Brian Romans wanted screenshots, and screenshots he shall have. You're all welcome to sneak a look. And give thanks to Ron Schott for making it possible - he kindly sent me an invite.
Google+ is, so far, the only social media site I haven't had to be dragged on to kicking and screaming. All of the others - MySpace, Facebook and Twitter - struck me as a gargantuan time suck with little benefit. Friends of mine (I call them friends) ganged up and created a MySpace profile for me, so it was get my ass on there or have them make up outrageous shit about me until I did. Can't remember why I joined Facebook, honestly - I think it was for some cause or other. And Twitter is Erik Klemetti's fault - when he left ScienceBlogs, he was only going to be on Twitter for a while, so I grumbled and I groaned but I jumped on to follow him because I couldn't be without Eruptions. Little did I know that Twitter would change my life for the best. Thank you, Erik!
I think it's that last experience that made me want to be in on Google+ from the beginning. That, and the promise that I could organize the people I associated with into circles. This is genius. I don't have to drink from a firehose - if I want to catch up on my geos, I can choose my geo circle; if I'm feeling friendly, I can view friends only, and so forth. Here's what my home page looks like:
You notice the selections off to the left, there? That's right - I can change who shows up in my stream with a click of a button. It's teh awesome. I love it.
Also not the "Hangouts" button to the right. Hangouts are genius. Ron was kind enough to have me over for a chat earlier. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get audio to work, and I still haven't figured out why it won't save my settings, but I'm sure those issues will get sorted. We still managed a fine chat, and you know what this means: we can all jump into a hangout, show each other rocks, and jibber-jabber. If they come up with a recording feature, it'll become a hugely valuable tool for us.
Posting is a breeze, and I love the look I get when I link blog posts:
It snatches a picture and a few lines from the post for me. Completely easy and absolutely lovely.
Adding people to circles, creating new circles, and managing them is simplicity itself. You'll see when you get there. It's pretty much just drag-and-drop, and there's all sorts of ways to add people without having to go through a lot of effort.
That's the thing about Google+: even in these early days, it's pretty much effortless. I don't know how cluttered and weird it might get later, but right now it's relaxing, refreshing, and actually useful. It seems like I'll be able to connect with a huge number of very outstanding people here, and it allows a lot more depth and scope than Twitter.
Not that I'll ever stop loving Twitter. The two seem to compliment each other quite well so far, and let's face facts: I'm a total Twitter addict. But I'm happy there's finally a social networking site that allows me to do so much more without the various irritations of Facebook.
If you're already on Google+, come find me. If not, hop on once they've opened the place up and come find me then. I want my circles filled with awesome, and you, my darlings, are the very definition of awesome.