It’s official, I’m on Google+. I’m still feeling my way around the site, but I can tell you I’m really enjoying what I’m seeing. I definitely like the interface and the interaction with fellow photographers, but what I love most is the simplicity of the Circles. Google+ is an asymmetrical follow similar to Twitter, which means you can add people to Circles and follow their streams. For instance, I created a circle labeled “Photographers” and I simply put fellow photographers that I have interest in following into that circle. The people I’m following are notified that I added them to a circle and then it’s up to them if they wish to follow me back. The super cool part about circles is it allows me to control the feeds much like how I use Hootsuite to control my Twitter Feeds. I have feeds set up for bloggers, family, my top ten photographers, etc. You can do the exact same with circles and control which feeds you listen to and interact with.
Here’s a quick video that will help you get a feel for Circles:
Google+ is the first social media product I’ve seen in a while that has some real potential. Google’s Buzz was a dud and MySpace is dead space, but Google+ has some real traction. I’m not sure if Google+ is a Facebook killer, but I will say this: it seems to have taken out of the equation the negative aspect of having to “friend or not friend” someone.
Google has done an excellent job of overtaking the smart phone business with it’s Android operating system and leveraging their Gmail user base. I know several corporations that have already switched to Gmail’s business platform in lieu of costly Microsoft Outlook server upgrades. I think it would be a safe assumption that Google will succeed in fiercely integrating Google+ into the Android system. There has even been some speculation in the blogosphere that in time Facebook will become fragmented, leaving behind two extremes: young people and retirees. But, I think it would take a mountain of dissatisfaction for Facebook users to quickly make that switch, and any sort of social networking demographic drain would take time. Regardless, I see myself on both Facebook and Google+ in the near future until the social networking wars present a true winner or identifiable user base. My plan continues to be searching out the best ways to interact with my three F’s: Friends, Family and Followers.
Google+ is still in beta, but I think it has a ton of real potential, so I would like to hear other people’s thoughts. I have 150 invites I can share with people interested in joining, so if you don’t belong and you’re interested in joining then just drop me a note asking for an invite and I’ll send you one. But once they’re gone…they’re gone!
Have fun Circling and let me know what you think!
If you start your own circle, like this video suggests, feel free to add me.