Sunday, May 6, 2012

Technology Corner 2

This post is for my colleagues who are about to student teach, intern, or actually procure a job in their respective fields. Or just anyone who is interested in protecting their reputation having freedom to share their mind with whatever groups they associate a particular thought with. The answer is simple:

Use Google+, not Facebook or Twitter. 

There is a time and place for Facebook as there are definitely far more users on Facebook and the service runs like a well-oiled machine (except for all of the recent changes that make many users uncomfortable--ex: "timeline"). Here is the problem with Facebook, my friends. Everyone sees everything you do! And frankly, we usually don't care about most of what our friends have to post unless it pertains to us or is particularly hilarious. Another problem I have with Facebook of late is that the "home" page that used to be full of witty status updates is now full of "funny" pictures, cat memes, petty complaints, party pictures, etc.

Here is what I love about Google+ and why I think it is ideal for the upcoming wave of professionals:

  1. Circles on Google+ allow you to choose who sees which of your posts. For example, I have circles such as "Family", "Public", "Music Therapy", "KU Friends", etc. You can even search for people/companies associated with a certain topic to add more to your circles and become part of a larger network. This is a key to cleaning up your social networking so you can have a separate professional and personal life, which has been difficult in the past since so many businesses have Facebook pages or easy search access. 
  2. Google+ is synced with all other Google products--all of which are free. My Google+ notifications pop up while I am checking my calendar or Gmail and I can chat on any of these services with my friends in my circles, my Picasa pictures show up in Google+ (which are automatically uploaded from my Android device) and I can choose to share them or not, my profile is the same on all of my Google services, etc. There is something to be said about the simplicity and organization of the entire Google system and if you already use one of their services, you may as well use them all. 
  3. Google+ is a wonderful, free alternative to many services-- all in one place
    • Hangout is basically Skype without something you have to download onto your computer or log into seperately. The other day, my roommate started a Google+ Hangout with me and I was able to be present at a meeting that I would not have been able to be present at otherwise. You can also hangout with entire circles. 
    • Google Chat is the same as any other chat service but you can also chat/text to phones, video chat in the same space, and use the service like a free phone (hands free). 
    • You can #hashtag just like Twitter and see what things are trending. 
    • You can play a ton of games such as Angry Birds--much like Facebook offers-- without sketchy notifications to your friends.
  4. My only complaint, literally, is the weird white space on the side (which Google will probably fix soon and is probably space for Google Chat). Another complaint I hear from friends is that their friends are not on Google+. Listen, friends, you may not have a ton of friends on Google+ yet, but once you do it is a glorious thing. Tell all your friends or share this post! 


Comments Welcome!