(Google Plus that is)
If Linked In were a person, it would be a polite, older Canadian. “I’d like to add you to my professional network”, Linked In graciously states in an outgoing message from you to a contact, thereby giving the contact the option of declining.
There is no asking first on Google+ – you find people and add them to your profile / circles at will and without their consent. Perhaps consent is implied?
Therefore, in my opinion, if Google + were a person, it would be Linked In’s brash, distant relative – the sort of relative that barges into your life rather rudely. Shama Kobani in her text The Zen of Social Media Marketing talks about importing your email contacts and then you can “drag people to your circles to follow and share”. Drag is a great word for it. Drag them kicking and screaming perhaps into your Google+ world. Even Facebook gives one an option to accept or decline a friend request.
Nonetheless, I’ve set up a Google + profile. While I found setting it up relatively user-friendly, I was puzzled by the circles and putting people in the same. Do people know what circle I’ve put them in? What if they don’t like the circle I’ve ascribed them to? Oooh the pressure. I still haven’t quite figured out the privacy settings.
There are a lot of features on Google+ including hangouts where a group of people can all log in at the same time to participate in a chat or congregate together to watch something on Youtube – useful if you are in different parts of the world. Doing a hangout with friends and family in the same city, though, I wonder: whatever happened to going for coffee to catch up or attending a movie in person?
At the moment, I’m not certain I’ll continue my Google+ profile after the ADL310 Social Media and More course is over. It’s not feeling like “me” yet.