How Google+ will replace Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Email & eBay

Google+ is the social media toy of the moment. So far most people seem to think that it might even be so awesome that it could topple Facebook.

I have been lucky enough to have received an invite from @R2UK and below are my thoughts so far as to how Google+ might take over the world and replace blogs, Twitter, Facebook, email and eBay.

Quick Google+ Overview

I’m aware that most people don’t have Google+. In fact most people I know haven’t even heard of it.

Therefore, if you are one of those people, think of Google+ as being rather like Facebook but with greater privacy control settings. You add friends into circles and when you post you can specify whether to make your post public, visible to only certain people, circles or extended – your friends and their circles.

It also has a number of extra features which have cute names like huddle and hangout.

How Google+ will take over the world

Well it’s not going to happen overnight but I like what I’ve seen and once Google+ opens its doors to everyone it will be very interesting to see what happens.

Replacing Blogs & Twitter

It seems to me that sending a public post is similar to posting on Twitter or writing a blog post.

There is some loss of functionality but I am guessing that will come with time e.g. there is no concept of Twitter hashtags.

Also I only seem to come across public posts when one of my friends comments on a post. But the viral marketing opportunities are plenty.

Replacing Facebook

For private posts like photos of the kids or what you did last night, you simply post to certain circles.

But even better is that you can use your circles to only tell those groups of people who you think are interested in certain things – or to exclude certain people from seeing your posts, like your parents or your boss.

And the mute button which turns off notifications for that post is just pure genius – it will I’m sure get used a lot.

Replacing Email

Instead of email, you just post to people or circles.

Again the mute button will be very useful, but it will be both fab and annoying. Great for if you get fed up with the constant difficulty some people have distinguishing between the reply all and reply button. Annoying if someone replies with the expectation that you are listening.

Google+ is definitely the first tool to really put some meat to the idea that email will cease to exist in the future.

Replacing eBay

The cost of selling on Ebay has rocketed. We now use a local Facebook group to buy and sell for free.

Extended posts could be for buying or selling. Where you hope that if your friend is friends with this person it will mean that they won’t rip you off. Only problem is that because the circles work as they do, people will be more relaxed about adding everyone. So I think the extended circles will be less trusted than the same concept in other social media tools.

Do you have a Google+ account? What do you think of it so far? Could you ever see yourself giving up blogging, Twitter, Facebook, email or eBay for Google+?

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Parents share local info using New Facebook Groups

Facebook have launched New Facebook Groups and yes, just to be confusing, have called it New Groups!

I first became aware of this due to a post on StopThinkSocial which I promptly shared with my Facebook friends.

One of those friends was inspired to create a private local parent group and thanks to the viral effect of friends adding friends, within a couple of days there were 75 members.

So far we have shared half term activities, firework displays and general useful links

Tip: when people started posting duplicate info it became clear we needed to make use of docs, which are great, because all members can update docs. We created docs for different types of info – e.g. half term activities 2010, fireworks 2010 etc

Finding previously created docs is however not immediately intuitive. The temptation is to treat the links at the top as tabs, but clicking on the docs link simply creates a new doc. Docs are stored on the right and you may need to remind members of this.

It remains to be seen as to whether the initial flurry of participation continues or whether it was just a result of the initial novelty. But this geeky mummy is hoping for the former as New Facebook Groups are in my opinion a great addition to Facebook.

So what do you think of the New Facebook Groups? Have you set up your own New Group? Have Facebook got it right?

Social Media Success – Facebook status update reveals shoe buying secret

The summer holidays are rapidly drawing to end. With only two weeks left, parents up and down the country are breathing a mixed bag of emotions from ‘can’t come soon enough’ to ‘where did the time go’. However one thing unites all parents of school age children – the dreaded shoe shopping.

This without doubt has to be the busiest time of the year for shoe shops. Parents waiting as late as possible to ensure that their child doesn’t grow out of their shoes before term starts, but not wanting to leave it too last minute just in case shoes have to be sourced elsewhere.

Busy is bad news for parents as busy = queues = waiting = bored child + fractious baby = stressed mummy

We have a number of local buying options including an excellent independent store and the usual chains.

Checking my Facebook newsfeed, one of my mummy friends posted that she was at said independent store and after three quarters of an hour was seriously considering giving up. And so competitive ‘we waited the longest ever’ battle ensued mixed in with the occasional smug ‘I turned up and was in and out within 5 mins’.

However, one hero of a mummy revealed what I can only describe as the most crazy best kept secret. Crazy because it is simply brilliant yet why, as a mummy, did I not know this important stress and time saving gem of information?

Clarks allow you to book appointments! You then just turn up and get seen straight away.

no queues = no stress = happy mummy

The person that revealed this little known secret was not a friend, but is a friend of a friend. This is a great example of how social media and specifically Facebook has saved me time and stress.

Three cheers for Facebook!