Circle Up! Google+You

Jibe Media

July 27, 2012

In today’s social space it is easy to be overwhelmed by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and what seems like endless more.  At times it can seem like more of a chore to keep all of your social profiles current, but one social media site that you shouldn’t overlook is Google+.

While Google+ is currently a hotbed for the tech savvy, early adopters, there is something to be said about a social network with more than 100 million members and counting.

There is no arguing that Google+ is a contender in the big leagues of social media, but what is it about Google+ that makes it so appealing?  My favorite part is the way it’s organized.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a big advocate for Twitter and a frequent poster on Facebook, but sometimes I become overwhelmed by the amount of information coming at me, and how much I don’t need to know.  The beauty of Google+ is that I have complete control over what I see and what I post.

This control is a result of the circle system that comes as a feature of Google+.  Circles are made up of the people you know, and perhaps people you don’t know—and it’s done in an extremely orderly fashion.  For example, say you make four groups: family/ friends, coworkers, clients, and industry leaders.  One day you want to shout out to followers that work within your same industry.  Since you’re speaking about your specific field, you also want your coworkers to see the post.  You then select the appropriate circles, “industry leaders” and “coworkers,” and post.  It’s that simple, and this way, your family, friends, and clients wouldn’t all be sent something that is completely irrelevant to them.  They’re happy, you’re happy.  It’s a win-win!

Another advantage to Google+ is its simplicity.  This visually appealing site has taken a minimalist approach and it displays things in such a way that even my mother can navigate her way around.  Even though the clean user interface makes things less cluttered and essentially less complicated, you’ll need to spend a little time peeking around as with anything untried.  However, once you get your bearings, you may find yourself adding yet another profile to your list of social sites.

Google+, of course, is quite the revolutionary when it comes to overall social and information integration.  I mean, would you expect anything less from Google?  Google+ boasts a newsfeed (Stream), a video chat service (Hangouts), Circles (a friend/ follower management service that we already discussed), a recommendation engine (Sparks), games, and photos.  Yet, one of the best features of Google+ is called “Search plus Your World” and the web essentially becomes your web.  What I’m trying to say here is that Google+ members have the upper hand.  Confused?  Let me break it down for you.

Let’s say you google “apple pie recipe.”  Not only will you get public results from across the web, but you will also pull in that delicious apple pie recipe and photo that your friend (who is also on Google+) posted a few months back.  Now this content has to be public or at least shared with you for you to have access, but can you imagine a search tailored specifically to you?  You’ll pull in search results from your friends, circles, and the web.  Amazing stuff right there—talk about integration, so see what all the fuss is about and circle up with Google+.