Google plus – tribes won’t follow till chiefs jump in with both feet

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.










Published by Vijay Vijayasankar

Son/Husband/Dad/Dog Lover/Engineer. Follow me on twitter @vijayasankarv. These blogs are all my personal views - and not in way related to my employer or past employers

2 thoughts on “Google plus – tribes won’t follow till chiefs jump in with both feet

  1. Vijay, I am dipping my feet in Google+ as well. One thing to notice is that most folks who jumped the G+ band wagon are the ones from my professional network who are ready to accept change and are always willing to try something new. Most of them are tech savvy, so the learning curve is not a big issue.
    Part of my social experiment, I tried to woe in some of my FB connections. Mostly my friends who are in tech field, took the bait. The others, either ignored my invite or accepted it just because of I sent one but don’t use G+.
    Also, most of the other apps I use haven’t been integrated with G+. For e.g, I am a big fan of Pulse news and find it convenient to direct tweets about interesting stories I read using it. But without G+ integration, it is sort of a pain.
    I still want to give it a try because I want to give Google a fair chance. After all, they are one of the first few enterprises that gave good products free for a consumer and seems to be Larry’s primary focus, so I want to be a part of it early.

    Twitter, still seems to be the main source of information for me..


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