So remember a few years ago when Myspace was the IT thing and EVERYONE was on it… then, practically overnight Myspace was a waste of space and Facebook was EVERYTHING to EVERYONE?
Well, unfortunately, I think the same is about to happen to FB with Google+ being the next BIG thing.
Let’s face it, FB is no longer user and blogger friendly…. it’s all about the money now. Seriously, they want me to pay $5 on my personal page so that all my “friends” see my latest post…. really?! And let's not discuss what they want me to pay them so my "followers" can see posts- that they signed up to see anyway! And, why can’t I just read my newsfeed in chronological order? How do they know what I want to see. It took me over a week to find out a friend was pregnant because the almighty FB gods didn’t think it was Top News. Anyway, I’m not going to rant away I’m just going to start putting more energy into building Google+.
Why am I jumping on the Google+ bandwagon?Well, my husband told me over a year ago that I needed to because I wasn’t going to like the changes that were coming with FB- and (she says sheepishly) he was right.
I had him explain to me why he believes Google+ is going to be the next BIG thing and he really made a lot of sense:
2. Circles on Google+Circles allow you to not need separate accounts for different blogs or businesses. When someone adds you to their “Circles” if you add them back to one of your Circles you can control what they see. So, for example, on FB I have my personal profile ‘Melissa Llado’ and my business profile ‘Melissa Lea’ and then my FB page ‘Serendipity and Spice’. The object was to keep business and personal separate- but signing in and out to do different things is a pain in the ________! So, on Google+ I have one account. With that account I can add people to different circles, for example, any fellow bloggers or followers who puts me in a circle I then put them in my Serendipity and Spice circle. Once they are in my Serendipity and Spice circle I can then write an update just for them…. no signing in and out…. no jumping to another page. I simply write my status and click ‘Serendipity and Spice’- then that status shows up for my readers but not for my friends or family...I don't always want to bombard them with my blog stuff and I don't want to bombard my readers with all my personal stuff- ya know. I can then write another status and click ‘Family’ and only that status will show up for my family…. and so on. EASY PEASY!!!
3. Google+ interface is SIMPLEEverything is shown in chronological order….yeah—no having to constantly switch back to “most recent”. Google+ doesn’t try to decide what is a “top story”. You can decide how much of each circle is shared in your home screen (if you want friends, family, blogs, etc all mixed or visit each circle separately). It’s oh so simple to have conversations with others. I can easily jump from family to friends to ‘Serendipity and Spice’. I feel like I get to connect with my readers more because of the simple interface and ease of commenting and 1+ing! Also, if you have that annoying friend who always posts craziness (we all have one)- you can very easily ‘mute’ them!
4. What is Google+ 1+WHAT?! Yeah, it took me awhile to figure this one out…. so the 1+ is basically the equivalent to a FB Like…. BUT, so much more! Let’s say someone does a 1+ on a post you share- it increases your SEO! Yes, by essentially “liking” stuff on Google+ you are helping others build their dream! AND, let’s say you decide to 1+ my post about Legal Stuff for Bloggers not only do you put your stamp of approval on it (Like it), you boost the SEO for that post for me, AND you save it so you can easily access it later! Everything that you 1+ can easily be retrieved similar to Pinterest.
5. Google+ CommunitiesThese are great because you can start one whenever and invite others to join in on a conversation. Just recently I was invited by Miss Information to a community on Organization where a group of bloggers got to get together and discuss organization tips for the coming year... that's where we came up with last week's amazing $150 Container Store Giveaway- yep, we're behind the scenes making fun stuff like that happen for you guys. It’s a fantastic resource to get a group of people together in cyberspace to have a little brainstorming session.
6. Google+ HangoutsAlthough I haven’t used this feature yet I’m very intrigued. This is something that would be used in lieu of a full fledge Google+ Community. Let’s say I wanted to do a New Blogger Question & Answer session—well this would be the perfect platform! It's similar to Skype but you can do a video chat with a group- for free. So it's perfect for non-bloggers—I wish I had known about this for the Little Man's first birthday, we could have had a Hangout with the grandparents for his first cake... they just had to wait till the weekend for take 2.
7. Sharing Google+ CirclesOkay, so why share circles and who do you share circles with? Well, think of it as a LARGE blog hop that takes about 2 seconds! I could share my “Serendipity and Spice” circle with my “Serendipity and Spice” circle- thus, giving everyone in my circle the opportunity to see who all I follow and they could follow too. Or let’s say my Aunt Dale decides to join Google+, instead of her having to track down and find all of my family I could just share my “Family” circle with her and she’ll have them all in her circles in just a click.
Also, I’m changing Like Me on Facebook Fridays to Google+ Me Fridays. Several bloggers have been penalized lately by having FB parties and FB is freezing their accounts and removing any “likes” obtained from parties. You know how rumors on the blog-o-sphere can get out of hand—but I’d rather not risk it for you guys.
Join me every Friday at 8:30am to link up your Google+ and grow your circles!I hope you enjoyed learning more about Google+! Make sure you check out my New Blogger Series for many more blogger tips and tricks to help make your blogging journey a success!
I hope you’ll grab a cup of coffee and visit awhile!