Using Google+ as a placeholder service

This post is Day #7 in a series called Personal Branding for Software Developers.

Google+ or Google Plus or G+ was launched in the fall of 2011 as an attempt to rival the hold that Facebook has over users. The premise is the same as Facebook in that it will allow you to create a profile and then link that profile to other Google+ users. You can then use these networks to share information and keep abreast of what other people are doing.

Google+ has gained a fast following in the short time it has been active. It already has over 90 million users but lags behind the over 800 million users of Facebook. However, the launch of Google+ brought some innovations that Facebook has scrambled to replicate. This includes the idea of “Circles” which allows you to categorize people and only post updates to these people. As we saw in my previous article on Facebook I made the decision to separate my Facebook account from my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts so that I could keep my private and professional lives separate. Conceivably with Google+ you would not have to do that.

The new site also offers “hangouts” which allows for group video chatting with up to 10 people at a time. They also have a +1 button where you can recommend websites or specific pages on the internet. This is akin to Facebook’s Like button but instead it follows you around the internet. There are many other features offered by Google+.

An account id is offered free to anyone who has a Google account or a Gmail account. If you already have one of these accounts then your Google+ profile is waiting for you. If not then it will be available once you create your Google account.

The benefit of a Google account is obvious. Because it is so tightly integrated into Google your identity is easily shared with its search engine. Doing a quick search on my name in Google I can see that my Google+ account is the fourth item returned. People can see my account on the first page of search results and get information about me immediately.

This all being said I am not a Google+ user. The reason being is most of the people I know on Facebook have not migrated to using the site. That does not mean I will not use it in future but for now it is an empty placeholder. However, I did fill out my profile on the About page and added links to all my social media identities. The reason being is that when people browse to this page I have a free service where I can aggregate all my links so that people can find my other active sites.

As you can see I believe in using all the social networking sites I can to create my personal brand and to promote it.

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About Ken Cenerelli
I am a Programmer Writer, .NET Developer, Microsoft MVP - Visual Studio and Development Technologies, Public Speaker, Blogger, and Microsoft Azure Nerd. I blog regularly at kencenerelli.wordpress.com and can be found on Twitter via @KenCenerelli.

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