At some moment on Monday night I flipped. I follow Chris Brogan on Twitter and Google+ and a tweet sprung onto my newsfeed.
“Starting to really dislike the 140 character limit after years of advocating it. Conversations are so choppy here.”
Before I give you my reaction a bit of background
I have to admit one of the things I’ve enjoyed about Google+ is watching it evolve, watching early adopters whose opinions I respect discussing the new network, and discovering how it works. Chris Brogan for one hung up his keys at Facebook and moved lock stock and barrel over to G+. These people were finding new ways that Google+ would work and sharing them with their followers.
After a while it became apparent that Google+ was not just a potential Facebook rival but also a Twitter rival, the stream was reminiscent of Twitter and you have the ability of following people who don’t follow you back. There was nothing amazingly different about Google+ but it was taking the best bits of other social networks and improving them. And therein lies G+’s strength.
With a massive user base that grew at a rate that must have struck panic into the heart of Mark Zukerberg I was beginning to think that perhaps it could eclipse Facebook and do so much faster than I’d originally anticipated. However this has yet to happen. There are members all right but few are active and my feed is still dominated by a few power users.
When G+ was launched I avidly created content specifically for it, I routed out my best photos, made specific videos and found links just for sharing there. To me if I was going to be a success with Google+ I’d have to discover what to post and how to differentiate what I was doing there to what I did on other networks. My community and potential target market are very much ensconced on Facebook and Twitter so leaving them like Chris Brogan did wouldn’t work for me.
As time has passed I have posted less and less. I dip in everyday to have a look at what’s going on and sadly I now break my golden rule. “thou shalt not post the same content to Facebook and Google+”.
There are some people on there whose streams I find entertaining. There are some great photographers and seeing photos in the timeline is definitely one thing that G+ has over Twitter. There are also the social media peeps. Chris Brogan, Mari Smith. They post great stuff and I love reading it but I hesitate before commenting. Why? Well firstly the volume of notifications. Yes I can mute a post but really my trips to G+ are swift and stopping to mute stuff on the way seems unnecessary. The notifications that someone else has responded to the post would be fine if there was a conversation going on but each commentator seems to act individually, they are communicating with the original poster but not me and not the others who have left comments. This is how it works on Twitter but surely G+ gives us the platform to converse. I myself am guilty of this. I leave a comment based on the original post and the first few comments I see. Real conversation can spring up on G+ but usually it’s on the content posted by less influential users. I’ve participated in small scale conversations on both my own and other users posts.
I guess part of the reason for this is the curse of celebrity, Twitter has given us unpresidented access to celebrity and this has carried forward to Google+. The problem being that Twitter is filtered so we don’t all see @replies of adoration aimed at high profile users, sadly on Google+ we do.
So with all those users I still see my feed dominated by celebrities or power users, I see some of my contacts struggling with G+ or like me just throwing the odd link up here and there. It’s partly my fault, I’m not leading my community over to G+, I’m not encouraging them the way others there are and unless I, and people like me, make a better effort Google+ can not succeed.
So my reaction to Chris Brogans Tweet was
“@chrisbrogan G+ isn’t ready for the masses yet.. us with smaller communities are finding it harder.”
to which he responded
“@spiderworking – how so?”
As if to endorse the sentiment of his original tweet I’ve had to post over 800 words to explain my thoughts.
I’m not sure I disagree with Chris Brogan’s point of view as such I’m just not there yet and neither is my community. It’s almost as if due to his loyal community base he’s been able to take the express train to Google+ adoption where as I’m still on the steam train, we stop more often on the way though and hopefully we’ll pick up passengers on route.
What are your thoughts on Google+? Will you pledge like me to try harder? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I think it will only succeed if we make an effort to keep it going. Remember all the nay sayers that dismissed Twitter and facebook which they first launched. I also think that Google + is still evolving and each day changes are being made that will take us to the finished article, at the moment Google + members are just beta testers and Google need input from people such as ourselves in order to make the finished product
Thanks Timmy, yes it does take work to keep it going and I do like the way it works but we need to get more people using it for it to really work. Registered users are nothing if we don’t get them to interact.
Also another point to note is that Facebook are already improving their product since Google + arrived, competition between the two platforms can only benefit the users as they strive to outdo each other, Facebook and Google + will push each other into providing a better service
Ivan Walsh says
it’s really for the digerati at the moment as there is no compelling reason for others to migrate from Facebook. But…. once it gets integrated into Search, then Yes, businesses will begin to use it more, ie for SEO.
I have to admit I rarely visit Google + and to be honest, I probably won’t be spending that much time on it until it rolls out the business pages, what I find annoying about it is that each update seems to take up so much space on the page – am scrolling for ever! Having said that, I do think it will offer facebook stiff competition but I’m not so sure that people will use Google + and facebook – are they too similar? Whereas so many people use twitter and facebook very happily. I love the 140 characters of twitter – definitely one of its strengths.
Great post as always Amanda 🙂
Catriona Ni Draoi says
Hi Amanda, I really love the look of google+ the links, and the people are great. However I totally agree that until my own friends and comrades are part of it it remains a bit distant, or maybe I am not really getting it? I love twitter. I think it has more immediacy, you get to know and like people, there is a lot of wit and craic about it too, and sharing stuff…… Great thought provoking post as ever, thanks. Must check in on the old google+ now and catch up!