Running in circles with Google+

Right off the bat, let me tell you I’m not a techie person, but someone interested in technology. These are my opinions based on using Google+.

I like Google. I loved Gmail when it came out. I’m probably one of the few people who absolutely adored Wave, and mourned a little when it was declared dead. I found it useful, as a collaboration tool. I’d used it to co-ordinate my Masters group dissertation, when all the members were in different cities. It was far easier updating a Wave than sending a gazillion emails across. I still swear by its usefulness and if I had to collaborate on another project, I’d suggest it again.

Then came along, Google+. Tech websites kept talking about the Facebook-killer for months, if not years (I’ve been guilty of that too, I’m afraid), but nothing could stop the behemoth. Or so it seemed.

I wasn’t planning on asking anyone for a Google+ invite. I was asked by @binmujahid if I wanted an invite, and I said yes. I’ve been using the service for little over 24 hours now and here are my thoughts:

– It’s very clean.

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– The concept of circles is extremely interesting, and takes privacy settings to a whole new level. You can pick and choose who will see what content, with the bare minimum effort. You can slip one person into as many circles as you want. I’ve still not made as many circles as I’d like, but have started out with the bare minimum. Hovering over a circle can show you thumbnails of who is in it, as is shown in the pic. Some of the people in the Twitter circle are also granted a place in the Friends circle. And yes, I’ve blocked some people. OH, THE POWER!

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– I love, love, love the photograph section of Google+. The design attracts me very, very much.

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– Go back to the second picture on this page. Note my Family section says 0. Know why? No one from my family is on this thing, and probably will never join. Facebook is too well-engraved into their heads for them to consider something new. I think, at least, at first, Google+ will be in the hands of the techies, the geeks, the nerds and the social media lovers. In my head:

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– This won’t be the end of Facebook. Not by a long shot. Google+ is clean, it’s got pretty sections. But to me, it feels like an extended version of Twitter. Perhaps that might change when more people join? As I said, too many people on Facebook are there for the Farmville and Mafia Wars and whatever else. I’m there because many of my friends use it and I keep in touch with them, it’s where the food bloggers have their private group to share links, stories and plan events. That’s why I use Facebook. But Google+ is not for those who enjoy the clutter Facebook can give them. And that’s many.

– Me? I’m not going to stop using Facebook. I’ve far too many people on that website I’d like to keep in touch with, whom I know will balk at the thought of another social network.

Google+ is definitely better than the atrociousness that was Buzz. But I’m not sure whether it will be successful at moving the Facebook-addicts over to a cow-free world.

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