To Google+ or not to Google+

I chose to do my blog on Google+, or Google Plus, whichever way you reference the site. Google+ is in many ways like Facebook with a twist. Everyone who has a Google gmail email address is ready to set up a Google+ account. Note: you do need to officially create your account – don’t worry, there isn’t an account out there on the web just because. Google calls this  “layering” because you already have access to the platform, as well as other Google services, with your Google gmail account. All I had to do was download a profile picture, enter in my school and work information, and any other personal information I chose to share. I kept my information pretty simple for my account & posted just a few things.  See below:

The nice thing about Google+ is you don’t have to be friends with people to see posts. I am already connected to numerous users. When creating an account, you have the choice to join communities such as Health & Wellness, Spiritual, Wisdom, Relationships, Joke of the Day, Herbal Medicine, and Think Positive. The communities are endless. You can follow music, books, gardening, even celebrities. You are also able to create circles. For me, these are like private Facebook pages or Chat Rooms. You can create a cirlce of friends to discuss topics you all enjoy & follow. Only those in your secure circles can see your discussions and posts.

Since having a gmail account already sets you up for a Google+ account, the target audience is diverse. Being able to go on a social-media-type platform to browse pictures, videos, posts, & likes from all over the world is pretty amazing. You have exposure to a wide variety of information, not just from your friends like Facebook or Twitter. Google+ is another useful platform to connect with people in our global world. The home page is busy; keep that in mind. There are three columns of posts running down the page. You need to look at the top of each post to find out what category (Wisdom, Joke) it originates from. You can hit +1, which is similar to the Like feature on Facebook, you can share, & you can follow users.

For me, this site is so similar to Facebook I may not browse often. My brother refuses to join Facebook but he uses Google+. Maybe this way he can remain anonymous, which Google+ definitely creates. I have noticed that Youtube does not let you leave comments on videos unless you have a Google+ account. I may leave the account open for that reason; not that I comment on a lot of videos, but the option is nice.

For any of you who have a gmail account, give Google+ a whirl & browse through the content. It will only take you a couple of minutes to get ready to scroll!




Lifehacker – A real Lifesaver

For our first blog assignment, I chose to review Lifehacker. I must tell you, this was not my first choice. I have seen a lot of tips from Mashable; my step-dad is hooked on the website for tips and tricks. When I looked through the site I cringed. It is too busy, packed with information, and each story has several additional links for you to click on to find out more information about the initial story. Whew! Too much for me.

I must tell you, I fell in love with Lifehacker. It is a very clean, simple, and easy-to-navigate site. Each story begins with a quick introduction under the heading then  you can click further into the story if it interests the reader. That’s it! When the story is done, you can go on to the next. The site boasts topics such as Today’s Best Deals, Tips for Life, Cooking, DIY Tips, How to Negotiate Bills, The Week’s Top Downloads, and personal interest stories including Meditation, How to get Your Dream Garden, and The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating.

I learned quite a few tips when reading the site. I must make two phone calls this week, one to my cable company and one to my credit card company, to see if I can negotiate better rates than what I currently pay. My husband and I are waiting with bated breath for our campground to open for the season and we have a lot of gardening to do this year. I can use some of the tips I read to reconfigure our landscaping. I also learned how to refresh each page on my Android phone if necessary.

The main reason I chose this site is because it is not cluttered. I felt each topic was covered simply but fully. I am not a technological savvy person nor do I work in the technology field. I want to read about topics that cater to me and my interests, and this site has a little bit of both worlds. It allows the reader to keep up on technological changes and advances as well as newsworthy articles and DIY tips and tricks. I can totally see how I can make use of this site in my personal and professional life on an ongoing basis. I even hit “follow” on the Lifehacker Twitter feed.

Here is the link: