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Big tech names Dell, Torvalds among Google+ early adopters

Michael Dell exploring ways to use Google+ "Hangouts" to interact with customers

By , Network World
July 20, 2011 12:40 PM ET

Network World - Part of the buzz this week about Google+ is that Google is reportedly working to lure celebrities such as Lady Gaga to its new social network service with verified accounts.   Not sure if tech big shots beyond Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg count as celebrities, but the list of the technology industry’s biggest names using Google+ is on the rise.

Dell chief Michael Dell – yes, the real Michael Dell --  has grabbed headlines for his early enthusiasm for Google+ and interest in using it as a newfangled customer support and interaction tool. 

The computer company founder, who used Google+ to announce the Dell’s buyout of Force10 Networks on Wednesday, earlier in the week posted this comment: “I am thinking about hangouts for business. Would you like to be able to connect with your Dell service and sale teams via video directly from Dell.com?”

Hangouts are Google+ lingo for places to congregate with friends for video chats.

BACKGROUND: 10 Google+ Tips for Beginners

MORE BACKGROUND: 8 Google+ add-ons and extensions

Another Texas tech bigshot, Mark Cuban, is showing off his Dallas Mavericks’ NBA championship trophy in his profile picture and commenting on everything from the workings of Google+ (“G+, can you pls put the number of posts available for each circle's stream so we dont have to cycle through each to find out if there is anything to read”) to celebrating various business wins and memories. He even tosses in a Benny Hill video in commenting on the Rupert Murdoch affair.

Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds, a big name  within technology circles if not in the general public, is another early adopter. 

Torvalds has used Google+ so far to share his thoughts on everything from lawyers (“they tend to seem like reasonable and smart people when taken individually”) to software bugs (“Why do we always find the subtle bugs just before a release?”). Oh, and he also announced that he was pushing out Linux 3.0 rc7.

Other big names in open source, such as Miguel de Icaza  (Mono, Gnome projects, Ximian company and now Xamarin) and Larry Augustin (CEO of SugarCRM)  have also hopped aboard the Google+ bandwagon, sharing everything from Harry Potter movie premiere pics to adorable kitty pictures, in addition to posing questions about how the heck Google+ works.  No surprise that these two would show up on Google+: They’ve been active as well on other social network sites such as Twitter.

Naturally, Google higher-ups like co-founders Larry Page (now CEO) and Sergey Brin, plus VP Marissa Mayer, are posting away.

Others, such as Netscape co-founder and current venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg are threatening to take the plunge but have yet to post much. Other big names in social networking, such as Digg’s Kevin Rose  and MySpace’s Tom Anderson, have quickly developed big Google+ followings, as have social networking mavens such as Robert Scoble and Guy Kawasaki

As for the aforementioned Zuckerberg, he is shown on tracking site Social Statistics as being the most followed person on Google+ with 272,000 followers as of July 20 even though he hasn’t posted so much as a “Hello”. 

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