As one who is open about my addiction to technology and gadgets, I’ve talked about a section on my blog to feature techy things and gadgets that I discover and want to share with readers for a LONG time (probably since I launched this blog).
With all the rave about a new social platform, my the first post is dedicated to Google+ , currently in Beta and not yet open to the public.
Introduction to Google+
Yes, Google+ is a new Social Platform to learn or not. I first saw Google+ mentioned by Sarah Evans in my Facebook feed. Sarah, a local friend, PR expert and pioneer in the social media movement, featured on major news outlets such as CNN, FOX, and NBC to name a few.
I’d say Sarah is a local celebrity with Uber-influence in the Digital realm; hence, I’m all ears when she has something to share with regards to social media.
That said, Google+ peeked my curiosity when I saw her post mentioning this new platform. Thanks to both Sarah and Barbara Rozgoni, also a PR expert and influential social media consultant, I have an opportunity to experience Google+ during Beta.
I’ve since read a few mixed reviews but open to learning this new platform, so this post isn’t necessarily a review but an introduction to a new Social Platform for those who follow Live Healthier and Happier.
Beth Hanker, author of How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media gave a great summary in her post: Google +: The Trade Off Between Privacy Needs, Community, and Social Context. She made a great point by Geoff Livingston, about how nonprofits have little time and making the most impact with your social connection is key. (Highly recommend reading the article if you’re a nonprofit).
From a Ministry Perspective
As a Social Media Director/Manager, I am not certain that Google+ would be beneficial for our organization. I’m still searching for reviews that will hopefully open my eyes to seeing how it will enhance our outreach.
I won’t be quick to set this aside but I also won’t be recommending Google+ to those I report to-just yet. After all, it took a little while for us to get on board with Facebook and Twitter; and in digital age, both seems ancient now.
Google+ has some great features that tighten privacy by allowing users to create specific groups called “Circles.” You can then select which group (s) you want to see your status update.
This may work well for those who friend their employers or employees as there’s been a lot of discussions around whether or not to connect with those you work with on Facebook. With Google+, you can be connected and keep your interactions limited.
As for using it in a ministry environment, I can envision creating different ministry “Circles” and use it internally to update the 50+ ministries that our organization has; however, I have to keep in mind that not all of our volunteers leaders, and staff are using social media. This may not be an affective communication strategy.
Another feature users may find cool is “Hangout” which allows you to video chat with those who may also be online at the same time without going to SKYPE (another video chat service).
Hangout reminds me of Ovoo, a video chat network my kids use but I keep uninstalling it from their laptops because of all the junk that gets installed with Ovoo.
Besides… working in the ministry, who has time to “Hangout” anyway?
I believe that ministries like ours needs to focus on a platform works best and to be where our followers are hanging out the most and right now it happens to be Facebook.
I admire ministries that are forward thinkers and on top of new media; however, if the people are not there to follow along, it will not serve the purpose of the ministry.
Huddle is a text feature that allows you to text a group ei: family about the same topic. It resembles a similar app on my Blackberry GROUPME and Beluga on the Ipad…unfortunately, neither of which I use.
Yes, all this new technology can be overwhelming. You gotta give it to Google to combine all these popular social features that people are using into their own social site.
As the saying goes, “there’s really nothing new under the sun.” Some things are newly improved. You be the judge.
For now, I’m giving Google+ a whirl with my personal account and hopefully it won’t sit idle like other social platforms I’ve joined.
Check out how Google+ works:
Are you playing around with Google+ during Beta? What are your thoughts? Can you convince me to convince my leaders we need Google+ or NOT? Please feel free to share…
Image Credit: www.calvinayre.com