Tonight’s discussion began well with everyone getting used to how Google+ works while sharing their likes and dislikes about the course. However, it fell apart towards the end. Whether this was due to the platform itself; the attempt to collaborate on a mind map (which did not work); or something else entirely, I am not sure.
Personally, I don’t think Google+ worked that well. I’ve spent quite a lot of time discussing the merits of asynchronous and synchronous collaboration during the course. And while Google+ seems to reside in a liminal space between blog and social network, it did not handle a real time (synchronous) discussion particularly well. I found that it lacked the efficiency/urgency of Twitter. Moreover, it was not always easy to follow the discussion and would certainly benefit from threading. If this frustrated the rest of the participants too, I am not sure, but I will try to find out.
Perhaps Google+ was simply not the right tool for the job. Twitter, on the other hand, is a platform that lends itself more naturally to a real time discussion. Google Docs works well both synchronously and asynchronously. Google+ may still have a place within #crit101 but what that is exactly I am not sure. I’m going to keep the space open; perhaps it is more suited to a less immediate, more thoughtful conversation? But tonight, having sat wondering where everyone went, Google+ left me feeling a little tossed and scrambled.