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Why Google+ is best for 'real-life streaming'

Mike Elgan | April 8, 2013
Mike Elgan says Google+ is the most capable system for so-called "real-life streaming." He lists four reasons for his selection of that social network.

Remember the people you meet

Google's integration between Gmail and Google+ lets you easily remember people you converse with via email.

If you use Gmail, just go to the Find People page on Google+ (the button is on the left). The top "Suggestions" include people you've chatted with recently on Gmail. Circle the people you want to remember to retain those connections.

Another way is when you do a Google+ hangout, you can capture screens with the faces of the people you're hanging out with and save it to your Google+ "real-life stream." Just click the new camera button at the bottom of the hangout screen. Others in the hangout will be notified when you do.

Remember your events

People use Events on Google+ to schedule meetings, talks and parties. But far fewer use it for its best purpose: Collecting everyone's photos from an event for posterity.

The Events "Party Mode" lets all of the invitees post their pictures of the event while it's happening to the shared Event page. They come flowing in in real time (you can even put them up on a screen at the event and a slideshow will flip through them live).

Best of all, those photos become part of your permanent lifestream memory of the event.

Remember your photos -- this time with emotion

Photographs are probably the best way to remember your real life. Google+ added two new features that enhance those memories.

The first is that Google+ now supports full-quality picture uploads (Facebook always compresses and degrades uploaded pictures). Note that if you turn on this feature in the Google+ Settings, any files larger than 2048 pixels will count against Google storage, where you get 5GB free but pay a monthly fee for additional storage.

Another fun feature combines futuristic technology with a trivial application. It's called +Emotion. By clicking one button, Google's technology reads the emotion, age and even species of every human, dog and cat in the picture, and will put a thought bubble on each showing that information.

The +Emotion feature detects moods, glasses, sunglasses, babies, dogs, cats and other things.

To use it, post a photo on Google+ to just yourself. After it's posted, click on it, then click on the smiley face button on the upper left. You can then "Share" with Public or just yourself.

Why 'real-life streaming'?

Your lifestream posts don't have to be public. They can be private, just for you, or they can include a combination of public, shared-with-family, and you-only posts.

That's the beauty of it.

It's easy to order your "real-life stream" into its own stream. By giving your lifestream posts a unique hashtag, then saving a search for that hashtag, your "real-life stream" will always be just a click away. For example, I could use the hashtag #MikesRealLifeStream123. It doesn't matter what the hashtag is, as long as it's unique. You save a search by searching for the hashtag on Google+, then click the big, red "Save This Search" button.


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