I’ve been thinking about what to make of Google+. My initial thinking was that this might be a great opportunity to start over… When I first started using Facebook it was limited to people with a .edu email address. My students at Lehigh invited me, I signed up and we friended each other. I started using facebook as a professional resource right from the beginning. I think because of that way of thinking I naturally started to use Twitter the same way. It’s something I do because of what I do, it’s not something that I use personally.
I’d been toying with the possibility of creating a private twitter account and just using it for family and close friends. There are some things that I’d like to share, like what I’m doing on vacation that would be interesting to them, and who I trust not to use the information to break into our house… grin.
So Google+ comes along and it’s the opportunity I’ve been seeking. Except it’s more than that, and that’s what’s interesting to me.
The ability to have fine control over who sees a post is something that Twitter doesn’t really have unless you take an extra step of having multiple identities. And Facebook makes such fine control nearly impossible, and who knows when the rules for privacy will be silently changed again? Even just listing people as family may not be something they desire. (I can be an awkward relative, with all my religious stuff and all.)
But with Google+ I can create private groups that by default only I can see. People can’t see whom I’ve added to my circles. And I can get the best of both worlds – the ability to share with people I actually know, and the ability to share publicly with people who might be interested on my take about something because of my role as a blogger, Episcopal priest, Cathedral dean, technology enthusiast, etc.
Nice job on this Google. This might actually be useful in multiple ways, and simplify things enormously.
There’s one question though. I read online that Google is intending to make Google+ available for people using Google Apps. I have two accounts (actually three) but two that I use. This gmail account, which is my personal one, and the Cathedral google apps account which is my professional one. If one of us starts to use the professional account in Google+, what happens when you leave your employer and lose access to that account? Is it going to be possible to fold them into each other? Is that something you even want to do?
No idea what the answer to that question will be, but it does bear thinking about. Because I didn’t really plan ahead with Facebook its usefulness for me has suffered. I’d like to avoid having that happen with Google+.
Any of you seeing any other possible gotchas down the road?