Google Plus- First Look

Google Plus

If you haven’t yet gotten dragged into Google +, don’t fret. It’s a virus. You’ll be in soon, so save your begging. It’ll come really quick.

For those of you who aren’t in, so far, Google+ looks like a really tidy Facebook. Nearly all the posts so far are self-referential. “How do I hide my Circles?” and things like that. Meaning, we’re not talking about anything BUT Google+ in there, more or less. That’s useful in the “learn things as other people learn them” way. But beyond that, it’s not like the service will immediately enhance your social media experience.

Frankly, the common feeling seems to be: “I’m not sure why I’m here, but I’m just going to organize my friends/following differently than I did on Facebook or Twitter.”

What Google+ is About

The goal, I’ve read, with Google+ is to improve sharing. The idea is that “sharing is broken,” and this is Google’s attempt to put it all together in a better way. So far, it’s pretty good in that regard. It’s easy to share stuff. It’s all tied into your Google Profile, your Picasa photos, YouTube, etc. It’s kind of like they went back to square one and did Buzz a little better (I shudder to even say “Buzz”).

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One Cool Part

people

One cool part I’ve noticed so far is that there are LOTS of people in there to follow that you might find interesting to follow. I mean like Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerburg, etc. On the other side, I don’t follow much from those guys, because I let others report whatever they’re sharing, and because most of their sharing isn’t really going to change my world.

As of right now, I’m slowly (very!) adding a few people to follow, and trying out circles to manage connections. I’m just not looking to replicate the follow-for-all I’ve got on Twitter.

Will It Last?

Having me talk about this is useless. I have no idea. I know I hated Buzz. I know that I hated Friendfeed. I know both those services faded to the back. I know that I like this, at least initially. I didn’t like MySpace. I am still not friendly with Facebook. Twitter’s my pace. But Google+ can do a lot more than Twitter, it would see (The Android App is really good for it, by the way).

Is it for Your Business?

Probably in a few years. It’s really early days right now. People don’t want a lot of ads or spam there. There aren’t a ton of leads unless your leads are web nerds. So, I don’t think it’s really for the typical business person yet.

Should YOU Check It Out?

Read the blog posts about it for a while. Wait until you see it show up in your gmail menu. And when it does, give it a look around. It’s kind of interesting, but it’s early days. This post will end up being like most people’s first Twitter post. “I don’t think it’s for me.” Meaning, that I’ll have a post in five months saying that I can’t live without it or whatever.

And that’s all I can say about Google+ for right now.

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  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Chris – I’ve been too busy this week to give Google+ it’s due, but I agree with you on a number of areas – especially the idea of taking what we learned from our Twitter and Facebook experiences to organize our friends and connections differently.

    My gut tells me Google+ will have staying power because unlike Buzz it is truly social, and the public sharing adds more context to our socials graphs, which will help Google serve up more relevant search results – i.e. what our friends recommend.

    Imagine that?  A searchable social network.  Uh oh, I guess that brings us back to privacy.

    We’ll know a lot more if we can just get some regular folks in our Google+ circle. :)

    Jeff

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      So then the question, as a marketer, is: will this eclipse FB? First thought is that I know/trust Adsense better, and have had much better results outside of FB than I have inside. 

      But will G+ be the “nerd” hangout the way FriendFeed was, or will Google actually market it? 

      My gut says they won’t. How will we pull people into it? 

      And as they don’t support official pages for businesses yet, that’s an issue, too. 

      • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

        I missed Friendfeed so I can’t comment on that. 

        My sense is that there will not be pages like FB – that the intent is to keep things personal like Twitter.  In fact, that’s where I thought FB was going when they introduced the ability to Like as a person or a page – to blur the lines (and social graphs) between business and personal.

        I presume Google will rely on us to bring others in.  In that regard it does feel like the early days of Twitter.

        Back to the page.  Since this connects with your Google Profile, maybe that’s the avenue to market. I certainly have pulled in all of my business feeds with that intent.

        • Anonymous

          I have a feeling we will see a business application before too long.  Google wants to dominate, so they are going to have to offer business a reason to be there other than to “check it out,” and worry that they aren’t there.  

          My feel for G+ so far is that it contains pieces of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, but it’s still in the building phase, so we aren’t exposed to all of the normal people we like to network with, and learn from, yet.  

          Mastering 3 main sites was about as much as many marketers could take, along with doing the rest of their job, all without adequate resources in the first place.  This is going to be a challenge for a while.  Right now, there are just frustrations because it appears some “got in,” while most others have not, which causes a “why not me, not yet?” feeling. I had it before my invitation arrived.  This is the emotion Social Networking breeds, which isn’t a complaint.  People like to be included like never before.  

          I will keep poking around, learning as much as I can, and sharing when I can, both inside and outside of the community so I can keep my friends, followers, connections and clients as informed as I know how.  

          Thanks for the discussion @chrisbrogan:disqus and @jeffkorhan:disqus !!

          • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

            What’s missing, kind of, are docs integration, places integration, etc. 

  • http://twitter.com/socialamateur Melissa Reyes

    That sums it up quite nicely! The common feeling you mentioned is dead on. Will Google+ take off? Who knows. But it is definitely nice to be starting fresh and organizing circles the way we all wish we would have organized lists earlier on other sites!!

  • http://codedsignal.com bendrix

    I dig what you are saying Chirs… I had a friendster account (never liked it) , Myspace was cool for about 1 or 2 solid years for me before Rupert & his FOX team destroyed it. Facebook I was never truly sold on. Twitter definitely has its moments but the people who matter most in my professional and associated circles are already here or are gonna be here soon. Personally I have never particularly wanted to interact with my family on any social network to be honest… but at  least Google+ is a place I’d be more comfortable because Google/Gmail has been part of my family and professional circle for about 7 years now. Chris Its cool how you give a general overview of your initial thoughts without committing neither celebrating it or calling upon its failure.

    I think the Google team will observe the notification comments that the “geeky” folks put up and find better ways to enhance the experience for others as they start to trickle in. Seeing how Google search and Gmail is already a big part of many peoples daily routine… the task bar at the top featuring +yourname, gmail, calendar, documents, photos, reader and web is brilliant. It pretty much is a great way to keep people in the Google ecosystem. Anyway just offering my thoughts and wanted to thank you for a solid and thought provoking entry.  

    - bendrix

  • http://codedsignal.com bendrix

    I dig what you are saying Chirs… I had a friendster account (never liked it) , Myspace was cool for about 1 or 2 solid years for me before Rupert & his FOX team destroyed it. Facebook I was never truly sold on. Twitter definitely has its moments but the people who matter most in my professional and associated circles are already here or are gonna be here soon. Personally I have never particularly wanted to interact with my family on any social network to be honest… but at  least Google+ is a place I’d be more comfortable because Google/Gmail has been part of my family and professional circle for about 7 years now. Chris Its cool how you give a general overview of your initial thoughts without committing neither celebrating it or calling upon its failure.

    I think the Google team will observe the notification comments that the “geeky” folks put up and find better ways to enhance the experience for others as they start to trickle in. Seeing how Google search and Gmail is already a big part of many peoples daily routine… the task bar at the top featuring +yourname, gmail, calendar, documents, photos, reader and web is brilliant. It pretty much is a great way to keep people in the Google ecosystem. Anyway just offering my thoughts and wanted to thank you for a solid and thought provoking entry.  

    - bendrix

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      The Google team is most definitely watching over our shoulder quite closely, it seems. They’re already looking into some enhancements and there are changes coming tonight. 

      As for me? I’m just watching and observing and experimenting. 

  • Han

    its spreading super fast, i got an invite, and i’ve already sent out some

    this is a positive

    Facecrook will be cooked in minutes

  • andrew

    Matured social networking , invites shutdown after a day and a bit.  The stock up 10% in 4 days aka 20 billion, Sergei and Larry will be sleeping happy tonight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stevenjhealey Steven Healey

    The ability to create Circles on the fly and to share content is simple but brilliant.

    Private circles have many possibilities , for example  in providing online support to customers in realtime . This could be the first step in social and business networking converging

    • http://codedsignal.com bendrix

      We must have been disconnected at childbirth… get out of my head :)

  • http://www.experiencerevelation.com Brian Lee

    After trying Google Wave and Google Buzz, I’m hesitant to even accept my invitation to try Google+. From what I’ve seen and what my friends have said, it doesn’t seem to offer anything new/unique. As you say, it’s in the early days, so maybe future editions will be better?

  • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

    For me, the best part about google+ is the proper verbiage. Facebook uses friend, like, and recommend. To me, those are loaded words. But circles perfectly describe something that naturally happens in my life: friends coming together under one interest but not others.

    I’m super excited for this (slight) paradigm shift. It may not be the most amazing invention, but not everything has to be earth shattering to be extremely useful (e.g. pop tops on soda cans).

  • http://empoprise-bi.blogspot.com/ John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises)

    I’m starting to see some non-self-referential stuff on Google+. Jandy Stone is talking about movies. Loic LeMeur is sharing his son’s fencing tournament. And people are hanging out (Google’s term for a video chat with up to 10 people).

    We’ll have to see how Google integrates Plus with its other properties – Picasa, for example, is suddenly seeing more interest (although I don’t know if it will stick).

  • http://empoprise-bi.blogspot.com/ John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises)

    I’m starting to see some non-self-referential stuff on Google+. Jandy Stone is talking about movies. Loic LeMeur is sharing his son’s fencing tournament. And people are hanging out (Google’s term for a video chat with up to 10 people).

    We’ll have to see how Google integrates Plus with its other properties – Picasa, for example, is suddenly seeing more interest (although I don’t know if it will stick).

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I agree on all fronts. I’m a Flickr guy, but integration and unlimited is tempting.

  • http://pharmastrategyblog.com maverickny

    It’s very much like Friendfeed without the content aggregation and bookmarklet for me so far.  I was quite glad to discover a lot of my old FF geek and scientist buddies there, many of whom I haven’t chatted with in a while.

    Like Steven Healey I like the Circles concept for organising streams and private chats around a topic of interest, which makes it more Wave like.  The beauty of FF was the rooms though.

    Overall, to me it seems like an amalgamation of FF, Wave and Buzz… in other words, a big potential time suck, but great fun nevertheless!

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  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

     
    This is
    really great. If +1 works, it will not only improve search quality, but also
    make ads more engaging. This may potentially improve Google’s ads, and
    eventually may turn into a core social product that can expand in new
    directions.

  • http://the-google-plus-project.blogspot.com/ google plus project

    I don’t know how to join for google plus  ? can anyone   help me ?

  • http://insidmaldesign.com insidmal

    I’m curious to check it out but definitely don’t have my hopes up.. after so many failed google social media attempts (buzz, wave, orkut, et al) I have trouble believing this will be much better..

    On a side note it really cracks me up when people talk about it as a BETTER alternative to facebook because it won’t be so much of “the man” or corporate rule.. ..cause you know.. google is a small local business we can trust right? LOL.. sorry for the sarcasm, just had to throw that in :)

  • http://twitter.com/Karen5Lund Karen E. Lund

    You can follow Mark Zuckerburg in Google+??

  • Robert Gerrow

    It looks like Google+ is naturally designed to allow someone to combine all of their Facebook-type traffic into a unified front end. My problem has always been trying to use a single FB account to communicate with family, fans of a couple local bands, InfoSec contacts, and Social Networking associates without pushing useless traffic to one group or another. With some tuning, I agree with some of the earlier comments about this being a solid business tool for small companies with multiple lines/services. 

    My gut is people will look at this as a Facebook analog, but I’m curious to see how quickly they can pull in a critical mass of users from both Facebook and Twitter. And I agree that third party integration will control the growth curve.

  • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ OnlineIncomeTeacher

    We will have to wait and see whether Google+ is the next big thing, or whether it is just another Buzz

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  • http://theriverchurch.tv/ Scott Gould

    I just still don’t know why I’d every go to google to be social – I use it to search, and host my email.

  • http://www.wildwomannetwork.com SandraLeeSchubert, Get heard.

    I never got onto FF or MySpace. Facebook was my first. I signed up for biz purposes and it was great that way until my friends and family jumped on and mucked up the waters a bit. Twitter remains my favorite but interaction went way down when it became crowded and people lost interest in diving into a large crowd. 

    Circles seem to be the best for sorting out how I want to listen and communicate to a certain group of people. My publishers circle includes Seth Godin, but what will that mean in the long run when Seth will be in hundred more circles then mine?  

    Right now I have less then five of my “friends” there, and I am not Chris Brogan, so I feel like I am jumping up and down for a little bit of interaction. Don’t tell me to add value, blah, blah… really the people there are going to listen to the big guns right now. So I guess I will go to my circle and pay attention and see what I can learn as I watch something new evolve. 

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  • http://www.melaniekissell.com melaniekissell

    In other words …

    The jury is still out. 

    I spent at least two years observing bloggers before I started my first blog.  I have extraordinary patience.  I enjoy sitting on the sidelines (when it comes to something new) and watching people work out the “kinks” before I jump in.  I’m funny that way — I prefer kink-free social media.  :)

    Thanks for a big chunk of transparency regarding Google+, Chris. 

    Right now I’m viewing it as the proverbial crap shoot.

    Melanie

  • http://twitter.com/wisequeen Donna Jackson /wiseq

    Im too tired from fb twitter gowalla foursquare tumblr posterous  on and on and on. I wasted a fair slice of time on buzz before it tanked. So although Im an early adopter almost always. Im sceptical about Google plus ill have to wait for some energy to arrive.

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  • Enk. -Shahbaz Mehdi

    Hey check out how I created Google+ Profile Banners just like Facebook’s – http://bit.ly/mH0RiA  :)

  • http://twitter.com/HotSpotPromo Darlene Hull

    Thanks, Chris!  I don’t feel so left out now, but it does sound like it could be a great place/way to centralize all my contacts – once they all get there, of course – and it would be great to start from scratch and organize properly from the beginning.  

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  • Mike Ames

    I can’t wait to have a poke around on it Chris. You make it sound really interesting but then again I always like shiny new things (you should see me in a golf shop).

    I suppose an invitation to join is out of the question?

    Mike, hopeful of Solihull

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  • Liz Carpenter Bayer

    I’m just starting with google +. It’s hard for me to manouver. I think I’m just so used to Facebook that it’s making google+ really hard. So far I have created a few circles and have viewed my pictures located in other places withing google.

    All I can say is whish me luck and if you have any advice on how to make it easier please feel free to give it.

    Thanks,
    Liz

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