Google+: Just Another Time Suck?

by mjtaylor on July 18, 2011

Should I Join Google Plus? Or is it just one more drain on my time?

 If you aren’t already on Google+, you may still be waiting for an invitation, or you may be thinking, do I really have to get involved with another social network? Another drain on my time?

The jury is out on whether Google+ is any threat to Facebook – and in my opinion, it’s more a threat to Twitter – but if you’re wondering whether you need a G+ account, the answer is probably yes.

After more than a couple of unsuccessful attempts at a social networking site, Google seems to have gotten the concept. The site has a clean, easy to navigate design and there are no ads to clutter up the white space – at least not yet.

 Best of all, Google has Circles – the answer to both the privacy issues of  who sees what and the time management issue related to which posts are streamed to you.

 You can control who sees your albums on Facebook – and you can control whose posts you get in your stream, but you have to know what you are doing – you have to create lists and jump through a hoop or two depending on just what you want to share with whom. It can be convoluted.

 Google has not only made it easy, it’s the default. When you add a friend – or when they add you, you are prompted to add them to one of your Circles. And when you add a photo, or make a post or status update, Google+ requires you to choose who sees it.

Google+ Circles

Google+ Circles Answer Privacy Issues

 That enhanced privacy will go a long way to make users more comfortable with interacting with both business and social connections on a networking service.

Circles also make it easy to limit your news stream, choose your professional Circle or your Friends, and you won’t see posts from any other contacts.

The site has reached 10 million users in less than a month online in “beta testing” phase. While that’s a mere drop in the bucket compared to the 750-plus on Facebook, it’s an impressive start for an invitation only test phase.

Other interesting features include “hangouts” where up to 10 people can participate in a video chat – an intriguing service for professional collaboration, —  and Sparks, which allows a user to sign up for updates on topics of interest.

If you already like social networking sites and use them for interacting with friends or business contacts, you will probably want to try Google+.  If you aren’t a Facebook fan, and can’t see what Twitter has to offer, Google+ has nothing new for you.

If you do decide to sign up for Google+ or you are still trying to find your way around it, this guide may help you out:

So, what do you think: is Google+ for you? Does it seem as though G+ may mean you use Twitter or Facebook less?

{ 1 comment }

Wes July 20, 2011 at 2:35 am

Well said, M.J. It’s my favorite major social media site to date. Beyond all of the typical features you’d expect, the simplicity of setting up Circles and segmented sharing is what does it for me.

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