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Published:September 3rd, 2011 09:50 EST
Is Google Plus Great?

Is Google Plus Great?

By Keith Johnson

Yes, indeed, Google Plus is great. Google Plus has done a tremendous job of "simulating" the same type of navigational experience you have at Facebook, however, Google has put its own spin on the interface and social interaction from within this social network. First of all, you need to receive an invite to join Google Plus. It is still at the tail-end of its beta life, and some people are saying, through the grapevine, that Google Plus will be readily available to anyone via direct sign-up request sometime this fall. Well, let`s see if this actually happens.

Google Plus has a major feature that allows you to separate content. It is called Circles. When you add people into your Google Plus network, you can separate them into different circles according to the interests at hand. For example, I write technical software documentation and I also play guitar. So, right there, I can create two unique circles. One can be called Guitar Friends and the other can be called Software Friends. And that is just the beginning.

You create many circles and so when you post content or comments to your profile (just click on the upper right hand corner of your browser where it says "share" and a text-box will appear where you can create your post. As you post, you can "direct" this to one or more circles. So, for example, if I find an article on a rock and roll band that is interesting, I can post this only to my Guitar Friends circle, and not waste the time or bother those in other circles. See? It really is quite simple, but sometimes to engineer simplicity, you need to be organized in your planning. Google has done just that.

Finally, as a last comment, and please do not feel sorry for me, because I am a veteran in the computer industry - this past week my Google Voice was hacked. Someone made an unauthorized call to someone using MY paid Google Voice account. I only had about ten dollars on the account, but still, this was both a fiscal and personal violation of space.

Now, I could not just deactivate GV by itself, so I had to delete my entire Google profile to be able to cancel Google Voice outright. Fortunately, I have back-ups of all my important documents and do not rely on the cloud (e.g. Google Docs) 100% for my work. Google was very good with respect to my account deletion request and also my Google Voice was shut off within hours after the account closure request. So, indeed, both Google and Google Plus are great.

In these times, security is a major issue we all face, and sometimes even a good password is not enough to keep hackers out of your online account. So, even if it means taking a piece of paper and writing down a super, super complex password to your online accounts - please do this. As companies like Google and Facebook grow, security will become more of an issue and there is only so much they can do on their end. It is up to each of us to protect ourselves with the very best in passwords or two-tier security (Google`s password and mobile device verification process).


Keith Johnson
Senior Technical Writer & Motivational Author