why I use Google Plus
I started using Google Plus over a year go, out of sheer necessity. One of the commissions I am on uses it to keep the board members and commission members updated. I joined, uploaded one picture, and began using it. Within a few weeks I began to realize that Google Plus wasn't a social media site. It is a powerful set of tools for communicating and getting business done. Here are some of the features I use, and why I use them.
This feature is literally worth it's weight in gold. Seriously, it's amazing. It is basically a video conference call similar to Skype, with one MAJOR difference. You can have up to ten people join the video conference call at once. That's huge! I was blown away with the audio and video clarity (completely dependent upon your internet connection). I used it for a long time to chat with the board members, then one day it hit me: Family conference calls! Now every week I Hangout with my cousins, in-laws, and family spread out across the country. We can all catch up at once.
While I was still learning the Hangout basics, some of my more advanced friends were not only Hanging Out, they were sharing documents with Google Plus. Basically while talking and seeing one another, they were sharing documents, editing them as a joint project, etc. This is a huge advance for online meetings. You can brainstorm all using the same document. Everyone can see the changes you are making real time. It has been a huge break through for our commission heads.
What I don't use Google Plus for
Google Plus isn't Facebook. Not even close. Everyone is too committed to Facebook at this point. I have 2,000 pictures over there. Facebook is more intuitive for posting, perusing pictures, and just wasting time. Google Plus is more of a machine to get stuff done. Because it is so stream-lined for business, it will never have the same number of users as Facebook or Twitter. However, it is a great tool for business and social interaction. Google doesn't need to replace Facebook, what they have in Google Plus is great just the way it is.