Thursday, 14 July 2011

Playing with Google+

I've been playing with Google+ ( and trying to work out what all of the hype is about. Google+ is a new social networking site, currently in a trial mode (by invitation only), which can best be described as a sort of mix between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It's main advantage that I can see is that it allows you to better manage groups of friends etc into "circles", so in my case I could have one group for actual let's-go-to-the-pub-and-get-squiffy type friends, another for genealogical industry associates, and another for family. You can interact with each group in a different conversation thread etc.

It's hard to tell whether it will take off or not. Virtually everyone I know on the site at present is someone I have already established an online relationship with via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, by the invitation nature of its current operation, and it is therefore difficult to tell how it will work when it is fully opened up to the public. Will the general public flock to it, or are people happy with other sites already around? I recently tried another social network site, KILTR, but found it so clunky that I only now occasionally visit it; my real problem is that I am very comfortable with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which I use for very different purposes. So in due course Google+ may be something that I come to embrace more, for the moment I am really in "wait and see" mode.

One net result of now becoming assimilated by the Borg, sorry, Google (!), is that at the bottom of each post now you will see a wee button with a +1 written on it. This is not my date for the night, rather a button to allow you, if you have a Google+ account, to favourite a post for others to see. So the reason for this post is really to explain the change in decor down below, and to alert those who haven't heard of Google+ to its existence. And there may be more in due course...!



genebrarian said...

Hi Chris, I'm currently observing Google+ rather than participating fully. I've like the ease that you can make circles with. Much easier than a similar type of activity with Facebook.

I've posted a couple of things, but not really interacted.

Of my circles, of Genealogy, Library, Friends, Family and Acquaintances; its the Genealogists that are the most active (who says genies are techno-phobes?)

It does seem kind a like Twitter in a way too.

I do hope it takes off though! I think Facebook has been too careless / cavalier with people's privacy concerns and made it too difficult for the average person to protect themselves easily!


Rosemary Morgan said...

Hi Chris, Thanks for the post. Like other genealogists including genebrarian, I am watching Google+ at present, although, personally I don't really see the need for yet another social networking site.

I, too, have been disappointed by the lack of privacy in Facebook's default settings, but have tended to leave FB for friends and family, while Twitter and LinkedIn I use more professionally.

Maybe it will appeal to Twitter users, who will be able to post longer posts like Facebook...?

The one thing I don't like is that because I have Google blog and gmail email address, I seem to be "stuck" with using this email address for Google+, which I don't like using.

Chris Paton said...

I downloaded a Google app onto my tablet and had to create a gmail account to do, and now on my PC all my Google based applications, such as Blogger and Calendar use the gmail address rather than the address I first created them with! Seems to be a slightly aggressive policy of really pushing me to stick with gmail!

Must admit the comments made in Parliament a few days ago about who the media giants of tomorrow will be, in place of the current News Internationals and the like, really hit home. Social networking is the next phase in publishing, and I suspect such 'aggressive' actions are just a taste of what is to come.

If I can see an advantage in using Google+ I will of course use it. But I can't yet see what I can do on it that I can't already do in terms of who I interact with and in what way. In some ways I quite like the fact that I have one use for Twitter (posting and finding news), another for Facebook (frienmds on one account, news on another), and another for LinkedIn (professional groups). Nice to have the variety!