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Google + makes circles fun again!

Google + makes circles fun again!

When my first invitation arrived for Google+ I was deliberately unplugging and connecting with family over the 4th of July weekend. That delayed me a few days in starting until the second invitation arrived. After just a couple of play dates (yes, that’s what it feels like)  in the Google+ sandbox here are a few quick observations.

Circles are fun, remember? Yes, just like in pre-school, you get to play in different circles. Best part, you get to choose who you want to play with. That’s right, you make and label your circles of friends and they won’t even know what you’ve called them. And it’s so much easier to segment friends than it is on Facebook (or on the playground). From a public relations perspective, just imagine the implications of having all of your favorite journalist peeps or key bloggers in their own circles.

No games! (So far anyways.) You may love seeing what your friends are planting in Farmville but I use social media as an extension of me/my personal brand and I like to keep it on a professional level. (Yes, I’m the person who X’s out those Mafia Wars Facebook posts!)

Everyone wants to play: Unlike the networking invitation requests I get for numerous other sites this one caught my attention and seemed well worth spending time on. What caused me to notice was the buzz I was hearing from other enthusiastic thought leaders like Chris Brogan.

Strictly business (for now): Because Google+ is supposedly only issuing invitations sparingly I’m generally connecting with influencers and thought leaders that I already know from twitter. That’s quite different from the way I started on Facebook; first with family and friends then as an evolving business tool.

Let’s hang out: I wanted to hang out today (i.e. video chat with some of my friends) but darned if they weren’t all away! I’ll catch them next time and look forward to the Skype-like feature! Interestingly, right after Google+ came out with this, Facebook quickly followed suit by teaming with Skype for a video chat feature. Let’s face it, video connections are the way to go!

Where did that elephant in the room come from? OK, deep breath here…..Facebook appears to have a social networking competitor on its hands. Granted, Facebook has a significant head start of just over 750 million users, but things do change rapidly (Anyone remember bag phones?) What’s interesting is that these two behemoths will have tabs on just about everything anyone could want to know about us; and we’ll have freely given the information to them! Stay tuned and watch where this one is going. (I love this infographic comparing the two social networking sites from Guy Kawasaki.)

What are your impressions of the new social networking site? I would love to hear your comments on Google +. And hey, feel free to come find me in a circle near you.

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