As I begin to settle into using Google+, I have started to reflect on the possibilities of it replacing my social networks that I currently have established. At first, I thought, how could this tool possibly replace my rich Twitter network? And how will I convince all my friends to leave Facebook and migrate all their data to a new social network? However, as I continue to use Google+, I can see how much richer this experience could be for me as an individual and professional. I've summed up my thoughts about replacement below.
Twitter: Currently, my Twitter network is almost all educators. It is my professional outlet and provides me daily opportunities for learning and discovery. Capped by 140 characters, I often find myself not fully expressing my views.
vs Google+: Google + allows me to have all the educators, plus a rich variety of other people that I am interested in. I am able to filter my steam by these groups, so I can read and comment on what I am in the mood for. Although, all these people can be viewed in one stream as well, I like being able to filter in order to get content that is most relevant to me at the moment. I find this prevents me from reading about biking news when I should be working. My stream is now much more diverse and in line with my other interests, I get content from all different outlets. Also, I don't have to stick to the 140 character bit, so my thoughts can be as wild and wordy as I want them to be.
Facebook: Besides the obvious privacy concerns, my Facebook page stream is mostly companies and websites of interest with a few friend and family updates sprinkled in. Since I have always been ubber sensitive of who I "friend," I find that Facebook doesn't really interest me much anymore. I am tired of hearing how great someone did in their last 5K or who is out having dinner. I prefer to have deeper conversations with people that are currently a part of my life. This might sound harsh, but is it really necessary for people I went to high school with and haven't spoke to in 11 years can find out what I ate for breakfast?
vs Google+: I already trust Google with my personal information, see Does Google live up to its philosophy of "Don't be Evil"? for more debate on this. So, the way I see it, I can simplify my life. Hooray! Google also allows me to easily take my data with me in case I decide to move to a different network or diversify my needs. My email, photos, documents, news reader and more are already within Google's cloud, so maybe this is just what I was looking for. As for my friends and family, I think that Google+ is an easy enough change and most importantly, I want to be able to share photos with family. I can do this using Picasa Web, even if they don't have a Google+ account.
Overall, I am pretty much ready to give up my other social networks for Google+. I hope that this platform continues to grow and attract users. Speaking of which, if you are interested in joining Google+, I'd be happy to send you an invite. Just email me with your Google account name and let me know that you are a Thinkfinity Community member.
Up next for the blog, Google+ in Education.