Yes, I’m on Face Book. I’ve been on Face Book since 2006, when it was opened to anyone with a .edu email account. Why did I get on Face Book? Because some Indian guy on tech support asked me if I was on FaceBook, so we could chat. The big problem is he had one of those names that was like the “John Smith” of India and I was unwilling to loosen up my privacy rules so we continued our conversation the good old fashioned way, on the telephone.
Although I pushed a few of my friends and acquaintances to get on Face Book, by 2010, I’d lost interest. Sure, I still have a FB page, and sure, I still log on but I’m no longer the Face Book junkie I used to be. For one thing, I had to prioritize, and the payback for me to be on FaceBook wasn’t giving me the kind of return on my investment (of time). The other issues are the concepts of privacy and ownership, and feeling spammed. I don’t own any part of Face Book, and it’s free, so I have no contractual assurances about my content, any photos, etc. and I understand that. I have no big expectations since we aren’t partners and have never committed, in that “I pay you and you promise X for contractual services” kind of way.
My network notifications are so plentiful that it’s very easy to miss a posting, sometimes an interesting one. I find that in order to ‘catch up’ with certain people, I need to go to their individual pages and then read there, before leaving. Of course, there is the obvious fact that if something is THAT important and they need me to know about it, then they can send me a Text or Email. All these notifications from “liking” a business or group are getting annoying. Yes, I can turn them off, but then there are the notifications from friends. Face Book friends are not all my real friends, but the politics of Face Book tend to lead us to include more, rather than less, acquaintances. Some are real friends, some are virtual, some are people you’re glad you met, and some are FB Friends, in their own category.
So you can imagine my shock when I was offered a Google + Invite and I jumped on it. Why? Part of it is that it is in a Beta mode of sorts, and is by Invitation Only. So now I’ve become a part of that group who can give a Google + invite. For those of you who like to be First Movers, this can get you all geeky tingly. I also love evaluating software, and although I prefer to do it for money, the whole First Mover thing is kind of a kick. I do recognize that Google+ in the Social Media area is not a First Mover, but it is new on Google. I fell in love with Google in 2001, when I made them my home page. And yes, back then I got a lot of looks. Since Google was founded in 1998, I obviously took awhile to make them my “it” search service.
One thing for sure, I’m being a lot pickier about who I let into my Google Plus “Friends” Circle. One of my friends referred to G+ as “Facebook without your family.” Some day I may even engage the Chat mode, something I quickly turned off in FaceBook as long lost Primos kept wanting to text when I just wanted to check a message. FaceBook was turning me into the AntiSocial networker, in a manner of speaking.
One thing I like, and it’s because I am a news junkie, is that some media outlets that I like to read are on G+, so looking at the Stream is like having an extended Twitter feed. With Google Plus, there is more space than in a Tweet, which gives you a better idea as to whether you’d like to click through to read an article or not. I find that it is easier to add these organizations to your “news” circle, since it’s a simple drag and drop.
For me, the jury is out on Google Plus, but I do like it and for now, I probably spend more time on it than I do on Face Book. It will be interesting to see how I feel after the module for Businesses is launched, and how that enhances or detracts from the social network experience that I will experience.