Am I going to talk about raindrops and kittens? Heck no!! I just thought they sounded cool as a blog title.
How about I talk a little about circles, clouds, and sparks?
If you have no idea where I'm going when I say I want to talk about circles, clouds, and sparks - then apparently you haven't heard of Google+... don't feel bad. Up until two days ago, I didn't know about it either.
Google+ is a new social networking site...similar to Facebook... but on a much more personal, private, and manageable scale.
Right now, you can only join Google+ by invitation only - cause it just launched days ago, and they're still trying to get all of the kinks worked out. I received my highly coveted invitation yesterday (thanks, Val) - and set up my account last night.
First impressions? Once I actually get some friends on there - it will be very cool, and I'll love it. Why? You ask.
Let me break it down like this. How many of you have a gazillion friends on Facebook and Twitter? How often do one of those gazillion friends post something that you're not really interested in hearing about?... come on, you can admit it, no one is watching. How often do you want to post something, then second guess yourself because there's a friend on Facebook or Twitter that you don't want reading about the information you want to share? Again...you know that's happened to you.
As a person who follows over 450 people on Twitter, and has over 300 friends on Facebook....I know that there are times I really want to post something... but second guess myself because a) it's something I don't want certain people to know about or b) I worry that a lot of people won't really care.
Same goes on the flip side of that. I wonder how many of my 500+ followers on Twitter really care when I'm getting my nails done or working or doing anything that's not related to weight loss...cause in honesty, that's why most of the people follow me on Twitter...to hear about my weight loss.
Sometimes, I wished there was a way that I could just post a status message for select people on my friends/follower lists. Now, finally, that wish has come true - thanks to Google+.
Enter Circles. Circles are groups that you create on Google+ with your friends. You are given pre-created circles such as family, friends, acquaintances, and people you follow. Then, you can create your own circles... like people you work with, weight loss buddies, fellow bloggers...whatever you want to call them.
When you post a status update, you can then post as 'public' (meaning everyone can see it) or designate the status message to only be seen by people in select circles. How f'in cool is that?
So, that covers circles. Now - Sparks.
Sparks are a feature that allows you to read information about topics of interest. Right now, I have two sparks: Weight loss and fitness tips. When I click on either of those, I'm given recent news articles, videos, blog entries....all categorized by my interest. It's basically a Google search slim-lined to your preferences. Again, cool eh?
Google+ also uses a program called Clouds. This one I haven't messed with too much, but it looks cool. Clouds are photo albums that are automatically uploaded onto your profile. I've noticed that on my Google+ page, they're just called photo albums...but everywhere I've read about Google+ refers to the photo albums as "Clouds". I like Clouds so that's what I'm going to call them.
When I signed up last night, I used the same email address I use for my blog. It's a Google account, so when I opened my Cloud - all of the photos I've uploaded to my blog are in a photo album called "Diary of a Mad, Fat Woman", I also have all of the photos I've ever used as my profile pics called "Blogger Pics" and photos I've used for my other blog "Traveling my Mind photos". They were already there - I didn't have to do anything. They were all private - no one could see any of the pics, but me.
You can then go into those photos, and sort which photos you'd like to publish - and to which circles. Again - you decide who you want to see which photos. Went out for a night on the town with friends? Don't want your co-workers or boss to see those pics? Fine...just pic which circle you want to allow to see those pics.
Google+ is also working on bringing out a phone app that will connect you to Google+ on your phone. If you have an Android phone, it's already available... iPhone users, like myself, have to wait a little while. The app will automatically upload any photos you take with your phone into your Cloud - called Pics From My Phone - so no more worrying about uploading pics. You can either decide right away which photos you want to share - or just leave them in the Cloud for later publishing. The Cloud is private, until you decide otherwise. LOVE IT!!
I've been reading quite a bit about Google+ in the past few days, and I've been seeing a lot of scams already associated with sending out invites to join. Be careful about how you go about getting an invite to join - if you want to join.
You, my friends, have a great advantage... cause now that I'm there - you know I want you all there with me, right?
So, do you want an invite to join Google+? Leave me a comment - and I'll send you an invite. I will need your email address, so if you don't want to leave it in the comments section - just shoot me an email.
I've read that Google is limiting the amount of invites each person can send - but it doesn't say that on my Google+ page...so I will invite as many people that ask me... and hopefully it works.
If you're already one of the lucky ones that are on Google+ - let me know!! I want to add more people.. cause what's a social networking site without friends, right?
Alright...that's enough from me, today. Got my doctor appointment this afternoon...oh wait, no gross talk...I'll let that one go....for now.
Till next time. ;)
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