Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Google+ for Genealogists

Yesterday morning (our time) Legacy Family Tree broadcast a webinar titled "Google+ -- The Next Big Thing." I actually sat here and listened/watched the entire webinar, which ran almost two hours. It was very interesting and well presented. You, too, can watch the webinar, at least for the next week, at http://www.millenniacorp.com/_videos/webinars/2011-08-15-googlep/2011-08-15-googlep.html   Sometimes Legacy charges for access after the first week, so watch this one now!
The webinar is divided into three distinct sessions with three different presenters. After some introductions, Paul Allen of FamilyLink.com (no, not OUR Paul Allen!), talks about the Google Plus website and how quickly it has grown.
Then Dan Lynch, Mr. Google Genealogy, demonstrates and talks about how to use Google+, including circles, streams, sparks, and hangouts.
Finally Mark Olsen, also from FamilyLink.com, demonstrates a "hangout," ie. a video chat room--live!
It was all quite fascinating, even for a relatively confirmed Facebook user like me. I can see that it would be quite helpful to be able to send specific messages and share particular photos with only some of your "friends," instead of having the share everything with all of your Facebook friends. I don't share much genealogy stuff on Facebook because I figure most of my "friends" would dump me pretty quickly. But on Google+ I can create a "circle" of genealogy friends and direct my genealogy comments just to them. Dan also showed how you can join existing circles based on your interests and geographic area. He was in one related to an ancestor's birth province in Italy. Pretty cool, eh?
The only catch is that you can only join Google+ if you're invited by someone already registered. And, of course, you need a gmail address (which is free) to register.
Just out of curiosity, how many of you are already registered users of Google+? What do you think of it?

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