So I’ve been trying Google+ ever since my son Matthew sent me the invitation July 8 and I’m ready to give a few thoughts about it on my blog.
1. The “circles” feature is much like “groups” in Facebook, but easier to use. The list of your circles (e. g. Family, Friends, Acquaintances, etc.) is always on the left, so filtering the “stream” is much easier. Creating circles is also much, much easier than creating groups in Facebook. Instead of pawing through each and every friend, you just drag and drop, or when someone adds you, you can put them in a circle with one click.
2. With the installation of StartGoogle+, a Google Chrome browser plug in specifically designed to help make the process of transitioning from Facebook to Google+ as smooth as possible, the new social network is is easy to use. You can also track Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ all at once with this plug in. The StartGoogle+ instructions also say that if you use it to log into Twitter and Facebook using the plugin, your Google+ posts will appear on the two others. I have not yet gotten that feature to work, but I’m sure that is operator error.
3. It can be useful for genealogy if you create a circle just for your genealogy buds, and post your genealogy queries to that circle only.
4. I am in love with the “Hangout” feature. I just had a really fun hangout with +Russ Worthington about Google+, the video features, EfM, printing genealogies, and more! I want to use that with my kids, siblings, cousins, etc!
5. Posting your pictures, especially your profile pictures, from Picasa on your desktop to Google+ is not as easy and intuitive as it should be. I expect they will tweak that in future.
6. Like Twitter, someone can follow you but you don’t have to follow them (see their posts) back. In Facebook, it must be mutual.
7. With all of that said, Google+ still does not feel quite so friendly as Facebook. The interface is clean and open, but not “cozy.” Once I get more used to it, perhaps that will change.
I shall keep experimenting with this new tool and put some observations on a later blog.