL), a longstanding and much-disputed feature of the popular microblogging app, has finally bitten the dust.

Twitter now offers up a “Who to Follow” link that appears at the top of the menu bar after you’ve logged in. Easily found. It leads with suggestions — suggestions that should be similar to suggested follows in Google+ Circles. Or you can find your friends on gMail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL and LinkedIn.

Then there are suggestions by topic, which seems to be what Google is emulated. Compared with Google+, which has five politics accounts, Twitter has 39 accounts in its ‘government’ category. (These do not appear to be customized for each person. I logged in with two different accounts – both saw 39 listings for government and 51 for news.)

Moreover, unlike Google+, Twitter’s suggestions come complete with a link to the person or organization profile as well as any information made public about the account (blurb and bio). And there are changing, contextual suggestions in the right navigation pane.

twitter picks

Twitter Recommends 39 Government Accounts

Is there any comparison in information density and usefulness?


Absolutely none.

And the Google SUL didn’t get off to the best start. Here’s Dave Winer, speechless over Bradley Horowitz’s tweet:

We’re about to pilot a ‘suggested user’-like mechanism on Google+. If you’ve got more than 100k followers on Twitter, DM me – lets talk!

For discussion about this policy, see:

:: Cross Posted From :: Follow me on Twitter!