Couple of weeks ago – I posted my opinion on G+ in this blog. I have been lurking there since then for a bit to see if anything has changed, or whether anything has improved. And guess what – nothing has changed for me.
The people I follow on twitter, and via RSS feeds – they are all on G+. Not surprisingly, they are all conversing there primarily on the same discussions they are having on twitter and on their various blogs. And a lot of it is happy talk about G+ 🙂 . I also know first hand that several of these folks also have extensive back channel conversations between themselves on email threads due to privacy concerns etc.
As long as these folks continue to share content via twitter and other media that I am already present in, I find no reason to have yet another channel to hear the same stuff. In fact it is extremely boring and frustrating to see the same content coming at you from multiple places. In case some one says something interesting on G+, I have invariably seen some one else post it on twitter almost real time. Works for me.
Till such time as G+ becomes the primary channel for creating and sharing content – most of the “ordinary”, “non-geek”,”non-socmed expert” people (tribes) will stay with the incumbent platforms like facebook and twitter. I don’t think Google invited people with socmed clout (chiefs) just because platform was not ready, or because these early adopters are known for jumping into anything that is new and stay for some time at least – I think they primarily did it hoping that tribes will follow their chiefs wherever they go. What they probably did not realize was that the chiefs will play it safe and keep a foot on old and new worlds. As long as chiefs don’t jump in with both feet, I don’t see the tribes having any reason to glance at the new shiny world.
Last week I read – on twitter – that G+ now has 20 million users. Very cool – impressive start. But that is a very low number if you consider the over all population of potential users (about 190M for twitter, and 750M for facebook I gather). I have seen the “ROI is the wrong metric for social media” message touted by social media experts. I don’t buy that for a minute. And now I see a very similar argument being put forward on G+ – along the lines of “I don’ t care how it is today, I am in for the pleasure of the ride, lets see where it takes me” . Not me – I don’t have the time or inclination to jump in for an unknown thrill ride.
I stayed out of google wave, SAP streamwork and twitter when they started – and once twitter proved useful, I jumped in wholeheartedly. Wave died (not unexpected), and streamwork has been steadily improving, and I have started to dip my toes a bit. Facebook was a winner for me from day 1 – it was one place where everything I wanted to know about the latest on my hobby was posted. I will do exactly the same for Google plus – If (not yet sure if I can say “when”) I see the chiefs commit fully, and not treat G+ as yet another channel, I will jump in and stay. The rationale is simple – I am less of a content provider, and more of a content consumer. If I become primarily a content provider, my whole perspective on this topic might have been very different.