Sunday, December 11, 2011

Is Google Plus for me?



If you are a regular reader of this blog, use Google reader, attend unconferences; basically a tech fan, then chances are that you will like google plus. But only if you use it the way it should be used.

I made my circles. Now what?

Agreed that the most important thing Google Plus talked about when they started off is the circles. The first thing even i did was to put my friends and family (same FB crowd) in creatively named circles. And then I had the same question. Now what? I waited and waited. Nothing happened. Then i started searching for twitter crowd on google plus added them to a circle called Twitter crowd. Now my stream was full of updates from a regular set of people but not all of the Twitter crowd. All their updates and conversations were around tech. I now gained some ground and started posting tech stuff there and started getting a lot of traction. It was working. At the same time Facebook was full of updates to the effect of calling Google plus a burial ground.

A Social Network is all the about the network of people you have there

I quickly understood that the people using Google Plus are early adopters. And early adopters of technology are of course people who love technology. Previously there were Twitter and Facebook. I used Twitter for crowd sourcing and FB for friend sourcing. I also linked Twitter to FB so that my tweets automatically got posted on FB. The reason being most of my tweets to the open world were good enough to be shared with my friends who were not on Twitter. But when it came to posts on tech and design (google and twitter) i never got much traction in FB. Most of my friends on FB even said they dont understand most of my posts. Also its difficult to have a good conversation on Twitter. Twitter is not designed for meaningful conversations; its unstructured micro broadcast. And that's the beauty of it. And ofcourse the noise rate of Twitter is more. So even if my tech tweets had takers, I didnt know about it or couldn't have a meaningful conversation around it.

So here is the deal. Twitter has general crowd who I cant really categorize into relationships or interests. Facebook has my friends. People on Google Plus are tech.

So add the right kind of people to your circles so you will see meaningful posts in your stream. Don't add people whose last update is about their new display picture.

I have you on Twitter and FB. Shouldn't that be enough?

A friend once told me that he is inundated with my same posts on Twitter, FB, Buzz and Linkedin. Its a valid problem. But I've fixed it. Right now I dont post anything tech or design related on Twitter or FB. They are on Google Plus for the same reasons described above. Also one good thing Google Plus did was to not allow linking of Twitter feed. Which means it has original content. So if you are a tech fan it does make sense to have me in your Google Plus circles and check my updates that are original.

Which circle do I share to?

As I'm talking tech and nothing personal it makes sense to share things Public. The idea is to make my posts available in the open so that someone who is adding me to his/her circle knows what I'm talking about. Also it will be available on Google Search. Google Plus is a combination of the best features from Twitter and FB. It works on a Follow model with a FB style algorithmic Stream/Wall of conversations. I dont add random people into my circle unless i know what they are talking about.

So why should I have family and friends circles?

Going forward all Google products will be integrated with Google Plus. It makes sense to maintain your contacts on Google Plus centrally and not on Gmail. It reduces Google's loose contact problem. If you are a heavy user of google's products you have to be on google plus as early as possible. Google plus is also going to influence Google search in a big way.

Will I stop using FB and Twitter?

No. I will continue using it for the network i have there.

I want some tech fans to follow

The Twitter crowd circle

Android Fans Cirle

Other Interesting People
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