September 29, 2022

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

I am already sick of Google+

I am already sick of Google+

Yes, I am sick of Google+, and it has nothing to do with the tool itself. It might be the very most useful thing in the whole wide world, but enough already. My Radio Roundtable co-host Doug Haslam is asking for people to have some patience. I agree. What I am having trouble with is the near-constant discussion on it (and yes, I realize this post is contributing to the problem, pot meet kettle, etc.).

Is the prevalence of S.O.S. (Shiny Object Syndrome) so pervasive in social media circles that we have nothing else to discuss? It has been less than a month, it’s still in beta, and already more digital ink has been spilled on this than pretty much any other tool I can think of.  I know we’re all anxious to be able to explain what might be the next big thing, but true understanding of how the application might play out will not–and can not–happen overnight. Predicting the direction a social network is going to take with confidence while it is still in beta seems a bit of a stretch to me. Reading through the comments on this Jezebel post on the topic was interesting. While certainly not a legitimate sampling of social network users, it does feel like there’s an element of social tool fatigue setting in.

I keep wondering how we would have all responded to Twitter had it been packaged this way. Part of the beauty of social tools from my perspective is observing the gradual growth. You get to see how the new tool differs from others. What new things it offers, how it can be integrated into your day. New, unexpected uses show up. People make mistakes that aren’t job or brand-threatening because the receiving audience isn’t that big, and they’re all learning too. I’ve heard it said more than once by those who were on Twitter early on that it lost much of its value when celebrities joined, because it became all about numbers of followers, and broadcasting messages rather than real conversation. Well, I hope everyone is enjoying the halcyon days of G+’s youth, because they have a “celebrity acquisition plan.”

It’s probably to be expected that a big player like Google will make a big splash. I suppose what I’d really like to see is more “this is how and why it’s different–and why I find value in it” type posts. Right now what I’m seeing isn’t so much unique value as it is “here, see the next new thing.” Okay, I see it. Now tell me how it’s changing things for you, and why it deserves my time and attention away from all of the other tools.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the Director of Marketing Communications for CARMA. She is also the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for more than 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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    I’m actually finding good value from Google+ internally, being able to share content with my “LiveWorld” Circle outside of email, holding informal watercooler Hangouts (we’re largely a virtual company, so this is a good fit) once or twice a week, and holding more structured video-chat Hangouts for our small Content Team (the technology holds up better than Skype multi-person video chats). Apart from that, I’m in there experimenting, sharing, and keeping an open mind. 

    But as to which tool Google+ is “killing”? Who the heck knows? It’s waaay too early for that. 

      Jen Zingsheim

      Bryan, thank you for the thoughtful comment–that is exactly the sort of thing I *wish* bloggers were sharing right now. Specifically, I find the Hangouts thing very interesting, and the detail that it “holds up better than Skype multi-person” is a particularly useful tidbit.

      I’d much rather see that then all of the prognostication about it being a FB or Twitter-killer.

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