Call me a nerd, but I’ve liked Google PLus since it launched. The interface is clean and lovely, with plenty of white space. And I’m always a fan of the white space. But even more than the white space, here are some of my favorite things about it:

    1. Circles. They are much easier to manage than Twitter lists and more intuitive than Facebook lists. It’s easy to segment content into different types; I have one circle for people I know personally and several topic-related circles. It would be great for a family or other group, as you could easily set up a circle and include only those you wish. Much more elegant than either Facebook or Twitter.
    2. Hangouts. Probably one of the best features. It’s a great way to conduct a meeting, business or pleasure. I’ve had some good times hanging out with friends and with my kids. It also integrates with chat, which I use all the time.

 

Hung out with my oldest daughter the other day. Bad hair day for me. She mocked me for my bad hair.

Hung out with my oldest daughter the other day. Bad hair day for me. She mocked me for my bad hair.

 

    1. Communities. This feature is brand new and, I think, holds endless possibilities. As you can see from the screenshot, I’m involved with quite a few at this point and I can see that it can be a valuable source of information, guidance and, well, community, around a topic of common interest.

 

google-plus

I imagine there will soon be a community for just about anything.

 

    1. Instant Upload. If you enable instant upload, photos you snap on your phone (or iPad if you’re that dorky) are automatically uploaded to your Google Plus profile, but visible only to you unless and until you choose to share them. It’s easy to share them, keep them private or just delete the ones you don’t want. I like that I don’t have to think about it — my photos are automatically backed up and they live there until I throw them out.

 

Auto-upload — and can you believe it’s really that cold in International Falls?

 

    1. Photos. I love the photos interface. Similar to Facebook, you create albums and you can tag friends in your photos. You can view them full screen and the interface is much nicer than Facebook’s. And, like everything else on Google Plus, it’s dead simple to control who sees your photos. You just share with the circle(s) of your choice.

 

photos

Photos from our amazing night with Cardinal closer Jason Motte

 

If you’re interested in being found online, setting up your profile is a crucial step. Add links to your website or other online social sites, be sure to fill out the bio section, even if you don’t intend to be active on the platform.

The only real downside: right now, it’s still a bit of a geek party.

I’d love to see more people try it out. Here’s why I think you’ll like it more than you think you will:

  1. No drama. No Zuckerberg, no fake privacy posts or any other challenges that go with Facebook.
  2. It’s Google. For a long time, I’ve jokingly said that Google will one day take over the world. It’s integrated with Gmail, Gchat and Google Plus events integrate nicely if you use Google Calendar. If you don’t use Google Calendar, events are still cool, just like on Facebook.
  3. A spam-free zone. There are pages, but they can’t add you until you add them first. And there are no sponsored posts, no promoted posts, just folks posting.

Try it. I think it’s the future and I think you’ll like it. And circle me, ok?

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