I imaging there are quite a few of you going Google+, what the dickins is that then? Which is exactly what I did yesterday morning when I got an invite to join yesterday morning. I joined and then decided I should Google what it is all about. Google+ is Google's version of the social networking site Facebook, it is in a trial period and apparently they had to close down the invitations due to the high demand, so now I feel like one of the privileged few (thousands!). So here is my non-geek take on things...
Now, I am not a big fan of FB, it annoys the pants off me for a multitude of reasons, the interface is rubbish, they are forever moving things around and changing their rules and regulations, their default settings are not user friendly, I could go on but I should probably stop there. In FB's defence it was brilliant just after the earthquake/tsunami, I was able to let people know that we were OK and keep everyone updated, most of my family are on FB so it meant I didn't have to sit on the phone or send out multitudes of emails.
So, back to Google+, I haven't spent that much time on it and they don't have an app for the iphone yet, can't wait to get my hands on that! My first impression is that the circles idea is great. You sort your friends into circles, you can put friends in more than one circle (think Venn diagrams here) this means that I can send a message to say all my playgroup friends or just the playgroup friends that are in Japan, maybe I want to share about a local festival, not relevant to those overseas. You can name the circles as you like, the people in the circles can't see the circle name so you can go to town and have fun! It is also easy to share things that you find on the Internet, maybe a great Montessori idea that my playgroup and Montessori friends would be interested in but not my crafty friends, photo's from that great night out that you want to share with the girls but wouldn't dream of letting your mother see. Get my drift? Although it is possible to do this on FB it is clumsy and takes forever! I have several people hidden from my wall on FB because I am really not interested in Arsenal's mid fielders groin injury or the latest playstation news.
There is also a way to 'huddle' so you and your friends can have a group chat, great for making arrangements and then there is 'hangout' video conference so when you are free to chat your friends they can see you are about, like bumping into someone on the street as it were. I haven't had chance to try those out yet so I will report back when I have.
I think google will have their work cut out competing against FB but I image that there are a lot of people like me, who use it because there isn't a decent alternative. Google seem to have taken the approach of finding what is wrong with FB and improving on it (a bloody big job in my humble opinion). I admit I love google and it's many apps, they are user friendly, the pages are clean and uncluttered (add cluttered screen to my FB dislikes!) and I love how all the apps interface with one another. I have been using gmail since it first started, somehow got onto the trials for that too and I haven't looked back. So, I really hope this google+ thing will take off and become bigger and better than FB. And just a random fact to finish off with, did you know that the Google founders were Montessori kids and they believe their Montessori education had a lot to do with their success? Well, they do!
So, if you are using google+ let me know, it is hard to test it out properly when only a couple of your friends are on there!