Todays post will be vaguely educational, if, you care about Google (and I do)
A few months ago Google+ launched to great excitement and declarations of ‘see ya sucker!’ to Facebook and not to be a super fan girl but I went and joined in that first two weeks it was open to the public in beta (but not the real beta for real testing, just what they called beta for anyone who was interested). I looked around and the 3 other people I knew that were on it agreed with me that is was kinda lonely. I never planned on abandoning Facebook unless it truly sunk, but, now most of the people on G+ that were ‘never’ going back to facebook are on both/back however you choose to look at it. The issue for me other then serious lack of content was that it just didn’t have anything that FB didn’t have.
I have been poking around on it over the months, never really abandoning but never truly embracing it either. This week in my social media class we had a speaker who has thoroughly researched the business advantages, and, general advantages of the system to the point that you can on something that is changing almost daily. From his talk I learned a few things worth sharing;
The +1 button. I have one on my blog and I’ve noticed them tons of places. Thanks to anyone who has +1ed me, it feels like a mini pep talk that ‘somebody liked it!’. I completely equated it with the thumbs up. Apparently the +1’s you give things show up to people you are G+ connected to if they google search on a topic you have +1ed. That is a confusing sentence… Basically if I +1 a product I like – like the Dora kitchen – and you are my G+ associate and you google search ‘play kitchen’ you should see that I liked the Dora kitchen. I can’t really test this theory because the 12 people in my circles either don’t +1 or I have not searched for something they have. Anyway, long term I can see this being a cool feature, like a review from someone you know.
– In my experience the +1 button does another cool thing – whey you +1 a blog post of mine I get a nice note in my e-mail and it lists 3 things I might enjoy of yours, I thought this was a great way to network but apparently this did not come up in his speech.
Hangouts. This is a new feature on the G+ page and I never knew/bothered to figure out how they worked. They are way easier then I thought and basically they are video chat rooms. If you go to your personal G+ page there is an icon on the right hand side to start a hangout. You click that and then on the left side of the page that opens you can invite people. I invited my mom and Josie (who were in the same house but have different computer w video devices) and it worked great! We have been looking for a way to do multi person chat for a long time since we have NY, MN and OK family branches.
– I believe that other people could join too if they are linked to the person who starts the hangout but I have no way to test that (see limited G+ pool of people….) but if that was possible I would just open a room and see who dropped by during dull zones of the weekend etc.
There was plenty of other good info in the presentation but mostly business side stuff that unless you care about that you don’t really care at all.
In my opinion the real plus to G+ is that there are some cool news aggregators, and, the ability to post something to the general public if I want to. I’ll be sticking around G+ for these 4 features at least, if you are on there too link to me. If you have a google anything you are basically on G+ you just have not made it official, you don’t need an invite or anything, just click the You+ icon you see at the top of your google product of choice.
Image from http://mylaluna.blogspot.com/2011/06/g-from-google-social-networking.html – she also has some insight to G+ stuff you might like.