Google+ has been open now for a while and the up-take of the new social-networking site seems expodential. There are already over 1000 people who have added me to a circle, by far my quickest social-network to 1000 followers.
Where Google+ is right now reminds me a lot of where we were with Twitter in 2007. A lot of people trying to figure out where it fits. I’m finding it facinating that many of the early adopters who joined Twitter “back in the day” like I did are the same people now who are saying “I don’t get it.” We didn’t get Twitter at first either. Twitter’s tagline never was “The most powerful Personal Learning Network (PLN) you’ll create.” or “Breaking News as it happens.” but both of those could today very easily be the tagline to the way people use that tool.
It took us a good year to figure out what and how Twitter could benefit us and in the end it had nothing to do with texting updates out to your friends….the real orignial purpose of the site.
Google+ is not yet disrupting my Personal Learning Network but I’m using it more and more and trying to figure out, like many others, where this new social-network will fit among the others.
“I don’t need one more network”
Funny thing is many people said that when Twitter came out as well….and yet it’s now the foundation of many people’s PLN because it was the main tool when they started their PLN.
There’s nothing to say that new teachers who are just wrapping their heads around the idea of a PLN won’t start with Google+ and ignore Twitter. The problem is we’re still figuring out how to use it and where it fits and I think Google is doing the same.
Here are my thoughts on Google+ thus far:
Google+ has already disrupted the social-networking space. Not long after its launch did Facebook revamp the way you can share with specific lists and lists themselves as a response to Google+. If other companies are that fast to respond it usually means you’re doing something right.
In my opinion the best part of Google+ is Hangouts. The technology behind the video conferencing system seems to just work and works very well. Every Hangout I’ve been a part of has been crystal clear quality. I’ve actualy dropped Skype in favor of hangouts whenever possible.
Make Circles Purposeful
When I started my Google+ account I started setting it up much like Twitter. If you “Circled” me and you were in education I would Circle you back. I have since come to realize that Google+ is a different kind of network and I am now taking my time to create purposeful Circles that I can use when I either want to consume information or if I need to communicate quickly with my Gpeeps Circle (The name of my Google+ Circle of close PLN trusted friends).
Sharing of YouTube videos and everything else Google is simple and straight forward. I like that there is no limit to the length of an update (Facebook has recently changed their own length requirements due to this). Allowing some people to use Google+ like a blog…..an interesting experiment and we’ll see how it goes.
I’ve just started playing with the Google+ Pages as I created one for COETAIL. We’ll see if these have any traction like Facebook Pages in the future.
What do you like/don’t like about Google+ so far?
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