Many of you may have been hearing about Google + lately in the news. Google has thrown its hand into the social networking arena again. You might have questions about what the point of it is, and why you would ever switch away from your beloved Facebook.

Well the good news is, I can direct you to some things that might help explain. I was going to try to explain myself, but I waited long enough that a BUNCH of other people beat me to explaining it. So here’s some helpful links to get you started.

Here’s a handy chart for some quick comparison to your crack-like addiction, Facebook.

A site called Geekmom has written a three post series about what Google+ is and what can be done with it. It’s actually a collection of writers, and usually very interesting.

The site Mashable did a complete guide, including pictures and walk-throughs of all that Google + is supposedly capable of. If you’re interested enough to read it all, it should answer every question you have about the service.

CNet is a technology news site. One of their reporters did a piece on some of the things Google has to fix, titled “Google+ has its minuses“. Some of these have already been handled, but some of them may continue to be an issue for a little while.

Overall though, what a lot of people like about Google + boils down to one thing. IT ISN’T FACEBOOK. I have shut down my account twice now, and yet I keep getting pulled back into it. The driving reason is usually that I have a friend or two that uploads their pictures to Facebook and that’s the ONLY way to see their pictures. They don’t develop them, and it would be too much of a hassle to e-mail them or host them anywhere else. And Facebook always holds onto all my data after I’ve closed my account. It’s been reported that there is a serious DELETE button somewhere that will actually remove your data, but at this point I just don’t trust Facebook. It also drives me nuts that some folks keep finding new Facebook apps that fill my Stream with every turnip purchase they make, and their horoscope, and they’re percentage of happiness. I have to block out every app, when in Google+ I can just relegate these individuals to their own Circle. Once there, I could check on them just when I’m in the mood, and not have them clutter out pictures of my friends’ new baby girl that I actually care to see.
Another thing I like about it is that it fuses in Twitter better. On Facebook it is just people I know (however obscurely I may know them; I got an invite the other day to be friends with one of my sister-in-law’s students yesterday. The kid’s 12, probably just got his own Facebook, and wants to get more total ‘friends’ than one of his school buddies). On Twitter I can get stuff from famous folk, both their own rantings as well as links to stuff they like and funny pictures they take. Both of those can be combined in Google+. I’m already following Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, and some of the writers of technology blogs I read. It’s all been fairly interesting, and has turned checking Facebook into a lame chore.
Overall I like it, and I hope to see you on there. And don’t worry; it doesn’t tell me what Circle of friends you put me in. You can throw me in your Fascist Blowhards circle and I’ll have no idea. And if you want an invite, let me know. I don’t recall if they’ve fully opened it to the public yet.