July 19, 2011

When we first heard about Google+, we were skeptical. Another social media platform to learn and port all your existing networks over to? Yikes, enough already! But Google+ may provide some advantages for the creative process. Here are just a few things creative folks can do with Google+.

  • Have a brainstorming session with your team through Google's live video chat feature, dubbed Google Hangout.
  • Share design concepts, wireframes, and more through Google+ Stream (a news feed of content and media shared by a set group of people).
  • Gain instant feedback through group-wide texting called Google Huddle.
  • Strike up conversations by receiving personalized content based on stuff you’re interested in.
  • Create live video podcasts and allow people to comment on them in real time.
  • Stay up on the latest trends in your creative field using Sparks, a content recommendation engine that finds the most relevant articles and videos on subjects of interest to you. And with the mobile version you’ll get a heads up on events.
  • Upload photos of your work.
  • Gather early market insights by requesting instant feedback on a new product announcements or other project with a select group of customers or other stakeholders.

All the Google tools we know and (often) love—Google Docs, Picasa, etc. —are also baked right into Google+, so you can:

  • Share info, photos, and video with your creative team or anyone you like. You can also easily edit photos right in Google+.
  • Conduct research through Google Scholar.
  • Keep deliverables on track with a shared project plan and gather input from multiple reviewers with Google Docs.

And there’s more. Here two areas Google+ excels at:

  • Customizing data views. You can categorize friends, colleagues, and others into “Circles”. This way you can choose which posts to share with which circles (which could be distracting, but still). And you can prioritize which content you'd like to see first. So instead of wading through your brother's Mafia Wars posts and your girlfriends' beach pics, you quickly see the posts you need for your most pressing creative projects.
  • Improved usability. After a few failed attempts at the social media game, it looks like Google is on to something with an intuitive platform. And that's a pleasant surprise, particularly considering the negative feedback out there for Facebook's less-than-intuitive interface and myriad setting changes.

There are nearly 10 million users signed up already. If you’d like more info on Google+, here are a few handy articles from Mashable to help out:

Google+ Cheat Sheet
Google+ Pros and Cons
Google Launches Google+ to Battle Facebook

Have you had experience with Google+? We’d love to hear how you think it will impact the creative process, so please share your insight. (In true Google spirit, we love to collaborate!)

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