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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Google+: It Ain't Facebook, and That's a Good Thing

It's been about 9 months since Google+ launched.  The initial response (and much of what continues) is to try and compare the service to Facebook.  But in all honesty trying to simply compare it as just another social networking service is a real miss.  It is actually very different with it's own benefits that are often getting missed.

I'm not here to say that I don't like Facebook, because I do.  Facebook has done, and continues to do, a great job of connecting people.  It's been a great platform for businesses and organizations to connect with their customers in ways never before possible.

So what does Google+ offer that Facebook doesn't?  To truly get a sense of Google+ and it's benefits you have to look at what Google has been about with a majority of it's products . . . collaboration.  That's where the real power in this service lies.  And it's the same thing that makes it a real game-changer in communication going forward.  The service is blended in very nicely within all of Google products allowing for some very nice new functionality.  Here's a look at just some of those new features and capabilities:

  1. Organizing in circles.  Circles were one of my immediate likes because it provided a very easy way to organize contacts and choosing who I want to share certain items with.  This just makes sense and is how we normally want to share things socially.  I can also share a circle out to others.  For businesses and or teams this is a great feature because you can easily create a circle for your company, department, and teams for organizations you are involved with.  Adding a new person and keeping everyone on board with the same set of contacts is as simple as sharing the circle.  
  2. Hangouts.  This feature allows for video chatting with up to 10 people at once.  Use the "Hangouts with Extras" and you can even share and collaborate on documents shared within Google Docs, or share screens to easily walk others through something.  The other great thing about hangouts is they can be started at anytime.  So if you're in the middle of something and need to speak to a team member or colleague, you can start a hangout which they can access on their PC or smartphone and you can have a short meeting even sharing documents you may need to share.  So if I see that Ky just added a post about something we need to speak further on, I can simply click the Hangout icon and we can begin chatting.  Or I can schedule a hangout for a meeting with people that are in different geographic places which would have typically been a barrier to getting together.  
  3. Tie-in with other great Google Products.  Google+ shows up in all of Google products such as Docs (which is an amazing suite of products if you haven't checked it out already), YouTube, Search, etc.  I can use that '+1' button to share out relevant items with people.  I can start a hangout for a video I am watching on YouTube.  I can share out a document I need others to contribute to and have added them in to work on.  
  4. Sharing individually.  Rather than send someone an email or share something out into a stream, I can simply share to one person or a few people individually.  This takes messaging to a whole new level because typically we do this through email or a separate messenger program.  Now I can use the same platform and simply send that message out from there.  
  5. Organization Pages.  Like Facebook, you can create separate pages for you company or organization to connect with people.  What's nice about this in comparison to Facebook pages is that it functions a lot like the personal accounts in terms of Circles and whatnot.  So you may have certain sets of customers (i.e. VIP's) in one circle and your employees in another.  This way you can choose who you want getting what.  Maybe you want to send out an exclusive discount to your VIP customers.  Again, one platform for multiple internal and external uses.  
There's quite a bit more great features that goes beyond what Facebook was and is designed for.  Have you checked out Google+ yet?  What are your thoughts?  Make sure to check out some great local people and companies on Google+

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Celebrate World Four Square Day in Palm Coast on 4/16

4/16 is officially declared as 4SQ Day!  4 squared = 16 ..... that is 4/16, get it?

As a result nearly 15,000 FourSquare fans in 1,700 cities are celebrating Four Square Day on April 16th.

A gathering is also planned  for Palm Coast and Flagler County Four Square users on April 16th, between 4:30PM and 6:00PM at Office Divvy.

What is FourSquare?  It is a social media platform that runs on a smartphone and tablet app that helps you keep up with where your friends are at any giving point, discover what’s near you, save money and unlock deals.

On April 16th, join local Palm Coast and Flagler County FourSquare users to meet eachother, chat, and have fun with.  Office Divvy is located at West Pointe Plaza, 389 Palm Coast Pkwy SW, Ste 4, Palm Coast.  Call 386-445-4153 if you need directions.  Beer and wine, soft drinks, snacks and sweets will be provided.  Free to attend.

You can RSVP on here.

PS: If you are a Palm Coast, Flagler County business owner you can also pick up free window decals for your business location at Office Divvy

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