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.