Plus or minus?

When it comes to new technology, I consider myself a fast follower.

This means I’m not among the first to embrace something just because it’s new. At the same time, I’m typically not one to be dragged into the latest technological wave kicking and screaming. When I got air conditioning for the first time this year, I went willfully, glowing and wilting.

Generally, when something new becomes available, say a new social media platform, I consider it thoughtfully and wade in carefully. Such was my foray into Facebook which, by the way, I still like a great deal.

Lately, Google+ is in my face, like a gnat that flies too close.

My friends and contacts are embracing Google+, which I assume is Facebook’s latest competitor. I’m aware of the dynamic between the two companies and find it no surprise that Google has stepped onto the mat to give Facebook a run for its members.

At least I think I’m aware.  Frankly, I’m not sure I quite understand what Google+ is offering.

Here’s where you come in. Who can give me the 30-second elevator pitch for Google+? I haven’t quite heard it anywhere else.

Google+ appears to have veiled its rollout in exclusivity—in that members must be “invited” to join. If this is the case, I’m already a bit turned off. I’ve been invited by several people I know and trust, but if these same people invited me to join an exclusive club, I’d politely decline. I’m not big on exclusivity.

At the same time, I do suffer from a mild case of FMS, Fear of Missing Something. I’d like to know what’s happening at this party that I might benefit from in some way. Will it enable me to make valuable contacts that will enrich my network in a way that LinkedIn does not? Will I have to re-connect with the same friends and family members with whom I already interact on Facebook? Would I need to create a gmail address? Heaven knows, I don’t need a fifth e-mail address.

If I choose to stay on Facebook, how much more time will I need to spend online? Will Google+ give my friends, God love ’em, more stupid games for which they need my help buying wheat?

Will I be operating in parallel universes? And how many universes is there room for in this galaxy? 

The floor is open and so are my ears (in this case, my eyes).

3 Comments

Filed under Family and Friends, Technology and Social Media

3 responses to “Plus or minus?

  1. Sue Boltz

    My youngest son would never “friend” me on Facebook, but has recently “invited” me to join Google +. The advantage to this social media is that we can group our “friends” into circles such as family, friends, co-workers, or whatever you’d like to create, and you can share your posts to whichever ever circles you choose. You can also filter your streams by circles so you see more of what you’d like to see. The other interesting feature, perhaps more for the younger crowd, is the “Hang Out” where you invite any circles you choose to hang out with you. This is essentially a group chat that can also be a video chat. It’s actually quite cool. The invitation only piece is temporary from what I understand, as they are still in beta testing. Overall, I think it has some advantages over Facebook, but it will be awhile before it catches on. I invite you to join and you do not need another email address. I will put you in my lonely “Friends” circle as nearly everyone else is in my “Eric’s Friends” circle. By the way, people do not know what circle you put them in, and you can have as many circles as you want. I love the idea that you can post something to your “Family” circle and not have to share it with your whole google+ world. I just wish more people would jump on board!

  2. I’m not on Google+ myself but here’s my 10-second pitch:

    Google+ compartmentalises your friends and contacts into different kinds of circles that you name them into. In that way, you classify people according to your own unique yardsticks, and receive their social networking output accordingly. You classify them, they classify you.

  3. i’ve read that “hangouts” can be a replacement for Skype, with sizeable video conferencing, but I only know this second-hand. People who only a couple of months ago said Facebook was the final form of all internet use, and would never die, are now giving Google+ a good look.

    Myself, I get along with listserves, my blog, and plain old email until something compelling happens.

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