After using Google+ for about 24 hrs, and I mean not getting off of it except for a few hours of sleep, I think that I can already make a list of my favorite features:
- Circles that let you group people
- Notifications you can see when you are using other (but not all) Google sites
- Ease of use
- Clean look
- Not being Facebook (this alone is enough)
However, at the very top of my list are Google+ Sparks.
Google+ Sparks explained
Google+ Sparks is a feature you can use to get all the info about your interests (if you can’t see it by clicking the link, here is a screenshot).
You can click on any of the images (categories) you want, and add it to your interests. I chose to type in my interests instead, and keep up with stuff I am interested in. Creating a spark “Movies” just seems like too much.
Once you chose your interests, you will be able to see a link to each of them under your profile picture. Any time you want to see what is going on in the world, that is related to your interest, click on it and you will get a page filled with news, posts, information.
For example, I can stay up to date with anything related to “blogging”, “Serbia” or which ever interest I add, as you can see it in my list of Sparks.
So today I go to check what is going on in my country. I click on the Spark named Serbia and see the list of posts mentioning it.
I saw an interesting post about a Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, who just made it to the Top of ATP list and is the tennis player No 1 on the world.
I wanted to share it with my friends on Google+ and all I had to do is click share.
After clicking Share, you get a share box to show up. Sharing is pretty simple, same as Facebook:
Clicking Share will send it to my stream and people that have me in one of their circles (following me) can see it.
Please watch this video if you can not find Sparks in your profile.
Why I like Google+ Sparks?
The main thing is staying up to date with my interests.
Of course, I can go to Google News for that, but this is all in Google+. I don’t have to open Google and do a search for news, it is one click away in my preset Sparks.
When I see a spark I like, I can share it with friends.
I can make it public (like in the screenshot above) or I can share if with only some of my circles. If I was sharing a blogging related post, I could have made it visible just to my blogging circle.
I can also share this post directly with someone, by typing in their email and sending it.
The main advantage of this, over other ways of doing it is the simplicity. You can check the Spark with one click while using Google+ and then share it.
I can’t see staying up to date and sharing being any easier than this.
I see this like having Google Alerts, News, Search and Facebook sharing all in one.
What do you think about all this?
If you have not heard about Google+, the new social network (that might take a lot away from Facebook), I sent a lot of invites to my newsletter subscribers. To stay up to date and receive some cool stuff I have for my subscribers from time to time, you should subscribe :)