Before you think it, yes, I know, another Google+ post, but it’s what I’m learning about right now, and this is my sounding board. The question I’m asking myself right now is: “Is it fair to compare Google+ to Facebook and Twitter?” And, really, do we need ANOTHER social media platform where the uber-user posts another link to their blog post? How will Google+ evolve? And, while we’re at it, what are we calling it? Google Plus? Google+? G+?? As I am using the product, trying to figure it out (because there is no manual), I am finding myself looking to see how Google+ does X or Y the same or better than Facebook and Twitter (and to a lesser extent, LinkedIn). Likes:
- Clean. Not overly cluttered on the page. Most stuff is in tabs on top.
- +1 buttons on posts within Google+, and on external blogs (like mine. I already added it).
- Drag and drop people into circles. Nice and easy to do.
- Easy to send messages to just one group, or select multiple groups at a time.
- Can comment in more than 140 characters.
- Immediate responses in comments without having to refresh the page … makes it almost a group chat.
- You don’t have to mutually accept one another.
- No games. Yeah!
- Feedback button rocks!
- Get to start from scratch.
- I like knowing why I should friend someone. Why should I add these people to my circles? What are the mutual relationships/ties? Why are they being recommended?
- A Gmail address is a necessary point of entry.
- You don’t have to mutually accept one another (both a plus and a minus).
- I want all my emails connected so they stop referring myself to me (or is it me to myself?).
- It will search my Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail … but what about my work email?? That’s where I send the majority of my emails.
- Where are the other 750 million non-tech users? My friends aren’t here yet, and most of them won’t come.
- I like posting one thing and all of my followers being able to see it. Sometimes I don’t want to have to pick & choose, and it seems unseemly to just add work folks to a personal post, or vice versa.
- Events. Pages. Groups.
- Vanity URLs (and something short and snappy. It’s going to have to go on collateral).
- Posting on someone’s Wall.
- Photos – I’m not uploading my family pix anywhere near Google.
- I can’t see other users’ circles (ie Twitter Lists).
- Hashtags for topical searches.
- You can +1, but can’t easily share an external post (have to copy/paste the link).
As my dislike list started growing longer and longer, it hit me: Am I being unfair to Google+? Am I giving it a proper try?? Am I being as skeptical as an attorney? Social media as a technology is so new. It is still evolving, and our comparisons for comfort and knowledge are few and far between. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have all peculated to the top, so making comparisons to them seems natural.
- I know that I can do X in Twitter, how can I do it in Google+?
- I use Facebook to communicate in X manner, how can I do that better in Google+?
I don’t know the answer as to whether or not Google+ is here to stay, or if it’s worth our time. I do believe it’s part of my job to know and understand it so I can explain it to the attorneys in my firm. I am certain that over a short period of time, Google+ will evolve to include an iPhone app, which is how I do a lot of my social networking. In the meantime, I am certain that the folks over at Facebook are quickly learning everything there is to know about Google+ and will roll out new, similar and competing features. As I stated here, I have more questions right now than answers. I’m looking to you to see how you are using Google+. What are you liking or disliking about Google+? I’d like to hear what you have to say. Oh, and while you’re at it, +1 this post below.