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Happy Social Media Day! That’s right all you web 2.0 types… it’s Mashable’s Social Media Day! Fun!

So what are you doing? (Mafia Wars and Farmville totally count though why you aren’t playing Gardens of Time, I’ll never know!)

Me? I’m playing with the newest social media toy out there – Google+!

Google Plus

You can see Google+ in my web browser as well as using the app on my Xoom. Looks nice!

 

Are you really surprised? You already knew I was Batgirl. You know I have to get on things early. You know I’m a total Google lackey. Getting in on Google+ right after it was announced? Totally par for the course here in Oztopia!

So what is Google+ for those of you living under rocks and not visiting Google 830000000000000 times a day? Think Facebook – by Google. It fits snugly right into your Gmail, has it’s own page, allows for status updates and chats, photo sharing, and all of that.

But, you already have Facebook, I know. I mean it took you forever just to agree to that. But this is great. It really thinks about your social media and how you might want to access it.

Think about it. Facebook seems to think your 672 friends are all one big huge group of friends. Right? Which is why I keep getting friend recommendations by Facebook for people I’ve never heard of in states I’ve never set foot in. All because I know someone who knows someone who knows someone.

Well, Google realized that no, we have our circles of people. Sure, sometimes those circles cross over, but not always. Church friends, school friends, work friends, neighbourhood friends, and family.  These are not always people who interface with one another. And maybe some want to know that you are anxiously awaiting your high school reunion, but not everyone.

Enter Google+. Now your friends can go into little circles. Think of the old cell phone commercials! You got it! You can add Bob from work that lives on your street in your “work” and your “hood” circle if you want. You can post about your high school reunion to your school buds, but your boss won’t get that update. Share with only the people you want to share with.

Hate having to go through the process of telling your phone to upload that photo to Twitter? There’s a feature to upload photos and video automatically when you take it. Rest assured, Google CLAIMS that this goes into a private folder and you can later choose who to share it with. Consider altering that setting though if you are concerned about your own not-so-private Weiner-gate. Please, we all beg of you!

Huddle! That’s right. It’s like texting, but free. For a crowd. Trying to decide where to go for dinner or what movie to see? You can huddle and figure it out, even if you are miles apart.

Hang out? That’s right! Video chat with up to ten people at once. You can lock this down to circles or make them public. I think this would be fantastic for families.  Set up a “hang out” session with your family circle and they can all pop in! I’m sure that will be great for Empty Nesters.  No more weekly conference call!

Sparks seem interesting to me. It’s like a search string for your favorite things. You tell it an interest, and when you click, you see web hits. You can easily share them if you like. Since they show up on your sidebar, it’s easy to find them again.

I see a lot of functionality with Google+. Of course, right now, it’s limited to those lucky few that got early invites. Like yours truly. Especially since it integrates so well with Google and they are slowly taking over the whole interwebs. You can easily see your updates or set a status with the new black bar on Google’s page or in your email. There’s apps for all the Android devices with a promise of iPad coming soon. Google gives you documents, blogging, searching, buying, you name it.

Is Google+ the Facebook Killer? Who knows. It is innovative and looks like a million bucks. Now, I’m gonna go back and play in the sandbox. I’d invite you in, but sorry, Daddy grounded me and said no more friends for now.

–Lady O

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