Gini Dietrich

Beware the Google+ Experts

By: Gini Dietrich | July 18, 2011 | 
518

There is something going on in the social media world that is really bothering me.

The “experts” are taking advantage of people who feel like they’re going to be left behind if they don’t figure out Google+. Now.

And, because we all are limited in our time, people are shelling out money to have someone teach them how to use the tool.

Stop it.

Right now.

I alluded to this in Gin and Topics this past Friday when I linked to Allen Stern’s very funny, tongue-in-cheek $2,500 course that also allows you into one of his circles.

But this is ridiculous. As of this writing, it has been 24 days since Google+ launched. That is not enough time to figure out a) if it has business applications, b) how it truly works for networking, and c) what it’s value is going to be. For heaven’s sakes. If it goes the way of Buzz and Wave, you’ll have wasted your money.

Not to mention, it’s still in beta and doesn’t open up to the world until the end of this month. It will be at least a year of use before we figure out it’s idiosyncrasies.

But there are still people out there claiming to have all the secrets because they claim to have introduced Twitter to the business world so surely they understand how Google+ is going to affect your daily life. Add to that, they’ve spent 250 hours inside the tool, learning and using.

If that’s the case, I want their jobs because that means they’ve spent 11 hours, every day, for the past three weeks using Google+.

Sure, it’s my job to stay ahead of the trends and to understand them so that you can short cut your education. But it’s been 24 days.

Twenty four days.

I don’t have 11 hours every day to spend trying to learn it for you, as much as I would love to spend all my time with the shiny, new penny.

Pay attention to Google+. Get in there and try out some things (I’ll send you an invite, if you don’t have one). But it’s waaaaaay too early to say what it’s going to do. And it’s certainly too early to be paying experts to tell you how to use it.

Save your money. The time will come (or not) when you need to learn how to use it for business. If you spend a little time in it now, say an hour or two a week, you won’t have to pay anyone to teach you how to use it.

It’s a tool. Just like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blogging, and 8Tracks. Wait until it’s been around long enough to understand how it fits a business strategy.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks,ย co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She alsoย is the lead blogger atย Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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518 Comments on "Beware the Google+ Experts"

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berget
berget
5 years 10 days ago

I’m really glad that you’re saying this, because I have hardly had time to experiment at all with Google+, and it seems like I am the only one not doing it. I’m actually on vacation, and I’m waiting to get back home before I learn whatever I should be learning about this new social media tool ๐Ÿ™‚

Jens

_Mohamed_Ansari
_Mohamed_Ansari
5 years 10 days ago

I was thinking the same at my blog here http://mohammedansari.wordpress.com I also feel that G+ needs to engage it’s users more to top the list of social media.

CharityHisle
5 years 10 days ago

I’ve been seeing this kind of activity for the past week. When you combine it with the spam, it makes me cringe.

johnfalchetto
5 years 10 days ago
I have been reading your blog for more than 250 hours ginidietrich I am launching a new program called Public Relations and Social Media, I know everything I need to know now and if anyone complains I will just say “making money isn’t evil’. There are two things that bother me with Brogan’s approach on this matter: 1. That he is now an expert in Google + after ‘playing’ with it for 250 hours 2. That he can actually tell business owners how to use it, because you know he’s a NYT bestseller author. BS, people. Wake up. If someone… Read more »
NancyD68
5 years 10 days ago

@johnfalchetto ginidietrich Wait, I can’t be an expert yet? Damn. Thanks for ruining my morning guys.

rebeccawoodhead
rebeccawoodhead
5 years 10 days ago
Just to put my feedback here into context, I’m not a flying monkey for this man. I view his work in a measured way. Sometimes it resonates with me. Sometimes it doesn’t. BUT … if someone in business is too busy to spend all day and night on Google+ but wants to get in early, surely $47 is a fair price to pay for a short cut? Just because nobody has mapped out a perfect route to the outside world from the Google+ cave yet doesn’t mean you need to shout at the people carrying the torches. I took a… Read more »
bdorman264
5 years 10 days ago
Lovely, after struggling all this time to find my niche I was going to be the Google + expert…….for a fee of course. This is one of the few platforms I have been an early adapter on and spending about 11 minutes a day on it (or maybe every other day) so I’m prepared to sit back and let the people who are way smarter than me tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing. I’m sure I’ll be stepping on or into something along the way, but that’s a given, huh? One thing I can assure you, if… Read more »
dariasteigman
dariasteigman
5 years 10 days ago
24 days? OMG, you have such a HUGE advantage on me because I got my invite and signed in almost a week late (gasp!). Seriously, though, I can’t see how anyone can talk about the impact of Google + for business when (1) you’re not allowed to have a business profile yet, and (2) the only people really using it are beta tester — you know, the people like us who kick the tires on the shiny new toys so we can say something intelligent when our clients, friends, or bosses ask us for first impressions. So most people haven’t… Read more »
Thoora
Thoora
5 years 10 days ago

Agreed that testing the waters can be fun, but not always the best strategic investment. One major G+ asset is its current audience. Do you see a draw for companies looking to speak to the early adopter/tech crowd? At this point in time, G+ is truly razor sharp in a way most other social platforms are not.

Thanks for reading.

Renรฉe Mellow, Thoora

NancyD68
5 years 10 days ago

Since my bosses want me to be an “expert” on social media, I may actually take this webinar. I need all the info I can get my hands on. This is the stuff that makes me crazy. I have to be an expert. *sigh* oh well…

nwozniak
nwozniak
5 years 10 days ago
I just found this offering funny. If someone wants to toss away $47, it isn’t going to bankrupt them…but yes, it is really early. It is still buggy and beta, after all. With business listings so far non-existent, there really isn’t full applicability yet.I know that Google has instructions on how to use the service, and I am sure if that if anyone is still confused, somebody has written up instructions somewhere that can be seen for free.I only discovered all of the social media experts in the last year or so. Before that, I was focused on running my… Read more »
centernetworks
centernetworks
5 years 10 days ago

Glad you enjoyed my post ๐Ÿ™‚ My issue with Chris’ offering (which I hope to post about later today) is that it’s too early. But if you follow Chris, he has a sheep farm 2nd to only one other – and so he should net a nice payday. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that – it’s just too bad he felt the need to rush to the gold so quickly.

centernetworks
centernetworks
5 years 10 days ago

Nancy – taking his seminar won’t make you an expert – what will make you an expert is reading, spending time on a network, joining the conversation, playing around with the network, etc. If you want to give away $50, I can give you my paypal ๐Ÿ˜›

KellyeCrane
KellyeCrane
5 years 10 days ago

The social media landgrab can be an ugly place. Offering advice on something that no one can possibly know (like how to use G+ for business, when businesses aren’t allowed to have profiles yet and things will change dramatically in a week or two) is hard to swallow. Boasting on G+ that you’re speaking to publishers about a book deal for a tool that’s less than a month old (which also happened), is similarly silly.

But self-promoters selling things of dubious value are part of social media, and hopefully most folks have figured that out already. As always, buyer beware!

rebeccawoodhead
rebeccawoodhead
5 years 10 days ago
‘Sheep farm’ lol. ๐Ÿ™‚ Nobody’s more confused that I am that I’m defending Chris Brogan. He’d laugh his butt off if he saw. We get on as well as oil and water most of the time. That said, I’m a bit peeved about the narkiness of the network. In the first few days it was all sunshine and rainbows, then the Facebook slamming began, now everyone’s going after business people and – looking at Kelly’s comment – I assume authors are also in the line of fire. Really? Seriously? That’s what you want to turn a new network into? A… Read more »
jessicamalnik
jessicamalnik
5 years 10 days ago

This is ridiculous. Google+ has been around for 24 days? Even if you didn’t sleep for said 24 days and spent all your time on google+, you still wouldn’t be an expert. Developing expertise takes TIME and KNOWLEDGE. Anyone who is already looking to call themselves an expert is full of crap and out to make a few bucks. Take your money elsewhere. Instead, just explore the site for what it is and start developing a strategy. As Gini points out, it’s just another tool in the social media toolbox.

dariasteigman
dariasteigman
5 years 10 days ago

@KellyeCrane “Self-promoters selling things of dubious value” are, sadly, part of every business. But that’s because, for shame, too many people are looking for shortcuts and external validation.

mylifestylemax
mylifestylemax
5 years 10 days ago

I don’t have a bloody clue about Google+ and now you have educated me that it’s is still a baby, ani….nfant not even allowed to drink yet…24 days old did you say?

…well know I know why.. and I can stop feeling like some “out of the loop social media fool”. As for paying someone as much as 50p to learn how to use it..unless they could guarentee that my mastery of it will make me a million quid..I think I’ll pass. Sounds like a quick talking, fast drawing, get your credit card out “con” to me. Well said Gini

dariasteigman
dariasteigman
5 years 10 days ago

@rebeccawoodhead For myself, I don’t see this as a question of snarkiness — but a question of defining value. Could I get an ebook up next week about Google+? Sure. But what’s the VALUE, given that the tool’s brand new and no one knows whether it’s just a shiny toy or someplace our prospects/customers/clients will be hanging out.

brandonchicago
brandonchicago
5 years 10 days ago

@johnfalchetto Hi John. Hi Gini. I would just like to say that I’m the definitive expert on Google+. I’ve used it for well over 500 hours now, as I had a Google+ chip embedded in my head in late June, and I can tell you EXACTLY what it will do for business. Please buy my book and visit my blog to find out more. Trust me, I’m an expert.

JayBaer
5 years 10 days ago
I don’t have a problem with a Webinar per se, it’s just that people signing up need to realize this is a very early look at the topic. Imagine a Twitter Webinar with no hashtags, third party clients, DMs, H/Ts, bit.lys, etc. One of the other issues I have is that Chris’ experience on G+ is decidedly different than the experience of other people. As pointed out by the awesome @margieclayman in a comment on Chris’ blog, most people are NOT going to get 500 comments on a G+ post, and most people are NOT going to see that kind… Read more »
fitzternet
5 years 10 days ago

I’m actually offering a free course in Google+ tactics and strategies ($399 value). Did I mention it’s free?

fitzternet
5 years 10 days ago

Lesson 1: Don’t pay anyone for Google+ tactics and strategies.

End of course. Thank you. Enjoy your $399.

fitzternet
5 years 10 days ago

@CharityHisle Agreed. When you consider that G+ is still in beta, it just seems a bit premature to be selling any sort of service that is tied to it. Maybe we can wait until Google is confident enough with what G+ actually is before everyone starts profiting from it?

MSchechter
MSchechter
5 years 10 days ago
The more I think about it, the more I think I’m giving this topic wayyyyy too much thought. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve railed on it as much as anyone else… His business model pivoted. Originally, he gave away knowledge for free and charged marquis clients (or leveraged speaking opportunities). Now he charges more directly to the consumer. It’s a little jarring as some of it feels as if it runs counter to things he taught earlier, but like any other business, you have to go where the money is. We keep looking at Chris Brogan the guy, but… Read more »
glenn_ferrell
glenn_ferrell
5 years 10 days ago
Gini — and I was waiting for your to figure it out for me ! Seriously though, what little I have done with Google+ gives me the impression that we are still in version .001, and that spending a great deal of time with G+ before inter-connectivity to other Google tools emerges (and some better indications of how it influences ‘search’), may be an inefficient use of my time. For me it’s that potential inter-connectivity that could make Google plus really important. I’m willing to let others be on the bleeding edge of this one. I’ll be happy to read… Read more »
rebeccawoodhead
rebeccawoodhead
5 years 10 days ago
Good point, @MSchechter . I haven’t been following Brogan closely over the last year so maybe I’ve missed a backlash against him. Not sure. Attention’s been elsewhere. I did notice, though, that he’s more about advising small businesses now. Maybe giving everything away free is no longer a valid business model – if it ever was – and his example will allow his clients to feel better about the idea of charging for their work and time. Lots of people get very hung up on the idea of accepting payment. If they carry on like that for a long time,… Read more »
KDillabough
5 years 10 days ago

@glenn_ferrell I’m so with you Glenn…and probably even after I’ve had my coffee:) Cheers! Kaarina

KDillabough
5 years 10 days ago

@mylifestylemax Stacey, I couldn’t agree more. I’m actually writing a post today about “overwhelm”, because all the shiny new toys are creating such a buzz, on top of an already buzzing online world. Eeegads. Can I join your no-longer-feeling “out of the loop social media fool” club? Cheers! Kaarina

rebeccawoodhead
rebeccawoodhead
5 years 10 days ago

@dariasteigman The value’s just saving busy people time. Beyond that, you’re right, there’s nothing conclusive that can be said at the moment. Is that stopping people blogging about it? No. Why, then, should it stop people holding webinars about it? I’m playing devil’s advocate here (and putting myself in the line of troll-fire because I’m a flipping idiot) because I’m not a big fan of Brogan, but I do get a sense of something not too pleasant underlying some of the discourse around this.

KDillabough
5 years 10 days ago

@jessicamalnik I’m with you on the Gini comment: another tool in the toolbox…one I’m not adding…yet. Cheers! Kaarina

John_Trader1
John_Trader1
5 years 10 days ago

Gini — and here I thought that nothing was going to take my mind off of the J Lo – Marc Antony split. I agree with your assessments and I would say that I admire your courage for this type of a post, but I have been reading your blog long enough to know that courage is inherent in everything you do. I also appreciate the opportunity to read such poignant comments from folks in the field that I look up to and admire for their opinions.

KDillabough
5 years 10 days ago

@NancyD68 @johnfalchetto ginidietrich Nancy, I now appoint you expert. Just tell your bosses you were anointed and appointed.

KDillabough
5 years 10 days ago

@berget Jens, I’m not on vacation and I’m still not learning it. WAY too much stuff to cram into my head and business practice right now. I’ll do the watch, wait and see dance. Cheers! Kaarina

KDillabough
5 years 10 days ago

@John_Trader1 You had me at the J Lo-Marc Antony split:)

rebeccawoodhead
rebeccawoodhead
5 years 10 days ago

Realising that I’m the only person here offering a different opinion, so I’ll just sneak out before the hoard starts sharpening pitchforks. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good post. Interesting views.

NancyD68
5 years 10 days ago

@KDillabough @johnfalchetto ginidietrich Let’s have a party then! Who wants cake?

KDillabough
5 years 10 days ago

Hey Gini: perfect timing. I’m just writing a post on “overwhelm”, and this fits the bill perfectly. I simply cannot, will not, let another innovation twist its way into my already over-extended, over-learning, over-the-top-too-many-hours-spent life. Whew…that felt good. Would’ve been even better if I’d capitalized each word to really shout it out, cuz that’s how I’m feeling. To quote @bdorman264 just sayin’…or in my case, (picture the scene from the movie Network), just screamin’ Cheers! Kaarina

KDillabough
5 years 10 days ago

@NancyD68 @johnfalchetto ginidietrich and ponies and wine and scotch and balloons and….

KelleeMagee
KelleeMagee
5 years 10 days ago

If I could video comment, you would see me STANDING UP AT MY DESK and applauding you. BRAVA, @GiniDietrich for being a reality-checker here!

ThePaulSutton
ThePaulSutton
5 years 10 days ago

@rebeccawoodhead For what it’s worth, Rebecca, I agree with you. I don’t like what Chris Brogan’s done one bit, but you know, aren’t we all getting a little up our own bottoms recently?

NancyD68
5 years 10 days ago

@rebeccawoodhead @dariasteigman part of why I would consider spending the money on it is because I am not great with these kinds of things. If he has found ways for me to network a bit better, or find things easier, that saves me time – which is something I do not have a lot of. For me,. that right there may be worth it. Just a thought…Don’t kill me for being in the minority here.

nateriggs
nateriggs
5 years 10 days ago
Haha. I agree with you Gini (although you may have just killed two new opportunities I had for contracts! GRRRRR! [shakes fist]. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously though, while it’s a bit disparing that people seem to jump on the bandwagon and leverage the shiny objects like Google + as “specialized” knowledge, we’re just out of field test and Google is making changes every day. Yeah, I absolutely think there is business application for Google+. The seeds are there, but there’s still lots that Google needs to do to get it to the point where it will be really valuable, mostly around integration… Read more »
rebeccawoodhead
rebeccawoodhead
5 years 10 days ago

@NancyD68 I think that’s perfectly valid.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 10 days ago

@berget There isn’t much to learn yet. It’s a mix between Facebook and Twitter. The nice thing about it is you have social media practice now so you can start with a clean slate on how to organize your friends and your thoughts.

Hope you’re enjoying your vacation!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 10 days ago

@_Mohamed_Ansari Totally agree. And it’s still in beta so Google isn’t even quite sure what it’s going to do yet.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 10 days ago

@fitzternet @CharityHisle Unfortunately fear opens wallets. And plenty of people know that. I would feel awfully guilty about taking someone’s money after only 24 days, but I guess that’s why I’m not getting $25,000 a speaking gig either.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 10 days ago

@brandonchicago @johnfalchetto LMAO!! How’d you get the chip?! Can you sell that??

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 10 days ago

@NancyD68 @KDillabough @johnfalchetto I WANT CAKE! And now we’re crossing platforms again.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 10 days ago

@johnfalchetto Funny. I live in the U.S., but I’ve been reading your blog for more than 250 hours so I’m not an expert on expat living. Let’s just trade blogs for a couple of weeks!

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