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Google Plus

Google + = Twitter Plus Facebook

Google + has been a bit of a roller coaster for me. At first the high of getting in, the rush of the potential, the excitement of circles and then the low when I realized my friends are still elsewhere. It's an unusual network where you can be followed without following - a la Twitter - but it also looks a heck of a lot like Facebook not only in design but in the fact that it houses all of your info - photos, videos, likes/pluses.

My biggest struggle thus far is who to follow. I've used a weird methodology to following people - if we're already friends on Facebook, it is a no-brainer, they are in a circle.  If I follow them on Twitter it's okay for me to follow on Google + probably. I feel a little awkward. I'm trying not to follow anyone I'm not already following on one of the other two networks quite yet....seems a bit intrusive and I just don't want to be that creepy person that evokes the reaction - who the heck is this? Although I'm sure it has already happened.

In terms of content shared, Google + also raised some questions. On Twitter we're sharing links, brief comments and the occasional Twitpic, but all and all it can be somewhat impersonal. And then there's Facebook which if I really break it down feels like my online diary of sorts - I'm sharing info on relationships, vacation photos, events I've attended, birthday wishes.

So where does Google + fit in? Is this my new diary or is this my new means of keeping up with interesting articles from strangers who share similar passions?  It seems like a mish mash of both - my worlds are colliding.

For now, I'm keeping my eye on Google + and going to continue to navigate, but I'm not quitting Facebook or Twitter yet. At least I know how to behave and what to expect on those platforms. And best of all, everyone is in their proper place.

Google +, One More Network to Manage?

Finally, Google has created a social network that people seem to like, or at least tech reporters seem to like. The rest of the world gets to have their say later this month. Why Google + may work:

It's clean, lean and seems to provide an easy solution for one of Facebook's downfalls - I don't want my mom/boss/potential future employer to see this post. Sure Facebook has created lists and groups as a work around to this problem, but after you reach the 200-plus friend mark, it almost seems easier to wipe the slate clean and start with a new social network placing friends where they belong from the get go.

It offers a quality video chat function. Facebook is set to announce one soon, but it puts them in a me-too bucket, a place Facebook seems to be often these days (see Foursquare/Places, Groupon/Deals).

Between the Circles and Sparks function, Google + seems to combine the best of both worlds - friends (Facebook) + interests (Twitter).

It already has brands itching to get on board. Among many other media outlets which have created profiles, Ford is one of the first brands to create a page. Google promises small business pages are in the works.

And finally, it's too important to not work.  With Bing in bed with Facebook, Google has to find its answer to social search. It tried Twitter, but recently ended that relationship for Google +.

We'll see what happens and if people are going to make the switch. In the mean time check out the demo: