Getting in the Groove of Google +
I can’t believe Google + has been around for nearly two months and I haven’t written a post on it yet!
Well, actually, I can believe it. I’m not one to get Shiny Object Syndrome. I do consider myself a Super Early Adopter, but I always jump into a new tool fully, explore, experiment and assess, before I start to shout from the rooftops about it. Call it cautious optimism.
Social media tools have given us a lot to contemplate these past few years. To me, it’s never really been about the tools – it’s been about the fundamental shift that’s taken place in the way we connect and communicate with one another. That’s the most fascinating part to me. On a daily basis, I’m connecting with people that, without these tools, I’d have never otherwise had the opportunity to cross paths with. Many of these people have become a very important part of my life. I’ve laughed and learned, and my life has been made richer for knowing them. The tools that have been around for a while, things like Twitter, Facebook, and blogging, have become ubiquitous to me. I don’t even consider the tools I’m using when I’m interacting online anymore. It’s second nature. I’m in the groove. I’m at one with social media now.
But I admit, Google + has taken some time to come to terms with.
At first, I thought it wondrous new place, with some familiar notes – a Facebookesque layout, and a quick setup. I just logged right in, and because of my already beefy Google Profile, the tool knew who I was and anticipated who I might want to talk to. In all of 5 minutes I was reading, sharing and conversing. But then I took pause. Do I really need ANOTHER social network to keep up with? Maybe it’s not for me. There’s a lot of people on here I don’t know. Who is that guy and why is he circling me? Self doubt crept in, and I walked away for a while.
My initial excitement at the shiny new tool wore off quickly this time. I didn’t go back for a couple of weeks. But my curiosity got the best of me again. I poked my head in, looked around. And what I saw was surprising.
It wasn’t just the same old people having the same old 140 character conversations. Sure, there were the usual suspects – but there were so many new faces! The long form conversation of Google + achieves something that 140 characters never can – it allows me to get a really good sense of what someone is about, fast. The in-line conversation of comments and sharing is easy to follow and often is more interesting than not. As much as Twitter is like a pub – small snippets of conversation weaving in and out in a noisy room – Google + is more like an intimate dinner party, where we’re still sitting around the table, talking for hours after the plates are cleared.
Yes, it’s true. I’m finding my groove with Google +. It’s the first place I go now, with Twitter running a close second, and Facebook being something I breeze by out of a false sense of obligation and habit more than anything.
I can’t predict the future, and like you, I don’t know if Google + will still be around in 6 months or even 3 months. But I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not going away any time soon. And while it’s here, I’m going to get as much out of it as I can.
Oh and by the way, Twitter. I still love you too, and I always will. It’s just that our relationship is changing. It’s not you. It’s me.
(I still have plenty of invites, so if you’re not in Google + yet and want to try it out, send me an email at murphy.sue[at]gmail.com and I’ll hook you up.)
photo by Matt Kowal
I love Google+
I’m more social on it than anywhere else. I like Twitter for the short conversations, yet at the same time I don’t jump in because I can’t think of anything worth saying. On Google+ I’ve commented much more, and made more personal connections than I have on Twitter in the last two weeks.
As for Facebook – I breeze by too, I’ve never really liked it there.
You’re correct that technology is boring. See one social media app and you’ve seen them all.
The intrigue happens when something is developed that nobody thought about before, or when everyone thought about it and nobody until then created it.
I’m choosing to add selective people to circles on G+ and I don’t refer to people I’m already connected with on other networking sites. If I’m following someone on Twitter, why follow elsewhere? That would make one site obsolete. So, I am using G+ to connect specifically with people in my community (where I’m a city councilor) and with a mix of strangers who are urban thinkers and placemakers.
My use of one tool will likely change as I brood how to use them all productively.
I still find myself in that period of withdrawal from G+, I have been returning every other day to check it out but still not getting that sense of value that I don’t already have from my personal Facebook network and my professional twitter network.
I presume this is where G+ is going with their product, a realm to bring the 2 together but I just don’t have it yet.
However, the description of G+ as an intimate dinner is intriguing enough to keep me trying 🙂