On Google+: First Impressions

There’s a new social kid on the block and he’s raring to ‘rassle. When I first heard about Google+ (G+), my thoughts were along the lines of “Oh,crap. Another thing to look at.” As these social platforms proliferate, it takes a lot of time to familiarize oneself with them, ramp up in how to best use them, and then sit in them to gain value.

The vast majority of people who have added me to their G+ circles *seem* to be doing so from a SharePoint slant, which is to be expected, as that’s my most socially available persona. That’s gratifying, of course. (One of my beefs with the emails I get telling me that I’ve been added to someone’s circle is that it doesn’t say what circle it was. “SharePoint” or “Jerks who bloviate”? I have to guess why they might have added me.)

It seems that the largest flaw with Google+ circles isn’t the circles themselves, but how people are using them so far, at least based on my minimal watching. (So far I’m primarily a lurker.) While it’s important to put people into circles which makes sense to me for consumption, those selfsame people should be sure to publish to their circle(s) which is/are relevant to the content, IMO.

So we still seem to have the classic metadata problem which we always run into with any social or collaborative tool. How the consumer wants to receive content is often not aligned with how the publisher wants to send it. If I publish photos of my kid – as awesome as he is – to my SharePoint circle, I’ve in essence lost a point of trust with the people in that circle, or at least I should.

One of *my* mistakes so far has been to add too many people to my SharePoint circle. I started grabbing people who added me to one of their circles and dropping them into my SharePoint circle somewhat blindly. Now I’ve got a smaller version of the same issue I have with Facebook: I’ve accepted too many people into my “realm” (I needed a transcendent word) and I need to pare it back. It’s the same issue I had when I started with Twitter and the reason why I’m following relatively few people compared to many other people. I don’t care about the popularity contest part of this: I want to know that I will see good content on the topics I choose. (As with Twitter and Facebook, likewise LinkedIn: I want the connections I have to people with there to mean something. See my Collecting Souls posts: 1, 2 and 3.)

Tom Resing (@resing– I’m going to stick with Twitter handles for links, at least for now) shared a post on G+ which I found really interesting:


(What’s the best way to share a G+ post outside of G+? As far as I know, there’s no good mechanism for it, so a screen grab seemed like a reasonable approach.)

If Mike (G+: Mike Elgan) is correct and G+ is successful, I could see G+ beginning to supplant blogs, Twitter, and personal emails, but I’m not sold yet. I’m going to continue to sit back a while and watch how this Google+ thing plays out.

* Thanks to Kiran Voleti for the really big +1 graphic: http://www.kiranvoleti.com/google-plus-one-vector-logo-freebie