Tools for Transparency: Google+


I’d be remiss to not comment on Google+ after last week’s successful beta launch. I was lucky enough to get an early invite and after a week of feature testing and button pushing, I’m seriously impressed with the service.  The site is polished, intuitive and just plain fun to use. Google+ is going to be a powerful networking tool and one that will give Facebook a serious run for its money.

There’s not much I can add to the overall conversation at this point, except to point out some of the features that will be handy to the transparency community. For instance: Circles. Circles are Google’s approach to group your contacts and adding a level of privacy to how and with who you share. You can start creating circles for sharing information with your colleagues, acquaintances and advocates right now.

I’d suggest holding off on creating a profile for your organization or group, it seems that Google is still working through how the profiles should look and function. I made the mistake of setting up a personal profile on Facebook for an organization I was working with because Fan Pages weren’t quite as useful as they are now. Eventually I had to recreate the group profile, duplicating many hours of work. Don’t let this happen to you.

If you have a Google+ account, let me know what you think.  How does it compare to Facebook? What features do you like or wish they had rolled out already? Below I’ve included a cheatsheet (also available in other languages.)

UPDATE: 120+ people teamed up using Google Docs and have created a comprehensive guide to Google+.