I’m already juggling Facebook, Linked In, You Tube, Twitter and more, so should I bother joining Google Plus? If it was any other social media tool, I’d most likely ignore it for now. However as we all know, Google is a giant in the online world, so any new product they bring out has my attention. I’ve spent some time this week checking it out.
I have to say it’s still not totally clear to me where it sits in the social media world. As a good friend of mine and talented social media marketer, Annie Infinite of Saucy Social Media explained in her blog post “Google Plus – Web 3.0 is Here”
“Don’t be fooled for a minute that this is just another social network set to keep up with Facebook and Twitter, it’s not. Google has always had the ability to see far enough ahead to pre-empt the next trend and take advantage of what’s happening now to make sure it’s search engine (the primary focus of all things Google) is always at the forefront of search.”
Here are five reasons I plan on spending more time to get to know Google+ /Google Plus better (not even sure which “name” to call it yet!)
1. I like Google
Though my nature is to “support the underdog” and in my general consumer habits I prefer to shop from local business and steer away from big multinational companies where I can, Google still won me over long ago. They just do things well and when dealing with online business, big can mean better in terms of research and reliability. I’ve been using my Gmail account for years now, love Picasa, use Maps almost daily, feel their search is still the best (and enjoy their little variations on the logo to celebrate different events) and I use several other Google tools daily. In general, they all work well and have become part of my online daily life.
2. It has some level of exclusivity
Facebook has become very crowded. Though one of its main strengths of course lies in numbers, I sometimes miss the Facebook days when it was me and a few of my “nerd” (or innovative!) friends hanging out there. Google Plus currently has that feel. I’m someone who loves networking and in the long run, the more connections the better in most social networking tools , but for now it’s fun to explore with just a few tech-savvy friends. The discussions I’ve been reading say it’s “invite only” (just like Gmail was when it first started) though I’m not sure if this is still the case.
3. It’s intuitive and simple
I’ve probably spent less than an hour in total this week checking out Google Plus but like the concepts. The “circles” of friends and acquaintances is simple but very much like real life. The sparks, hangouts and huddles are also neat names which are quite clever – they are not in common use yet but make sense, and I’m sure one day I’ll look back on this post and wonder at what it felt like to see the beginning of new parts of my everyday language.
4. There is an iPhone App
My husband has some level of jealousy towards my iPhone which just goes to show my dedication to it. I’ve only had it since Christmas but anything I do online now must either have its own app or be compatible with my iPhone.
5. It’s time for something to bring everything else together
I don’t yet know if Google Plus even has this ability, and I realise there is going to be some level of competition between the internet giants which may jeopardise this. However I’m struggling a little with my disjointed online life as are most of my social media students, and probably most of the world. Facebook has been the winner so far in this area (i.e. if I’ve had to choose ONE social media tool to focus on, Facebook is it), however I think there is definitely scope for something to bring it all together, which I can’t yet grasp myself. This is no doubt the type of feeling many people had when there were lots of disjointed sites out there back at the birth of the World Wide Web, before Google very ambitiously – and successfully – tied everything together with their search. Even though most people I know are using some form of social media these days, preferences still differ. I love Facebook, my husband Linked In for example. Lucky we have a strong offline relationship or I might think he was a work-focussed bore and he’d think I was a social butterfly. He also uses the Dutch “Hyves” more than Facebook, which I’m a member of but not an active user. So perhaps this is going to be the answer to bringing all the current and future social media sites together somehow?
Just to finish off this post I’ve been doing a bit of research surfing and here are some more interesting resources to check out:
- A recent blog post about Google Plus from – part of what I love about learning something new in social media is having this ability to examine from personal perspectives of others, Nikki Parkinson-Hubbard of the great Styling You Blog: Google + Have you got room for another social network?
- There is even a Google Plus page on Facebook with over 90,000 “likers”, however read the “about” box carefully… The Google+ Project : Real-life sharing, rethought for the web( This is not an Official Google Plus Page its just a fan page )I am so impressed by the Google Plus that i am promoting Google PLus for free. Wondering how long that will be online when it’s actually Google’s IP, however lots of useful links and interesting discussions going on there at the moment.
- This video has quite interesting perspective!
I’d like to tell you how to connect with me there – but I’m not sure yet! I’m just setting up my profile and playing around. Meanwhile love to hear your thoughts, feedback and experiences with Google Plus.
9 thoughts on “Google Plus…should I bother?”
Great post Renee. I am just in the process of investigating this new toy, I mean tool myself. I will add to the blogging conversation after I have had a bit more of a play, but I am liking the format so far, and have seen some really interesting posts come through. Now I must rush off and add you to my circles girlfriend! ha ha.
Thanks Donna, knew you would be onto it, I checked out your facebook page when i was writing the post and look forward to connecting there!
Nice post Renee and I agree it’s worth taking a look around, personally at the moment I am really enjoying the fabulous conversations going on there as I am chatting with people I would not normally see in any of my other timelines or news feeds and really getting some great information and making connections. Something social media is supposed to be all about.
I just posted another post on G+ a video that gives you a quick look around 🙂 so pop on by and take a look http://saucysocialmedia.com/2011/07/google-plus-look-around-video/
Thanks Annie, super helpful and on the ball as usual!
I found this series by Vincent really interesting take on what G+ is. Well worth a flick through:
That is good, thanks for sharing!
Oh and the Android app is better 😉 (Fancy that…)
Thats somethng else I’m trying to get my head around. Love my iphone and the apps, and know the android is competition to this (and lots of people say better) but don’t understand the differences too well. For now I’m still pretty happy with my iphone!
Great post Renee’ – remember the days before Facebook, before ‘liking’ and ‘friends on facebook’ etc that was only 5 or 6 years ago!! Just about the age of my eldest child. I am keen to explore Google+ – please invite me!!