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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”.
~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.
~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