Yesterday we watched as the 5 circles of the Olympics sailed by our window in Bright Beehive HQ. It was surreal to say the least. Did you see it? What did you think? Comment below.
Last week I wrote a Beginner's Guide To Google Plus. I highlighted where I felt Google had got it right over Facebook and posed the question, "How much of this will Facebook copy?". Well it seems as though they are on the path of functional imitation by having changed the way in which you can share your content on Facebook.
I don't think it's a bad thing that Facebook is doing this. I guess my gripe, along with many other people's, is why does it take a giant like Google to make Facebook change it's ways? At least we have Google eh?
Here's is an overview of Facebook's new policy changes.
I'm dying to know how long will it be before they come up with their own circles idea!
Google+ (or Google Plus or G+) is the tool that has been widely tipped for taking the fight to Facebook. Many believe that Facebook is unassailable but it can't be a bad thing that something is being considered a contender.
Google+ is a "project" rich in functionality, clean with its design, as well as being a bit more "plain English" about its privacy settings. It addresses the issue that you own your own data. For now I will focus on the functionality.
In a nutshell
OK, in more detail...
Basically you add people to circles that you name. You then share stuff with the audience that you want to share it with. Most of the people in my networks are in circles named friends and social business. A criticism of Facebook is that generally you share content with everyone. You can adjust this in Facebook but G+ Circles makes it easier for this functionality to take place.
Another way of sharing information is by typing in someone's name. Then you can have a one on one conversation with them. Yes you can do this with Facebook but with G+ it's just easier, and neater.
Verdict: Excellent way of managing your conversations. Expect Facebook to come up with something like it soon.
This has been touted as the "killer app". Basically it enables you to have many way video conversations. I have experimented with Hangouts with just two other people. I noticed that when it performed ok with one-on-one conversation but once someone else was added to the mix all three of us suffered in terms of latency of audio and video.
Verdict: Seems like the idea is better than the reality of what normal folks' bandwidth can handle right now. Will be great one day.
Two ways of using Sparks. One is to browse the offerings - this is a bit like StumbleUpon i.e. a way of serendipitously coming across content that you may or may not have come across before. The second is to search for something and then save the interest.
Verdict: Great way of using persistent search if don't have an RSS reader.
A way of using texting in a chatroom on your G+ phone app. Again you can choose your audience via circles or peoples' names. Useful for where the need for silent communication or lack of broadband is an issue.
Verdict: It's probably just G+ showing off though I will probably use it in the future and go "Ahhh! This is amazing."
Expect to see many plugins popping up around the place. Here's one that I fell in love with, it's an RSS Share for Google Plus™ and Google Reader™.
Verdict: I have noticed lately that I am getting my information less and less from my RSS reader and more from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. This I think will force me to clean out my RSS reader and use it more for following the blogs I am really interested in. The news will still come via the other sources.
Google+ solves a problem I thought I had a few years ago which was: How could I really let loose in the same networking site of my uni friends as with my aunt, or niece. (I've since fixed that problem by moderating myself as well as getting over myself at the same time.) It is great however that you can have that sense of privacy between certain networks.
I am really excited by G+ but I know that there are those who will never leave Facebook for this. I do think that it will be more popular than Google's previous attempts have been e.g. Google Buzz.
I am left wondering many things:
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