Christmas comes early courtesy of updates from the Google Plus Team

” Merry Christmas!! Ho ho ho…”

” Santa is that you? ” I asked

“No Daniel, it just us the Google Plus team! ”

“Oh joy!” I proclaim

Right before the holiday the Google Plus Team drops a number of important updates. I was on my way in this morning when I saw a post on my phone touting the updates. With the Colonial Automotive Group having 14 business pages, I was thrilled by the news that multiple administration for business pages is finally here. Out of the features they are rolling out ahead of the holiday multi admin is the one I wanted most.

Multi administration will allow up to 50 admins for business pages. Other enhancements for business pages incude, better notification system and a new ” at-a-glance ” summary of who has been circling, +1’ing your page. I am hoping that this multi-admin will provide with an opportunity to convince some of my internet teams to finally join Google plus and start to familiarize themselves with business pages.

Beyond the Business pages update google is also rolling out a feature called stream volume. It will be a mechanism where there is atop of each stream based up your circles, and you either ( turn you stream down )reduce the post flow, or ( turn it up) and increase stream chatter or flow. It is a nice feature and works like like a volume slider. Hence the turn it up and turn it down.

The last feature update has to do with the photo Lightbox which boasts a complete redesign, new photo tagging system of more.

Google has called the past few weeks the #seasonforshipping and it certainly has been. I truly look forward to 2012 and everything the G+ team has in store for us.

Safe travels both in the real world on the internet this holiday season!

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Hangout Canopy on Hiatus

I was out running errands yesterday morning with my family when I hopped on G+ on my Iphone. Mohammad Eshbeata from the team had shared a post from Robert Pitt. As soon as I read it I was upset. The opening line of ” We are sad to announce that Google+ have made some recent changes that has caused Hangout Canopy to stop working.” was all I needed to read from the passenger seat of the family minvan to feel like I had lost a friend. 

Hangout Canopy for me is the most used G+ extension tool, plug in etc… in my G+ arsenal. Even since google added their own ” canopy junior ” as I call it, I still found myself using hangout canopy as it was larger, allowed for hangouts to be launched and I had grown custom to seeing the push notifications of folks on my watching list start or join hangouts.

There was some speculations in Robert’s post that the changes google made may have been with the intent of breaking hangoutcanopy. I know google has been making updates and adjustments with great frequency as google + is still in its infancy it only makes sense that they would be dynamically changing things, adding features etc. With that said, if they did knowingly shut down they have done themselves a great disservice.

The outpouring of support on Robert’s post was tremendous and rightfully so. I know that with the shutting down of the canopy servers it will be more work to find the hangouts I once found with a quick click. Above and beyond that, Robert and the hangout team were helping the spread the word of google + hangouts more so than anything that google was doing to promote them. Yes, I know about the GMA hangout, and the hangout and the many other high profile hangouts that google has put on to raise awareness of hangouts. The bottom line is that hangout canopy was the every plusser hangout tool, it is simple and effective and I imagine that most people on plus, ( like myself ) found that once they downloaded it that they used it as their primary means of finding hangouts.

Hangouts are truly what makes G+ special. Twitter and facebook have been around longer and have a firmer grasp on the marketshare but neither have a interpersonal communication tool that is powerful as google + hangouts. The great people I have met since joining Google + and participating in hangouts are folks that would not have met in any other medium. Hangout Canopy is a primary conduit for people both the 1st generation users and the newer G+ arrivals that were fortunate enough to learn about canopy to find new hangouts and each other.

I know that all is not lost and that the team will take this time to work on, improve and ultimately release a newer, quicker and more stable hangout canopy. The wait and and anticipation is going to be painstaking as I have grown so accustomed to having the hangout canopy at my disposal when trying to find hangouts to join.

I look forward to the future of The work they have done thus far has reached many g+ users and for me personally has made google + a better overall experience. If google is going to be successful in luring the Facebook Faithful over to plus they are going to need to leverage hangouts. I can say that without learning about and using hangouts I am not sure I would have stayed with G+. I surely wouldn’t have met some of the most interesting people that I have met in any other social media space without hangouts. I know it will be back and until it is we will have to make due with searching,
” hanging out with ” right now” ” and “canopy junior ” that google has provided us with.