Friend me, like me, follow me ... circle me?
Google + is now humming along and millions of users have already signed on before the network’s official launch. But it’s also facing a problem that’s hit every social network that’s come before it: What is the right Google + vocabulary?
The problem I’ve run into with G + verbs is that many of the phrases that work perfectly well for typing fall flat in conversation. Have you ever told someone that you +1’d something? That appears to be the prevailing written version of describing what you’ve done when you hit Google’s rapidly growing +1 button on a post, but it’s pretty clunky off your tongue.
Still, I find myself unable to come up with a conversation-friendly alternative. Somehow just saying you’ve “plussed” a friend’s post doesn’t have the same gravity as saying you “liked” or “recommended” it, to borrow from Facebook.
Twitter has faced the same problem, of course, because while people seem to be okay with “retweet,” they’re still struggling to nail down a consensus between “to Twitter” and “to Tweet,” — and, by extension “twittered ” or “tweeted” — both of which are accepted by the Associated Press Stylebook.
As for adding contacts on the network, on my Google + feeds, people seem to be mostly following each other, as they do on Twitter — not friending, as on Facebook, since not every relationship on Google + is a two-way street.
Lots of people are using the more generic term “adding” as well, to get around the nuances of who’s sharing what and with whom.
But there have been some dark horse candidates, my favorite being a post I read the other day saying that a friend had “circled” me, though that could just be because it made me homesick for Minnesota.
Of course, until the site reaches a point where I have as many people in my “friends” circle as I do in my “work” or “tech press” circles, the main verb I’ll be using will be “find me.”
Google + users, what are your verbs of choice? Let us know in the comments.