In which I declare unrequited love of Google+ and proclaim its renewed potential as my professional network
Posted By Kevin Gaugler on December 20, 2012
The recent addition of Communities to Google+ has really won me over. I have always been a bit enamored with the service since it debuted and my crush grew deeper even more with the addition of HangOuts which allows up to 10 people to have a video chat. That HangOut can even be broadcasted, recorded and shared on YouTube. Google has done really good work with the look and feel of the mobile platform on iOS and Android too. When I view the site on my iPhone, the app feels so much more rewarding that anything Facebook has every given me. In fact, I unlike Facebook in any form and it’s terrible user policies so much that I refuse to link to it in this post. I feel forced to use Facebook because everyone I know is on it. If I want to share pictures of my kids with family and friends, for now, it has to be Facebook.
Google+, however, really is becoming my go-to professional learning network.
For a while I have secretly desired that all my friends on Facebook, all my Twitter followers or anyone I have every connected with on a Ning just move over to Google+. The ability to place my contacts into circles and provide content to different audiences sold me on the network. Whenever I could I would use Google+ for classroom projects waiting for students to ogle at what Google has done. None of it every materialized. My love for the product remained and continues to remain unrequited. I cannot blame my family, friends and students for refusing to move to Google+. They have too much of a timeline on Facebook.
In some ways, it’s a blessing they didn’t move because those who remained on Google+ and stuck with the product are those die-hard, tech-savvy, relentless pirates of the educational world that have contributed so much to my professional growth….
Then, all of a sudden, the Communities feature appears on Google+ and my professional network was on steroids. It turns out that Google has been reading my posts and those of the people in my circles. The day the feature launched the Google+ system suggested communities for me based on my interests. I joined the Education Revolution, Teachers for Interactive Language Learning, Recursos educativos and MOOC . With those four alliances alone I opened up a rich learning experience that I have never experienced on any other social network…not Twitter, not Facebook and certainly not MySpace. In one swoop Google+ became more relevant to my professional growth than ever. So, in the spirit of being a quixotic adventurer and yearning to fulfill that unrequited love, I created a World A.T Ways Community on Google+. Perhaps I will find soon that it’s more valuable than even blogging… or perhaps I will remain a character trapped in his own hopeful narrative.
If you don’t know what the feature is, I’ve included Google’s promotional video on it.