Google+ has been a darling of the tech crowd since its introduction to the world on June 28, reaching 10 million users in 16 days, an astounding number considering that it took the other major social networks years to reach the same number.
The newest big social network is now a month old, and may have as many as 25 million users…and this is before it opens its doors to the public on July 31. Brands (except Ford) have so far been banned from setting up pages, and Google ruffled a lot of big feathers lately when they decided to take down the pages of those who did not heed their advice. Brand pages will come eventually, but for now, Google+ is just for individuals.
Where to begin?
There’s so much being written about G+ that it’s difficult to keep up with it all. I’ve gathered together some of my favorites that can help you get started, add to what you already know, or help you get a feel for the bigger picture.
“Part FriendFeed, part Google Buzz, part Facebook, part Google.com and all of its properties, Google Plus represents a fresh approach to social engagement not seen at this level since the early days of Twitter.”
“Google+ will not change the world. Or the internet. But if it scales, it might help Google buy a lot of really big yachts, really fast private jets, small countries whose names end with “-Stan,” and install a few hundred thousand solid gold toilets in its offices and server farms around the world. ”
“If Google+ offered a WordPress comment integration, I would give G+ my comments in a heartbeat.”
“Posts are organized by activity, not by chronological order, making it difficult to keep up with recent posts. An option to organize streams as a timeline, as you can in Facebook, would be handy.”
Even celebrities and public figures are jumping on the Google+ bandwagon, including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (whose first contributions to his followers were pictures of a kitten), singerTaylor Swift, and, perhaps unfortunately, socialite and reality television star Paris Hilton. Love them or hate them, prominent figures jumping aboard a social network is a bellwether of staying power.
If you’re just getting started…
Yes, Chris Brogan is a huge proponent of G+, going so far as to shutter his FB page in favor of hanging out in the new space. But, as usual, Chris is doing a great job of helping others get up to speed.
“There’s a simple hack that can make Google+ display much more info when someone hovers over your avatar – similar to the appearance of twitter.”
“Important word about Google Plus profile photos: Your usual avatar won’t cut it. Find a higher resolution photo. Otherwise you’ll be sharing a grainy version of yourself on plus. Not nice.”
Advanced User Resources and How-To’s
“When you see a post that you want to bookmark and save for later, click the Share button at the bottom of the post and share it only with your empty Bookmarks circle.”
It is what the title says.
Includes a list of 5 other Chrome extensions published previously, all really useful.
Google+ for Niche Users
“A social network made by Google impacts search. Google isn’t saying it like that, because they wouldn’t want to cause a panicking stampede, but think about this: Google has all the data from Google+.”
Great post for people like me who are in the business of managing online communities.
A comprehensive list of all the top journalists on twitter that you can add to your circles.
And now for the big picture….
What does the advent of Google+ mean to the other social networks, and to the internet in general?
“The launch of Google+ is the beginning of a fundamental change on the web. A change that will tear down silos, empower users and create opportunities to take software and collaboration to new levels.”
To use a phrase from Highlander, “There can be only one.” That is the direction that Google is heading, intentionally or not. As the dominate player in search, adding social media through Google+ and local business controls through a revamped Google Places, we’re heading down a road where nobody else will be able to compete.
Hopefully you found these links helpful. Please share your favorites in the comments.