Google+ is a brand new social networking site. It’s growing incredibly fast – over ten million users within just a few days of going live with it’s beta site. And the best part? There’s already a huge network of photographers online. Because the site is growing so fast, there’s a lot of activity right now. Everyone is learning the ins and outs and sharing tips and ideas for making it better. The interface is clean, and easy to use. At this point, you’ll need an invitation in order to join – if you don’t have one yet and you want one, comment on this post asking for one, and we’ll send you an invite. If you are already online – add us to your photography circle so we know you are out there!
Here’s what we like – and what we don’t…
First off – the privacy settings are better than facebook’s, and it’s easier to navigate. And by sorting your contacts into “circles”, you can keep photography contacts separate from personal contacts who don’t want to be spammed with your latest photographic exploits. Your Picasa albums are automatically included, and your blogger account can be integrated as well. You can manage your photo albums with the picasa tools. And finally – you can view circle streams independently of one another – so, I can check out what’s happening in my photography circle, and then, with a quick click, I can see what my siblings are doing. There’s also a “notifications” stream, which lets me see the latest activity – who has commented on my posts, who has added me to their circles recently, and so on.
Managing photos requires you to go to picasa – there’s a “photos” link at the top of the page that takes you to your picasa albums where you can change album titles, delete photos, and otherwise manage your albums. The blogger interface is integrated into google plus – which is mostly a good thing – but I made a fatal mistake the other day. I deleted an album in Picasa – a random collection of images… or so I thought… and it turned out that I deleted every single image from my old blogger account. Oops. And picasa doesn’t keep a backup. Ouch. I’m using WordPress now – so it wouldn’t be a big deal, except that all those old posts were being pulled in to my wordpress blog – and I had them included in categories and collections and pages… well… it’s complicated. Suffice it to say that it made a real mess of my website – missing images all over the place – and I had to hide all those posts to hide the problem. And now I’ll have to put the images back one by one and add them to the blog again. Ugh. (I did contact google with that one – a warning message would have saved me hours of work! Maybe they’ll fix it!)
Also, posting a photo from an existing album can be tricky – you have to go to picasa, get the image URL, and paste it to the share box. The image appears in the post, and then you can delete the URL and type your message. Huh? It’s still in beta (testing mode), so they may change that, but for now, it’s a bit odd. It’s easy enough to upload an image straight from your computer, though – just click the photo icon and choose the photo you want to add.