I’ve been using Google+ for a week and a weekend now, and If you’ve read other blogs, checked infographs, or followed the words of professionals around you, you’re either optimistic or pessimistic about Google’s latest endeavor. I just want to share my first rate experiences. Many have misgivings about Google+’s(or G+ to the well-informed) life expectancy, given Google’s often ADHD track record of creating a new social medium or technology, just to push it under the bed or allow it to die off, but I’m optimistic about G+, and not for the reasons others are. I’m writing this entry purely as a user.
I use social media a lot, especially now that I have free time to do so. What many users seem to value when participating in a social community, above all else, is the ability to engage in real-time. The prospects of crowdsourcing with similar minds on a particular initiative or farming ideas with caring brandagents and technologist is invaluable. What I dismiss often about lets say Twitter is the fact that despite it’s high level of engagement, and it’s omniscience, at end of the day it’s a numbers game. All social networks are designed to stoke the ego, and riddle us down to those elementary school identifiers:popular vs unpopular. Facebook does this, but it’s usually a personable circle you’re working it. There’s usually some history or relative experience that prompts someone to befriend or unfriend you(this however does not apply to Brands, Organizations, and Corporations. Theirs is based solely on identification or cause). And yet, my experience with Google+ has been different. I’ve experience an incessant amount of conversation, source sharing, critiquing, and overall fun in my first week and one weekend.
I don’t have anything against the two major social communities, Facebook or Twitter, but I stated in a Google+ post that these two realms cater to those who are looking for defined engagement. Facebook brings you closer to those that matter, and keeps you in formed with their lives(Facebook even acts as a messaging system–as people are more likely to check their Facebook status/Messages over an email or text message). Twitter keeps you informed on those real-time events(news), and is a micro-source for content, celebrity commentary, and event updates. Twitter is a launchpad for individual professionals, businesses, and artists looking to monetize their brand into sales.
I applaud them.
But for me, a user first, I like news, and chatter. When I’m embedded in a social community I want to be reminded of a new social tool coming out new Month or read a smart phone review. I don’t want 4 different Twitter accounts informing(selling) me on the same news I can get elsewhere. I don’t want to have to scroll through 2 pages worth of links before I come across a human imprint. Everyone is a news broadcaster on Twitter. Everyone is looking for that one piece of content that will push their numbers through the roof. I want to be “Wow, I didn’t know that..I have to share this”, and not “I read this 5 times already this morning, WTF?” Maybe if I were following less people I could work-around this problem? Maybe if I employed my Lists more timely? Maybe if I weren’t so connected to the internet? Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
Twitter this for me: information.
Google+ does this for me: Chris Brogan, Chris Pirillo, Alex Scoble, Jesse Stay, Robert Scoble, to just name a few. These are some of the people in my “The Source” circle. These are the people keeping me informed on Google, keeping me engaged with questions,news, trivia, and smart conversation. These are some of the people RESPONDING. Nothing is more rewarding to a user than having someone acknowledge you, and not minimize your existence based on a fan, follow, or metric score. Outside this cirlce, I have my “Social Community” circle which is chalk full responders like Kol Tregaskes, Steven Perez, Rahsheen Porter, and Flavio P who are quick to share or update via infographs, media, or commentary.
Stuff that I care about.
Social Communities need to be like Google+(and Facebook) when it comes to users. We love the technology, we love that they’re always expanding, and we like it most when the time rises for us to speak, other users in the community respond. These users are not motivated by towering follower-counts or the prospects of selling you something(not on an introduction, anyway), but motivated solely on saying “Hi” or “Hey, I think I can help you..”
In my experience, Twitter works for exploring avenues of business or finding those groups or people looking for source information. Twitter works as an ocean when one is looking for information to push across to the archipelago of readers, doers, and decision makers waiting in the distance. But on a user side it’s often noise I have to weed through. Twitter is an enormous atomic bomb of information with a hook.
Google+ Is Sparklers.
And who doesn’t love sparklers?