Twitter has been all atwitter the last couple weeks with the rollout of Google’s social network Google+. It’s kind of a soft opening with Google only allowing so many people in at a time as they work out bugs and build the network. I was able to get in via an invite from Janice Person. She is one of earliest people I found on twitter and has a blog of her own called ag a colorful adventure. I’ve been able to invite several people myself as well, but the window for invitations seems to open and close randomly. I’m sure pretty soon it will open up for full use.
If there’s one pet peeve with the network so far, it’s that I and some people I’ve asked haven’t found a way to have our blog posts sent to Google+ automatically after they are published. I’m sure this will come along in the future. So far the best part for me is the ability to put people in circles. Facebook has groups, which are basically the same thing, but I never use them. Google makes it so easy. When you connect with a new person you can put them in a circle(s) in a couple of seconds. You can create circles for whatever you want. When you post you can share it with everyone you’re connected with or only certain circles. It’s a really nice feature. You even have the option of preventing others from sharing something you’ve posted. I haven’t found a reason not to allow sharing. Isn’t that why we’re all social networking anyway?
Another great thing I haven’t really messed with yet is Google Analytics. With the advent of the +1 button (think of it as a Facebook like) Analytics will now start tracking whenever you have a post or comment that gets a +1. I’m not an internet statistic expert by any means, but it will be interesting to see what it is you’re saying that people are responding to.
The main thing I’m doing right now is figuring out how I want to use this new network. For the most part my twitter account and Facebook fan page are used in combination with this blog, and I think I’m going to continue that trend with Google+. Several people in my circles have commented that Google+ is highly populated with tech people who just want to play with this new toy, and a whole bunch of us agnerds. The vast majority of my Facebook friends are people I went to high school with, or have at least met in “real life.” Since I usually skip over most people’s opinions and rants about politics and other issues on Facebook, I don’t stream my blog posts automatically onto my personal page. I do, however, have quite a few of those friends that “like” my The Farmer’s Life fan page. So the ones that are interested in what I have to say about agriculture are getting that information.
That being said, the longer I’m on twitter where I do most of my social networking I’m starting to have some of my closer tweeps find their way to my personal page. So there is a bit of overlap between all the networks. If Google kills Facebook then all those people I’ve known for most of my life will probably end up there, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. + is really nice, but a lot of people don’t know about it yet.