Further Reading: Google Ripples

This post came down my Google+ stream today, which I wanted to share:

Reshare this post so we can test the new Google+ Ripples!
"Reshare this post so we can test the new Google+ Ripples!"

This post is a request to share another post and an invitation to the check out Google+ Ripples.  Google+ Ripples is a Google+ feature that visualizes a post’s activitiy.  It will show you a post’s broadcast potential by visualizing who has shared it:

Visualized Shares in Google Ripples
This is how Google Ripples has visualized the way the original post has been shared

Brad Matthies does a good job showing you how to view a Ripple for any G+ post – check out his blog for more information.

I don’t have much to say yet on Google Ripples – it’s still very new and novel and I think people are playing with it more than they are thinking about what it does, how it does it, and what it might mean (if it means anything.).

One thing did cross my mind as people in my own Google+ stream started to share my own share of the post, though. I’m curious to see how Google+ Ripples will turn out. It may only be visualizing and making public the links we all make to one post on the Goog, but I’m interested to know if there might be a backlash against it.

This is interesting because people, including myself, often become uncomfortable and vocal when information about our relationships between ourselves and the information that actually connects us is revealed on the Internet, so I’m almost expecting a public pushback against Google+ Ripples (even though the information and not the carrier is centered in its graphs).   But once the Info.Corps back down and put the cover back over our social graphs, we stop worrying and carry on with our day on the Internet – business as usual.  The thing that gets to me, though, is that we don’t really think twice about the fact that this information about us has already been collected, and on some social media networks, is being shared with third parties without our knowledge.

Don’t take that to think that I’m being alarmist – I’m not suggesting we shut down all of our accounts immediately. I’m only observing the way we sometimes object to the public display of our social graphs but don’t seem to worry that the information is being collected in the first place.

P.s. I think the + in Google+ is a little silly at this point.  I really want to just call it “Google Ripples.”