I’ll be honest- when I first heard about GooglePlus, I wasn’t that excited. I already had plenty of social media outlets to occupy my time and effort. Did I really need another? Wasn’t this just Google’s version of Facebook? My enthusiasm was further reduced by the fact that you had to be invited to even use the service at first. Seemed like a lot of hoops to jump through for something I already have with Facebook.
For some reason- and I can’t tell you why- I decided to give it a try. Maybe I was just bored that day or had become frustrated with one of Facebook’s famous updates. I setup an account, filled out some profile info and sat back to enjoy the show. Unfortunately, nothing happened. I found a few friends who had Google+ accounts and followed a few other interesting folks, but that was about it. I logged out and didn’t return for months.
Recently, I decided to give it another chance. I had read a few blog posts by people who were truly sold on the concept and seemed to be enjoying themselves. I got back online, gave my profile page a complete overhaul and started interacting with people. What a difference this time around! Basically, Google+ is Facebook without the pictures of people’s grandkids and Mafia Wars requests.
One of the key elements of G+ is “Circles” which are kind of like “Friends” in Facebook. Basically you can have a bunch of circles and use them to sort your contacts. You can have family in one, friends in one, coworkers in one, etc. Then when you post something, you decide if it is viewable to the Public (where everyone can see it) or only to certain circles. This is great for people who want to send out the occasional item they don’t want business associates to see. (You know who you are)
The first step for me was to setup a circle for photographers, then I did a search for #Photography. I browsed through tons of great images and when I saw something that caught my eye, I added that photographer to my photographer circle. It has developed into a really great place to browse through other people’s images and get ideas or inspiration. You can do the same thing with everything from cars to computers to sports. Whatever your interests are, you can find others who are the same way on Google+.
For The Photographer
I think it is really a no-brainer for the modern photographer. In addition to networking with other photogs all over the world, it is also a chance for potential clients to see your work. While Google+ is second fiddle to Facebook right now, it stands to reason that Google won’t give up without a fight. With Google controlling the biggest search engine, as well as the massively-popular YouTube, it is a safe bet to think that it will only continue to rise in popularity.
Go For It!
Give it a try and see what you think. I’m not saying spend hours at a time exploring the thing. That’s a waste of time in ANY area of social media. Just dedicate 10 minutes a day for a week or two and see what you come across. I think you will find it to be a great resource for expanding your creative horizons. Be sure to look me up ( or just click here ) so we can connect on Google+.
Also, feel free to leave YOUR google ID in the comments so other photographers can find you. We are all in this together!