Google+ (Google's Social Network)

Fri 15 July 2011 | tags: facebook, google+, googleplus, invites, social network, -- (permalink)

By now you should have heard about Google+. You may have some idea of what it is, or you may have none, so hopefully I can answer some of your questions and help you get started.

Firstly, Google+ is Google's latest entry into social networking. Already it looks much better than Buzz or Wave. What I like about it already is that the interface is clean and simple, and most importantly it is very easy to control your privacy settings. Now Facebook does have a similar feature, but it is extremely difficult to use.

Circles. You simple assign your "friends" to different circles, they can be in more than one. Then, you can share a post/photo/video etc with different circles, individual people, or the public. (There is also an extended circles which I believe shares it with people in your circles, and people in their circles). Want to let the world know about your new baby, simply post it public! (Like twitter). Want to post how you are having a dodgy day but only want your friends to know, and not your boss, just post it to your friends circle and make sure you boss is in your work circle. Want to share some good news with family and few close friends, post it to your family circle and then add the extra friends in as well!
Circles make it very simple to control who see's what on your Google+ profile. Given the security scares of facebook stalkers and the like, it's good to know you have total control over who see's what.

Currently there are no Google+ games or apps. However for me that's a bonus. I'm sick of all these status updates of "I just completed level 235 of bubble popping game...." and lots of other meaningless things like that. I don't mind people playing games, but I don't want to hear about it! What Google+ offers you out of the box though, is an amazing tool for social network communications that will allow you to easily keep in contact with people from all areas of your life, without getting cluttered down in the mechanisms of the communications. Huddles allow you to create a group of people for discussing something, like a group assignment, complete with group video chat (which arrived before Facebook announce the Skype Video partnership).

I'm hoping that you have read this far and are at least interested in trying Google+. For many people, until all your friends are there, you aren't going to move. In fact, unless you are sick of the bloat of facebook, you probably have very little incentive to move unless you have privacy concerns with facebook. However I urge to to consider this, someone has to take the first steps so that others will follow. And if you need a good reason to take those first steps, I believe the privacy issues of facebook should be enough for anyone to think twice about facebook. And, if Google+ does flop, or you want to run away from it, all the stuff you put on it is yours, there is a nice easy way to download all your photos and other things on Google+ so you aren't locked in!

Now here is the hard part, Google+ is still currently invite only as it's still in it's "trial" stages while they work out bugs. So below is a form that you can put your name and email address in, and a short note if you desire, and I'll invite you to Google+. Due to the demand for invites, there are 2 things we do to try and get you in. First we send you an invite, then we share a post with you. You'll get 2 emails, try the invite one first, which should have a red button to "Learn more about Google+" which will hopefully take you to the signin page to create your profile. If that fails, the second email will have a link to "View or Comment on Blah Blahs Post". This link will also hopefully take you to a page where you can fill out your public profile and then sign in to Google+.
Both methods work at different times, so if it doesn't work for you immediately, please wait an hour and try again.

I promise to not do anything with your email address other than invite you to Google+. Please be patient as I need to manually invite each person unless I can work out some way to automate this. I am happy to invite people I don't know, however please don't be offended if you don't end up in my circles.

(Form removed as invites no longer needed)

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