Google +

05Sep11

(http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/googles-social-network-google-plus-takes-aim-at-facebook-but-will-it-work/2011/06/29/AGNARArH_story.html)

I was most enticed by all of the buzz about Google + this summer. Google + offers a new look at social networking through one of the most prominent media players in existence today. Google + has emerged as a huge competitor with Facebook, offering similar ways of sharing and communicating with our online communities, as well as offering certain features like “Sparks” to help our online experience become more personalized and synched to the things we are most interested in.

Especially because Google + is still in “field trial,” allowing users to explore it by a limited and invitation only basis, it will be interesting to see what becomes of this new social networking idea. Will it really be able to compete with Facebook’s 750 million + users? In mid July Google + users topped 10 million in just several weeks, so it seems like the answer could be yes.
( http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-15/news/chi-google-shares-jump-10-as-profit-soars-20110714_1_google-wallet-online-search-leader-google-s-facebook)

There is still a lot of skepticism and debate about what will become of Google +, but another interesting aspect of this whole thing are the recent reports that Google is axing 10 of its older and less successful products in order to “improve the overall Google experience” and make things easier and less complicated for its users. There are no doubts that this “spring clean up” is somehow linked to the introduction of Google +, so this creates an even greater intrigue about what Google + will actually do.

(http://crave.cnet.co.uk/software/google-to-kill-off-10-of-its-products-50005008/)
(http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2106723/google-pulls-products-major-cleanup)

In terms of Media Work and Chapter 1, I think Google + is extremely relevant to the idea of “Personal Information Spaces” and especially important to what Deuze asserts when he says “The various ways in which ever-growing numbers of people both young and old engage with each other through media is sometimes taken as a new form of community” (12). I think the idea of community is really intriguing when translated from old fashioned meanings in to online versions of today, and I think that is precisely what Facebook and now Google + are after. I’d love for some discussion/thoughts about the idea of “community” and what it means to people today and how they navigate, interact and identify with their own personal communities. Do online networking sites allow us to identify with more communities than previously? Are the interactions in these “communities” really genuine?

-Annie Sexton

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