I read in the official google blog today that Google Plus is out of closed beta and is now offered to everyone (although I think it’s still in the beta phase). If you have a google account (for example a gmail account), you can just head to the plus web site and sign in. Then fill out a form and you will be ready to play. It is possible that the first time you enter there, you will either see a very empty slate or invites from people who may have invited you in the past. But hang on for a while and start adding people, and you will soon see the power of this new system. I am certainly looking forward to see a lot more traffic and active conversations going on in Google plus. Here is my google profile if you’d like to add me to your list of friends. Additionally, there are lists of suggested users and groups where you can add yourself by adding your profiles. Those sites are fairly self explanatory. For example, I’d suggest you to start with the group.as website.
I have found that there are three areas where google plus really shines. First, it’s a great place to find learning materials and discover new ideas. Here, it is somewhat like Twitter or following blogs. But think of it as a giant blogging platform with very complex interconnections. If you are someone who want to follow new ideas and adventurous, Google plus is a great place to hang out. Second, Google plus really shines in photos and videos and this includes it’s famous hangout sessions. Hangout sessions now allow you only to literally “hang out” with only nine others, but it is in unbelievably powerful way to interact with others. You can initiate your own hangout sessions and call in people and join in conversations, or you can find hangout sessions to go to and attend them. People have hosted music jams, tutorials, and cooking demonstrations classes in hangout sessions and it’s really a great way to utlize. Third, combining hangouts and hi resolution photos and circles, it is possible to set up remote classes and tutorial sessions to teach and educate and be educated in turn. I think this can be utilized for holding telehealth applications relatively easily and in very cost effective manner. One can hook up computers connected to fairly high speed broadband networks (fairly easily available these days almost anywhere in the world and initiate a hangout session).
Would be great to have some of you in the google plus sessions and chat. Would be great if you can drop me a line as a comment here on Google plus.