The Fuss About Google+

Google+ is all the rage these days as the next big thing in social media. In their own way, they’ve tried to say they’re not a social networking site, but that’s like saying vanilla pudding isn’t pudding (okay, I might say that from time to time since I only like chocolate).

First let’s talk about what Google+ is, because so many people have different opinions. In a way it reminds me of Facebook when I first signed on. It’s fairly clean and crisp, probably too much for me. Most people who are there now either got there via an invite or have some kind of Google account other than just Gmail. Someone tried to send me an invite when I kind of didn’t care and then she told me about it, so all I did was pull up the link to the site, which is and it let me create an account.

When you get there, you’ll find that some people have probably already added you in some fashion to what are called “circles”. There are some default circles already such as Friends, Family and Acquaintances, and you’re allowed to create other circles. The purpose is to be able to categorize people so that you can then determine who you want to follow or contact specifically if you’re not in the mood to follow everyone. You can put people in more than one circle if you want to, something I might have to think about doing.

It also handles people you don’t know differently than Facebook. You can hide or block those people, or you can create a circle to put those people in if you so choose. I created a circle I call “Unsure Folks” until I can figure out if I know them or not. I’ve yet to determine if you can de-list those folks later on if you decide you don’t want them around, but I have learned that you can remove someone from any circle by dragging their image out of the circle and popping them into the netherworld.

Actually, saying that makes little sense until you’re actually on the site, but you can either drag people’s images to a circle and drag them back or you can hover over people’s images and this menu comes up giving you the option of putting them into a particular circle. By the way, people never know what circle you’ve put them in or whether you’ve put them in a circle to begin with.

Okay, enough of that; you can learn more from many other areas, including the little video I’ve put at the bottom. Even in the video, the guy begins by calling it “Facebook killer”. Let’s explore this and other things I’ve been hearing.

There are a lot of folks touting this thing as the social network that’s going to kill Facebook, Twitter, and possibly LinkedIn, since MySpace is pretty much dead. I’m not sure I agree, and I wish I could see what everyone else is seeing.

For instance, I still prefer Twitter because it’s so “instant”; Google+ isn’t quite there yet.

I’m not going to say I prefer Facebook but it’s a totally different animal. There are some groups on Facebook that have great interaction but many are fairly dead. People are saying group conversations on Google+ are much better but I think it depends on the group. For instance, there’s a group of Syracuse University folks who think this is the cat’s meow (I wonder where that phrase came from) but then they’re all talking amongst themselves and they already know each other so that works just fine.

For someone like me, though, well, I don’t already have a group of people that I automatically talk to. Right now the majority of people I’m connected to are you good folks that I blog with, but almost none of us have ever talked with each other directly, either on the phone or through video. This means we really don’t overly know each other personally. I’ve had a conversation or two here and there with some of you on Google+, but nothing like hundreds of ideas going on at the same time.

Also, the site has something it calls Sparks, and I thought it might be like the Facebook groups where, if you say you happen to like something, it pops you into a group with like minded people. Instead, if you put in a topic it pulls up news stories or blog links and such, pretty much like Google would do; there’s no discussion going on about it, so what’s the point? I can just go to Google News instead.

Finally I keep hearing about the business part of it and how it can improve business relations. I’m missing that as well. On LinkedIn you can find people based on what it is they do. You can’t do that on Google+; you have to know people’s names, or someone else who might be connected to them. There’s this feature called Hangout which is their version of a chat room, and after downloading a small bit of software you can talk either through video, audio, or a combination. You can only have 10 people in a room right now. I like how smoothly it all runs; I don’t like that you can’t invite individuals. To get around that you’d have to create a new circle and add certain people to it, and then delete the circle later on once you’re done with it. However, it’s hard to complain all that much about another free service.

Will this be the death of Facebook? I don’t see it, but one never knows about people. There are no games and no groups, and I think a lot of people like those things. Will it be the death of Twitter? I don’t think so once again because I think Twitter’s value is its speed of conveying information to a ton of people all at once; it’s not going to work the same way on Google+. Will it be the death of LinkedIn? Once again I don’t see it, since LinkedIn’s value is in connecting with only business people and allowing you to search for people who are in your industry or that you might be able to do business with; Google+ offers Google search and that’s it; I don’t feel that’ll get it done.

And that’s what I have to say right now. Of course as people leap to Google at break-neck speeds right now we all might find that people are looking for something a little different than what we have now. If it allowed more of a pick and choose I might like it better than I do now. It’s early yet; let’s see what it looks like six months from now.

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28 thoughts on “The Fuss About Google+”

  1. All the features you mention are going to come, unlike most people I am not RAGING to find a business use for G+, I just use it, unlike Facebook, which I really never got to use. Right now it’s much more of a danger for Twitter than for Facebook I think, I find myself using Twitter a LOT less lately, I prefer the kind of interaction going on in G+, I guess that pretty much sums it up. Of course it has to grow a lot still, but hey, no rush right?

    1. True Gabriele, no rush, but right now it just feels so flat for me that I’m slightly disenchanted.

  2. I am willing to remedy the not knowing each other really personally. We can either chat on skype and see other while we do so, or I am willing to call on phone. Give it a shot.

    1. Rummuser, we might have to try Skype one of these days, as I just finally added it last night. Course we’ll have to battle each other’s accents, but maybe we’ll get it done. 😉

  3. What we need is a Killer App with an interface to be able to connect and communicate with all these different services. I would prefer that to be an online app.

    I like Google+ but it needs something like groups or whatever for people to set up a business or other kinds of groups. Right now you are stuck with First and Last name for an account. I don’t think ScottThomas Photography looks that great.

    It’s new and is a work in progress. I think you should be able to search public profiles not just names. So, if someone puts in Disney as an interest, I should be able to search for that without getting people who has Disney in their name.

    1. Scott, you can do that if you go to Sparks, but I still don’t think you’ll find what you’re looking for. As for the app, there’s just so many of those things out there that I’ve yet to try any of them. I actually like keeping them all separate. And we’ll have to see if it changes to allow for business advertising, although I really think they won’t see it in their best interest to do so. One thing I have to say I’m kind of happy about is that they really aren’t allowing kids under 13 to be a part of it; threatening to take away a person’s entire access to anything Google is a good incentive for folks to keep an eye on their kids.

  4. Google+ is being compared to Facebook, and everyone is wondering if it will overtake Facebook. I have started to use Google+, but haven’t really gotten too much into it. I don’t see anything that it really does that sticks out compared to the other social networks. I’m going to wait and see how Google develops this platform going forward.

    1. That’s my thought Paul. I think some folks see it as new and exciting but it’s going to have to go a long way to impress me.

  5. I am really interested with this google+1 because a lot of people told me that it has really awesome features…Anyway, thanks for sharing the video posted here…

    1. Bev, take your time because it will always be there… maybe. lol As I said, I can see how some people might benefit greatly from it but I’m not sure it fits everyone all that well just yet.

  6. Personally I think that it is not good idea to compare Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. All 3 are completely different. I think there are also many speculations on internet about Google Plus overthrowing Facebook. I don’t that this is the came. My opinion is that Google Plus is more concentrated on professional side, similar to Linkedin, as well the purpose of Google plus are user reviews which will be taken in account probably in the next big algorithm update. Generally this “social network” is a side effect which came like excellent extra, but the thing that competition does not offer is video chat. Imagine free webinar with your circle without need to pay for expensive service and bandwidth.

    1. Actually Carl, I’ll disagree with one point and agree on another. I don’t think Google+ is any more for professionals than Facebook is. I will say that it’s probably trying to be a slightly more upgraded Twitter and less frills related Facebook. That’s kind of why we have to compare all these things because there’s nothing that’s quite original about any of it.

      1. Probably you are right, because Facebook have updated options on go and Google+ just did the same by default. Actually I am not sure about the current relation between the social network and the button. I see that Google+ in the social network and Google plus button seems to use different metrics and are independent, but probably there is invisible metric for us.

  7. Hi Mitch.
    I’ve got an invitation few days ago, but I haven’t got the time to try it yet. I guess I’ll start to try using the Google+ this weekend, looking at the fuss made from it. Gonna be awesome I guess.

    1. Andrew, it won’t necessarily be awesome, but it might be something you like or something you think is just average.

  8. Interesting insights Mitch. Will G+ be a facebook killer, I don’t know but I think it is more “media” oriented advertisement, rather anything else. The question really is, will G+ actually be a good choice for people to use it as an effective means to interact, thus getting more people involved in the project. I am using way so many Google products that I can’t live without and having G+ right there by my side does make things a lot easier. How all this will integrate with each other remains to be seen but I can see why, this time, Google may have just found the right formula. I was really never a fan of FaceBook as I find it very complicated to use. Perhaps it is because I was not one of the early adopters. This is probably why I like G+, I am just learning my way around just like everybody else and that is good… we’ll see

    1. DiTesco, I missed the other Google things because frankly there was never any real “buzz” about any of it (yes, pun intended) and, except for Gmail, it all folded fairly quickly. So we have this new platform and, at least for what I do, I feel it’s important enough for me to be there and see where it takes us. But I still don’t think it’s replacing anything overall.

  9. I’m not yet sold that Google+ will be of any greater benefit to me than other social networks that I already belong to. It’s too hard to find like-minded people to connect with and seems to be a better integrated way of pulling your Google profile together with stuff you’ve shared or commented on via Google. I’m gonna wait for more before giving more than a passing glance and minor updates via Google Reader.

    1. That’s a smart move Iceman. The thing is that you’re at least there and observing, which I think is probably the most important step for now.

  10. Mitch, it has now gone viral. About a hundred people have included me in their various circles! I haven’t a clue as to how to navigate the monster and am just letting events unfold.

    1. Rummuser, it’s an amazing thing on one hand, and to be expected on the other. After all it’s Google, and even the things they’ve created that bombed had a lot of people sign up early to test it. This one… I’m just not sure yet. But you’re right, the numbers have been impressive to date.

  11. Firstly I would like to point out a mistake as I know how rare it is that I find a error in one of your posts 😉

    I like how smooth is all runs;

    As to Google+ I seriously think it will give FaceBook a run for it’s money. Heck it may even make Twitter sweat a little. If Twitter ever lifts their 140 character limit we’ll know you caused them to do that.

    One thing to keep in mind is that Google+ is still in it’s early stages. I like the lack of games. One thing I don’t like is commenting on something that a popular person wrote because you’re forever getting updates, most of which are crap.

    Still, like I said it’s early days.

    1. Thanks Sire; correction made.

      I think your one gripe is going to be a major problem, although I read where they’re adding a feature where you can temporarily turn off a popular post instead of totally muting it if it’s something you might want to go back and check out at a later time, especially while it builds up comments. Frankly, at a certain point I think it’s a bit much.

      I just don’t see it overtaking Facebook based on some of the things I said. I see it growing, but I think Facebook’s overall reach will keep it on top. But who really knows.

  12. I just join Goggle + because of best features from Facebook and other social medias. Goggle + is really bringing high traffic towards itself very strongly and rapidly. that is another reason i think that this plugin will helps me in future for my business that is why i join Goggle + for future planning.

    1. Reeha, it is growing fast, but I think it’s because it’s Google more than because it’s anything special. However, time could change things; it just hasn’t yet for me.

      1. Agree with you but according to me this plugin really got potential and also the support of Goggle as you mentioned but changes also took time to clear all.

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