If Facebook and Twitter had a baby they’d call it… Google +
One of the really great things about blogging is the community feeling and the sharing of ideas between people with like-minds to your own. I regularly use Twitter and have built up a great network of people to follow who work in education and share similar passions to myself. I do often feel like it would be great to interact with these people in a bit more depth than 140 characters. Facebook allows this depth with posts being able to be longer. However, I don’t like that I need to have added everyone that I want to follow as a ‘friend’ on Facebook before we can have a good conversation. In my experience, using Facebook’s work-around to this, Facebook Pages, is ok but people simply don’t regularly visit the pages which are separate from their main news feed and so the interaction is limited…
Step up Google +! It’s the brand new social network from Google which offers all the depth of communication methods as Facebook but with the ability to ‘follow people’ without them having to ‘follow you’ which Twitter has. In addition to this it allows you to group your contacts into separate groups called ‘circles’ so when you post something you choose which audience you want to see it by choosing from your circles. You don’t want your boss seeing what you talk to your friends about and Google + keeps these things separate very well. I’m crystal ball gazing here but I think it will be a Facebook-killer. These things grow exponentially and Google + has already passed 10 million users in a month.
In addition to the ‘circles’ feature, you can do free group video chat with up to 10 people which works excellently. It’s great fun! There is also feature called ‘sparks’ which suggests news articles for you to read based on your interests. This works very well too. I won’t go into a full explanation of Google + here, Mashable have done their own guide which is fantastic in summarising this wonderful new social network.
I’m very excited about Google + and the opportunities it’s creating for communicating with the people who I care about most whilst also following fantastic people in the online education community. I urge you to check it out!
Google + is currently in ‘invite only’ beta testing. If you’d like to try it out just send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you an invite.
If you already have Google+ and would like to add me to your circles you can here.