You have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard about Google+ (Plus), the newest social network under the massive internet conglomerate. Google+ is now open to all of its users after being closed off to a selected few who could shell out invites to those cool enough to be included in the network. Google has set its sights on making a popular and user friendly social network after bombing on its predecessor, Google Wave, that tanked before it got off to a good start. Google+, some think, is a more stripped down (or bastard child) of Facebook that boasts the best of Facebook and Twitter, and so far, I really like it.
But just like any new thing on the innerwebs, there are always those that simply don’t get it—I mean, how many times did you have to explain to someone how to use Twitter before people finally caught on? Google+ has its advantages and I can see it being one of the most used social networks, especially since they learned from their unfortunate Wave debacle in 2009. There are skeptics that aren’t ready to get on Google+, or those that are on it and spend more time complaining about it than they do using it.
Here are my 5 things people should stop doing when referring to Google+.
1. Complaining that anyone can add you on Google+:
Um, unless your account is private on Twitter, then anyone can follow you there as well. Not sure why people have an issue with anyone adding them because Twitter is the model for this feature on Google+. You add people that you follow and to your circle who you think add value to your stream, and if they want, they can add you to their circle or circles. Facebook is more closed, in that you have to approve people to be your friend, but Google+ allows for easy access—if you are using it to network, especially for business purposes, then of course you should be accessible to people. Duh!
2. Comparing Google+ to other social networks:
It’s a given that Google+ is a relative of both Twitter and Facebook—, picking it apart and comparing it to these platforms is a waste of time. I am already hearing data that Google+ is going to have more users than Facebook in a set amount of time, but this is social media—anything goes and anything can happen. Who would’ve thought in 2006 that Myspace would be a dinosaur in 2011?
3. Being a hater:
Come on, social media is about creating new ways for us to engage and network. I can understand you not jumping on the Google+ bandwagon, but why complain about it? If it isn’t your thing, carry on. No need to frown.
4. What is Google+?:
You are on the internet, folks. If you have a question, it’s easy to get an answer. You don’t know how many times I’ve been asked what Google+ is. And it’s not that I don’t mind sharing information, but it’s easy to get an answer on your own. Use Google to find out what Google+ is. Or better yet, sign up and play around with it yourself to get firsthand experience.
5. Discounting Google+ as a viable social network:
When social networking, you need to be everywhere. I want to reach as many readers as possible so you won’t find me NOT being on something that can create opportunities for me to engage with others. If you aren’t on Google+, then you aren’t using social media to your advantage. Create your page via your email address (before someone else takes your name) and explore. You need to be everywhere your readers are (if you are a blogger) so saying no to a viable social network is a big no/no, in my humble opinion, of course.
Google+ is off to a running start and I see myself using it more and more for my blog and to connect with others. Are you on Google+? What are your thoughts? And lets connect: Add me under The Cubicle Chick.
The whole “anyone can add you on G+” argument just shows that people don’t really understand how G+ works. Sure anyone can “circle” you, but that doesn’t mean you have to share anything with them. If people don’t want the “public” to see what they share, then they should just share it with their circles or extended circles. It isn’t rocket science.
I didn’t realize that it was open to everyone already. When did that happen, today??
The Cubicle Chick says
Whitney, to my understanding, anyone with a Gmail or Google account has access to create a Google+ account as of last night.
Um, I’m one of those “I don’t want just anyone to add me” people. I’m also one who has my Twitter account (the personal one, not the professional one) and my Facebook account on lockdown. These are conversation platforms, to be sure, but 1) there are some people I don’t want to get content from, 2) there are some people I don’t want to share content with, and 3) there are some people I want no association with whatsoever.
That anyone from my contact list or my past can add me without the option of my approval does not sit well with me, especially since Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks have set the standard for the option of approval. Notice that I said option: you can choose if you want to take it or not. Yes, I know about G+ circles. Yes, I know about G+ blocking. Those don’t truly address the issue, though. Once I approve people, I don’t don’t care what they see. I do, however, care who claims to have an association with me. “You are the company you keep.” I want to have a say in my reputation, you know?
And yes, I most certainly understand how G+, Twitter, Facebook and other network work.
The Cubicle Chick says
Alison, you have made very valid points. I think in Google’s quest to be a transparent social network, it has created the ability to share what you want and don’t want by using circles. I do understand the need for privacy, especially when you aren’t trying to mix business with personal, but Google+ has really made it easy for us to control what people see.
No, I get it. I’m all for transparency. Yay transparancy! But I think they missed the boat by 1) bucking a privacy standard that’s already been established, and 2) requiring G+ users to figure out workarounds.
Again, I’m all for circles and segmenting out content to certain audiences. But if I want to post something publicly, I still have to consider that people who have added me to their circles can read that. The blocking feature is severely neutered, which means I need to make yet another circle of all the people I’ve added and consider THAT my default public posting. All of this adds up to my not sharing as much on G+ as I might on other networks where “public” means “people I like and approve” as opposed to G+’s version of “public” meaning “people who have added me but whom I don’t really care for or want to talk to.”
I agree with Allison 100%. I’m not a fan of just anyone being able to add me on Google+. And yes, I realize Twitter is the same way.
With that said, I do have a Google+ account. I’m just not on the Google+ koolaid drinking love train yet. Give people time. I remember when Twitter first became popular; people had complaints about that initially, but eventually it caught on.
Expecting everyone to fall head over heels in love with this platform right off the bat is a little unrealistic, I think. The complaints and concerns are what’s going to make the platform better in the long run. If that makes me a ‘hater’, so be it 😉
This product is in BETA. They are still adding and tweaking features daily. If you follow some of the developers’ blogs, you will see that they are responding to user feedback in lots of areas, particularly with blocking and circles. For example, soon to launch is the ability to post by default to “everything but ___ circle.)
If you don’t want others to see that you’re “associated” with someone you don’t like who has circled you, remove the list of people who have circled you from your profile. The way that circles are being positioned, I don’t see anyone now, or in the future, making judgments about a person based on who has circled THEM. It’s no different from someone subscribing to your blog in a feed reader.
I don’t think Google missed the boat at all on this. I think they made a very purposeful decision that will foster collaboration and information sharing, not just between “friends,” but also between strangers. A truly useful social network. I’m loving it.
I completely agree with you! Great post. I’d like to try Google+ but I’m still unable to access it. Still trying 🙂
Ivan Temelkov says
These are all valid statements in my opinion. I’m still saying far too many complaining on Facebook about Google+ and how they can’t get access to it. Being a Google+ user I love the platform thus far but what I don’t enjoy is when people second guess the whole invite deal. In addition I’d like to respectfully disagree with you on #5 though. You don’t need to be on every social network to be effective on the web. Certain social networks will work for your business dependent upon industry and business model.
Great post! Thanks for speaking out about this.
I will say in the time I comented on this article I had a random person add me which I have to say skeeved me out a bit. I immediately blocked them but wondered once the spammers catch on what a pain this might be.
I suppose, like Leslie said the “everything but” option would alleviate this. I do think that Google is on the right track and it is important to keep in mind that this is a Beta version and that Google wants and NEEDS our feedback as to what works and what doesn’t.
To that token, Leslie what developers blogs do you follow?
I was invited to join Google+. I don’t love or hate it. Honestly I just don’t have time to engage in another social network. If my business entailed me to do so I probably would. But as for now I enjoy Twitter and I don’t use FB much.
I’m really just getting the hang of G+ after a few days playing around. I must admit, with all the pre-ingrained heuristics from FB and Twitter, it’s hard to understand what is really going down at first. Once someone told me to think of it as Twitter (open to everyone) on steroids (with FB tendencies) that was my AHA! moment. The “Circles” concept is the BEST! I’m honing my circles as we speak and have already added G+ to my blog etc. Great post & discussion.
Kim Wolterman says
Great post! I’m still trying to get the hang of Google+ as well, but think I am really going to enjoy it and benefit from it in the long run.
Michelle Shaeffer says
I’m still figuring it out. I think it’s got a ton of potential and I am hoping I’ll like it. I’m very comfortable with Twitter so the privacy/transparency doesn’t bother me too much.
Great Post Chick! Sooo I went to the site and it still says its in testing with the “select” few….
Jeanine Byers Hoag @ Dressing My Truth says
I am definitely still figuring it out! I hope to get the hang of it, soon. Meanwhile, I’ll try to keep the confusion complaints to myself :).
Lina Banks says
This was a straight to the point post & I agree. Social Networking sites are used to engage not only with people you already know but people you don’t know. Those people that you don’t know may take you/your business to another level or assist you in some type of way. While we might all agree that “social networking” is time consuming, I’m sure we can also agree that someone from a social network has helped us in some way. Great Post!
LOL! Bastard Child of Facebook! Love it!
Best point for me is #2 -Comparing it is meaningless, different networks have different potential and Google has the power to offer something a little different from everything else available right now.
Also, #3 is a rule of thumb for anything in my book! No haters thanks!
I’m not on Google+ yet but just because I’m busy with other things. Will get there soon enough I’m sure…
Lia Fenelon says
I don’t really know anything about google + but I love this post. I am going to do my research and get connecting. Thanks for the recommendation.