Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Why use Google+?

This is a really funny, succinct take on Google+.

Interestingly, I'd like to know the amount of posts on Google+ that are about the service itself.

Monday, 18 July 2011

The greatest Google+ guide in the world... Not really.

So I was going to start writing one of the biggest, baddest Google+ guides that you were ever likely to see this week. But seeing as the rest of the world seems to be writing them, I don’t think I’ll bother. Plus, I don’t really think it’s that useful yet.


Well, for starters (and this is not a criticism of the platform in any way), most of my closest friends and family haven’t fully adopted it yet. They’ve either been invited and are still on Facebook (where their friends are), or just aren’t interested yet. There aren’t enough strong ties on + yet for me to really say if this is a game-changing platform that will revolutionize the way we interact with one another online. That’s a mouthful.

What it is for me is useful. I’ll elaborate.

The geek shall inherit the earth - we all know that, some more than others. Some also give more of a toss than others. I get that. Not everything you do needs to be done with a game-layer, a check-in, tweet or a badge in mind. And frankly, whilst sometimes bringing work home with you may sound like a great idea, ask your friends, family and loved ones. They probably haven’t heard of half of the shit you’re talking about, and frankly, they’ve got bigger fish to fry.

But you still want to blog - well, you can! It’s just that when it comes to sharing the information socially, you can actually send the post to the people you know that will actually give a shit about what you have to say about the future of Zynga, mobile payments, Facebook, the cloud or Google+.

Sure, initially fewer eyes may see the posts - but a guarantee that those people will actually be interested in what you have to type, rather than scanning over it dutifully (love you xxx).

So you just create a circle in Google+ to share these stories with. And viola. It’s done. Less mess, less boredom and disappointment for all involved!

In a way, it’s taken social media to another logical, step. Categorisation isn’t Twitter’s strong point - in fact it thrives on the freeform exchange of ideas, like a brainstorming session at a pub/ Facebook attempted to use groups to help you control what information you share with whom, but after giving it a go, I’ve found it to be clunky, time-consuming, and a bit too much like work.

Google+ is built around the fact that you are a person, and that you have more than one side. Up here for thinking, down there for dancing, so to speak.

Facebook for a business is kind of like working at the mall. All of your friends are hanging out at the Nike store drinking milkshakes, whilst you’re flipping burgers on your own Facebook brand page, trying to develop that killer app.

Twitter is a great channel and echo-chamber for ideas, ideology and movements. You get as much benefit listening as you do taking part.

Google+ is starting to be meaningful and rewarding for me, mainly because I don’t feel under quite so much pressure to be ‘on’ all the time with it. I share with who I like, when I like. Not everybody, all of the time. Would you use a loudspeaker to announce a few drinks after work? No, because sometimes you don’t want to invite everybody.

But it’s not quite there yet. Give it a few more weeks before you judge it, and don’t take too much notice of what the geeks and nerds of Silicon Valley are saying about it. Wait until everybody else is on there. All of your friends, family, business contacts and pets are on there. Then see how you start using it.

Guides are all well and good, but I like to make stuff up as I go along. It’s more fun that way.