Monday, July 11, 2011

Google Plus

I've been playing with Google Plus for a few days now.  Up to this point, my experience with Google Plus is that it is facebook with a few improvements.  It pretty easy to use and I think it might be even easier if I hadn't been using fb for so long.

I've liked putting people in circles so I can post only to the people I want to. And I can stream (see posts from) any specific circle. Or I can go over to one person's profile and see only the posts they intend me to see.   Just drag and drop people into whatever groups (circles) you want.  I have one circle for general posts that go to just about all my contacts and then I have a friends circle, a family circle and a work circle.  If I keep using g+, I'll likely create a group for people who share my liberal leftist orientation so I don't offend my wonderful, more conservative friends.  Ultimately I could see having a recipe sharing group too. You can also include non g+ users in your circles just by adding their email address.  If you share a post and indicate you want the email users to see it, it will go to them.  And they can even respond without joining g+.  Great idea!

Google+ doesn't have messaging which is fb's semi email system. When you share any post, you indicate which circles or individuals you want that post shared with.  It's easy to add circles or people.  No one but the people you want to will see it.  Which is a little more private than writing on some one's facebook wall.  And you don't have to switch over to the messages to invoke the privacy.   If you decide later you want to let more people see the post or want to restrict others, you can do it.

I love that I can edit posts after they've been posted.  If I catch an error on an fb post, I can quickly delete and repost but if people have already 'liked' it or commented, I can't go back and edit an fb post. Now my typos can be eradicated whenever I find them.  Which reminds me, you don't 'like' posts in g+ you '1+' them.

One thing I'm not in love with on g+ is the photos.  The streamed versions are pretty big images and I prefer the thumbnail version on fb.  I've heard if you have an android phone you can easily upload your photos and that sounds good but I have a Blackberry and I can't do that.  I do like that sharing photos is pretty much like sharing posts - you just indicate who gets to see photos/albums.  You can tag photos but I haven't checked to see if you can untag a photo someone else tags you in.

I haven't played much with the Sparks feature so can't comment much there.  I also haven't seen anything like Scrabble or other games on g+.  But I can certainly do without all the various Villes.  I have no idea how g+ will approach what fb calls pages.  I like the pages such as NPR and Zagat that post to my fb wall.  If g+ has anything like that I haven't seen it.

There is still a lot to explore.  I do like g+ and if everyone starts moving over there I'll be fine.  I'm also happy to stay on facebook for the time being.  Not sure how long I'd be willing to manage both.