Getting used to G+

Google Plus mobile page

I’ve been on Google Plus since whenever Alan sent me an invite and we were looking for Social Media networks to replace the ailing FriendFeed we had been using with students. I always think it is worth bagging a username, and I know that Alan usually needs someone to talk to on any new social media network 😉 and to be honest, I love to play with suff.

It has taken me a very, very, long time to get used to G+. The main problems I have had with it have been the ones that are obvious with any new Social Media:

  • no audience that is unique to G+ or doing something different there that they are not already doing on Facebook/ twitter
  • initially, no notification system that attracted my attention, also not helped by not having any ‘stuff’ to be notified about. Email notification drove me mad and I don’t use a desktop browser enough these days to pick up the black google bar notification.
  • lack of a decent mobile interface.

I’ve kept dipping in and out, especially as the undergraduates that I used to mentor on Social Media projects with Alan moved from FriendFeed to Google+. I could see the point, and the benefits (no character limit, richer discussions, in-post video/ rich links out), but the mobile interface, notification and audience didn’t change, so it just didn’t have stickiness for me.

Finally, over this last month I have made a concerted effort to re-engage after finding the iPhone app. The interface isn’t perfect (no rich or embedded links when posting) but they have sorted out two major issues, notification and resharing/ +1. I’ve started to change the people I follow and made several revelatory discoveries, like being able to flip between the streams from each circle to filter out noise when I come to catch up at the end of the school day. I’m starting to discover different information from different people than those on my twitter network. It is starting to click. Alan is usually right in the end.

Jo Badge - Google+

Using the itouch

Testing the iTouch this weekend has been interesting. I am writing this on the touch, so forgive the spelling!! I can only write in the HTML editor, not the wisywyg.

I was very keen to try it out, however it has been less thrilling than I expected, partly becuase I was already used to the GUI. The main reason though is because this is part of a project, I haven’t wanted to sync the device, so it is missing most of it’s best features – the PDA abilites for email, calendar, photos and music.

I do wonder what we will find on the devices when we get them back. I think we will need to give the students some advice about clearing their browsing history and logging out sites before they return the devices.

Halo is good for twitter and may be a good idea for the students to have some recommendations to use that.