It's too soon to know if Google Plus, the online giant's latest social media effort, will be the “next big thing,” although much of the online hyperbole already is seeking to render a verdict.
I've been on Google Plus less than a week, and I find it handy and well-designed, like most Google tools. Keep in mind that previous Google social media efforts — Buzz and Wave — deserved the derision that rained down upon them.
Mere hours after I invited my 20-something nephew to Google Plus, he declared himself unimpressed. I also doubt that my mother, already comfortable on Facebook, is seeking a new social media outlet.
Nevertheless, Google Plus has its good points.
Instead of Facebook “friending,” you select people to put in predetermined “circles.” That allows you click to see what your work colleagues are posting, click again to see family posts, or simply see the posts of all of those you follow at once.
It's a nice feature for those overwhelmed by the flood of posts on Facebook, which offers a similar lists feature that few appear to use. For some, the chance to reset their circle of friends could be a drawing card for Google Plus.
I also like the “sparks” feature that allows one to save and follow keywords at a click, much like hashtag searches on Twitter.