But How Will People on G+ Know It’s My Birthday???

Tomorrow’s my birthday and since I’ve been spending so much time with G+ lately (I just added ~200 MetaFilter members to a designated circle tonight) and not so much with Facebook, I’ve been thinking about the biggest differences between the two services.

One obvious one is that Facebook is a “social” network which regards individuals as people who have distinct interests in books, movies and yes, birthdays (all of which is info which can be packaged for the highest bidder but let’s ignore that.)

In fact, I assume that tomorrow, my iPhone will be vibrating throughout the day with notifications as various people post a quick birthday wish on my wall (all those buzzes giving me an unintended birthday thrill, I’m sure!)

Some (like the person I linked to) are cynical about the FB birthday wishes but I do think they’re nice in that, one day a year, you get nice messages from a variety of people you might otherwise rarely interact with.  (Of course, the flip side is that I rarely leave birthday messages myself – partly because I don’t really watch that area of FB, partly because I feel like if I start leaving messages for one friend, I should try to leave them for everyone and partly because I too sometimes feel cynical myself about how sincere they are!)

Anyhow, the point being made by that poster (other than being a bit cynical about the sincerity of FB birthday wishes) is that G+ is a “sharing” network as opposed to a “social” network – a slight distinction but relevant if you’re trying to predict where each might end up in the future.

Right now, does Google+’s lack of focus on our birthdays, favourite books, quotes, etc. mean that the posts that we do see have better quality and of a higher signal-noise ratio?  Perhaps…and maybe Facebook and G+ aren’t as similar as people initially thought after all.

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