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Rethinking Google+

Rethinking Google+

by Lee Hopkins on October 30, 2011 · 7 comments

in clippings,strategy,tools

google+ logoI have to confess that I was one of several million who joined Google+ and abandoned it shortly thereafter.

For me, it seemed like it was just one social network too many; I have Twitter and Facebook, so investing time and effort into Google+ was just too much of an ask.

But an article by Robert Scoble has caused me to rethink my decision to leave Google+ alone.

As Robert says,

Google+ is for finding, and talking with, the people who are interested in the same thing you are.

Facebook is NOT a good place to do THAT. Does Facebook have a search engine? No! Can you find other people interested in Autism on Facebook? NO! You can on Google+ https://plus.google.com/s/Autism

Can you find that on Twitter? NO! Try the search: https://twitter.com/#!/search/Autism On Twitter you get a stream of links, news, and a BUNCH of noise!

Try it for a bunch of other searches.
Quilting: https://plus.google.com/s/Quilting
Football: https://plus.google.com/s/Football
Pottery: https://plus.google.com/s/Pottery
Deep sea fishing: https://plus.google.com/s/Deep%20Sea%20Fishing
DSLR Photography: https://plus.google.com/s/DSLR%20Photography

So, to test his theory I’ve been adding various folks to a ‘black and white photography’ circle I’ve set up (since I love black and white photography – see my Flickr and Facebook albums) and monitoring the results.

I don’t think I’m doing it quite right, because there’s not a lot of traffic, but perhaps perseverance with my ‘list-building’ will pay results.

The Raven Blog has written a great intro piece to Google+ which bears a quick scan.

To close with another quote from Scoble’s article:

If there’s a lesson here for Google it’s that they are explaining Google+ badly to the tech press. I think that will eventually get fixed as more and more people figure out the real value of Google+ when compared to Twitter and Facebook.

It just will take time. Eventually they will follow enough good people and stop following the usual suspects (like their friends and family). Eventually their screens will have enough flow. Eventually they will see the power of the search engine here. Eventually the brands and the other Google users (apps anyone?) will show up. Eventually the posts per day will go from a million a day or so to 50 or 100 million per day.

Encouraging words.

I know that folks like Shel Holtz are big fans of Google+; time for me to ramp up my interest level, if only for the professional-level chats that occur there.

  • http://twitter.com/priyachandra Priya Chandra

    Nice article Lee. I like Robert’s take on the search functionality – I hadn’t thought of Google+ in that way before and it does add a whole new dimension to the way you can use Google+.

    One of the things I like about Google+ is being able to add people to circles using just their email address. Now I can share things with my entire family – both those online and those who only use email. It works a treat.

  • http://www.propr.ca thornley

    Lee, I’ve had an experience similar to yours in seeing some of the volume of Google+ posts decrease on some of the specific-subject circles I set up. On the other hand, I’ve found that the people who have not dropped off are using Google+ frequently and there are vigorous discussions of the topics among the people who have remained active.

    So, Google+ is not trending toward Facebook ubiquity. But it is proving to be a place for deeper discussions among people who are both knowledgeable and more than casually interested in a topic.

  • http://www.LeeHopkins.net/ Lee Hopkins

    For some reason a comment from Mike Sansome [mike@converstations.com] hasn’t appeared here; it seems to have vaporised. But I have the email notification from Discus and this is what Mike said:

    You may have already found this link, but
    just in case: http://gpc.fm/l/bwphoto
    It’s a curated list of B & W photographers on G+. You can view each
    one-by-one – plenty of room for discovery.

    I think once you begin adding people to your circles, there is a lot (a lot!)
    of traffic (signal and noise), but circles allow you to filter both incoming
    and outgoing. Some fantastic images too!


  • http://www.LeeHopkins.net/ Lee Hopkins

    Mike, that is a monster find – thanks!

  • http://www.LeeHopkins.net/ Lee Hopkins

    Thanks for agreeing with me, Joe :) 

    The more time I spend adding to my circles the deeper the conversations seem to go – it’s definitely an investment that’s paying off.

  • http://www.LeeHopkins.net/ Lee Hopkins

    The email functionality isn’t something I’ve tried yet; everyone I know is online. I wonder if there is a way (there must be, I just don’t know how) to include Facebook friends in my circles…

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