The naysayers are back. With the launch of Google Plus Pages this week, the negativity drifts across the Interwebs yet again.
Even hardened fans such as Robert Scoble found something negative to say about he latest update from the daddy of search.
But wait a minute guys, it’s not been 4 months since they went live, so what’s with the scornful looks?
A Reason to Use Google Plus
I’m not sure, but now I have a reason to use Google Plus other than for my own delight all I see is opportunity. The introduction is having a magnetic effect as I see plenty of the local businesses I engage with regularly on Twitter signing up on Google Plus. With each new company comes more users, and more users means more opportunity.
What’s The Opportunity?
Well I spend most of my day helping others learn how to use Social Media, or something else related to online business. So when new platforms become popular, I become busy…”I can’t work this out; I know I’ll ask Sean.” It’s as if they think that because it happens to function online I will know how it works. Quite often, they are right. But why?
It’s because I invest my time understanding the industry, keeping up to date with the latest news, and studying how things work. I have a very inquisitive mind and even if I don’t know the answer, I know where to find it, and fast. If you keep up with the latest on your industry you can make it work for you in much the same way.
Taking The Fast Track
Google Plus for example; I didn’t manage to get an early invite. So by the time it opened up I was already behind many of my fellow online professionals. Never mind, Chris Brogan to the rescue. Chris is even more opportunistic than me. Seeing the growing popularity of Google Plus, combined with it’s complexity, he put together a webinar charging $47 to give those that wanted an overview of the system and more importantly an insight into why he thought it was a very significant channel in the social space. Some found it controversial, the fact that the platform was new and Chris was already doing a how to!
Two hours with Chris saved me hours of discovery, so when Google Plus Pages were released this week I was ready to go. I have already been playing with Hangouts and we are planning a live podcast session next week using Google Hangouts to broadcast the show. In my mind Hangouts is probably the most significant feature of Google Plus. It is so accesible with no learning curve, unlike other forms of video broadcasting, a couple of clicks and you’re off, engaging with your audience. Product demos, customer service, Q&A sessions, user group discussions and plain old meet ups; are just some of the uses for Google Hangouts.
And I think this really is a case of “Build it and they will come”. If you’re doing cool things on Google Plus you have an opportunity to stand out and get noticed. If you’re on the platform, you are likely to be well ahead of your competitors. Taking learnings from those that were in early on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn you can become an old hand by the time your competitors catch up.
So is Google Plus a Facebook killer, will it mean the end of Twitter? I think the answer is no to both. LinkedIn may feel it a bit, it’s already not much more than a Twitter Feed aggregator anyway. Other than that I think Google Plus is in a different space, somewhere between a blog and a Social Network. It will be the integration of the other Google components that will make Google Plus a killer application in the business world.
Have you ventured into Google’s new playground?