An Extremely Premature Review of Google+

I really shouldn’t be writing this now. I’ve only been on Google+ since Friday and have only just begun exploring some of the “cool factor” options Google+ offers, like Sparks, Chats, and Hangouts. I’m only connected with 20 or so people and I’m definitely still feeling my way along in the process. But, I’ve had a pretty strong first impression to it, so I thought I would share it.

I like it.

(Brilliant analysis, Derek, just tremendous.)

Here’s the way I look at it: I’ve been on facebook for a couple years now and ooo’ed and ahh’ed at all its bells and whistles when I progressed to it from MySpace (ahh, remember MySpace? So 2003.) Several years later, I basically do one thing on facebook, update my status. Occasionally I post a link or picture; every once and awhile I chat. But the meat and potatoes of facebook is the status update; for Twitter it’s the tweet. So I asked myself, if I end up using Google+ primarily to post updates, links, etc, is that enough for me to stick with it a year from now?

I pretty quickly figured out that my answer was “yes”. Why? Easy.

The circles.

The circles is a brilliantly simple concept and perfect for someone like me (I’ll explain why in a second). If you don’t know, circles are Google+’s way of filtering what you read in your stream and, maybe more importantly, what people read from you. When you “follow” someone on Google+, you can assign them to one or more of your circles. Then you can either read everything or filter by your circles. Conversely, you can set your posts so that anyone can read them or assign them so that only select circles can (provided they’re following you, of course.)

This is why I’m loving the circles concept: currently, my two social media platforms of choice are Twitter and facebook. My “socializing” on those platforms is very stratified: facebook is for friends and family; Twitter is for professional engagement (not that I’m always entirely professional…). I have ~200 friends on facebook and ~370 followers on Twitter, not massive numbers, for sure, but ok. I would guess the overlap between those two groups is <10, and likely less than that if I looked at truly active accounts.

With Google+ and circles, I will be able to bring together my facebook crowd and my Twitter crowd into one platform without fear of overwhelming/annoying one side with too much Phillies chatter and the other side with too many posts about continuing medical education. I find this possibility very appealing, but it also makes me a little nervous thinking about meshing these two sides together.

For instance, I plan to post a link to this blog on Google+ and make it “public”. It’s very likely that most of my facebook friends now following me on Google+ have no clue that I write a blog and this is their first exposure to it (side note: Hi guys! This is my blog. I write mostly about stuff related to CME, which you will probably find as interesting as my wife does, which is not at all. But feel free to read and ask questions if you want. No hard feelings if you don’t.) What will they think?

I feel a little like George Costanza with my two worlds about to collide, but I think that’s a good thing. I look forward tosee ing what happens…

You can find my Google+ profile at gplus.to/DerekWarnick

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2 responses to “An Extremely Premature Review of Google+

  1. Thank you Derek for the post. I have a website that sell’s Peaches uniforms and medical scrubs. I have tried to keep my advertising budget down so that I could pass the savings down to my customers. I do this by using social networks. I didn’t know about Google+ until now. This sounds like a great thing and I will be signing up right now.

  2. Pingback: Why Should I Use Social Media? | Confessions of a Medical Educator

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