Monday, July 11, 2011
Today's League post was about Google+. While I'm not going to go into all the deets of what I said there, I'll add here that I am on G+ now, so if you'd like to add me, please feel free! I'm at the point now where I'm basically adding everyone who's added me, but if you'd like to add a little note about who you are (i.e. author, book blogger, librarian) then that will help me sort you into the proper circles later.
I know a lot of people's first response to G+ was "not another social networking site! *groan*" And yeah, I get that. I feel like we have Facebook and we have Twitter and G+ is a little bit of both Twitter and Facebook. But the thing I like about G+ is that it takes the two things I dislike about Facebook and Twitter and changes it.
--What I dislike about Facebook: Privacy issues. There's not just the fact that FB has a very poor stance on a person's privacy to start with, there's also the issue with what you share with whom. I have a Page and a personal profile. Anyone can go on the Page, and I limit what I put there--it's all book-specific and author-specific stuff, stuff I wouldn't mind anyone in the world knowing. But on my personal profile (which, I'm sorry, but only people I know in real life are allowed to be on) I include pictures of my family and updates about my life that I want to share with family and friends I don't see everyday. But flipping back and forth between the two is a pain, and keeping things separated is sometimes difficult.
--G+ fixes the privacy issue for me. Because with G+ I only have one place to go--my own G+ profile--and I can filter from there who sees what. In G+ you create "circles" and you have the option of what you share with which circles. I have a "family" circle which will get the info and pictures that I would post on my Facebook profile page--the stuff that I want to limit to people I know in real life. But I also have circles for fellow writers, book bloggers, and librarians. I can easily post to any circle with just a click. Also: this helps ensure that the proper people get the proper info. I can post articles on writing for writers without bugging bloggers. I can post something about books for all the book-related circles without bugging my family.
Additionally, with the way circles are set up: anyone can follow you (unless you block them), but you're not obligated to follow back--it's similar to Twitter in that regard.
--What I dislike about Twitter: Keeping track of conversations. If I'm not online for a few days specifically, I sometimes get very lost in who said what, especially if there's more than one conversation going on. Also, I like to @-reply to everyone, and I sometimes miss out on that.
--Also: Not being able to easily see what a link or picture is. Call me lazy, but I don't always want to click on something. I often have slow internet, and it's kinda a pain to stop everything and wait for a pic or link to load.
--G+ keeps all conversations together, like in Facebook, and shows a smaller version of a pic or an extra bit of a link in a post, also like in Facebook. So there's that problem fixed.
As you can see, G+ is a little like Facebook (in appearances) and a little like Twitter (in functionality) with an additional bonus of organization (with circles). Do you need to sign up for it right away? No. But it's neat (especially for a technophile like me) to see how these sorts of things develop. Will G+ stick around? I think so. Judging by the rapid flock of people to the site, and how people really are thinking it takes the best of Twitter and Facebook into one world, I think G+ is a site that will continue to grow...until the next big thing.