I’ve been playing on the web, in the cloud, for years, and this is a description of the last couple of days. I started reading articles about Google+ (Google Plus) a couple of days ago, and added links on Twitter. Then I got an email notification with an invitation to join from someone I’ve never met, but have corresponded with for years on Facebook and Twitter.
He was one of the co-founders of the first truly social blogging site I was ever on, the long gone, lamented Elgg, later EduSpaces. I quickly followed the link and joined Google+ and started adding people to Circles – the most exciting part of Google+, in my opinion. I set up a number of Circles of various people/interests in my life, and wanted to invite some of them to this pre-beta project. Couldn’t quickly find a way. So I did what I always do – I searched for a how-to on Google. Found it http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-20075805-285/how-to-invite-your-pals-to-google/ – and used the suggestions in it. I haven’t heard back yet about whether the invites worked, but I’m sure I will.
While playing with Google+, I paused, as I do several times a day, to check my email, Twitter, and Facebook. I found a notification that my adult daughter had sent me a DM (Direct Message – a private communication on Twitter) regarding a texting conversation we’d been having. I don’t know why she moved from texting to Twitter, perhaps she was already on Twitter and it was just easier than setting up a text message. I went to Twitter and found just a link in the DM. It was to a Facebook page.
Now my daughter and I are not “friends” on Facebook, although we get along well otherwise. We used to be Facebook “friends” but a few years ago something she posted upset me and I tried to persuade her to remove it. A vigorous discussion ensued, and she unfriended me. Some calm talk after a bit convinced us we were both better off not being “friends”. A problem that Google+ has just solved by making it absolutely easy to avoid messages going to the ‘wrong’ people, allowing users to send semi-private messages to different of their groups – by using Circles.
As I eventually told my daughter, I didn’t know how middle class I was till I saw something she posted that I didn’t want our mutual “friends” (mostly my friends) to see. How embarrassing!
By the time Twitter arrived, we’d sorted out things, and we follow each other there. Hence her DM Tweet to get me to visit a Facebook page. Or maybe she had been on her phone for texting and was on her netbook when she discovered the link she wanted to send me. We now have all kinds of machines as well as all kinds of communications applications.
It’s a fascinating social media world we surf through, using all kinds of different applications for communicating with people we have all kinds of different connections with. We live in a multi-stranded communications environment.