Are You on Google+ Yet?

Jul
2011
19

posted by on facebook, google+, social media, twitter

2 comments

 

A few weeks ago I finally got a much-coveted invite to join Google+, which is Google’s shiny new social media platform that just came out of beta in early July. Now anyone with a Google account can join Google+.  I’ve been having fun playing in this new social media space, getting to know the ‘lay of the land,’ and I’ve been having a great time.

Facebook and Twitter were my first foray into social media marketing, so I am considering Google+ from the perspective of how I use those spaces and what additional benefits it might have to offer me.  What I have observed so far is that Google+ so far has been embraced primarily by early adopters—those of us who geek-out on new tech tools and can’t wait to see what the latest tech gadget has to offer.  So, I have been using it to connect with other business people who are using G+ because, frankly, my peeps—that is my friends and family are not yet on Google+, nor do they show much of an interest in joining.

Here’s a quick overview of what Google+ has to offer, so that you can decide it maybe you want to come on over and check it out.

+Circles

On Facebook everyone is your friend, on Twitter everyone is a Follower, but with Google+ as soon as you add someone to your network you place them in one of your existing circles, or you can create a new one to add them to.  Here’s an idea of some of my circles:

  • Friends—yes, actual friends that I know and have established a real relationship with whether or not we have actually met in real life.
  • Business contacts—colleagues, fellow business owners, collaborators
  • Blogs to watch—As a blogger I have certain blogs that I keep a close eye on for relationship building. I put those in this circle.
  • Clients
  • Acquaintances
  • Relatives

+Hangouts

Hangout is a video and voice chat application that allows up to ten people to do a video chat on whatever topic they choose. You  must install a little plugin, and your laptop must have video and a mic in order to participate in a hangout. You can either initiate your own, or visit, http://gphangouts.com, to find a public hangout that you can join.

+Sparks

This is a colossal feed engine that contains feeds from across the Internet on any topic you can imagine. Just type in your keywords and up pops all of this content that you can read and share with the people in your circles.

Google’s +1 Button

The +1 button is separate from Google+, but there is also a +1 button along with your posts. You can think of it as the Google version of Facebook’s ‘Like’ button. Clicking the +1 button means that you think that site is kinda awesome and you’re giving it the ‘thumbs-up’ vote. But another cool thing about the +1 button is that all of the sites that you have clicked +1 for are listed on a page on your Google profile making it sort of like your own de facto social bookmarking site. People can peruse your +1 page to see what you like and recommend, but you can also keep your +1 page to yourself by making it private.

+Mobile

As an iPhone user it’s more than a little bit irritating that the mobile app for iOS is not yet available. But if you are an Android user you can take all of Google+’s features with you on the go with the exception of hangouts , but they may be adding that functionality to the mobile app at some point in the future.

Breaking News: The Google+ iOS app for iPhone and iPad is now available in iTunes

http://mashable.com/2011/07/19/google-iphone-app/

My G+ conclusions

So, for the moment, I’m digging Google+. I use if for business networking, and research primarily. One of my business colleagues shared on G+ that she was going to ditch all of the business contacts on her personal Facebook profile and tell them to look for her on Google+ so that she could reclaim her Facebook profile for actual friends and family. I am watching and waiting to see how things shake out with Google+. I was on Facebook for years before anyone I actually knew joined, so maybe in time G+ will gain more mainstream appeal.

What are your thoughts on Google+? Have you joined yet? What do you like or dislike about the new social media platform on the block? Feel free to leave a comment.

 

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