Me & Google+ – We Has a Thing Goin’ On
Posted by Writer 66
If you haven’t heard of Google+ (or Google Plus) by now, you certainly will in the next few days and coming weeks. Google’s offering of the social un-network has taken people by storm. Already predictions were that G+ would hit the 10 million mark (which it has) and would maybe see 20 million by this end of this weekend.
Friday marked my one week anniversary with the new Google project and I am loving it. Now, I know you’ve probably read enough reviews and remarks on it and if you haven’t, you’ve probably got Facebook friends demanding you switch over, so you’re probably thinking “Gina, are you going to give us another blog post about how awesome Google+ is?” And the answer to that is –
Yes. Yes I am.
But I will be nice about it and try keeping it in the realm of “why you, as a freelancer, should consider spending time on Google+”. Darren Rowse of Problogger already has a great article of why bloggers should check it out, but in terms of the freelancer, why should you bother with another social network?
Communication. At least, that’s what got me.
In the two weeks that Google+ has been in beta and the one week that I’ve been on, I’ve seen a huge difference between communication with Twitter and Facebook. The one thing that drew to want to try G+ in the first place was that of circles. Circles are the groups of people who are sharing posts with you and who are in your network. On Facebook, these are your friends – you can only see what they post and vice versa. On Twitter, it’s the people who follow you and the people you follow.
Google+ takes the concept of real life circles – you have your friends, your best friends, your family, the people you work with, etc. There’s no real distinction with Facebook and while Twitter has lists, you still can’t separate what you see, but with G+ you can. You can have circles for your friends, circles for your co-workers and boss, circles for your friends, etc; the left hand side of your page displays the list of your circles and clicking on them, you can view the stream of what they’ve posted.
There’s talk now on G+ about the prospect of maybe separating the public circles as well, which would be kinda cool.
But on to why we freelancers should check this out and not because I’m the unofficial ambassador to get people off of Facebook and on to G+. Again, the big thing is the aspect of actual communication. Think about it – Facebook you can really only talk to people who are your friends; Twitter you can talk to anyone, but communication is restricted to 140 characters.
The very aspects of G+ are that of bringing the social back to the social network. People can view posts from people in their circles, but can also be included on shared posts by people outside of the circles; there’s also the idea that you can have discussions with a wide variety of people from around the world.
One of the features that I think is pretty neat in terms of the mobile app (for both Android and iPhone) is that of the Nearby communications; using your address, G+ plus people who are in your area who are also using G+. I’ve actually made a few G+ meets thanks to that. For the whole week that I’ve used the service, my circles actually include new people in both Denver and Google+, which is more than I can say for either Facebook or Twitter.
And I’ve been added to circles, but I don’t necessarily have to add them to my circles. I’m actually surprised at how popular I’m getting.
And then there’s the Hangout feature. The ability to voice/video chat with your friends, family, and new people is a great boom for those who live outside of your state and even business meetings. In fact, Google+ is starting to test out their network to that of businesses and I’ve even heard G+ called the business network.
So how does all of this work for a freelancer? Simple – you get to meet new freelancers – writers, designers, DTP, etc – whether in your area or around the world; with the Hangout feature, you can video conferencing with that new client; Circles can allow you to group your clients and post to them and not everyone; the Huddle feature for the mobile app allows you to group chat so that you know that your lunch meeting has been moved to dinner or the venue has changed.
I could probably go on and on about how Google+ could easily change the face of our social online lives, but why don’t you just try it yourself. Invites are still active, so you might be able to get in. I suggest you try it out. It’s hard to imagine that we’re still in the private beta and already Google has made some updates to the mobile apps and all things Google, as well as addressing and adding some of the requests that we as users had.
Who knows what the end product will be?
- What Google+ means for your business (simplybusiness.co.uk)
- Does Google+ solve the privacy problem or make it worse? (gigaom.com)
- Considering Google+ (fishandbicycles.com)