Monday, September 19, 2011

Who Needs Google+

"Who needs ANOTHER social network? I mean isn't Facebook enough? Or Twitter? Or LinkedIn? Why would anyone want to spend so much time just to replicate a network they already have?"

I hear you! It takes a lot of time to develop a network that serves any purpose, and if you are 100% satisfied (or even 90%!), then it's really not worth your time to set up a Google+ account.

BUT . . . if the social network you've got does not fulfill ALL of your needs, maybe you should try again. AND if you do, maybe you can take a different strategy in developing it than you took last time.

Developing a Google+ network makes sense IF:

1) You need an intra-network for you club, organization, or job. If you'd like a place to post content for a finite group of "friends," Google+ is a good fit, and starting over for that group makes sense, because Goolge+'s "Circles" are a clean and easy way to organize the people in your network. You could even create a separate circle for the Executive Board. Later on you could add more cirles, but if you start out with a goal, you'll be happier and more organized in your approach.

Facebook recently made some changes in their "Friends" setup, but it's really messy! Facebook reminds me of clunky old Windows DOS, where Google+ is clean and simple, drag and drop, MUCH BETTER!

2) You like following columnists and/or industry or political leaders, or experts in just about anything.

Like Twitter, Google+ allows you to follow people without them reciprocating, BUT Google+ does not limit messages to 140 characters and force you to guess about the content or to click a link to get more information. Twitter is awesome for getting lots of followers, or communicating short messages, but I don't want to have to make in inquiry because my network buddy makes a cute, incomplete statement. Let's get back to writing clear and meaningful comments, but lets still keep them concise!

3) You just want to start over! Face it, we've learned a lot in the past few years about what social media is, and how we want to participate.

4) Perhaps you'd like to get feed on a particular topic of interest. Google+'s "Sparks" allow you to add Google key word searches. I added one for my hometown, so know I can keep track of what's happening with my nieces on the volleyball court! Google+ provides a special section for it, just like the one of those old fashioned paper things that used to get ink all over my hands when I fumbled with the giant pages.

Google+ is FAR FROM PERFECT. It's a damn lonely place! Only my most serious social media friends post anything! (Then again, Google+ is not cluttered with all that stuff that I don't care about, and the games seem more advanced than those on Facebook.) Google elected to roll-out slowly, and requires an special invitation from an existing member to join. (How cool, an exclusive club! NOT!!) But hey, if you are reading this, you've got a friend that would be happy to send you an invite to join Google+. Just ask me.

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