I am on Google+ and I am not sure if I like it. I am sporadically kicking the tires, testing it out.
Here are some reasons I like it:
- I like having everything Google together. Iam not sure if I like how it brings up another window when I click the links to my email, calendar, docs, etc. on the Google bar, but I am not sure what work better.
- I like the idea of Hangout, but I can only use it at home because it requires me to install a Google plugin and I don’t have a microphone or camera on my work computer. I can see it being used for web conferencing and other professional things. I tried Hangout one weekend but nobody in my Circles were hanging out so I really couldn’t test it. I think I would Hangout more if I could do it on my phone. I would also like to know if I could Hangout with people outside of my circle. For example, I would like to attend topical Hangouts but I may not want to add those people to my circles.
- Setting up your circles is much more intuitive and easier than setting up friend lists in Facebook. It is really easy to do, you can click multiple people, drag and drop and easily create new circles. The Facebook friends lists were always something sort of hidden.
- Posts, it automatically and easily asks you who (which circles) you want your wall posts to be seen by. In Facebook you have to play around with the post defaults and friend lists and remember to hit the arrow to change things when you don’t want a wall post to be seen by your default group.
Some of the things I don’t like:
- Not enough people. Yeah all of my geek friends are on it, but nobody else. One family member is on it but he is always playing with cutting edge stuff. So in order to share things online with family and friends, I still have to go onto Facebook since the majority of my non-geek friends are not on G+. I don’t like going to different places to share information (one reason I am rarely on LinkedIn), so I don’t see myself using it until/unless more of my regular friends join.
- +1 button is confusing, until you know it is just Google’s version of Like. After that it is just as boring as the Like button. I would have liked it if you could hit the +1 button and then comment on the item or person’s comment.
- Blog integration? Since you are reading this you already know I write a blog. A few sentences of the post and its link go up on my Krafty Librarian FB page (not my personal FB site) directing people (primarily librarians) to my latest blog post. If I can’t integrate blog feeds into my G+ wall then it is pointless for me to use G+. However, it is still too early to tell if this will be possible in the future. I am sure there are WordPress geeks working all types of widgets for G+.
- Twitter integration? Every wall post (including blog posts) on my Krafty Librarian FB page is then sent out via Twitter. This increases the abilty to share information. Again without this ability G+ is not worth it. I am told you can integrate Twitter and G+ if you use Google’s Chrome browser. Yeah, I don’t use Chrome at all. I really hope Google doesn’t limit innovation specifically to Chrome because that will kill G+.
- RSS feeds. I still need to got to at least two sites to stay on top and share information. I grab all of my feeds using Netvibes. Netvibes allows me to follow ANYTHING that has an RSS feed. That means I can follow Twitter feeds, blog posts, news feeds, flickr, search feeds (web and database), etc. Basically Netvibes is my one stop shop for finding information. It is my morning newspaper. I can also share things on Twitter, FB, and email through Netvibes. However, to get the whole picture I really have to jump back and forth between Netvibes and FB or Twitter. If G+ could somehow incorporate RSS feeds so I don’t have to bounce between sites, that would be a huge help. I know Google Reader is accessible from the top tool bar when I am logged in and I when I went into it, I tried to share a story. It looked like it worked but nothing showed up on G+ so I have no idea if I shared that story and if so where. Perhaps I something is wrong with my settings.
As I said, I am still playing around with G+ bit by bit. In the mean time I thought I would share two other people’s opinions on G+. John Halamka likes G+ better than Facebook, he finds FB’s interface to be cumbersome. Daniel Hooker shares a funny cartoon about G+ and FB and also describes his surprise at re-sharing through G+ and how you might want to disable re-shares.
They are saying G+ is the Twitter or Facebook killer. But right now it is all about people. While G+ has grown quite quickly, the people still aren’t there yet. If you don’t get a critical mass of people, then FB is going to remain the place to be. In the mean time, I am continuing to play with G+ and will write more as I learn more. If you have any ideas about it or if I am missing something or doing something wrong please comment or leave a post on G+ or FB.