Google+ initial impressions

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On Friday I became one of the lucky ones to get an invite to Google+. I’ve been playing around with it all weekend, and I wanted to share some thoughts with you.

First thought: I love this program. Seriously. Hearts and high-fives to Google. Good job on this one. As I heard someone say on G+ “it’s like Facebook with the ‘suck’ button turned off”.

Pros:

~My absolute favorite thing about Google+ is the notification bar. You can be on (almost) any site in Google’s giant internet world and if someone replies to something it will show up in your notification bar. Even better: you don’t have to leave the page you are on to reply back – you do it right in the notification bar and stay where you are!

~There are no games, no one is asking you to help them plant cabbages or feed their fish or order a hit on someone in the mafia. I know some people will count this as a bad thing, but I count it as a huge PLUS.

~You can video-chat with multiple people! So if your family or friends are spread out all over the globe it doesn’t matter. You can chat with them all at once.

~The circles are going to make my life so much easier. Instead of having a private facebook page for my friends and family, and then another “author” page for my writing, everything is in the same place. If I don’t want to bug my family with writing stuff I click on the “writers” circle and only share the post with them. If I want to post photos from my Key West trip without everyone on earth who writes seeing them I post it to my “friends” circle. If I’m discussing the family reunion with my mom I post it to my “family” circle, or even just chose my mom’s name. The important thing is that I don’t have to keep switching accounts – everything is in one space.

~Right now there are so few people on (compared to FB or Twitter) that it’s super easy to make connections with people who I otherwise wouldn’t be able to connect to. Published authors, aspiring writers, industry people and others who just plain know what they are talking about. No one has their normal “circle” of friends and acquaintances on Google+ yet, so it’s much easier to make new friends and acquaintances.

Cons:

~Because there are so few people on Google+ the feed has been slow. It can be hard to find people to follow (please fill out your profile right away! “Occupation” is especially important, as that is the only field that shows up when someone hovers over your name/photo). When the news feed does move it’s mostly people that I’ve just connected with and don’t really know yet. It makes me very happy when I see someone I actually recognize on my feed.

~You can only upload one photo at a time. I’m sure you can go to the Picasa website and upload multiple photos at a time, and they will show up in your G+ albums, but right now there is no way to upload multiple photos at a time right in G+ (if you know how to do this, please let me know!).

~Blog links don’t give the first few sentences of the post like they do in Facebook. Instead my blog links show up as a list of my categories, and no one cares about those categories except for me.

So there you go – for me the Pros are outweighing the Cons by a lot. I’m very happy with the usability of G+ and hoping that as it opens up to the rest of the internet world it will only get better. And since I am not even close to being the expert on Google+ (no one is, right now, it hasn’t been out long enough) I’ll send you to Inkygirl’s post on why she loves G+, which has a long list of G+ resources.

And, of course, if you’re on G+ look me up! Rebecca Enzor

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Rebecca Enzor

Rebecca Enzor is a chemist in Charleston, SC who writes Young Adult and New Adult Fantasy and Magical Realism. Repped by Eric Smith of P.S. Literary.

22 thoughts on “Google+ initial impressions”

  1. I am with you on all the pros, especially the lack of games and the circle thing. 🙂

    I noticed the thing about blog links today. I didn’t care for it. So I just didn’t include the link altogether, lol. They should seriously fix that! Ahem. Oooh, I completely forgot to edit my profile. *sigh* So much to do, so little time… Nah, I’ve plenty of time. 😀

    By the way, I love how you interact on there! *hugs*

  2. I am still very much a google+ novice, but so far I am liking it. I’d like a little more control over my contacts….google seems to think I want to share my profile with every person I’ve ever emailed…and I almost never email people I want to talk to, lol! But yes, no games! /happydance.

  3. The jury is still out for me, but I’m all for anything that will replace Facebook. Quick question: What do you mean about the notification bar? Is that something you had to add? The only way I’m getting notified is via email.

    1. As long as you are signed in to G+ then there should be a notification bar at the top whenever you are on any Google site (except Blogger, for some reason). When you have a reply or someone adds you a little red box shows up next to your profile pic and you can read/reply/add-back right from that box without having to leave the page you are on.

  4. I’m also enjoying it so far, and your ‘pros’ list captured many of the reasons why.

    “as it opens up to the rest of the internet world it will only get better.”

    I, too, hope this is the case! I’d say I’m cautiously optimistic…

  5. I’m on it now too and I find it kind of…confusing. Most of the people I’m connecting with I’m already connected with in some form or another (parenting forums, twitter, facebook, etc.). So, I don’t know. If we all move over, it’s kind of the same, right?

    No games is a plus for me too, though I wonder if it’s only a matter of time before they arrive? Plus, on FB I’ve hidden any game that pops up. I don’t see those updates anymore so they don’t bother me.

    And I like and don’t like the circles at the same time. You’re right about how it is nice to keep some personal stuff to yourself (which is why I haven’t completely opened up my FB page for writing things, there’s so many personal photos on there). But, who am I to judge who wants to read my content. If my family doesn’t want to read my writing blog, they have the option of just not clicking the link when it shows up on FB (or twitter). But if they DO want to read it, there it is. If I automatically eliminate an entire group of people from getting the content in the first place, I’m also eliminating the potential to make a connection with a new person.

    My gosh, I’m getting winded. I have so much more to say. LOL. Right now I think I’m in the “I don’t know yet” camp and we’ll see as I get used to it more how I like it.

    1. I’ve found a lot of new people to connect with on G+, which is one of the reasons I really like it. My normal FB and Twitter friends aren’t all on it yet, so I’m having to find other people to start connecting with instead, and I’ve met some really awesome people that way (and started talking to some writers that I knew of but who always seemed so busy that I didn’t want to bug them on Twitter).

      I also still plan on linking my blog posts and such to everyone, but if I come across a great article about writing that my non-writing friends wouldn’t be interested I don’t have to spam them with it because I can just chose the “writing” circle. And I don’t have to keep the writers I know completely off the page (like with FB) because I don’t want to put all my personal info out there.

      I am terribly afraid that games will become a feature on G+ eventually. I know that’s the only reason some people visit FB!

  6. I’m with you and everyone else. I’m still not sure entirely what I’m doing there, but I’m definitely liking the idea of it so far. The Circles are going to be a blessing, no doubt. And, as a blogger, I can see sparks being something absolutely brilliant. Once they get the (terrible) kinks worked out.

  7. I made it over here after seeing your tweet. It actually sounds pretty good, but I don’t know if I can cope with another social network! Well, no one has invited me yet anyway, so I guess I don’t have to worry until that happens…

    1. If you want an invite my email is above 🙂 I’d be more than happy to send you one!

      It sounds like they are trying to integrate the other programs into it too, so it could become your single place for updating/viewing the other networks. Which I, personally, would love.

  8. I’m ambivalent. I like Facebook well enough, and I interact there a lot, so it seems onerous to switch. Also, I’ve blocked all games and game-related notifications, so none of that bothers me.

    I think the circles are great in theory, but it seems WAY too easy to post something to the wrong circle, which makes me even more bashful about posting than I am on Facebook. Le irony, no?

    1. That is irony. And I do agree – it’s probably pretty easy to mix the circles up. So far I’m doing good at double-checking (and most of what I’m saying is Public anyways right now) but I can see where it would be an issue if you posted a private thing publicly.

      And I hate FB with a passion already (besides just the games), so I’m in love ❤

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