|It's Magic by Juergen Hoebarth|
I've been on Google+ for a few days now, after getting an invite from Andy Adams of Flak Photo, to whom I extend many thanks! I was really looking forward to checking it out and so far I am very impressed with what Google has developed, which seems to be a hybrid mix of the best of Facebook and Twitter combined with new features unique to Google+ (G+).
95% of my time spent on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc etc is looking for new work by photographers and artists, tracking museum and gallery exhibits, and promoting PHOTO/arts MAGAZINE. What I like most about G+ is the ability to highly control and tweak the incoming and outgoing stream of information. The people I follow on G+ go into Circles that I create as a way to organize my contacts. Circles can be labeled any way I want... Family, Friends, Clients, etc. and I can then decide which circles to follow on my stream. I can also choose which circles will see the things I post to G+. I have a circle labeled Photography that is obviously the place where all of the photographers I am following are located. When I want to see only photo related posts I can simply choose to see just the stream from that circle. When I want to post about something from PHOTO/arts Magazine I can share it with just the photographers without bothering contacts who would have no interest in the subject. At the same time, I can post goofy photos of my dog to family and friends without having to share it and annoy all my other contacts. Its all about controlling the stream of information when we are so bombarded with multiple choices.
|Circles by Exey Panteleev|
My biggest problem with Facebook has been this lack of filter and control. Too many updates on what folks are doing on Farmville have to be weeded through in order to get the information I want to see. Facebook groups have helped with that problem. Flak Photo Network was started by Andy Adams and now has over 2000 photographers in the group. This has been a fantastic way to network with other photographers and see new work, but it still lacks the level of control G+ offers, such as the ability to mute individual members, or create a sub-group of members I am most interested in. Twitter has it's List feature, but I have never used it. I use Twitter the least of any major networking system. Maybe I just never learned to use it correctly, but to me it is just one long stream of short blurbs that I never seem to care about. I rarely click links that people post to Twitter and I can't remember ever discovering an interesting new photographer on Twitter.
But during the first couple days on G+ I have already seen lot's of interesting work and have discovered several new photographers whose work I will be featuring here on PHOTO/arts MAGAZINE over the next few days.
Here is where to find me on Google+... PHOTO/arts Magazine
And here are 25 Tips for Google+
And here are some great reads on exactly what G+ is all about...
What is Google+ ?
and a comprehensive (45 pages!) Google+ How to Guide