Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Google What?

Has anyone else played around with Google +?

I have to say, I really like it and if everyone I'm in contact with on Facebook and Twitter would move over to Google +, that would be awesome. *I"m waiting*

Alas, there is the rub with all these social networking things. You don't use the one that works best or has the best features, you use the one where everyone else is hanging out. Five or so years ago, that was MySpace and I hated MySpace. I did set up a page because all the workshops on how to promote yourself as a writer said I had to (it's probably still there) and made a very feeble attempt to get "friends" but found it mostly annoying. Then FB in the early days was so awesome. But lately I mostly find it annoying, too. It's like they're making it more commercial (ads, letting corporations set up pages) and at the same time making it WAY more difficult to use it, if one of your main aims in using it is commercial.... Or especially if you have dual aims... to use it to interact with actual friends and with, well, virtual friends and people you hope might read your books.

And Google + takes the best stuff from Facebook but sets it up the way you wish Facebook worked.

First, you can follow someone in a one-sided way and vice versa... That is, you don't need to accept me as a "friend" in order for me to follow your public updates and vice versa. In this, it's more like Twitter.

And... it's super easy to group everyone you choose to follow into groups -- called circles on google plus. So you can filter what you look at. "Only show me updates from people in this particular circle." That's possible on FB, too, but they've now buried their friend lists so deeply it makes me crazy. And it's very hard to manage your friend lists on FB. (Does anyone know how to delete an empty friend list???) Whereas it's easy to manage circles on Google +.

But I haven't even got to the best part yet. Every time you "share" or "post" you can choose who you want to share it with. No. It's not one main setting for the entire system buried under pages of security options. EVERY TIME you post, you can choose to share it with the public (everyone) or just certain circles, or just certain people. Awesomely flexible.

For authors and other people who have multiple reasons to use social networking sites, this verges on nirvana. I can share family photos with only my family. I can share a book review with everyone on the planet. I can share an article on writing or publishing with only other writers. Awesome.

And whereas it's possible to see who's added you to their circles, you can't see to what circles... so someone might be following my updates in a circle labelled "Idiots I laugh at" and I'll never know. :)

My friend Debbie Ohi (also known as @Inkygirl and @Ipadgirl has done some great posts about Google +  if you're not yet convinced. Join. Please?


Stephanie Doyle said...

I'll take a look Maureen. I like everything you've said. That's what I've liked about Twitter but not about FB. FB merges too many of my worlds.

Family, friends, writing...

Separate worlds please.

It's like when different foods touch on the same plate... no good.

Eileen said...

LOL, Steph! I think that's why I like FB. THen again, I like it when my vegetables and my chicken and my couscous and my salad all smush together on my plate. :-)

Maureen McGowan said...

I love the idea of Google + but when I say, "I can share family photos with just family and close friends" that's kind of a lie... I could if those people were on google +.

Right now, it seems to be a lot of techies and writers. My brother in law is my only family member who I've found there so far.

Eileen said...

There's got to be a next hot thing. It might as well be Google +.

Anonymous said...

Gah, I'm so far behind... Google hadn't even hit my radar.
Thankfully I have Maureen to keep me up to date.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've been waiting for somebody to give FB some real competition because it's getting worse and worse. But I've held off joining Google+ because I'm not sure I love being so attached to hanging out online - lol! But since I'm probably going to be hanging out somewhere, I may as well choose the place that works better. And everybody will probably come once the word is out - right now many can't get onto Google+ - invitation only.

Maureen McGowan said...

I'll send you an invite, Kathy. And anyone else who wants one. e-mail me at maureen @

I'll get you hooked up. First visit is free. ;)

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