When I first heard about Google+ (Google’s new social media site), I thought, “Great, just what I need—-I can barely keep up with my Facebook and Twitter accounts….” but now that I’ve been using it for a week or so…I’m kind of digging it.

One of my favorite features of it, versus Facebook/Twitter, is how it displays photos you post to Google+. It puts them at a decent enough size, that in most cases you don’t really have to click on them to see a larger size. To me, the whole thing just feels a lot more “photo friendly” than the other social media sites, including flickr, and I’ve been posting some photos there I haven’t posted elsewhere (so, not really my portfolio images, but instead images that have a story attached to them. Sometimes it’s the post processing, or something that happened during the shoot, and stuff like that).

The whole copyright issue
Of course, when it comes to posting photos on any social media site, the discussion always turns to copyright issues, and honestly I don’t personally have any problems with Google+’s terms. I don’t think Google is going to steal all my photos and use them for their own evil purposes (in fact, I’ve never read a single story about some big photo-sharing site misappropriating a photographer’s photos, or anything along those lines, so I just don’t sweat it. I know, I know….I’m totally naive—the big corporations are actually secretly out to get…..[wait for it...wait for it]…free photography).

Here’s what I do know: any time lawyers get involved in stuff like this, you’re going to have a lengthy legalese document that makes it sound like Google+ (or Facebook, or Twitter) is going to grab all your rights for now and eternity, when all they’re actually trying to do is keep their client (Google+ in this case) from getting sued.

We have a similarly scary-sounding contract for photographers that write for the magazine I publish—Photoshop User magazine. Are we trying to do a rights-grab for the photographers that write for us? Of course not. That would just make us a lot of lifelong enemies. However, our attorneys fight with us tooth and nail claiming we have to have those things in place to protect us and keep us from getting sued into oblivion, so we begrudgingly require them to sign it. Believe me, I wish we didn’t have to. The folks at Google+ probably feel the same way, and wish they had one short paragraph of terms, but in this super-litigious age, they almost have to have it. Sigh.

Add me to your circle on Google+
If you’ve got a Google+ account and you follow me here on the blog, I invite you to check out my Google+ page (I think this is the link, but one thing I had a hard time figuring out is what the simple direct link to my page actually is).

Where does that leave Facebook?
Will Google+ ever replace Facebook? Of course my gut reaction is “of course not!” but after we all saw how MySpace.com went from the biggest buzz site on the planet to a ghost town almost overnight, I wouldn’t totally bet against Google+ (the direct link to Google+ is plus.google.com and if you already have a gmail or google account, you’re already most of the way there).