The first thing I noticed about Google+ when I received an invite and checked it out: no Farmville, Mob Wars, or other games filling people’s feeds!
The second thing I noticed: “Aside from no Farmville, this is almost exactly like Facebook.”
The third thing I noticed: I was wrong about Google+ being almost exactly like Facebook.
So What is it?
I’ve heard people describe Google+ like the marriage of Facebook and Twitter. (I’ve described it that way myself.) By that, I think people mean that Google+ functions similarly to Facebook in its layout, but the follow feature mimics Twitter’s ability to follow anybody without them following you back. There’s some accuracy in the “Google+ is like Facebook meets Twitter,” statement, but there’s still something different about it after using it for awhile.
How I Use Social Networks
Unless somebody is an “SEO evangelist who can show YOU how to maximize your online presence for BIG Buck$!” I’ll eventually follow people back on Twitter.
If I don’t know you and you try following me on Facebook, I don’t follow back. (More on why in the next section.)
With Google+, I find myself following more acquaintances and strangers, but I don’t feel as compelled to follow everybody back, like I typically do with Twitter.
Not All Social Networks are the Same
Everybody uses social networks differently. The way I use something is probably not exactly how and why you use it…and vice-versa.
I have friends who can’t understand why I’m on Twitter because they hate it.Even after explaining that I’ve set Twitter up to feed me news and information about the things I like, it doesn’t change their minds. Other people I know have long conversations on Twitter; it’s what they love about it. Since I disconnect from things when I’m writing and working, I don’t really chat with people on Twitter, because it’s all so short and immediate. But I’d never tell somebody to use Twitter as I use it, because we all use things (or don’t use them), based on personal preferences.
Facebook is a place where I communicate with people I actually know. I have a Facebook page for the Juggling Writer, but it’s never really worked well for me. Just because it hasn’t worked for me, though, doesn’t mean I’d never tell others to avoid Facebook pages. A photographer friend’s business really took off because of her Facebook page. Other photographers are doing well with Google+.
I’ve never understood people’s need to take sides with technology. “Mac beats PCs!” “Android phones are better than iPhones!” “Twitter vs. Facebook.”
I’m also not a fan of those who tell others how to use a particular technology. I think it’s important for people to be curious, check things out, and decide what’s right for them. So far, for writing and other things I do, I can see a day when Google+ is my social network of choice.
That may not be the case for others.
Google+ for Writers
Naturally, I’ve thought about how Google+ can be used for writers. I’ve only just begun tinkering with its features and thinking about how I can use them, but I think it’s a pretty nifty social network. I’d write about Google+ for writers right now, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.
Right now, I’m going to disconnect from everything and see the last Harry Potter movie with my wife…
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Oh! You can find me on Google+ here.