I've been using Google Plus for over a week now, and so far I like it. I have a number of friends that immediately converted over, so, to me, it's a new venue without as many privacy issues. I'm not a huge fan of Facebook's privacy (or lack thereof) practices, especially when they are scanning wall posts for words so they can target their marketing specifically to topics you may be discussing. It will be interesting to see if Facebook goes the way of MySpace or continues on as a market leader.
Ouida, Christine, and Jennifer,
I have been using G+ for a few weeks now. I really like it a lot. However, I do have some observations and advice for newbies. I want you to learn from my mistakes. One thing I did wrong was "circle" and accept "circles" with wild abandon the first week. Yes. I got a whole lot of people to circle me too. However, I am spending a whole lot of time now either deleting people or moving them to other circles.
Another thing I learned is to be very cognizant of the pros and cons of Google extensions. G+ right now is really full of techie marketers trying to hawk their own inventions, add-ons, and extentions. I found one that seemed too good to be true. It bunched all your G+, FB, and Twitter posts into one stream on all 3 venues. The first day, I was in heaven. It was great. The next morning I logged into G+ and started getting all kinds of "UPGRADE" and "DONATE" pop ups. I removed the extention pronto!
So far, the tone of G+ seems different. There is a lot of content (if you select the right people to be in your circles). I am using all the various social media venues in different ways. I have no ax to grind with any of them. I love FB. I love Twitter. Now, I love G+. Since I am artist (who teaches), most of my online stuff is driven by my art career. However, this is one reason I really like G+. I can follow all my art people and have another circle for my educator friends. I can even pick and choose who to stream on any given hour. I really like that.
I want to hear more! Keep me posted and don't forget to add me to one of your "educator" circles (+Sheree Rensel)
I created a Spark for Google Chrome Books since one of my district is concidering using them. I like that functionality.
I haven't participated in a hangout yet, but like the potential to do so. My main social network is Plurk where I am connected with a global group of educational technology folks.
To be honest, I spend too much time on social network sites as it is. I don't see all of my Facebook friends switching over to G+, and adding yet another place to visit and spend time seems a bit daunting right now. So for the moment, I'll read what everybody has to share, with the pros and cons, and will eventually come to some kind of decision about G+. Maybe I could start by just using G+ with one select group of people... like my research assistants, my students, etc. I don't know. I DO know, however, that I need to find ways to be more effecient with my time. For example, I should be getting some work done right now.... instead... I'm here posting on Thinkfinity! LOL
Erica - that's exactly how I feel! I suspect that G+ will catch on, or that it will at least inform the next steps in social networking, but I'm sooo curious to see whether there is a Facebook-to-Google exodus, and what makes it cross that tipping point. Like you, I'm watching for now, wondering how to balance multiple social networking sites, and reading reviews with interest!
I have a totally different mind set. I don't see G+ and FB as opponents that will fight to the death. I don't see any kind of "exodus" that matters to me. I see each venue as offering their wares. We give and take what is available. Comparing them all or pitting one against the other is not my interest at all. I use them for different purposes. To me, this is an "apples and oranges" type of issue. I want them ALL.
If it's not one or the other, then I see it as an addition.... on top of what I'm already doing. Then when I think of it this way, I think of one more site that is taking up time to visit, read, post, etc.... Then I wonder how I'm going to manage it all when I need to cut back on my online time rather than add to it... hmm.... Need to think about this some more.... I could use them for totally different purposes too, but trying to figure out the different purposes for each is still not clear to me. I guess the first thing that comes to mind is that for me, FB is more of a social site... for non-academic.. non-work related discussions. I really don't like getting into deep academic discussions, reflections, etc. on Facebook, My Facebook site if more for friends, family, saving dogs, French Ring training, etc. So if I wanted a social network site that I can use with my students, academic colleagues, etc, I could go to a space like G+, assuming these other people are there and want to interact on G+... I also don't use FB with my online courses that I'm creating. I could see where G+ might have a role in that context too...
I feel the same way as I did back in July. I use both for what they are and what they do. However, I find myself using Facebook much more. I like the interface better. I like my profile page and the newsfeed. It makes more sense to me. I still go to G+ and post things, but my main social networking forum is still Facebook.