So you’ve been invited to use Google+.
You want to.
But you just aren’t sure you want to add something else to your ever growing plate of places to keep up with.
I mean, aren’t you already on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Plaxo, and your blog?!
And yet you find yourself drawn to try
I’ve found some great tutorials to help you maneuver your way through Google+. But as is typical of Google, you are going to find that it’s pretty simply laid out. There are just a few little spots that may cause you to scratch your head for a minute.
Also, if you’ll notice in your URL line, your Google+ address is a long string of numbers. If you want a vanity URL, you can go here: http://gplus.to and create your vanity URL to help others find you more quickly. For example: mine is http://gplus.to/maryjohess.
If you’re like me, you’ve been taking these last couple of months to just figure out whether you like Google+ or not. In the mean time, I’m enjoying reading the reviews, the tips and tricks and having some interaction with others on the site. I hope you are too!
Do you have any questions or thoughts that you want to share about your experience thus far with Google+? Have you used it yet for your business or church? Leave a comment and let’s chat about it!
Those are the two questions I keep asking myself since joining the Google+ world. Do I like you, Google+ or do I not?
And I still can’t answer that.
But I can share with you what I do like and what I don’t like, so far, with this new deal.
What I love about Google+
1. Circles – Oh how I love the circle! This is the one area that I most dislike about Facebook – the inability to pick and choose who can see what status update. Because let’s be honest, all 722 of my friends on Facebook aren’t my close friends. (Yes, I know that is a shocker. ;0) ) So it’s nice to be able to send out a thought, post, status update just to the people I want to see it at any given time. God bless the circle. Amen.
2. Instant upload – I also appreciate that any photo I take on my phone is instantly uploaded to a private album in the cloud for me to have access to without having to email, text or transfer via usb cable from my phone to my computer. Easy peasy. Then, if I so choose, I can share the photo with the public, a circle, a person, or just little ol’ me.
3. Everything in one place – (yeah, I made that category up) I think the biggest plus I’ve found so far is that everything I need is in one place. I don’t have to login to 5 different sites. Notifications are sent to my phone via email, text or push. I don’t think Twitter is going away any time soon, so the only thing I wish I could do is tweet and have it show up as a Google+ status or post on Google+ and have it show up as a tweet. Maybe with time. . . . .
What I don’t love about Google+
1. Posting – The only drawback to posting is that you don’t post on someone’s wall directly. That’s just a personal frustration of mine, most likely because of my brainwashing from Facebook. You have to get used to just posting from a central place (your “Stream”) and then choosing who sees that post – whether it be an individual, circle or the entire public.
2. Sparks – I’m not a big fan of this yet. Maybe I need to give it a bit more time, but as of this moment, I’m not liking it. It’s designed to give you quick bits of information (sorta like Twitter) and then you can in turn share it with a circle, the public or an individual. I’m trying it out a bit longer before making a final judgment. I’ll keep you posted.
3. Lack of friends – Because it’s not fully rolled out yet (they’re sending out invites in waves), I don’t have that many friends on Google+. So it’s hard to really use it to its full potential when there is little interaction. So again, I’ll have to re-evaluate this as the momentum grows and more people join and start using it.
Here’s what others are saying about Google+ as well:
So tell me, have you tried Google+ yet?
If so, what are your likes, dislikes?
If you’re like me, you’re probably “social media’d” out. (Yes, I just made that word up. You’re welcome.) Do we have to have one more place to keep up with? Is it necessary to add yet another site to our ever growing list of places we log in to every day, just to keep up with everyone?
Well, apparently Google thinks so. So on June 28, 2011, they posted about their new site, Google+, that, in their words, would
bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project.
There are several key features to Google+ that Google hopes to use to set them apart from other social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.
1. Circles – Everyone has a differing opinion of what constitutes a “friend” online. So Google has created the circle concept. You create circles of friends, acquaintances, work associates, high school friends, family, etc. If a circle can be named, it can be created. This allows you to be selective in who sees what status you post. If you want to talk just to family, select that circle and post a status update.
Another aspect of the circle concept is that you can add people to your circle, but they aren’t obligated to add you to their circle. So there isn’t a need to “friend” someone if you really don’t want to. The beauty of that? No one is the wiser for it, but you.
2. Sparks – This feature in Google+ allows you to select from a variety of interests you may have and follow information on that particular interest from different places on the web. According to Google,
Sparks delivers a feed of highly contagious content from across the Internet. On any topic you want, in over 40 languages. Simply add your interests, and you’ll always have something to watch, read and share—with just the right circle of friends.
3. Hangouts – If you would like to video chat with a few friends, then hangouts is the place for you! Google+ allows you to create hangouts to chat and catch up.
4. Mobile App – Google+’s mobile app is clean, simple and streamlined. They have 3 main features to allow your mobile experience to be as engaging as using your pc. The three main features are +Location, +Instant Upload and +Huddle. You can attach your location to any of your posts (if you want), have all of your photos upload instantly to the cloud (a private album, of course) and huddle online with a few friends for a right-this-second group chat.
It’s still too early to tell how successful Google+ will be, but one thing is for sure, the masses will let them know soon enough whether Google+ will be a keeper or not.
THE REACH OF SOCIAL MEDIA… is a beautiful family of souls that God has placed at our fingertips. Could it be a legitimate new mission field? Even comparable with Africa or the homeless section of your city?
The digital landscape, like the original great commission platform, is based on simple communication through live human interaction. Yet it is so different now because that live interaction can be exponentially carried out without limit to physical location. So the potential for teaching, mentoring, praying for and reaching out to encourage people in the Lord is virtually unlimited. By leveraging technology one person can establish and maintain real, interactive relationships with hundreds, even thousands of people. It’s certainly no secret, but actually applying it may require a shift in our “work of the Lord” paradigm.
What comes to mind when you think of the mission field – hunger, poverty maybe? It’s probably not your long list of twitter friends or app loaded touch screen device. Agreed… social media isn’t quite ready to feed people physically (though it can help expedite that); but through it we are absolutely capable of doing what Jesus said and that is to disciple, teach and preach the good news to nations and people. We are also commanded to love our neighbor. Guess what? Our Twitter friends whether we know them or not are our neighbors. And ultimately if we reconsider the spiritual hunger of everyday people: depression, troubled marriages, bible illiteracy, Godless parenting, and the generations ahead who already buckle under the influence of the enemy, then social media begins looking more and more like a mission field? Would you agree?
Okay, there is no way to replace a hug. But at the end of the day it’s the communication of God’s inspired word (not a hug) that captures a heart. We’ve never seen God but by Spirit inspired communication we fell in love with Him. Social media is communication. And communication that glorifies God and desires to expand the kingdom has the same Holy Spirit power. So by leveraging social media we are currently able to interact and mentor folks from different walks of life in different parts of the world. Frankly, I’m blown away by the power of His Spirit to work just as efficiently through Blogging / Twitter and Skype, etc. (and other forms of messaging), as it does in person sitting down over coffee and a bible. We can literally reach into any life anywhere and interact.
Again, the power of this technological expression is no secret but it’s in the application of that power that untapped life transforming potential exists. What I see is a true mission field like another Africa or homeless outreach in a blighted area, except the location is now a collection of souls that God brings to our fingertips for live interaction. It is a surrendered outreach that only seeks to uncover the need and fill it – virtually any place on earth. What I’m suggesting is not to rehash what we already know, but to actually employ that idea by inspiring believers, writers, intercessors, teachers and encouragers who will proactively seek out relationships on line and ask what the needs are and fill them to the Glory of God. By now you know where I stand. How do you see it?
Do you consider social media to be a legitimate new mission field?
Would you ever consider participating in this type of mission work?