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

Lifestreaming keeps a diary of your online life. But what about your real life?

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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.

As we move into the era of wearable technology, more people will lifestream their real lives.

If you're looking forward to Google Glass, for example, that product plus Google+ will be the ultimate "real-life streaming" combination for capturing the world as we experience it.

But you don't have to wait for Glass. You can use existing Google+ tools to remember where you go, who you meet and what you do -- and how you felt about it all.

And you don't have to share it with anybody.

Mike Elgan writes about technology and tech culture. You can contact Mike and learn more about him on Google+. You can also see more articles by Mike Elgan on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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