Monday, August 8, 2011

As Google+ Evolves

Not that they need our help, but c'mon, we're all going to offer it anyway. If only to each other with our Monday morning armchair quarterbacking (sorry to those from outside the USA, that's a bit of a football expression), but certainly we'll use Google+ itself to Hangout, Huddle, and post items which will appear in each others Stream . . . all to share what we think of this great new platform for online social media. And it seems to have the potential to be soooo much more than that too, doesn't it.

I've traded many interesting thoughts with others from around the world this past few weeks about Google+ and how we're already adopting it for use in our day-to-day lives. To be fair, I'd guess that 75% or more of my contacts are somehow connected to genealogy or family history. While this group may not get the credit it deserves, I've found since the mid-1980s that those in the family history community are consistently early adopters of technology and have, in many cases found some very interesting uses for products or services designed for one thing, but then are absorbed by us in our family history pursuits.

If you doubt that comment, look no further than Family Tree Maker software, the best selling genealogy software of all time. That product was originally created by Banner Blue Software as a software product (ah yes, before the word App became so cool) to create organization charts for businesses. It evolved over time to Org Plus, then Org Plus Advanced and it wasn't long before their technical support team was responding to some very interesting questions with regularity. Seems people didn't want just one person at the top of an org chart - they wanted two, a husband and a wife. Hmmm. Interesting. Well, let me get back to my point because you get the idea.

Google built it, so yes, we will come. But it's up to us to put the product to use in ways that were never imagined and to let Google know where it needs to go over time. And not just Google, but the third-party developers that have already created extensions to enhance the capabilities of the Google+ base offering.

I'll try to get the discussion going and share and/or relink to other posts that I see that may be relevant or interesting. Share your comments, because the pro/con discussions are very useful in understanding different points of view from around the world . . . or even sometimes right next door.

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