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Are you on board yet? The brand new Google+

Just as I was getting comfortable with Facebook, Google launched its own social network called Google+. I've experimented with it for a couple of weeks now and think it could be the next big thing. I am especially excited about its Circles and Hangouts features.


One thing I have not liked about Facebook is that if I want to write a post about genealogy, that post goes to ALL of my friends - friends from high school, church, acquaintances, friends I didn't know were my friends, etc. Google+'s implementation of circles solves that. When I want to post a message for my genealogy friends, I simply add the Genealogy Circle (in blue below).


To share with my family and friends, I add those circles:


If I only want to read posts from my Genealogy circle, I just click on its category in the Stream section on the left, and now I can read posts from my genealogy friends.



Hangouts are really cool! Hangouts are where you and up to nine others can be in a video call all at the same time. You can see and hear everyone else. Whoever is talking automatically appears in the larger video screen. All you have to do is have a webcam, Internet connection, and your Google+ account. You can hang out with everyone in your family circle and have a mini family reunion. Or hangout with other genealogists. One of my circles is a Legacy Employees circle - we did a hangout this morning with me, Dave (president), Ken (vice-president), and Luc (developer). It's a great way to communicate when you're not all in the same office. One thing I wish it would do is let me share my screen with others. I'll have to stick with my account for the time being. Best of all - hangouts are free.


Google+ Account

If you don't yet have a Google+ Account, visit You will have to create a free Google account to join. I think accounts are now open to the public, but if not, send me an email and I'll send you an invitation.

The Google+ Start-Up Guide

For a great overview of Google+, view the Google+ Start-Up Guide here. When you get there, just click on the big slide, and to advance to the next slide, just click.

What do you think?

Those of you with a Google+ account, what do you think? Is it going to catch on?


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For information: I recently tried to register for Google+ via the Firefox5 browser, only to be advised that Google+ would not accept an application using this browser. Nor does Google intend to modify their toolbar to work with this version of Firefox.

Interesting Ronald - I registered using Firefox 5 without event.

Hmmm!! Different message today - only available to a limited number of people, they will let me know!

The bit of my post re the toolbar is still accurate though.

Another dazzling product from Google. That's their intent.

I don't understand why people are so happy to give away yet another piece of their privacy to The Great Google Recorder in the sky. It's gotten to where you can get onto Google first thing in the morning and never leave til you go to bed.

How would you feel about someone following you around every second of your physical life with a camcorder? Because that's what the Internet has come to and for a lot of us this is where we spend a lot of our lives.

Fantastic, Thanks Geoff

One can make lists in FB, I mark all my friends in edit to a specific list even an exception list. Groups are doing the same thing.

Everyone is talking Google+ up, but I have yet to see a vaiable interaction on genealogy or family history. Or am I just hanging out with the wrong people?


This blog page has the Facebook panel, but will the Millennia webmasters consider adding the Google+ badge, so that I can +1 Legacy?

Tamara - thanks for the heads up. The Google +1 link now shows in the footer of each article.

I keep seeing people talk so much about the ability to choose who can see your posts in G+ "and not in Facebook" but that's entirely untrue. FB has friend lists you can create, and you can select who can see certain posts. You can even select only few friends not even on a list to see a certain post, as well as block certain people from seeing certain posts.

Usually that is one of the two pluses everyone I see talks about for G+, the other one is that there are no games on it. But truthfully, if FB had no games I wouldn't bother using it.

Setting up groups in FB is true ... it can be done.

The problem I've encountered with FB is that setting them up & getting all the privacy settings correct is not a matter of a couple clicks.

However, Google + takes setting these up to the simplest level ... just drag your freinds into the circles you want them in & you're done.

For those agianst the "big brother is watching" case ... don't join ... it's your choice what you do & don't get involved in.

Intersting point though ... I was one to not get involved until a few years ago when i found my name & some related stuff on the web ... none of it had been put there by me.

It was the result of others listing my name as in sports photos or message boards or the like.

Now i do what i can to keep it to a minimum, but embrace it as a part of life these days.

Bottom line ... if you want the world to know about it ... put it on the net ... if you don't ... stay at home & do nothing.

Diversity is what makes the world go 'round - if FB had no games, I'd be delighted!

you can restrict who sees your posts on Facebook. On your main page where it says "share" there is a little "lock" icon. You can select to share stuff with friends only, or under "customize" you can set specific groups of people. You make these groups of people by categorizing your friends. Google+ did not do anything innovative with making "Circles," they just put a different name on it.

Jade - thanks for your simple step-by-step instructions. I see that you can indeed share it with either specific persons, or groups or persons IF you have categorized your friend list. For example, I have a Family Group/Category, and a Genealogy Group/Category. I now see how you can post just to that group. WONDERFUL!

When I first started using Facebook I set up two accounts - one for friends and one for family. It has worked well for me.

Hey Geoff,

instead of creating circles of friends with G+, you can open one account per group in FB, now that's what I call a great idea, that way you only have to maintain and remember users and passwords for each group, instead of having all easily accesible through circles...

Yep, in FB much better...


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