Hanging with my mom in G+

Hanging Out with my Mom

Hanging Out with my Mom (and pets)

From my first days in Google+, I saw a lot to like. I felt that the system was very intuitive, and loved the style of communication on this network. True, it’s likely due to the mix of people in my circles so far, but the additional length allowed in comments seems to be encouraging more thoughtful conversations than I’ve seen on the other social networks.

Where I saw the most potential though was in the circles, and how it feels like I may be able to create a setup that balances my desire to keep in touch with family and friends while maintaining a clean environment for professional networking. To test out this setup though, I had to do what so many commentators consider the unthinkable – I sent my mom a Google+ invite.

As I live about 2,000 miles away from my family, I rely heavily on social media to keep in touch with everyone. Over the years, Mom and I have tried out a few video chat clients, but we have been pretty limited in our success. My main computer is a netbook running Ubuntu, so we have problems finding video chat services that will run on my computer and be easy for family to use. With Google+, we both just had a plugin download before we could get started. The fact that hangouts allow more than two parties is an asset for us, or at least it will be if we ever get my brothers and other family members to join.

As much as some people value new social networks as places without family, I felt that this was what Google+ needed for me. Until Mom joined, I had a few good interactions with professional contacts, but G+ is otherwise way too quiet. The network is in that awkward growing stage when there’s not quite enough activity for people to check in and participate regularly. But now that Mom and I have our video chats conveniently located in the service, I know that I will be there much more often.

As a friend posted on Google+ last week, “Are we gonna get to critical mass in Google+? I kind of keep forgetting it exists.” To which I replied, “I got my mom to sign up, so I’ve done my part.”

3 thoughts on “Hanging with my mom in G+

  1. Lisa Garrett

    Interesting… I’ve signed up for Google+, but I’m definitely one of those people who tends to forget to check it. I do like its set-up though, so maybe I just need to follow suit and invite more people to use it! That’ll make using it that much more fun.

  2. Lasciel

    Nice! I’m really liking Google+ too. Hopefully Google will sort out the recent banning mess (banning Google+ users accounts & Gmail accounts because their names don’t seem likely to be the ones on their Driver’s License) I know that’s gotten it a fair bit of bad publicity and made some people wary to join. To be honest, I wouldn’t have joined if I knew it would put my gmail account at risk… But if they handle it wisely it will just reflect even better on the service.

  3. Elaina Post author

    Yes, I do hope they work out some of the kinks like the real names bit before opening the service completely to the public. They do seem to be listening to their community well – they responded very well to the criticism of making gender public – so I hope they do there as well. I am more excited for when they link it to more of their own services, for instance, if they make it easy to link to my YouTube videos on my profile or send items directly to my stream from Reader.

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