Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Google+ Plan

As much as I try to avoid getting all het-up over brands, I have to admit that I'm a bit of a Google fanboy. O.k, so they appear to be trying to take over the world, which in some people's eyes makes them about as bad as Microsoft, Apple, McDonalds and SuperDry. The biggest difference, in my eyes, is that they're doing it without making me pay anything.

Their latest offering is Google+, a social/networking effort that's trying to add itself to that list currently populated by the likes of MySpace and Bebo, and arguably headed by Facebook, with Twitter setting up a bit of an orthogonal branch to the genre. I'm giving it a try for two reasons:
  1. It's a new, free toy and as such must be played with.
  2. I am, as previously stated, a Google fanboy.
But as a social networking platform it won't work unless there's someone to be social or to network with. At the same time, many people don't want to join unless they can be assured it works and is better than what they use at the moment. Bit of a catch-22, and it's where geeks like me and thee come in.

So here's my Google+ plan:
  • I want to find people who are mutually interested in linking up on Google+ for whatever reason to expand my contact base. I'm happy for this to be almost indiscriminate, though it would probably help for networking purposes if we had something in common. Take a look at my Google+ profile and see if there are any mutual interests going on.
  • After a few weeks (or however long it takes to get a decent number of people in my circles and me in theirs) I'll make a series of posts designed to fish out people with different interests or backgrounds and sort people into dedicated groups for each of these.
  • Hope that Google+ doesn't go the way of Wave and Buzz*, and that they continue to develop it and introduce the features that I'm desperate for.

What am I expecting?

My thoughts at the moment are that Google+ might become that mid-point between Twitter and Facebook; a happy medium between the useful but restricted quickfire interactions of Twitter, and the inane FarmVille-in-your-face-ing of Facebook. It appears to be a bit better set up with regards to networking and collaboration on a professional level, with Circles doing what Twitter's Lists should do but don't whilst being more fluid than Facebook's Groups and Pages.

Add me!

The only way Google+ can be useful is if there are people to interact with, so get the ball rolling and sign up. At the moment you'll need an invite, so feel free to send me a private message somewhere with your email address and I'll send you one, or just ask your Twitter and/or Facebook contacts- someone will have one, I'm sure.

And then take a look at my profile:

Please consider adding me to your personal circles if you've got any of the following in common with me:
  • Location: You're in or around Kettering in Northamptonshire, England
  • Professional: You're a teacher at any level with a particular interest in maths and/or science (I'm a secondary maths teacher)
  • Personal: You like/ are interested in reading, science fiction, mathematics, science, astronomy, playing guitar, classic rock music, Doctor Who, the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy, real ale, religion (I'm an atheist), blogging, technology, Queen (as in the band, not the monarch), pseudoscience (like homeopathy etc. And I mean laughing about/ debunking rather than practicing), general geekery, errrr, lots of other stuff (check out the tags in the bar on the right-hand side of this blog)

* Buzz is now entirely unnecessary in the shadow of +. I hope they phase it out or integrate it properly with +. Come to think of it, Wave could possibly be more useful as a collaborative tool within +, but that's just thinking out loud.