Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Initial Comments on Google+

I don't think I would have known that the world was sadly lacking in social networking sites. I realized that Facebook had virtually every computer literate person on the planet signed up to a constant stream of "twaddle" as one commentator characterized it. So I guess I was surprised that Google felt compelled to start yet another attempt at knocking Facebook out of first position as the ultimate arbiter of personal messages. As genealogists, we were not lacking in social outlets either. We are mostly on Facebook and if that were too general, we could go on for purely genealogical experience. 

I mostly work all the time and I find it difficult to get real work done and be self promotional all the time. I did break down and get some business cards recently, but I feel tired every time I think about going on and updating my profile. I guess I am in profile overload. I have a Google profile, a FamilySearch Research Wiki profile, a FamilySearch Forums profile, a profile, a profile and on and on and on. I did a Google search on myself and found 40,200 returns. I guess you might say I am pretty much saturated online. By the way, there is even an obituary for James L. Tanner of Mesa, Arizona online. The last time I checked this was not me. So why do I need yet another way to get junk email?

I think I was one of the very early online people. One time we had to dump an email account because I was getting literally hundreds of spam emails a day and that was back when we did not have adequate filters. Well, in the spirit of jumping into practically every new technology available, I got an invitation from one of my sons to join Google+. I would guess, since he lives on the computer, that he was on Google+  almost as soon as it was possible to do so. It was interesting to see that Google+ immediately suggested over 300 contacts. Within minutes I was connected to more people than I have had on my Facebook account after five months. In two days I already had almost as many Google+ contacts as I had on Facebook. What I liked about Google+ was not only how easy it was to add people, but how much easier it was to categorize them into "Circles."

I noticed that I added a couple of genealogy people to my genealogy Circle while I was typing this post. Here is my current assessment:

Good Points:
  • Easy to add specialized circles of contacts
  • Cheerful interface
  • Not yet loaded down with advertisements
  • Allows up to ten people to video conference (I will definitely use this with my family)
  • Seems more focused on real interests
  • Ads haven't appeared yet
Not So Good Points:
  • Stream of consciousness stuff is still the same
  • I can't seem to find out how to do some things like link to my posts and etc.
Don't expect me to change my habits and start narrating my days online. I have way too much to do otherwise. Overall, I like my first impressions of Google+. Feel free to add me to your circles.

1 comment:

  1. As always, James, you've provided the most accurate and succinct description of G+ and the pros and cons.