First things first . . .
I DO NOT HAVE GOOGLE+ INVITES TO SEND . . . yet
But in lieu of an invitation, I shall simply taunt you will the knowledge that I did get one from someone who knows that when it comes to beta testing social media platforms I have “sucker” tattooed on my forehead. I am so easy.
So with a whopping 4 hours of Google+ experience under my belt, I think it is fair to say that after the Wave and Buzz hiccups Google has had in the past, Google+ might actually be the next big thing to hit social media. Clearly going after Facebook, Google might have found the right timing to ensure some success, capitalizing on some general Facebook fatigue and leveraging their huge following of users who are looking for even more ways to integrate all of their google services.
Build around what Google+ are calling “circles” (pictured above) it is a way to separate your list of contacts much like “lists” do in facebook. “Circles” is much more user friendly with an interface that encourages filtering of what are growing numbers of connections that we are all building up. After you separate people into the circles to which they belong, through Google+’s “stream” you will see photos, updates, links and other things that are shared by members of your “circles.” Again, much like a facebook newsfeed, but with a much cleaner and larger interface and and more functional way to filter who’s info you see and when.
One of the features that seems interesting is what is called “sparks,” basically a news aggregator that will connect you to web happenings of interest. While it is pretty and could lead to some interesting ways to find information – that Google deems important, of course – there is clearly some work that needs to be done as illustrated by the pics below: the “sparks” interface, my “sparks” search for “presbyterian social media” and then the results that were actually helpful via a traditional Google search.
Now if you are one out there that sees Google as just another evil in the world, this is a blatant attempt to further suck more souls into the Google family. No argument there from me. Guilty as charged. But, what will this turn into in terms of the social media world? Who knows, but I would think that the Google people are smart enough to figure out a way to use the wave and buzz failures to fuel a more successful venture into the social networking world. I won’t be abandoning my facebook life anytime soon, but Google+ has certainly piqued my interest.
And again, I have no invites, but if you want one when/if I am giving the ability, feel free to leave a comment with your gmail addy and I’ll do my best. And if you wish to add me to a circle, feel free to add me using me “breyeschow” google profile.
UPDATE: Apparently no invites yet. Sorry Adam.