As I continue to read about the enhancements that Google is rolling out I find that I continue to see two things from Google. One, they are creating an amazing ecosystem that we all are being sucked into by the freemiums such as Gmail, Google Docs/Drive, Youtube, Google+ and Android. And two, they are keeping other companies competitive and innovative, which is exactly what we need Google to do. This article here is a great example because as soon Google+ increased their profile pic size, Facebook did the same within 24 hours. Outside of search and Youtube, I don’t see Google as a leader in any other industry. I find that they are second or third when it comes to online office software with Microsoft Office leading that front. I find that in online storage they are just getting into the game with Dropbox and Box.net having a good start ahead (and even Microsoft Skydrive). In the mobile arena the android operating system is seen as a competitor to the industry leading Apple iOS. In social media, Google+ is the fourth to fifth largest social network behind Facebok, Twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin. And Gmail is very high in terms of online mail usage but Yahoo and Hotmail have more users.
With all that being stated, Google is in the game and keeping all those industry players on their toes and not letting anyone become complacent in their industry. I enjoy Apple products very much but I also enjoy that Android Mobile makes sure to keep adding features to stay competitive. I really like Google+ and the features on the social network are innovative and easy to use but with Facebook coming out of the gate as the social media behemoth for so many years, Google+ is an afterthought for people who don’t have time to manage multiple social networks, Facebook and Twitter were hard enough as it was. Therefore, Google+ needs to stay in the game even though it appears that it’s Facebook or Twitter’s game to lose.
As I look at how ministries can use Google as a service, I believe that they can use Google as an online component to many of their administrative and marketing needs to help advance the ministry online. For example, distributing the video content of the ministry via Google+ and Youtube are great ways to create an online audience. Google+ is still a growing social network and is a great place for a ministry to build up an audience and have video chats online using Google+ hangouts feature. Ministries can use Google Apps as a low cost alternative to Microsoft Office and have a fully online cloud hosted office applications suite that isn’t limited to the office but is accessible wherever there’s an internet connection and from whatever device the ministry personnel wants to you such as laptops, desktops, ipads, iphones, android phones and others. These cloud services are already being used heavily by universities, nonprofits, small businesses, local schools and other organizations that see the benefit of having full office software without having to worry about high licensing fees or servers. This is just one of the many options the cloud and Google offers to help ministries advance online.