If someone hasn’t told you to stop wearing tall tube socks, do so now. A couple years ago a friend and co-worker, who we’ll call Mary Anne Parker (to protect her identity), told me it was time to ditch what she referred to as “the Ph.D.” socks. She often speaks without filters.
Ankle-high or lower socks are preferred these days. I didn’t realize that I looked like Kareem Abdul Jabbar (legs not to scale) in my socks, and that I had fallen behind in what was acceptable coverings for your feet while still providing support and protection of my shins and calves. It was time for a change. This change was going to be slow considering the lifetime supply of tube socks already existing in my dresser drawers. The transformation is now complete but for some reason (occasional interaction with cowboy boots or alternative footwear that is not conducive ankle socks that will be determined at a later date, I’m sure) I kept a couple pairs of my hip waders around.
In a world of change today it is tough to keep up with what is acceptable, current, or the next big thing. So how do you know when to make that jump? Just this week Google+ was released, and I can’t see myself taking it on right now (on top of multiple email accounts, Facebook, making fun of Paul, Twitter, talking to my wife, texting, a blog, making sure my children are breathing, Words With Friends, and a correspondence course on recognizing prison tats) without it being proven to last or the opportunity that it will improve my live or communication amongst my overloaded outlets.
Since we care about you and don’t want you to be the tube socks of social media, here are a few things that I hear about Google+ that may interest you. The hard part for now is that you have to be invited to become a member. This is a rough start for people like Paul, where this brings up memories of junior high school dances and being picked last at softball a few nights ago. It does sound like it has great potential and takes the best (along with all of the weaknesses) of other social media outlets and rolls it into one application. Here are those details promised above.
Google Circles: First can Google do anything without calling it Google _____? Okay, it’s out of my system. Do you have friends on Facebook who you aren’t sure who they are? The answer is yes. Circles, as I call it, allows you to organize your friends in groups like family, friends, high school, collage, band camp (Paul), and co-workers.
Sparks: Allows you to feature articles on your landing page based on your interests. Ever since my brother burned me with a sparkler in 1984, I stay away from sparks.
Hangouts: Allows you to video chat with friends—a feature that will not be popular with lurkers.
Huddles: Allows you to chat in groups. Imagine a place where all of the readers of this blog could meet in one place and discuss use of their, theirs, there, and there’s. I know this was an underlying purpose in the design phase. I’ll see you there Paul and Jeff.
I also hear that there is great interaction between + and Picasa (an excellent free image editing program offered by Google that will soon be called Google Photos, big surprise huh?). More details, a tour, and images can be seen on Google. From there you can see if + is going to become a part of your life.
This may not surprise you, but I haven’t been invited yet. Perhaps that has something to do with my Yahoo email address.