Google+ is all the rage today — it’s a new social networking service launched by Google, currently available by invitation only. Basically, you put all of your Google contacts into circles like Friends, Family, Business, etc., and then you can follow things people choose to share. Sound familiar? Like, Facebook? Yeah. Anyway, people can post directly on Google+, and they can also +1 things they like around the web, which will then appear in your Google+ stream. This is done either with a +1 button (see the bottom of this post for an example) or by using a +1 browser extension. It’s just like a Facebook Like. Except it’s not Facebook, it’s Google. [OK, coming back to this again, it looks like the +1 things don’t appear in the main Stream, although they do appear on one’s profile. You can post links to the Stream, though, by copying and pasting the URL. Correct me if I’m wrong…]
Google+ seems to work smoothly and do what it’s advertised to do. I just don’t see any compelling reason for people to use it, given that most are already on Facebook. After all, there’s no FARMVILLE on Google+! Well, maybe that’s a good thing.
Oh, I did see one cool thing: If you delete a circle, the circle actually ROLLS OFF THE PAGE. Seriously.
If you’d like a Google+ invitation, I just saw a note on Google+ that they are shutting down invites for the night! But you can leave me a comment below, using your Gmail address as the email address, and I’ll send you an invite when they open up again. Don’t worry, no one will be able to see your email address besides me.
Empire Avenue has been around a little longer. I noticed it because a Twitter friend joined up and was auto-tweeting messages about it one day. It’s a social media stock market game/networking website. You can buy and sell stock in other people (or companies with social media accounts). You can try to increase your own share price by being active in social media (it tracks your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube activity) and by getting other people to buy more shares in you. You can also try to increase your net wealth by buying and selling the right stocks. It’s all free; you’re just dealing in virtual money (unless you want to put real money into it).
I’m not really sure what the point is (although there are explanations out there). But I’m having a little fun with it anyway, and it does keep me posting on Facebook and Twitter (and here, I get credit for posting here!).
If you’re interested in joining Empire Avenue, you can use my referral link if you would like to, which awards me 2,000 eaves (virtual currency). And if you’d like to buy shares in me, I’m KMCDADE.