Hello everyone, Dan here with another look into the Mind of Dan. Right now I want to take the time to talk to you about something a little different than movies and a lack of originality in the world. I want to talk to you about social networking which is the topic that is filling the blogosphere right now because Google (you know, that company that owns everything on the internet except for iTunes and Facebook) has released a field test version of their newest *cough* *cough* attempt at a "FaceBook" killer. The test this time? Google+. Yes you read that right....Google+ If you haven't heard about the story by now (I myself discovered it in a video from Chris Pirillo on YouTube the other day) I'm here to fill you in.
The best place to start is the beginning. A long time ago MySpace came out and everybody thought it was the greatest thing on the planet and that it would never leave and that it would remain the greatest social networking site ever. Well a little ways down the road this kid at Harvard invented a communication system that eventually became http://www.facebook.com/ (just watch "The Social Network" for that story). So anyway, Facebook comes out and Google (the big rainbowed colored giant) decided they wanted in on the social networking game, just like Facebook and Twitter. What did they launch? Google Buzz. Google Buzz probably could have held it's own had they not focused on it's tie in to GMail so much, which meant about 1/3 of the population knew about it. Once that failed (yet Google Buzz is still active, you can find me there as HollywoodLights1992) they decided to take a second approach to the game. This time it was called Orkut. Here's an idea of how great Orkut was: give me a second to go run a quick Google search on what the Hell it was so I can give you the 411.
Ok, I'm back. Here's the 411 on Orkut. It's 6 years older than Google Buzz and has 100 Million active users. SOMEHOW, I JUST MANAGED TO FIND OUT ABOUT THIS ONE. Good work on the promotion there Google. Stellar effort. I may join later just to see if it is at all decent.
So now Google is taking it's next step, Google+. Here's the gist on that: first off, the offical blog about Google+ says that, and I quote, "In this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it.". I'm pretty sure this was the mission statement the last few times, along with every social network ever made. Social networking isn't going to be perfect. Live with it. Getting back on topic Google+ is broken into...*counts*1...2...3...ALOT of different areas. Here's a quick rundown of each.
*Circles- Basically the idea is this. You get a bunch of circles you can lable and put each of your friends into a different circle and then selectively share all of your information with different circles (ie if you have those incriminating Beer Pong photos you would rather not have your boss see). My take on this is that it could actually be a decent feature to have in a social network....get some control.
*Sparks- What I can gather from the video on this one is that it's a way to search your hobbies and interests and then Google will send you links, vids, and blogs that you will find interesting that you can then share with your applicable circles. Interesting.
*Hangouts- I'm not getting into this one a lot, it's simple. Face to Face, multiperson, video chatting.
*Mobile- This is the one that I am most concerned with, as I spend a lot more time on my iPhone out and about than I do on the internet these days. Luckily Google+ has thought of that. Location is a big mobile deal so just like every other social network out there it gives you the option to add your location to posts. Theres also instant uploads. You snap pictures and you can send them right to an album in the cloud so that you can get them on any device as you see fit. It'll be interesting to see how this works on the iPhone as opposed to Android devices (which we can assume will have Google+ built right in with the release of Android OS 3).
*Huddle- All this is is a group messaging experience. Hard to find that interesting.
According to the GoogleBlog post (6/28/2001 10:45:00 AM) Google+ is currently available in the Android Market and Mobile Web and will be hitting the App Store for iPhone soon. The service is currently in an invitation only field test, but be sure to check back to this blog for updates as I will give Google+ a chance and do a review on it once it is out.
Until next time,