When Google+ was first announced over the summer, I immediately wanted an invitation and within a few days I had my profile set up. Now, like everyone else, I was left to figure out what this was and how it was different than other social networking services. I first thought this would be the perfect opportunity to leave Facebook behind and start over since I had pretty much stopped using that site and I thought lots of other people would join me on Google+. However, early on it was reported that it was pretty much only geeks and young men flocking to the site. I found a lot of my friends from Facebook had created accounts, but never posted anything to the site and then pretty quickly abandoned their profiles. As a geek though, I was determined to stick with it and am glad I did because I have found it extremely useful professionally.
I right away found several tech teachers and librarians that I knew from HVLA and NYCIST, who were on Google+ and while I probably would not have felt comfortable adding them on Facebook, I felt fine adding them to specific circles that I created because I'm able to manage what content they see. I also really like that your page is all content generated by you that you have chosen to share with others, as opposed to people coming to your Facebook wall and putting random stuff there that you may or may not agree with. After I added those people, I started seeing who they were following and discovered a plethora of insightful resources. I really like this format because it seems like a manageable medium, to me at least, between Twitter and Google Reader (or however else you would follow tons of blogs).
Here are some people, who I have really enjoyed following and who you might want to check out if you are getting started:
Mary Ann Scheuer - School librarian, book lover, mom. Creator of site Great Kid Books.
Free Technology 4 Teachers - The Google+ Page for Free Technology for Teachers Written by Richard Byrne.
Jen Robinson - Working in high-tech, blogging about children's books and literacy from San Jose.
Vicki Davis - Educator, Mom, Flat Classroom Projects and Conference co-founder, Digiteen nonprofit, "the Wikinator."
Dave Brown - President of Interactive Elementary, a leading developer of educational iPad apps for the middle school years.
Also, here is a super helpful thread started by illustrator Debbie Ohi to help librarians find each other. If you know of other people on Google+, that librarians should be following, feel free to add them in the comments.
This post was brought to you by HVLA Communications Coordinator, Kerry Roeder