KOMU’s Sarah Hill demonstrated how Google+ Hangout sessions can be used in a journalistic context. But will Google+ ever catch on? It’s nice to have a speedy, real-time video chat connection to people anywhere in the world, but those people need to have Google+ accounts to participate.
As an aspiring journalist, I should probably be bowing down to Google+ and all of its wonders. Instead, I’m dreading the moment when I will have to create a new account with a new brand of social media. Google+, to me, just represents a new username, a new password, a new tab constantly open in my Internet browser and a new venue in which to obsess over my cyber-popularity. The people I’ve talked to who have heard of Google+ don’t bother to open an account, or they open an account and promptly abandon it.
If journalists want to use Google+ effectively, people besides journalists need to be using Google+. It’s great to get the opinions of other journalists via Google+ Hangouts, but there needs to be more variation in sources and commentators contacted through this social media tool. That’s why Facebook and Twitter are such helpful tools for journalists: they both have millions of active users from every imaginable place and situation. If Google+ can eventually gain this kind of following, it will become much more useful for journalists.
In the meantime, Google+ is not doing so well, and one of Google’s own engineers offers an explanation.