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Click to see full-size If you read Google+ Growth Outpaces Twitter, Facebook by Leaps and Bounds, you'll see a few charts tracking the explosive growth of Google+. Pundits attribute this amazing growth partly to the "by invitation only" method Google is using to attract people: if a friend invites you and you choose to click on the link, you're more likely to join than if you simply saw an ad for it on the Google search website or on another Google property. (If you're not already on G+, you'll see an invitation in my announcement for this issue.)

But still, reaching 10 million users in just 16 days, compared to Twitter's 780 days or Facebook's 862 days to reach that level is pretty impressive! And by day 21 Google+ had 20 million unique visitors - Wow! As the above article states, the growth rate is now about 750,000 new users per day, so by today Google+ should be at 24 million.

In another article, Google+ Pulls In 20 Million in 3 Weeks, we read: "Google+ lets people share comments, articles, photos and videos with various 'circles' of friends or contacts, or they can share content publicly with any user who wants to view their posts. Eventually, Google plans to incorporate features of Google+ in its other services, such as its YouTube video site. 'I've never seen anything grow this quickly,' said Andrew Lipsman, vice president of industry analysis at comScore. The only other site that has accumulated as many new visitors in a short period of time is Twitter in 2009, he said, 'but that happened over several months.'"

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. - Henry Ford

Since my last issue of CompuNerds.Net-News I grabbed an invitation to Google+ and have now copied my Facebook "friends" and photos to Google+. I also found the "Google+Facebook" extension to Firefox, Chrome or IE from http://crossrider.com/install/519-google-facebook, which gives you a blue "f" button at the top of your Google+ screen that will show your Facebook stream in G+ and let you post directly from G+ to FB. Now I've deleted my Facebook tab in my browser, and rarely visit that site.

What's the downside? Well, first of all, the 24 million or so users of Google+ is just a small fraction of Facebook's 750 million users, so you may think that you have fewer potential "friends" to draw from and contact with. But you can copy all of your Facebook "friends" into another G+ Circle as I've done, and you can import groups of people from your email address book into G+ (like I imported my CompuNerds.Net-News mailing list into a special G+ Circle). If they're not already in G+, they will receive your posts as email messages. The concept of "Circles" lets you place your contacts into discrete groups so you can read and write posts with just those folks in one Circle, or with all of your G+ contacts, or with "Public" like a blog to the whole world. Also, you can write a message and send it to just one of your contacts, like an email message.

Related to this, because G+ offers text-voice-video "Group Chat," I'm offering Online Office Hours tomorrow (Monday) from 10am to 1pm (US Central Time) for my CompuNerds.Net-News subscribers who are on G+: simply click on "Search People" right under "Chat" and type my name, "Robert D Hosken" - you're already in my CompuNerds.Net-News Circle - see you in cyberspace!

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Secondly, there's "social media fatigue." Some people spend half of their day reading and posting to G+, Facebook and/or Twitter, which is a terrible drain on one's time. Why add another social network? Related to this, people complain about missing or "broken" features in the various social media products. I've already seen several wish-lists of what people would like to have (or don't like) in Google+, so sometimes I reply - "Why don't you simply write your own social media software and call it 'George+'?" - this usually puts an end to the stream of comments. Among Facebook users are lots of Facebook-haters: see Report: Facebook Is Most Hated Social Media Company, who just use it because it's the "only game in town" (...that lets them post messages longer than 140 characters). Well, now they have a choice.

And thirdly, Google has been deleting some users who don't meet Google's TOS (Terms of Service), mostly because these users aren't real people using their real names: companies like Ford and entities like Sesame Street have been deleted. But a few real people who were simply including their nicknames got the ax too, including a former Google employee: see Google Plus Deleting Accounts En Masse: No Clear Answers, and these folks are complaining to Google - "Why do you allow someone to brazenly sell a Coca-Cola account on Google+, but you deleted my account?"

The article US Govt. plant USB sticks in security study, 60% of subjects take the bait begins with - "You can have all the firewalls and Internet security software in the world, but sometimes there?s just no accounting for human curiosity and stupidity." But security expert Bruce Schneier responded - "Of *course* people plugged in USB sticks and computer disks. It's like '75% of people who picked up a discarded newspaper on the bus read it.' What else are people supposed to do with them? ...The problem is that the OS will automatically run a program that can install malware from a USB stick. The problem is that it isn't safe to plug a USB stick into a computer. Quit blaming the victims. They're just trying to get by."

The goal of our CN.Net-News is to share information that we think you'll find helpful as you wrestle with that little monster on your desk, your computer. And we aim to present this information from a Christian worldview. Thanks for your time!

Best regards,

"Dr. Bob the CompuNerd"

Robert D hoskEN
See the "nerd" in my name? (It helps if you're a little dyslexic!)
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