The Internet is abuzz with talk of the much-anticipated new social networking site, Google Plus. It is currently accessible only by invitation, as Google Plus tests out its beta version. While it shares many features with Facebook, such as status updating and sharing photos, it offers more in the way of selective sharing. Users are able to set up “circles” to determine which contacts see what information. Thus, the reluctance of many professors to “friend” their students on Facebook, for fear of crossing professional boundaries, may become less of a concern.
Indeed, many professors are viewing Google Plus as a collaborative opportunity for professors and students to engage in scholarly discussion through this newest social media. A professor can create a circle for the class and selectively share information with that circle. Google Plus is also a promising platform for colleagues to collaborate on research projects. By creating a circle for each project, information will remain between the collaborators and not every person on the contact list.