My review of Google+

Tabitha Chapman - Google+Recently I got my invite to Google+ and have spent the last few days observing the flow of data and how people are using it so far. One thing I have noticed, at least within my set of circles and list, is that people tend to be doing a lot more data curation and sharing on Google+ and a lot less “stati” updating. I guess they are leaving that job to the folks at twitter.

Regardless, one of the things I find appealing is the clean-ness of the profile page. You can see my profile page in the image here. It’s got a lot of white space and features the information that I want to share with people. It interacts with my picasa photo albums, which I had used pretty much once  or twice in the past to transfer photos from one account to another. The nice thing about picasa is that there are plenty of tools that allow for you to sync your photos from your computer to online, and the picasa desktop application itself is easy to use and has a wickedly awesome search tool.

One of their cool features, Sparks, is actually something I use regularly. It helps me to be able to keep an eye on specific content as it comes in. I can pick search phrases and keep tabs on articles that are posted. This is especially useful for blogging or content curating, as you can get the scoop on the latest articles as they come out instead of reading them on the fiftieth blog post that’s all quoting the same or similar source. One downside to it, though, is that I don’t see if it is pulling in stuff from my google reader links as well. I think that would be an ideal way to make sure that my specific sources were also being used.

Speaking of downsides, the big thing that I see is a downside at the moment is that the amount of people who I can interact with at first is fairly limited and it seems somewhat head-spinning to figure out how to increase your “reach”, if you will, into other circles. Perhaps some sort of “recommend” feature in the least would help with that as well as a “you are most like” feature… some tool to get us looking at all the profiles to expand our influence.

Of course, being a geek myself, I’m all for knowing when things are updated and what was changed, so I’d love it if there was a “change log” page that was easy and intuitive so I can go and play with all the new features as they get pushed.

My circles don’t seem to stick, though.  I swear I had put at least one person in one of my circles and now it’s saying zero people are in there. I keep seeing the same people in my list of people to find and invite, even after I add them to my circles. So, something needs to be fixed for that.

Oh and let me just say, I LOVE the plus 1 feature. I love it more than all the tweets and Facebook likes out there. I’d like to see a +1 button, similar to feedly’s icon, that was just on every page so that I could +1 any content, anywhere.

All in all, my experience with Google+ has been good. I haven’t fully been able to explore because the right kind of people who I would like to hang out with just doesn’t have a profile yet, but once they do, I am pretty sure there is lots of hanging out that we can do. Thank you, Google, for bringing yet another amazing feature into town. Perhaps you will steal my heart from Facebook, but only once my family all migrates over as well.

To view my profile on Google+, click here https://plus.google.com/118282191528833449725/