I’ve been using Google+ (or G+ as the cool kids call it) for a couple of weeks now, and I’m loving it. I do hope it replaces Facebook as the go-to social media site. I love the options for limiting who sees what feeds. While I balked at the mandatory public profiles, I’ve come to understand the usefulness of that.

G+ offers many of the features that Facebook does, but with the ability to tailor things. You can separate friends into circles (categories). So I can post food pics only to my ‘foodie friends’ circle, business stuff only to ‘co-workers’, vacation pics to ‘friends’ and ‘co-workers’, and reunion info to ‘classmates’. I can post to one circle, several circles, or all circles. I can also make some posts public if I choose. That last option gives G+ the ability to function like Twitter. I can post my thoughts for the world to see (not limited to 140 characters, and I can include images or video or previews of links), and the world can choose to read them or ignore them. It might earn me followers or new friends or help old friends find me.

I can name circles whatever I like, and they won’t know. So I can create a “people I feel obligated to friend but don’t want them seeing my business” circle and only post a few public items to them so they feel included. I can follow people who don’t put me in their circles (like media figures), and strangers can add me their circles to view my public stream. But if I don’t want someone following me, I can block them. I can prevent posts made to limited members of my stream from being shared so that the private stuff stays private. So many possibilities!

Then there’s the combo of Gmail, G+, and Picasa (now Google Photos). With the G+ Android app, cell phone pics automatically get added to my Picasa account (in a private folder until I move them). It makes sharing pics easier and saves me time uploading them. It also means unlimited photo storage now. Yay!

If you need an invitation to G+, leave a comment and I’ll send you one.


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