Google+ as the communication platform

First of all, a disclaimer, I am not a big fan of Google … even though I am / was an user of their Gmail, Search Engine, AdSense, Google+, Maps, Earth, Picasa, Wave, Buzz, Lively, Analytics, Webmasters, Docs, Apps etc. etc. I am just a big fan of innovative products, and Google is one (a big one though) of many companies that developed many innovative solutions. For example, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and even Microsoft, just to name a few.

The recent launch of Google+ from Google however make me think twice about what I can do with it. Is it a “social network” to post my opinions, share my photos, chat with friends ? Or is it a copycat of Facebook or Twitter ? Or is it a whole new Internet communication platform ?

It’s too early to answer these questions of course, but just from the way it “Share what’s new” to the way to show the various “Streams” I think it is a new communication platform. Let’s have a look:

One Google+ user, Mike Elgan, posted the following the other day:

Instead of saying, “I’m going to write a blog post now,” or “I’m going to send an e-mail” or “I think I’ll tweet something” you simply say what you have to say, then decide who you’re going to say it to.

  • If you address it to “Public” it’s a blog post.
  • If you address it to “Your Circles” it’s a tweet.
  • If you address it to your “My Customers” Circle it’s a business newsletter.
  • If you address it to a single person, it can be a letter to your mother.

I can further add / fine-tune the followings:

  • If you address it to your “Company” Circle it’s a company newsletter.
  • If you address it to “Public” and limited it to 140 characters, then it’s a tweet.
  • If you address it to “Your Circles” it’s like a Facebook status update.

Other than sending, the different ways you show the “streams” also means different approaches of modern days’ communication. For example,

  • show the streams from “Friends” circle is like the wall posts in your Facebook, and
  • show the streams from “Following” circle is like viewing an expanded version of all the tweets from Twitter.

And of course, I can do Hangout to have video chats with many friends at the same time, and I can have group messaging with Huddle with mobile apps. Lastly, with the Chrome browser extensions (e.g. G+ Count in Title, G+me and Start G+), the features of Google+ is keep expanding, fine-tuning and advancing.

Let me know how you use your Google+, and here is my Google+ account.

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From the oldest to the newest

I was told many times by my friends that … “I would take better pictures, if I had a better camera.”, or “I would take better pictures, if I had a more expensive lens”. And of course, many of them said “All I need is a newer camera.”.

In the good old days, you know, a new camera took years to design and make, and then a few years to master, and another few years to make it break. But now camera manufacturers can roll out new cameras one after another every 6 to 9 months. One reason is one can design new cameras easily with all the tools, but another reason is because the consumers also want new cameras every few months.

So even though my favorite camera company, Olympus, spent just two years to rework their E-Px series … people think the company was too slow. Frankly, I don’t get it, I don’t see why you need the latest and greatest camera, to take good photos. Anyway, just yesterday, Olympus announces 3 new cameras (E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1), 4 new lens and dozens of accessories.

I am sure these are great cameras and can make magnificent photos. However, I am also sure my two years old E-P1 (the oldest camera in the M43 line) can still take good photos … like a few photos below from Las Vegas I took in May.

Will I buy the new E-P3 ?

Errrrh … yes, of course. I need a newer camera to take better photos … 😎