We’ve taken to using Google Hangout for our family video conferencing. I was introduced to it at The League and found it was easy enough for all of our family members to use. The downside is that it requires Google+. It says it doesn’t, but it does. The other downside is that nobody uses Google+. I finally got around to getting my profile completely set up (places I’ve lived, jobs I’ve worked, schools I’ve attended, etc.) only to discover that it’s even more a ghosttown now than it was when I first created the account.
Google does a really good job of encouraging people like me, in the Googlesphere, of going ahead and setting up an account. I use Gmail in order to organize my contacts for the phone. Throw in the Google Calendar, and I’m relatively entrenched in a way that Microsoft never did with Windows Mobile. I’ve actually come to like the setup on G+ a little bit better than Facebook. Beyond that, there is some redundancy involved. It somehow annoys me, though, that G+ is useful for chatting but I can’t find much of any other use for it. I thought about making it a repository for cross-posts (things I put on Twitter, or Facebook), but it’s not good for even that (apparently they are stingy with giving developers the tools with which to do it).
One of the frustrating things about Google+, and the fact that nobody uses it, is that few people that have an account even have a profile picture. I’m extremely OCD about these things. I’ve gone in and added some picture or another to every person on my contact list. If I have a picture of them, I add it. If not, I add a picture of some relevance. I have an irrational hatred of default silhouettes. My sisters-in-law went about creating the G+ accounts and I had to implore them to add a picture so that I wouldn’t be setting up chats with a bunch of silhouettes.
Sometimes, I think I’m not normal.