Tag Archives: Google

Is There a Plus to Joining Google+ ?

Google Plus

Google’s answer to Facebook, Google+, is a little more than three years old.  It has many similarities to Facebook, but also some unique features that really make it stand out. Since it’s so awesome, it’s certainly got to be worth your time to join, right?

Well, it depends. Who are you and what are you looking to accomplish? It’s best to look at this from two different angles to see what you might gain.

First, take a look at Google plus from the perspective of a business owner. According to Alison Zeringue of Search Influence, there are many benefits for businesses to be on Google+. First, it integrates with G mail and YouTube, making it easier to steer potential customers from one site to the next. Next, Google+ helps with search engine optimization in general, connecting “Google-rs” to your Google+ profile. Also, it allows you to record video chats in “Hangouts”, which could be used for marketing purposes and for supplying content to attract visitors to your site.

On the other hand, imagine the perspective of joining a new network purely for social or recreational purposes. Google+ has the ability to store and sort your photos, it can even recognize photos to automatically tag them. You can put your contacts into “circles” , so you can choose to connect with “relatives” “coworkers”, “classmates” or how ever you chose to set up your personal circles. However, Google+ has significantly less users than Facebook. Of those that have memberships, there is a high number who are not very active, some not even knowing they have a profile, as one gets set up with every G mail account automatically.  Personally, I created an account for research purposes and found very few people I know while trying to set up contacts. I did, however, find several physicians and a handful of administrators from the healthcare organization in which I work.

Time Magazine’s Harry McCracken calls Google+ a “beautiful disappointment”.

My personal conclusion on this is that I will recommend to my husband, a small business owner, that he get his Google+ set up right away to draw attention to his business. For my own social use, however I think of it this way: Just like California seems like a warm, wonderful and exciting place to live, I continue to live in Minnesota because that’s where my friends and family are. My friends and family are on Facebook, so for now, I’ll stay there too.

Classmates, what do you think of Google+?



The Future is Freaking Me OUT!!!

I love technology. I love big TVs, computers, video games, tablets, smart phones… basically anything with a screen. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to Netflix, and I fall for all of Apple’s obvious marketing brainwashing ploys.

But I still don’t know how to react to certain technological developments. Take the Google Glass for example. Its a cool idea that we’ve been seen I’m movies for years but how practical are they? Or do they even need to be practical? What about privacy rights? Can the user record video or take pictures of someone without them knowing? What about the new Samsung smart watch? Hasn’t that idea been around since Dick Tracy and the Jetsons?

Well now those things are reality and I admittedly have mixed feelings about them. This week’s big development in technology news has left me feeling the same way. I wasn’t surprised to find out that Google announced on Friday that they just acquired robotics company Boston Dynamics. I was however surprised to find out that this is the 8th robotics company that Google has bought.


Knowing how Google does things, I’m kind of afraid to see where this is all going. Will Google use their power for good or evil? How long before we see a Google-Haliburton collaboration.

I’m also a little concerned about how technology is messing society up. We’ve become so dependent on our devices that its hard to remember a time without them. But I still remember my first pager. I also remember running around looking for a pay phone with $5 in quarters and a folded up piece of paper in my pocket that had the phone number of everyone I knew scribbled on it.


Why is Everybody Worried About Their Privacy When They’re All on Facebook?

So, I admit it… I am not on Facebook. I have no desire to be on Facebook, and I am aware that I may be missing out on a ton of cool things, but I just can’t do it. That’s just the way it is.

I am one of only about a handful of people that I know that doesn’t have a Facebook account. Anytime I meet another person who is in my same position, there is usually a high five, a head nod, or we both immediately shout out an excited list of reasons why we choose not to be on Facebook. It’s a special bond, like we’re part of our own network that will probably not hear from each other again for several months… or ever.  

Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Facebook or people who are on it. It has done amazing things for our world. It has connected millions of people across the globe in a way that was not possible before. Its easier to stay in touch with old friends or relatives. Musicians have used it as a way to collaborate with other artist or reach out to a larger fan-base.  It has been used as a tool to organize the masses and spread social awareness of many issues. Businesses and non-profit organizations are able to connect with their audiences and listen to what they are asking for. Facebook really is amazing. So why am I resisting it so much?

Well, the short answer that I give people is… privacy.  I don’t like Facebook because I feel like people expose too much of their lives on it. I know it all depends on how you use social media of any kind, but think about what the average person has on their Facebook page. How well can you get to know someone by their Facebook page?

Look at your Facebook page, do you have any of these on them?

  • Your name
  • Your age
  • Your relationship status
  • Where you live
  • Where you went/go to school
  • Where you work
  • Pictures of yourself, friends, or family
  • Pictures of your last vacation
  • Pictures of yourself at a party (maybe a little tipsy)
  • Conversations with other people who are also on Facebook
  • Your phone number ( I know it seems crazy but some people do)

I know that posting any of these things onto Facebook is optional. But if you don’t post pictures or have conversations, what fun is it?  And YES, I know that you can set privacy settings so your grandma doesn’t see the pictures of you at Mardi Gras from last year, but I am still amazed that so many people are willing to put so much of their life online. Even if a person “doesn’t have anything to hide”, does that mean that you need to expose yourself like this?Image

Again, I have nothing against Facebook or its users. Most of the people I know are on it and are constantly trying to convince me to get on it. As of June 2013, Facebook claims to have 1.15 billion users, so it must be pretty cool. But for me, especially during a time where the NSA has become a household name and our government is being accused of spying on its own people and people from around the world, I still think I rather not have one.

For more information on Facebook privacy and general privacy on the web, check out these links…