7
49
Gini Dietrich

The Google+ Project Is Here

By: Gini Dietrich | June 29, 2011 | 
277

Well, the Google+ Project is here (sort of – they’re rolling it out slowly to high influencers first) and I don’t know what to make of it.

Yes, this is different than +1, which was introduced publicly a few weeks ago. Yes, it (seemingly) is yet another thing you have to try to fit into your life. Yes, this is their answer to Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a beta invitation. I’m looking at the same information as everyone else. But I have to say, I’m a bit overwhelmed.

There are five different projects within the whole: +Circles, +Sparks, +Hangouts, +Mobile, and +Huddle.

Ai yi yi!

The Breakdown

Circles

+Circles was announced (or leaked?) at South by Southwest this year and this is our first inkling of how it will actually work. It’s really the same as the lists you create in Facebook. You create circles of friends: Family, acquaintances, social media friends, business colleagues, etc. And you drop people into those circles based on the type of information you’d like them to have about you. Then you update them with information, at different times, that doesn’t go to everyone. For instance, I’m very careful about talking about my travel plans online. But I could update my family Circle really easily without fear that a stranger will see it.

Sparks

+Sparks is like the discussion groups of old. You type in a topic of something you love – cycling, food, wine, shoes – and then you share the information you’ve found. Other people, from around the world who share those same passions, can comment and create conversation around your topic. The +1 button is pretty prevalent in +Sparks; it’s used as the “like” button is on Facebook.

Hangouts

The idea behind +Hangouts is you can quickly “hang out” with people who, at that moment, are online. So, rather than scheduling a Skype call or a Facetime chat, you go into your Circles, see who is available and begin chatting on-screen. They use the word “bored” in their promotion; people who are bored can quickly find someone to chat with without having to schedule time.

Mobile

+Mobile is a way to share photos and videos, just like you do on Facebook. But you can share with people in your Circles or, with your permission, Google will upload them to a private cloud where people with similar interests can view them. It’s Facebook + Pinterest.

Huddle

+Huddle is group messaging that allows you to update everyone at once, if there are any changes. So think about evites with a way to update everyone at the last minute should it rain. Or if the location sucks. Or if there is an emergency. This is the most promising of all of the features; it’s not something you can easily do through Facebook.

What Does All of this Mean?

I think the biggest thing they’re saying here is: How you develop your networks is up to you. They’ll never create a new feature and give it to everyone, making you opt out. But it is another social network. Granted you have more control, but while it’s seemingly more private, it’s still Google and everything you say and do online lives on forever.

As soon as I get my beta invitation (if I get a beta invitation??), I’ll do the work to help you figure out if this is for you.

For now, though, it’s just coming soon.

P.S. I recommend watching the videos they have about each feature. You can find them by clicking here.

Join Nate Riggs and the Spin Sucks Pro team on Thursday, July 14, 11 am CDT for a webinar on Blog Style Guidelines: Mastering the Lists.

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, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

250 comments
NancyM.
NancyM.

I didn't find google plus that user friendly at first, but it is getting better. It definitely takes some time to get used to. Thanks for the post that clarifies some things. The privacy measures seem tighter and easiet to use than facebook's and that's an advantage.

Jens-Petter Berget
Jens-Petter Berget

Hi Gini,

I have just started playing around with Google+, I received an invitation yesterday. So far, I haven't discovered much, but reading your post was actually the best thing that has happened to me after receiving the invitation. Finally, "everything" made sense :)

What I think is the best with Google+, at least so far, is that it seems to be more personal, and a lot easier to know who you are talking to.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

ATTENTION! ATTENTION! I have Google+. If you would like an invite, either leave your email address here or DM it to me.

essencebc
essencebc

IMO this is viable. Main FB issue is privacy which this gets. Add Google's reach and there is potential.

josefrivera
josefrivera

@ginidietrich I asked for an invite, cant wait to play with this, looks more interesting than wave did, and more fun than orkut was.

Bojan
Bojan

So how do we get an invite?

jonbuscall
jonbuscall

As a small business owner I'm looking for the business use here and to be honest I'm just sighing at the weight of it all. Just masses of more stuff to try and deal with.

Exits stage left !

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Jens-Petter Berget I got an invite right after I published this and, I agree, I haven't discovered much EXCEPT about 40 new email updates a day.

bizshrink
bizshrink

@ginidietrich Not sure i can handle one more piece of socmed ---- will go to beach and contemplate : )

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@Bojan They're rolling them out as they please. I'd guess the super high-powered tech geeks will get them first. I don't know how they'll determine who gets them next.

shanerhyne
shanerhyne

@jonbuscall @ginidietrich I think the talk about the business potential for G+ is all focusing on the immediate launch, but that's not when we're likely to see this take place. There are some of these, but I think the real benefits lie in the potential for the network. Consider the possibility of someone conducting a Google search for a brand or product and there, among the links, is an invitation to explore various public circles formed by the brand and/or its customers. That's one hypothetical example, but I'm sure there are plenty more that can be considered when one starts to contemplate what a social network connected to Google's ability to mine search data, consumer behavior, and multimedia can do. Remember, Google has the ability to built tight integration with other Google services such as Google Places, YouTube, Android phones and tablets, and more. The potential may not be immediately obvious, but I'd say it has more immediately recognizable potential than either Facebook or Twitter had at their public unveiling.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@jonbuscall I don't see the business use, either. Only getting in there and using it will help us figure it out.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@mdbarber It's so many different things. Most of it is what we already do on FB. Their PR wasn't so great around it

KenMueller
KenMueller

@ginidietrich I'm with you. it's boring the heck out of me. I'll be offering my initial thoughts on Monday. Yep, i'll be putting a post up on a holiday.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@bizshrink I don't think it's social media. I've been playing with it. Let's discuss when you get back from the beach.

josefrivera
josefrivera

@ginidietrich @essencebc there is when you consider the true value of google which is its ability track you where ever you go on the web, add in the spice of social media, and now they can tell companies exactly what you do online!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@ginidietrich @essencebc I keep seeing this question. If you ask a business value for Google. I say hell yes. If you say a business value for businesses, I would say probably yes and no. I bet Google will target ads better for traditional digital advertising which is really like 80% of Facebook's earnings so we would pay Google vs Facebook and probably have at least twice the click rate success since Facebook is half of Traditional Digital.

Second we don't share on facebook everything we would if we felt it was all private. Facebook just sees the surface of our life not really how we feel. Google kind of sees that already from us based on our web presence.

But since I still haven't see real success with Social Marketing via any of the Facebook tools like Brand pages, places etc I don't think it will be missed. Will Starbucks miss the 400 posts saying 'Love your latte' they get from their 20 mil fans and 200million + world wide customers? No you can't miss zero.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@ginidietrich @jonbuscall If I had my choice it would be a network with no business or consumer marketing (except banner ads) and I would love to pay $2-$5 a month to not have any ads at all. I view Facebook as my living room. I don't invite brands to sit on my couch though I might watch them on TV in exchange for content. So fingers crossed.

mdbarber
mdbarber

@ginidietrich That's what I'm thinking too. Unfortunately their last few launches have been too big, IMO. I'm wishing for bite-sized pieces.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Gini Dietrich,  CEO – Arment Dietrich, Inc., and Spin Sucks author (added 7/29)doesn’t know what to think. […]

  2. […] you would like to read more about Google+, I recommend that you check out Gini Dietrich’s article, John Jantsch’s article, and Jeremiah Owyang’s […]

  3. […] The Google+ Project Is Here: Google has made a lot of products that haven’t gone anywhere. But if Google+ takes off, you’re going to want to know about it. Here’s a good run down of this new social tool. (Spin Sucks) […]

  4. […] and the crew are talking about the Google + Project. It is an interesting idea but I am not so sure. Watch this video and tell me what you […]

  5. […] kicking the tires a bit over the next few days.  But as I was quickly scanning the features, and reading great previews like this one, I was looking for a specific […]

  6. […] The Google+ project is here Google is Google+ langzaam aan het uitrollen. Hoe je aan de beta versie komt? Daarvoor moet je een Klout score hebben van minimaal 57. Collega Noesjka schreef eerder een blog over de Klout score van journalisten.  Maar wat is Google+ nu eigenlijk? Google+ bestaat uit vijf verschillende projecten: +circles, +sparks, +hangouts, +mobile en +huddle. Deze verschillende projecten lijken allemaal op activiteiten die je nu ook al via Facebook kunt doen. De komende dagen zullen er wel meer berichten verschijnen met ervaringen over Google+. […]

  7. […] Dietrich offers excellent detail about what Google Plus is made of, but without an invite (it’s invite only right now) her initial reaction seems to be, […]

  8. […] far, I’ve only seen one woman write a blog post about Google+, and that was Gini Dietrich. Gini doesn’t have an invite to Google+ yet and as of the writing […]

  9. […] folks have reviewed Google+. Certainly the launch went well with pundits acknowledging the significant improvement over past Google efforts and the […]