GOOGLE PLUS: IT’S EARLY BUT INTERESTING.

Nancy Myrland All Posts, Google Plus, Social Media 41 Comments

Google Plus Early Observations

Those who know me won’t be surprised that I’ve been poking around in Google+ since it launched last week. It has many layers, but I thought I’d share a few early observations with you.

Google+ is an interesting site to be sure. I think it will definitely be very popular, but it has a long way to go. Google+ is, admittedly, in Beta, so what we see today will only evolve in to something much stronger as the days and weeks go on.

Even though many are calling it a Facebook killer, I find it to be an interesting cross between Facebook and Twitter. I have made extensive use of Groups and Lists on Twitter since I started using it 3 years ago as there’s no way I could have managed my conversational flow, education and prioritization of contacts had I not set up many lists. I also use them on Facebook, but I don’t read streams from different groups on Facebook like I do on Twitter. I let it all pour out as the Facebook algorithms see fit. Then again, I don’t have 10,000 friends or fans on Facebook to communicate with like I do on Twitter. Twitter has the potential to amass more followers faster than a Facebook (Business) Page does for mere marketing mortals like me, so Lists there are very important.

Because of my history with lists, Google Plus’s “Circles,” which is the name they’ve given to groups that we choose to create for the same reasons I mentioned above, are very familiar to me. They help me separate and prioritize people and conversations by type, industry, level of familiarity, ability to learn from, etc.  I am certain you will like being able to drag and drop people in to different Circles. Not to worry, people don’t know the names of your Circles, so you can be as descriptive as you’d like.

Right now, G+ is full of early adopters, and those who have friends and contacts who have added them via email address. Even though Google has allowed this point of entry (G+ users who invite others by sending an update to their email address), Google is controlling how many of those people are able to get in right now.  They are in beta, and want to finish developing, coding, and making extensive changes very, very quickly based on the suggestions they are soliciting from us based on our use, and what we would like to see.

Google has made their presence known, and has made an impression on me regarding how they want to involve the public in building this product. You don’t build a $580 million product and not pay attention to its use. At least Google doesn’t.

We can all learn a lesson from this….when developing new products and services, don’t forget to solicit constant feedback from those we hope will use them.

The heavy-hitter early adopters are in 7th-heaven because they feel like they have a wonderful, new, geeky tool to use where the majority of their contacts and conversation are with people like them. I am sensing a bit of “please don’t muddy these waters with your trivial, social conversation like you have on Twitter and LinkedIn,” but I think they will find people will join in droves when Google lets them, and they will adapt their use to suit their style, wants and needs, not what others want.

As I’ve said many times before, the wonderful thing about Social Media (the plural) is that even though others are building and developing all of this media, we, the users, are the ones deciding how we are going to use it. That’s marketing muscle unlike anything I’ve seen in my 25 years of marketing, management and sales experience.

Among other features, I like:

  • the ability to share messages and updates in a longer format,
  • the ease of being able to share others’ comments, which feels similar to, but a bit easier than, Facebook,
  • that the name of the original poster of information remains intact as the post continues to be shared again and again,
  • that the ability to learn is easy right now because the numbers are low, and the amount of information being shared specifically about Google+ is extensive,
  • that we can create “Hangouts” on Google+, where we can interact via video with a group of people of our choice. Some have said they haven’t used Skype since this launched as part of Google+ last week.
  • the ability to “mute” a thread if it is taking up too much room in my stream.
  • that, through the Google+ mobile app, every picture I take on my phone is now instantly uploaded to a private folder on Google+, which I can then share however I’d like. This is a great backup for photos.
  • and much more but I’ll stop there as I know our time together is short.

As I said, it is VERY early for this site. Just like other Social Media, the more I use it, the more familiar it becomes. You will find the same. Then we can all get ready and make more changes as they are the new norm in marketing.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask.

In the mean time, what do you think of Google+?

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  • Nick

    Well written post Nancy.

  • NancyMyrland

    Niiick…welcome! Thanks for your comment!

  • NancyMyrland

    @Nick Niiiiiick…welcome! Thanks for your comment my friend!

  • camandcodysmom

    Great post. I am loving G+. I am a Google-head and use a ton of their services. I am eager to get to a point where they are all in one place (iGoogle kind of does that and more, but they don’t have a G+ widget yet).

    You need a G+ button your blog. I have an icon pack. If you would like I could send it to you…

  • NancyMyrland

    @camandcodysmom Hi Andi! So nice to see you here! You’re right…I do need a G+ button for my site, along with a lot more that needs to be done there! I have not been an avid Google-user, but that’s changing!

  • tomcochrun

    Nancy-

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been curious, but too busy or occupied to jump in. I think I’ll spend some time on it now.

    Tom Cochrun

  • NealGMoore

    Nancy
    I’m desperate for an invite. Can you hook me up, please?

  • NancyMyrland

    Hi Tom! It’s always so nice to see you. I’m glad I gave you just enough to want to take a look. Let me know what you think, okay?

  • NancyMyrland

    @NealGMoore Hi Neal! All I need is your Gmail address. I’ll send a comment, via Google+, to you later, then it’s up to Google whether or not they will open the gates for a moment or two to let more in. I keep hearing my invites have to wait as they are being very controlled right now. Let me know!

  • NealGMoore
  • debdobson62

    Very well done. It’s fun to be a part of watching a beta come to life. Yes, mostly us silly geekheads at the moment, but good.

  • NancyMyrland

    @debdobson62 I just like that I can be included in the geeky crowd! 🙂

  • NancyMyrland

    @NealGMoore Neal, I sent you a comment to your Gmail address. From there, you should be prompted to check out G+. Let me know when you get in!

  • NancyMyrland

    @tomcochrun Tom, do you already have an invite, or are you already on Google+. If not, please send me your Gmail address, and I’ll send you an email.

  • debdobson62

    @NancyMyrland Oh my friend, you are a missy geek (that is a compliment). Great post and loving seeing you on this new playground.

  • NealGMoore

    @NancyMyrland Hmmmmmmm. Didn’t see anything in my gmail account. Thanks for trying tho.

  • laurademeo

    Great article Nancy! Thanks for sharing your perspective and thoughts!

  • NancyMyrland

    @laurademeo Thanks Laura! I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂

  • NancyMyrland

    @debdobson62 You made my day to be included in that category!

  • NancyMyrland

    @NealGMoore It will probably show up when Google’s good and ready. 😉

  • redrocketLA

    Great article – personally I’m looking forward to the business version!

  • NancyMyrland

    @redrocketLA I am too! Google+ has been busy shutting down the ones that had already jumped the gun to set up an account, but we’ll see them back toward the end of the year, if not sooner.

  • redrocketLA

    So I read. I was glad to hear about that before I set one up myself. Although my invitations for NON business reasons have been not enough to get me a profile just yet… @NancyMyrland @redrocketLA

  • They kicked me out, said something about not being socially acceptable or I had a bad Avatar or some other reason…………..

    Actually, I am not on it so I haven’t been able to try it. I have seen a lot of commentary so it will be interesting to see the evolution. I’m not exactly the early adopter type anyway; I prefer the second wave after someone has already kicked the tires.

    Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great weekend.

  • Nancy, I have been reading a lot about Google+ and yours is by far the most informative. Still…as much as I love to dabble in new things, I just don’t know that I’m ready to add this to my plate. I’m finding that I have to draw some boundaries. On the other hand, I don’t want to miss a great opportunity for engagement. Ugh. I think I’m going to unplug for a bit and brew a cup of tea!

  • NancyMyrland

    @bdorman264 You, not socially acceptable Bill! No way! Well….maybe there’s some truth to that. 😉 If you have a Gmail address, I’d be happy to send the email that prompts the invite.

  • NancyMyrland

    @MimiMeredith You are much too kind…thanks Mimi! I know…I think something will give in another area as people use Google+. Many have admitted to spending less time on either Facebook or Twitter, which is to be expected during the honeymoon phase of any new product or service, right? I’m also seeing new browser extensions being developed that will allow one to watch their Facebook and/or Twitter feed from within G+. We haven’t even seen half of it yet! Thanks for stopping by!

  • @NancyMyrland That’s funny; I just got an invite so I guess I’m in……….now I better go back and read your post again…….:)

  • NancyMyrland

    @bdorman264 You probably didn’t read it in the 1st place! 😉

  • @NancyMyrland I did too……………..:). I might have scanned a word or two……

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  • NancyMyrland

    @bdorman264 You scanned a word or two…sigggghhhh. Oh well, that’s better than the 500 million gozillion people who haven’t even visited in the first place, so thanks!

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  • bruce.mishkin

    Totally pleased with Google+ but definitely a techie crowd is populating now. Looking forward to seeing how it evolves over the next few weeks. FYI, I gave a presentation on Google + this morning at a networking meeting. Only one person had heard of it.

  • NancyMyrland

    @bruce.mishkin You are right Bruce. The other thing I am seeing and hearing is that people are mistaking +1 for Google+. It is only a week old, so that’s to be expected. Many are in Social Networking overload trying to learn what they should do next.

    The one good thing about it being largely a techie crowd (does that mean you and I are techies because we’re there early?) is that the amount of education and information about Google+ is abundant, so learning is very easy at this point.

    Thanks for stopping by Bruce!

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  • fedude

    Nancy,

    One of the best posts I’ve seen on G+. Well written. I can’t seem to get invited. Any chance you can hook me up with one?

  • NancyMyrland

    @fedude Thanks for taking time to read it! Absolutely…just let me know your email address.

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  • xy440

    Promoting google+ votes is becoming a very hot business. Using these types of services could have negative or positive affects on SEO. We just have to see how google treats them. Another place to buy google plus votes is bulkones.com Will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next few months.

  • Can you help me understand. What are google+ votes?