I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m fascinated by Google+.
I left Web Worker Daily in 2009 in no small part because I was bored out of my mind with the content I was producing/editing. I couldn’t stomach looking at even one more new social networking/collaboration site that no one would care about in 6 minutes, much less 6 months.
Google+ is different, and not just because it’s from Google. Why? It’s a paradigm shift in large scale at-your-fingertips social networking. Sure they have tweaks in technology to work through to make stream organization and circle management more intuitive. But the concept completely turns on its ear how most everyday folks have used social media so far.
I maintain that not only is it for the better, but that nonprofits that communicate well already had it figured out.
Established social sharing model (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc.):
I find this interesting (or I have an opinion/thought/idea/question) so I want to share this with you because for some reason you find me interesting enough to follow/friend me (so maybe you really do want to know where I am or what I had for lunch).
Google+ sharing model:
I find this interesting (or I have an opinion/thought/idea/question) so based on what I specifically know about you and what we have in common as unique individuals, I think you’ll find it interesting too.
See what’s happening there? Cool, huh?
Nonprofits are all about segmenting our communications and getting to know our constituency so we can serve them better. After all is said and done, an organization’s value in the world is defined by improvement in its constituents’ lives, not the organization’s bottom line. The bottom line allows the organization to serve more. Effective nonprofits know it’s not about them.
Robert Scoble doesn’t get it yet, as evidenced by his latest blog post: Why yo daddy won’t use Google+: no noise control. Guess what: My daddy won’t use Google+ because my daddy is dead. But Robert wouldn’t know that because he doesn’t know me. It’s okay, it’s a blog post. That post is just as much about him as this blog post is about me. That’s the nature of the beast when your name is at the top of the page. I’m only hoping you’re here because you want to be. I might segment my content by category or tag. I can even try and hide content based on category or tag. But I can’t target you any more than Robert could change his headline for me.
On Google+ you put me in a circle for a reason. I put you in a circle for a reason. When I decide to share, it’s not a blog post, a status update, wall post or a tweet. It doesn’t matter if what I’m sharing is to you and 3 others, or to you and 300 others. It’s still more about you than it is about me because I had to take that moment to think and select your circle before I posted. It’s about what I think you want to hear from me because I explicitly know what we have in common, not just about what I think has value to you solely and entirely because it has value to me. I wish the tech pundits now banging on Google+ could understand that.
I also wish Google+ had a way of filtering out Public posts from the main stream. I’m following some of the early adopter crowd for now, but wow…they’re noisy. Not so much them but the 300 people who comment on every post. And no different than the conversations I would find on any of their other stages. For me, the gold in Google+ are in those posts that are marked “Limited” even though I have no clue what circle I’m in. It’s not just about privacy. It’s not fear of secrets getting out. It’s I thought of the circle I put you in and I’m sharing with you for that reason that has value to me.
So Google+ has changed the paradigm of social sharing…the question is, are we really ready to embrace it?