Sorry to have been absent lately but I hadn’t been shooting a lot, partly because of ennui brought on by impending Winter and partly because I’ve have been spending a lot of time on Google Plus (Google+, G+) which has cut into my time for the SmugMug Dailies. So why do I spend time on there? As someone who has joined and dropped Facebook at least 4 times and started and abandoned 3 websites, why does the experience on Google+ interest me so? One reason is its better protection of personal information and another is Circles, which allows you to categorize who follows you and who you follow into many separate groups or Circles and only share certain info with those you wish. Your family doesn’t have to read what you share with your poker buddies and you don’t have to read the rants of your third cousin twice removed. And nobody knows what Circle you put them into or if you have blocked them. You can choose which Circles to join, who to include in your Circles and who to exclude.
But mostly, I’m there because there is a huge interactive group of photographers on G+, all “setting around” in a coffee house environment, real time, showing each other photos, trading tips, answering questions, giving instruction, etc. I currently have three photography Circles. One for other “aspiring” photographers, another specifically for fellow Lightroom 3/CS5 users, and one for published professional photographers. It’s quite instructional to “follow” Trey Ratcliff, Colby Brown, Scott Kelby, Mike Shaw, Alex Koloskov and many, many others who are very active on G+. Several of them frequently organize Hangouts where, with your PC and webcam, you can participate in live group discussion sessions with them.
G+ is tightly integrated with the Google Chrome browser but it seems to work OK with Internet Explorer and Firefox, too. You can upload photos directly from Lightroom to Picasa Web which is also integrated with Google+. Or you can post from any of your file folders directly to your G+ Stream.
If you would like to see a current list of about 30 daily themes to post to (#waterfallwednesday, #travelthursday, etc), check here
Yesterday I got out and shot a lot of Autumn photos so maybe I’ve beat the change of season lassitude and have found some new inspiration. I intend to stay on SmugMug as it displays portfolios so well and provides easy tools for commerce. I hope to see you over on G+, too.