Sunday, July 10, 2011
Why You Should Join Google+
Just what we all need, yet another social network to try to wrangle on top of Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and whatever other countless ways our friends/contacts/loved ones/that hot guy from college have to stay in touch with, keep tabs on, and generally tether us to our computers/tablets/smartphones. But as much as it pains me to say it, Google+ is definitely worth your time.
The Best of Both Worlds
The beauty of Twitter is that just because someone follows you, you don't have to follow them (unlike Facebook which asks if you will be attending your Aunt Hilda's "Christmas Pajama Pants Making Party" even if you weren't specifically invited). With Google+ you can have your Aunt Hilda as a contact, but you don't have to connect with her, and she won't be hurt if you aren't following her like on twitter.
It doesn't have the clutter of ads and recommendations of Facebook, or promoted hash tags and "who to follow" of twitter. Best of all, there are no farm games or mafia apps to hide.
Better Privacy Controls
While Facebook forces you to dig five layers deep to ensure that your information is private, the privacy settings on Google+ are transparent. You have to opt-in to share information, versus the Buzz disaster which auto-opted you in and killed the project before it even got off the ground. Twitter offers no privacy controls, unless you protect your tweets, which in my opinion, defeats the entire purpose of tweeting.
Easier Management of Your Network
Google+ uses circles to organize your network from the start. Each circle has its own stream so that you can decide which of your circles's conversations you want to follow. Better yet, you can share something with your entire network or with a small circle of people who are interested in a specific topic simply by selecting a single circle or multiple circles.
No Character Limit & Less Noise
Sometimes 140 characters isn't enough to get your point across and it is hard to keep up with the stream of conversation. Google+ does a great job of organizing comments so that you can keep up with multiple discussions and refer back to them later. Also, if you are late to the party, you don't have to feel weird for tweeting/commenting about something that is "so two hours ago".
What's To Come
Since Google+ is still in its beta stage and hasn't been released publicly yet, you can only sign up if you receive an invite from someone already on the network. In addition, the true power of Google+ won't be seen until all Google apps are integrated (I am showing my true geeky side by admitting that I am way too excited about this). Lastly, while there are Google+ apps for Android, there isn't one for iPhone yet. Let's hope that is rectified soon! If you want more detailed information, the Google blog does a nice job of explaining the specific ins and outs of the project.
You can find me on Google+ at http://gplus.to/katrinacarefoot