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Google+: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: Google+: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Google+: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

I use that line with my kids a lot when they're making questionable decisions.  If one of them is feeding grass clumps to the dog, I'll ask "Good idea?  Or bad idea?"  Usually that's enough to make them think before continuing.

I got a (not-quite sanctioned) invitation to join Google+, Google's new social network, last week from GeekMom Jules.  Several of us GeekMoms have been checking out the assorted Google+ features, from the photo sharing, to the statuses to the "Hangout" area where you can web chat with other Google+ users.  The privacy settings are very likeable (default privacy is "no one can see much", seemingly the opposite of Facebook's privacy where the default is often "everyone can see everything unless you manually change that").

Anyway, in terms of the social network, I think Google+ is on the right track for a smoother-running social network than Facebook.  I'm hoping it doesn't get overrun by corporate pages and multi-player games the way Facebook has in recent months.

However, I'm sitting here with a clenched jaw waiting for the kinks to get ironed out of the other Google products that are supposed to nicely tie into Google+.

A couple days ago it was published that Google will be rolling their Picasa and Blogger brands into their own names, and with it will come some more tie-ins to Google+.

I've been slowly-but-surely uploading and sharing my vacation pictures in the middle of this transition and was faced with some difficulty sharing my Picasa albums with my family.  What I have typically done is upload the photos to Picasaweb with captions, then e-mail the album to myself.  Finally, I forward that album to a pre-set list of friends/family.  This week I attempted to e-mail the album to myself and nothing happened after hitting that "Share" button.

Actually, something did happen: the album posted to my Google+ news stream.  Because my e-mail address was tied into my Google+ account, some assumption was made that Google+ news stream is somehow equivalent to an e-mail inbox.  I managed a workaround by using a non-Google+ enabled e-mail address that I have.

But then when I tried to share the photos with my pre-set friends/family e-mail list, several of them couldn't see the pictures unless they had their own Google.com login/passwords.  This used to not be the case and it's very upsetting that my parents (among the main audience for my family's photos) can't easily see the pictures anymore.

Similarly, this morning I discovered that several pre-sets in my Blogger (soon to be Google Blogs) account were reset without my knowledge.  I used to have 10 e-mail addresses who'd receive automatic copies of my blog posts when published.  Who knows how long they hadn't been receiving them.  Chances are they missed most of my vacation posts....

Thanks for letting me vent...I'm hopeful that Google is taking in everyone's feedback (including this post) and will be sympathetic to those who don't necessarily want a Google.com login/password to enjoy the Internet.

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