It's a question I've been pondering a lot lately. Technically, children under the age of 13 are not allowed to join Facebook. But according to a Consumer Reports in May, 7.5 million children 12 and younger are already on the site. Currently, federal law prohibits websites from collecting personal data from children without parental permission. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, as it is more commonly known, has been in effect since 1998, but has not been updated since.
While using Google+, it's been apparent that there are two types of posters. There are the people who post thoughtful, serious posts about everything from tech to dealing with cancer. And then there are the meme propagators, the people who decide to rick roll others (ahem, +Bryan Crow), and constantly put up animated gifs. Sometimes they are the same people, and this is where it gets a little controversial.
Google+ launched their API for public data today. For now it provides read-only access to public data in the form of People & Activities. Here are some links to get you started:
Like Facebook, Google+ is a great platform for sharing and viewing photographs. Many talented photographers have already uploaded their portfolios, and in addition to easy album sharing, Google+ offers something Facebook does not—simple editing features for enhancing your photos upon uploading. Below, how to instantly upload via smartphone, plus a quick run through of the basic editing tools available.
The evolution of the social web.
The group social networking application Fridge has been purchased by Google, and two of its team members will be moving to Mountain View to work on the Google+ team. Fridge, in addition to being a group social sharing site, has photo and event sharing features. The event and calendar-sharing are popular requested features for Google+ users.
If you want more people to follow you on Google+, you'll have to work for it. Not everyone can be +Tom Anderson or +Robert Scoble overnight, you know.
As Google+ is still in its Limited Field Trial phase, joining can feel quite lonely. You can't exactly get all your friends and family in during the brief periods when the invitation system opens up. You can, however, add several interesting people to your "Following" Circle to keep up with developments as they happen.
We've provided Google insiders, Google's community managers, authors, and celebrities for you to add to your circles. This week, we've discovered over 100 brilliant photographers for you to follow.
Last week, I demonstrated how to go a little deeper into your Google+ profiles, photos, and introduced cross-posting. This week, I'm highlighting a bunch of different unofficial resources that have sprung up that will help improve your Google+ experience, and give you the latest updates on Google+ Photos.
Google+ is the most exciting new social network to come around this decade, and the only product with a chance of challenging the monopolies we know as Facebook and Twitter. As an Internet addict, I've joined every major social network there is - from Friendster (who?) to MySpace (so ugly) to LinkedIn (yawn) to Twitter (irritating) and Facebook (annoying to manage). Competition is delicious, especially between well-financed monopolies. Google+ really seems to have identified an Achille's heel...
Antimatter15, author of the popular Surplus Chrome extension, was suspended from Google+ for using a pseudonym instead of a name that fits Google's community standards. As such, he's no longer supporting the extension, and if you're using it, now might be a good time to find a replacement. It's a reminder that nothing on the web is guaranteed to work forever. Luckily, there's no shortage of innovative coders whipping up creative and useful Google Chrome extensions.
Last week's round up was all about third party services that sprang up to fill any Google+ voids. This week, I'll let you know how to keep up with the latest Google+ updates, and give you some great tips for interacting with your followers.
With the Google+ team members being generous and free-flowing with advice on some of the more advanced features of Google+, we'll be publishing a weekly summary of the latest pro tips. Chances are, if you've been following the Google+ team members, you've seen some of these already but you don't have them all in one handy place.
Google+ isn't filled with just Google workers and tech-obsessed nerds. Many creative people are part of the community, and they're using Google+ to connect with their fans. Authors, especially, love talking to people about their work. We've rounded up the best published authors for you to follow on Google+. We've listed their best known works so that you can get an idea of the topics they write about.
This week has been pretty exciting for both Facebook and Google. Facebook announced a slew of features that seem on the surface to copy Google+. For Google+ users, a lot of improvements, updates and features were implemented, and they're seeing a lot more overall integration with their Google account.
Google+ is taking over the world. But first, let it invade your computer! Google+ is inspiring a lot of graphic designers and artists to have fun with the plus icon and Google colors. All of the below icons and wallpapers are free for you to use.
Circles. They are both the best thing and worst thing about Google+. They're great because they allow you to fine-tune who you're following and who you want to keep in touch with, making it easy to keep your family and friends separate from each other. On the other hand, they can be a pain to maintain, and you can easily become overwhelmed from the "noise" of popular posts, which make it hard to concentrate on some of the people you want to focus on. But if you invest a little bit of time in ...
Hangouts are one of the most fun features in Google+. As long as you have a webcam and a microphone, you can "hangout" with up to 10 of your buddies on Google+ and do just about anything. Of course, sometimes it can get kind of awkward when you are hanging out and you don't really have anything to say. This problem can be mitigated if you host hangouts with a plan.
In a previous article where I suggested 104 photographers to follow on Google+, I received a lot of criticism because over 90% of the listed photographers were men. While women are currently not a majority on Google+, they are a definite presence, and they are active. Today, I highlight the best female photographers I've found on Google+ so far. This time I'm taking a slightly different approach. Since the best way to get to know photographers is through their work, I've included one photo fo...
One of the coolest things about Twitter is the fact that you can get direct access to some of your favorite celebrities, and have one-on-one conversations with them in less than 140 characters. With Google+, you can have the same advantage, but you don't need to feel constricted by the 140 character limit. Although Google+ has been weeding out fake accounts, they do not currently have a system for celebrities to verify whether their accounts are legitimate or not.
We're ending the week with a lot of big announcements and updates. To date, Google+ has updated its name policy, but is still forbidding pseudonyms. Blocking people on Google+ became even easier, and yesterday, games on Google+ launched.
This week, Google held back on introducing a slew of new Google+ features, and introduced new Chrome extensions instead. The new additions won't replace of your favorite Chrome extensions, but they are very useful, and elegant.
One of the most exciting new features announced by Google+ was the ability to broadcast hangouts live via YouTube, which was recently demonstrated with the very first Google+ Hangout On Air with +will.i.am of the Black Eyes Peas.
+Eric Cattell, the Social Graph Technical Lead of Google+, announced a lot of improvements and added features this morning, most of them having to do with circle management and blocking people.
The Google +1 button isn't as ubiquitous as the Facebook Like button, but it's getting there. Google's working hard on improving its functionality, and recently we've seen some innovative features added. The +1 button now appears on over one million sites, and you can do more with it than you could initially.
One of the primary goals of a social network is for you to share what you find interesting with your followers and friends, but on Google+, sharing has so many layers that it can be confusing for most people to really take advantage of it properly. Some of the tools in place that enable you do deal with spam and manage your privacy aren't very clear, so this week's round up is all about how you can share what you want with who you want on Google+.
After the launch of Google+ and its ensuing attendant fanfare and rave reviews, Facebook seemed to undergo an identity crisis. On July 6th, Facebook failed to make waves with its "awesome" announcement - the new group chat and video chat features felt lame in comparison to the Google+ hangout and huddle features. Facebook also faced ongoing criticism for its perceived lack of privacy controls. Over on Quora, workers confirmed a lockdown of sorts at Facebook, for employees to work harder on fe...
I was working on a different Google+ Insider's Guide post when suddenly, my Google+ stream started filling up with news of Steve Jobs' death. Since that moment, many people in the tech industry have paused to reflect on the legacy that Steve Jobs left behind, and talk about what his vision meant for the rest of the industry, and for them personally. There's no tech sector that was untouched by Steve Jobs' influence, and that includes Google.
It's only been a few weeks, and already there are a lot of misconceptions and myths floating around Google+. Let's take a deep breath, and tackle some of the more prominent ones.
It's been an eventful week for Google+. Facebook decided to up its game and start rolling out several major updates intended to address privacy concerns. We got a glimpse into the future of Google+ via an insightful discussion between +Bradley Horowitz and +Tim O'Reilly. And Google decided to integrate the +1 button more fully with Google+ by allowing users to share directly from the +1 button. That's not all, though—scroll down for more news & updates that occurred in the past week.
These days, I keep multiple browsers open so I can keep track of all my work and personal items. As a staff member of WonderHowTo, a lot of my work is done through our Google Account, which is separate from my personal Google Account.
In a gesture to bring the social qualities of Google+ into the real world, photographer +Trey Ratcliff invited his Google+ followers to join him on a photowalk this past Thursday, held on the Stanford University campus. Over 150 people showed up to take pictures with fellow Googlers and Google+ users, and to socialize in "real life". This group photo was taken by professional photographer +Peter Adams.
Yesterday, Google's VP of Product Management, +Bradley Horowitz, sat down with founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, +Tim O'Reilly, to discuss Google+, its future, and where it's headed. You can watch the hour-long video here: I wasn't able to find a transcript for this video, but O'Reilly has helpfully rounded up some of the more interesting points.
Increasingly, I'm turning to Google+ as a source of news, and it looks like I'm not the only one. On Thursday, news of a small earthquake broke on both Twitter and Google+. One curious user, +Keith Barrett, decided to try and find out which social network was faster with the news. Turns out it was a tie. As Google integrates Google+ more closely with the rest of its services, and more users post relevant stories, I think we'll start to see Google+ as a place that can create and break stories,...
After the media outcry of Google Buzz's privacy issues, Google has set its goals on making the privacy parameters of Google+ simple to learn and as explicitly manageable as possible. No small feat.
Now that you can invite anyone you want to Google+, the floodgates are open. If you've been bummed out about not being able to share the joys of Google+ with your friends and acquaintances, make use of that handy envelope icon the right side of your stream page. Just enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite, and hit the "Invite" button.
Now that Google+ is open to everyone, there are a lot of new people who aren't techies trying out the service. When you first sign on, it can be overwhelming. I've decided to round up a bunch of resources to help you get started, and recommend some people for you to follow, if you want to stay on top of tips and new announcements.
Many companies were disappointed when Google+ rolled out and banned the creation of accounts specifically for businesses and brands. Fortunately, today, Google began rolling out Google+ pages, for them to start connecting with customers and followers. For an example of what a Google+ Page looks like, check out the one for the +The Muppets: