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Friday, July 22, 2011

I recently jumped into something called “Google+.” I still haven’t figured Twitter out and don’t really know if I want to; as far as Twitter goes, I feel like that proverbial farmer who is watching the south end of his prized possession galloping down the road just as he is getting around to closing the barn door. I accordingly figure that if I jump onto every other platform or whatever its called that becomes the “next big thing” in social networking, I’ll be ahead of the game.

As far as Google+ is concerned, however, I don’t think I’ve quite jumped on entirely; I’m hanging on for dear life to the boxcar door, but the toes of my shoes are dragging along on the tracks, squeezing out sparks.
I don’t quite know what Google+ is, or what it does, or how the heck to use it. I only know that it’s pretty easy to set up once you have a Google account and involves adding people to your circles of friends, colleagues, and associates. It looks to be some sort of cross between Facebook and LinkedIn. I have been added to some peoples’ circles and have added some people to my circles and I already feel inadequate because I have fewer people in my circle than other people I know, like anyone under the age of twenty. I did find a post in the excellent “My Name Is Not Bob” blog by Robert Lee Brewer which is titled “11 Google+ Tips for Writers” and I cannot understand even half of them. And that’s not the fault of Bo…er, I mean, Robert, either. No, my lack of understanding is due to what I call a PICNIC problem. Problem In Chair, Not In Computer.

The question is: from a professional stanpoint, should I bother? I made a new year’s resolution in 2010 to post to my face book page daily and to read the comments of all my friends, but I quit doing so by March of that year. Part of it was time; at one point I was spending hours reading, commenting and the like, and it became a time bandit. I didn’t really need to know every intimate aspect of the lives of everyone I know and/or care about. And trust me, you DON’T want to know mine. I thought that was what e-mail or the phone was for. But is it worth it for a writer to jump on this new bandwagon? Is anyone paying attention, honestly? Or are there already too many social networks contributing to the chatter? I think it is too early to tell. Accordingly I am circling my friends, but circling the wagons as well. What do you think?


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