Gini Dietrich

Beware the Google+ Experts

By: Gini Dietrich | July 18, 2011 | 

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, 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. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • berget

    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 🙂


  • _Mohamed_Ansari

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

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

  • 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 from Google was to come out and give the same offer, maybe I could understand. But they won’t as they admit they have no idea what G+ will turn out to be. Thank you for your honesty.

    Funny the same guy who said Twitter experts are like Fax experts is now selling himself as a Google + expert. So much for strategy eh?

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

  • rebeccawoodhead

    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 holiday when the G+ field trial launched, so I could spend every hour on it, because I’m a writer and part of what I do is write about social media for writers and small business owners. NO idea how many hours I’ve clocked up but it’s … many. Will I make a training vid/PDF to help newbies? It’s certainly something I’ve considered, but it doesn’t bother me that many others are doing the same. People will be drawn to different approaches by different people. That’s fine. Some will want to search blogs for opinions on G+, others will want to buy packaged courses. That’s fine. Let’s not be sniffy about people who want to learn, or people who want to teach. Choice is a good thing. Anyone selling anything is going to rely on their past work. Chris did a lot with Twitter, and he became a NY Times Bestseller. That’s fair enough, it’s not a bad measure of success.

  • 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 somebody wants me to ‘pay’ for social media knowledge; I think I’m ok just being fat, dumb and happy. When you are as simple as I am, you don’t have to worry about expectations being set too high……………:)

  • dariasteigman

    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 even looked at it, if this “most people” even knows about Google+ or cares.

    How insecure must some people be if they can’t even trust their own first impressions?

  • Thoora

    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.

    Renée Mellow, Thoora

  • 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

    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 jewelry business. So, from a perspective of someone that doesn’t know the history, I have been unable to figure out why Chris Brogan is so adored. There are many people above him on my list of people that broadcast useful and though-provoking content. I have looked at his site and tried to figure it out, but from an outside perspective I just haven’t been wow’ed.

  • centernetworks

    Glad you enjoyed my post 🙂 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

    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 😛

  • KellyeCrane

    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

    ‘Sheep farm’ lol. 🙂 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 self-righteous trollfest? Bit of a shame.

    I’ve enjoyed the fact that business has been banned, but that’s not an ethical consideration by the Google team. It’s just to see how people interact before they bring in their business offering. Businesses will arrive. Why’s that a problem? Also, publishers are already there, and they ARE seeking out writers. I don’t know who you were talking about but even I’ve been offered a publishing deal on there, and I’ve no interest whatsoever in having publishing done to me.

    Can’t people stop being snarky and just be interested in each other?

  • jessicamalnik

    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

    @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

    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

    @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

    @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.

  • 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 of traffic to their site from G+ (although G+ is sending 25% as much traffic to my site as Twitter, after only 24 days).

    I’m a big proponent of G+ myself, but I think Chris’ enthusiasm for it is based on the results he’s seeing, and those results are due in part to the fact that he’s Chris Brogan. Just this morning, he was named by Huffington Post as one of the 35 people to follow on G+. You don’t think that colors your enthusiasm or your traffic metrics?

    I am of course prepping a G+ Webinar for all of my agency clients, but I refuse to produce it until business pages are rolled out, at least.

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

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

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

  • @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

    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 in truth, we are talking about Chris Brogan the business. Do I think the concept of a webinar for a 3 week old product is silly, of course. Do I think it is evil, of course not and that’s where I think Chris is just being plain silly, but then again it just gets us talking about things even more and likely drives a few new sales in the door. The one thing I hope that people are considering is that things are very different when you are comparing someone with a built in following to those who are just potentially creating one for the first time.

  • glenn_ferrell

    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 the Cliff notes — at least that’s how I feel before I’ve had my coffee. 🙂

  • rebeccawoodhead

    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, what do you think happens to their businesses?

    Of course the idea of anyone setting themselves up as an expert on a network in a field trial is nuts, but has he used the word ‘expert’? Maybe he has. If he has, that’s a bit odd. My guess is that he probably hasn’t. It’s too early for anyone to be an expert. It’s not, however, too early for anyone to help anyone else get acclimatised faster. I don’t judge anyone who’d hand over dosh to save some time, and I don’t judge anyone who’d put a webinar together to help them do that. Just to clarify, I’m just a word nerd, not a Google+ ‘expert’ and I have no such thing in the pipeline, but I may do when it seems like the right time for it. If I did, it wouldn’t be to ‘fleece’ anyone. Not everyone communicates knowledge to others in order to get one over on them. Sometimes, people see a need for knowledge and provide it. Sometimes they charge for that. Good for them. Why the narkiness?

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

  • @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

    @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.

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

  • John_Trader1

    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.

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

  • @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

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

  • rebeccawoodhead

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

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

  • 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

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

  • KelleeMagee

    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

    @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?

  • @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

    Haha. I agree with you Gini (although you may have just killed two new opportunities I had for contracts! GRRRRR! [shakes fist]. 😉

    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 with all the other G Apps that exist. That said, the value that Google+ will deliver will not be like Facebook’s marketing/advertising-centric attractiveness.

    That said, if you’re dumb enough to buy into anyone with the balls to call themselves an expert on a 1 month old tool, make sure that they are teaching you how to use Google+ to make your employees and business partners work together more easily. If they are selling you on the marketing power it can add to your business, tell them that they should go back to selling Facebook and Google adwords expertise…

  • rebeccawoodhead

    @NancyD68 I think that’s perfectly valid.

  • ginidietrich

    @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

    @_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

    @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

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

  • ginidietrich

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

  • ginidietrich

    @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!

  • ginidietrich

    @rebeccawoodhead Ah man. I really wish you were a flying monkey. Because, well, that’s just cool.

    I actually agree with you IF the tool were not in beta, had been around for a few months, and Google could clearly state their vision and where they think it’s going to go. 250 hours of “playing” in the tool is not enough time to become an expert or to teach anyone anything. You and I, both, have plenty of time in there to create an opinion and to make a training video or PDF to help our readers. But I think there is a big difference between that and charging people to learn something most can’t even get into yet.

  • ginidietrich

    @bdorman264 I’m totally cool with others telling you what you should and shouldn’t be doing inside the tool. But NO ONE knows yet. It’s just too early. Talk to me in a year.

  • ginidietrich

    @dariasteigman You know, fear opens up wallets and I know there are some people (clearly) who know that. But the people who need to learn the tool likely can’t even get in there yet. To your point, it’s still in beta.

  • ginidietrich

    @Thoora I love G+. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve spent some considerable time in there. But I’m far from being an expert on it or knowing how the heck it will apply to business use. Right now it’s just a glorified Twitter. It’s just too early to tell.

  • rebeccawoodhead

    Oh Bovril! I had planned to stay away, but something’s niggling me … accuracy. To condense the one sided argument here: Chris Brogan is being vilified for claiming to be a Google+ ‘expert’. Correct?

    Just one question… Where, on here, does he call himself an expert? He’s offering to tell you a thing or two. This could be literal. Maybe he will only tell you two things. I don’t know. What I do know is that he’s not called himself an expert.

    Oooh. Look. He actually tells you what he’s going to do. You get more than two things. Score!! …

    * Profile tips and tricks.* Organizing people in circles.* Finding the good stuff.* How to post engaging material.* Keeping up with comments.* Making the most of your time.

    Well. That’s interesting. It looks like none of these are likely to change. Just seems like some common sense groundwork that you’d be able to do at any time on the network, but it would take you time, so you’re paying for a short cut. You get 6 things, plus an hour’s question and answer session with someone who’s done quite well with social media. That’s … my maths isn’t great … 7 things? What’s $47 divided by 7? $6.71? What’s that in English? £4.17? Not sure. Check it yourself. I have to admit that the ‘Do NOT miss this opportunity to learn Google+ from the guy who made Twitter a business staple back in 2006, and who will do the same for business in 2011’ line is a bit vom-inducing but £4.17 per module seems reasonable, doesn’t it?

    Maybe not. Maybe he is evil. I’ve long suspected it. Thanks for confirming it. Bet he’s sitting there, cat in lap, laughing at you all right now and thinking, ‘they think this is the depth of my evilness. They have NO idea. Mwah ha ha ha haaaaa!’ Probably not. He’s probably quietly preparing for a sold-out webinar. Excellent. He won’t suspect a thing when we turn up with our pitchforks and sense of self-righteousness. Look out Brogan!

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyD68 You can’t be an expert, though, in less than a month. It’s still in beta, businesses can’t have profiles yet, and there is no way anyone (and I mean anyone) can tell you how to use it so you can please your bosses.

  • ginidietrich

    @centernetworks I LOVED the post. I thought it was very, very clever. I didn’t know what to say other than, “Freaking hilarious” so I didn’t comment. But I have zero issue giving you some link love for the brilliance.

  • ginidietrich

    @JayBaer I’m with you – I love G+. I see HUGE potential for it. I think, if they can move their apps to be more friendly with one another, it may actually take over the world. And, like you, we’re talking with our clients about it. But what we’re saying is, “Hey. It’s early. It’s still in beta. The hangouts crash my computer every other time. But it’s cool and something to watch.” #theend

  • ginidietrich

    @KDillabough @John_Trader1 You also had ME at the J Lo-Marc Anthony split! Someone put on FB yesterday that he wouldn’t be surprised if J Lo woke up next to Charlie Sheen. Hilarious!

  • rebeccawoodhead

    True. I guess I’m thrown by the idea of people as passive consumers. Surely people can decide whether or not to buy a short cut? He hasn’t got his followers THAT well trained … has he? *Shivers*.

  • ginidietrich

    @KelleeMagee Oh come on! I’ll take a video comment! Just add the link here!

  • ginidietrich

    @rebeccawoodhead You are cracking me up! I think fear opens people’s wallets. And there is a social media fatigue happening, even though most companies aren’t yet using it. They’re just tired of reading about it and understanding it’s one more thing they have to do. So it’s not that he, or anyone else claiming to be an expert (and it’s not just Chris) has his followers that well trained. It’s that it’s one more thing and, you’re right, people will pay for the short cut. It just bugs the hell out of me that anyone takes advantage of the fear.

  • ginidietrich

    @nwozniak One reason: He was one of the first to Twitter. And, like he’s doing with G+, he knows the first to the game wins. Kudos to him for that. But, like you, most of us are busy running our businesses and will adapt the new tools if and when there are business applications for them.

  • ginidietrich

    @KellyeCrane OMG. That makes me nauseous.

  • jeanniecw

    I’m a little baffled by how people are putting all their eggs in this or any social media tool basket. It’s part of business and communication, which means it’ll evolve just like anything else. I agree with your comment about Wave – remember how people were jonesing for THOSE invitations? I think G+ has huge potential but not right away. Most people will stick to what they know for a while. Take a chill pill, that’s what this expert says. Oh, wait, I never call myself an expert. Or discuss myself in the third person. Geez – so much for my credibility.

  • ginidietrich

    @rebeccawoodhead I don’t think it’s that publishers or businesses are interested in the use of the tool. It’s that publishers are offering book deals to write about G+. That’s just silly.

  • ginidietrich

    @jessicamalnik And, until it’s out of beta, businesses are allowed, and time has been spent using the tool, it’s just plain old too early to tell.

  • ginidietrich

    @mylifestylemax Anyone who can make us a million quid is in, in my book!

  • ginidietrich

    @fitzternet LOL! Thanks for the $399 lesson.

  • KelleeMagee

    @ginidietrich Ahem. My pajamas may be NSFW (…and not in the good traffic-driving way, more in the ‘ack, my eyes are burning’ way.) But, yay, home officing! I’ll recreate a video comment for you once I’m safe(r) for public consumption. ;>

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter Do I know you? What’d you do with Shrek?? Look, I agree with you. And I was very careful not to call this out to Brogan specifically because he’s not the only one trying to make a buck on the new tool. I saw a six week course being offered for $1,200. My point is that it’s too early to tell, it’s still in beta, and businesses aren’t allowed yet. Until then, it’s just another shiny penny that doesn’t have value. Yet.

  • ginidietrich

    @KDillabough @glenn_ferrell I WILL figure it out for you. In more than 24 days.

  • LisaMarieMary

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This SO needed to be said! I have been astounded and baffled at these new ‘courses’ coming out! You ROCK, as usual, Gini!

  • @ginidietrich The bigger problem is NOTHING pleases my bosses. with saying that, if I can learn a few ways to find stuff better, i can fool my bosses who are not on it at all!

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyD68 I think @centernetworks is right. The best way for you to become an expert is to just play in the tool yourself. And you’re doing it. You’re as much an expert on it as anyone.

  • ginidietrich

    @LisaMarieMary The six-week course, I just saw, for $1,200 is astounding.

  • spofcher

    Beware of ALL gurus, experts, thought leaders on ANY subject. Do your due diligence.

    I always wondered: Where is the governing board that bestows the the mantle of guru, expert or thought leader upon individuals. I guess that this is a self-, or more probably, a non-regulated industry. All of the so-called experts are self-proclaimed – no? :))

    So, beware of that man behind the curtain.

  • MSchechter

    @ginidietrich I know, I know… just got fed up with being fed up with something that has nothing to do with anything.

    I totally know and get your point, hell I’ve been making the same point myself. I guess the bottom line is I’ve gotten to the point where I just realize that the smart people are going to know it is too early and rest are going to try and jump the line and likely waste $47 in the process.

    I know this just isn’t about Chris, but he tends to be the focal point of a lot of these conversations and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as we keep the conversation respectful (which you totally did, btw!)

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  • HowieSPM

    LOL this was just being discussed on uhm…that google place…what’s it’s name of that new google place? Anyway @DannyBrown was going to sign up for a course that he said was only $5,000 but guaranteed to bring him riches and I quickly stopped him from signing up. Plus he was going to use @TroyClaus ‘s credit card which I didn’t think was right.

    The funny thing is the same people trying to cash in were WRONG about Twitter and WRONG about Facebook and mostly WRONG about Social Media in general and most horrible marketers. Yet somehow they made bank snowing people, businesses, brands, conference attendees, they sold books, some even built ridiculous agencies like Likeable and Vitrue, sorry if I offend them they can do what they want but as was said here once by @ginidietrich pure social media agencies are going to disappear and soon…BUT….not if we keep having new networks that enable the hucksters to prey on people. Is this any different than the call 1-800 and give me money because God said you should type of ploys? Praying on the weak and feeble minded marketers and business owners?

    BTW I am offering a Webinar that covers 30 proven Google + strategies and it is only $89.99 why pay $5000 like @DannyBrown was going to pay? Only $89.99 and that is not all you get. It also includes 3 winning Friendster strategies and your very own Facebook Branded Ball Point Pen. And if you sign up before midnight tonight you get 6 pairs of corn holders! Absolutely free! Don’t miss out!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @LisaMarieMary I just signed up!

  • @HowieSPM @TroyClaus @ginidietrich Are the corn holders plastic or wood? This is a key selling point.

  • HowieSPM

    @jeanniecw marketers forget Social is a People to People platform. It has helped create Personal Brands but is has been the biggest misfire in marketing/advertising in history to date. Success of any scale has been completely by accident, unrepeatable and very rare.

    My question is do we need a course to learn how to be social with other people like friends and family or professional networking which is really what Social Communication Networks are all about?

  • rebeccawoodhead

    @ginidietrich They are? I was approached about something different, though I’ve been approached to write for media about it, which seems fair enough as it’s current. If publishers are approaching writers to write about G+ specifically (via a traditional route) don’t forget that they’ll be talking about a year until publication. They’re just picking up the early adopters so they’ll have the longest perspective. No publisher would pull in a writer this week to put out a book next week.

  • HowieSPM

    @DannyBrown @TroyClaus @ginidietrich they are yellow plastic and they look like ears of corn…wait hold on. I don’t skimp on value! These babies have real stainless steel

  • Neicolec

    @ginidietrich @LisaMarieMary $1200?!!!

  • HowieSPM

    Oh and Marketers wonder why they are trusted less than Used Car Salespeople and Facebook Management when Pew does their annual jobs poll. In fact Lawyers rated higher!

  • LisaMarieMary

    @ginidietrich HOLY CRAP!!!!

  • @HowieSPM @DannyBrown @TroyClaus @ginidietrich For heaven’s sake, sign me up! And I’m sure Danny will let me use Troy’s credit card. We Canucks stick together:)

  • HowieSPM

    @MSchechter @ginidietrich I agree. There is a big disconnect when someone says ‘great guy’ yet that same great guy is an opportunist to possibly deceitful in business. No different than politicians right? One of the first emails I got before I was allowed into G+ was a @johnfalchetto exchange where Mr. B said he was busting his ass to make a million with G+.

    As for the being respectful thing in these discussions. I actually think the reason people like Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, and others who are the biggest personal brands in social media (yet have probably contributed the least to businesses being successful in marketing in my opinion) get called out first is because that is the penalty you pay for fame. No one mentions little old bench player in baseball caught for steroids. It is always Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Roger Clemmens. I don’t think it is disrespectful to bring names. But there are two sides for everything. As business people they made a lot of money for themselves. And isn’t that what capitalism is all about? But being a successful business person for yourself doesn’t mean you are successful at helping others market.

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @fitzternet but Gini my $89.99 webinar comes with a free set of 6 cornholders!

  • spofcher

    @HowieSPM @DannyBrown @TroyClaus @ginidietrich If you throw in some training for MySpace, I will definitely sign up. Plus I can really use the corn holders.

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @JayBaer my question for G+ is since Fan Pages have failed so miserably what will be different. You still can’t talk to customers or potential customers like you can on twitter. Just like Fan Pages unless they come and post/comment you are muted.

    My bet is Google finds a way to be 2x better at getting digital ad clicks than traditional digital because they are experts at this vs the 0.5x Facebook gets. And that will be the bonanza. I really don’t think they need to let brands in with pages or anything. They should keep it a closed Comm Platform and get so many people that Brands have to advertise and not only that will pay Google’s asking price. Think of an Ad Words where Brands bid for placement not for search…but for interests. Ford can bid on everyone who has a sports car Spark or discusses Mustangs with their friends.

  • HowieSPM

    @NancyD68 @ginidietrich Nancy can I have your bosses phone numbers? I will set them straight, get you a raise and an increase in vacation time. You should write a case study on poor management practices. And if you work for a public company short the stock and make some money on the side 8)

  • dariasteigman

    @HowieSPM @DannyBrown @TroyClaus @ginidietrich I’ll sign u, but only if you promise to devote appropriate attention to MySpace.

  • Wow ! An expert not being an expert ? Just some good, sound advice for us people, who really appreciate good, sound advice. Refreshing ! If all these other people were actually Real experts, we would need a new special “Social Media Jeopardy” show ! Thanks Gini.


  • @HowieSPM @ginidietrich Have I told you lately how awesome you are Howie?

  • @HowieSPM At least you can’t say he is hiding his game. He told me straight up he wanted to make his million with G+, hey a sucker is born every minute right?@MSchechter @ginidietrich

  • I was promised cake. I figured if I moved to a new spot in the line I could get cake. What kind of cake did you make us Ms. Gini?

  • @NancyD68 yeah, and I lost out on the ponies and wine and scotch and balloons. Evidently, I’m not being SERIOUS about the topic:) Maybe if I throw in howiespm corn holders as a party prize?

  • @HowieSPM @MSchechter @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto Howie is bringing it today! I need to take notes and get popcorn! This is good stuff right here.

  • ginidietrich

    @LisaMarieMary Holy crap, indeed!

  • adamtoporek

    @KDillabough @HowieSPM @DannyBrown @TroyClaus @ginidietrich Kaarina/Danny, As Howie’s agent I would like to make clear that the $89.99 is in US dollars, we are unable to accept any funny money from up north. 🙂

  • @fitzternet Haha! that’s just like a book idea my friend and I have on how to lose weight – eat less and exercise more. There. I just gave it away to you for free. but to everyone else, it will be 14.95.

  • jenzings

    Wait, who is giving out wine and scotch? Is that part of G+? I love the sensibility present on this blog, and in its commenters…!@KDillabough @NancyD68 howiespm

  • ThePRCoach

    Jeez, Gini I was just ready to launch my $99 “PR Pros Official Guide to Google+, Motorcycle Maintenance and Shiny New Social Media Recipes.”

  • brandonchicago

    @ginidietrich @LisaMarieMary $1,200, but you learn how to turn Google+ into ponies and pots of gold. Really, it’s a good bargain.

  • glenn_ferrell

    @ginidietrich @KDillabough Hahaha !– you can commit to that schedule – right ? 🙂

  • jenzings

    On a (slightly) serious note, do you think this is happening because perhaps those afflicted with SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome) are a little bored with Facebook and Twitter, etc., because there hasn’t been a big new toy around in a few years? I guess I’m just sort of underwhelmed by it all. Interested, sure, and yes, I have set up my circles, etc., etc., but I am struggling to understand the OMG-ish-ness of it all.

    And I certainly won’t pay anyone to walk me through it (although I might pick up Jeff Domansky’s guide if it has recipes and motorcycle info.)

  • The blog world yells and screams at us to disregard the self-anointed gurus, wizards, and experts as charlatan and burn them at the stake for their quackery.

    I seem to simply gloss over such filth and make sure my title is less conspicuous since the flames of lies and my backside tend to disagree.

  • jenzings

    Six weeks, *just* on Google+? Really? <scratches head> I just can’t imagine that. Doesn’t really jive with “intuitive” if it takes 6 weeks and more than $1K to learn about it. And the $1,200 is absurd. @ginidietrich @LisaMarieMary

  • adamtoporek

    Gini, one thing you failed to mention was how much you and the PR profession are eventually going to benefit as politicians, CEOs, athletes, celebrities etc. post things and accidentally open them up to the wrong circles! 🙂 I wonder what the first circle debacle will be?

  • Ballsy post of the week goes to Gini Freaking Dietrich with the guts to call a pile of poop a pile of poop. Thank you m’lady 😉

  • Guess I better pull my “How to be a Google + Ninja Master in 24 days or less” post. Thanks for stealing my thunder.

  • It will be interesting to see if the Google+ paid training sessions have as much value as the free posts, vlogs, and presentations that will be developed by the blogging community…I’m thinking the answer will be definitely not.

  • nwozniak

    @MSchechter As I mentioned in my original comment, I just don’t get amazing content from him. This is where the not giving away anything for free strategy will lead to a place where he cant continue to grow. I followed him with no preconceived notion, good or bad, and his level of popularity seemed out of line with what I was seeing.
    As a small business owner, I need something to go before making a decision about investing in anything.
    It also seems to be disempowering to present the basics of Google+ as something that a business owner couldnt figure out on their own.

  • MSchechter

    @rebeccawoodhead No pitchforks whatsoever. If everyone agrees it is a boring conversation 🙂 There are plenty of people who are going to be just fine with it. Just as you are a word nerd, I like to watch business models evolve. It’s interesting to me to see how his has changed.

  • MSchechter

    @HowieSPM Oh I don’t think it is disrespectful to bring names either. The disrespect only has to do with how you bring them. I don’t think he is being deceitful in what he is selling, I just think it is interesting to watch the shift in how it is being sold.

  • MSchechter

    @nwozniak Back in the day, his content was easily some of the best. I agree it has taken a turn for the more limited. In his defense I don’t think he is selling it as something you can’t figure out, but that $47 may be well worth the time you’d save if he teaches it to you.

  • marcapitman

    @rebeccawoodhead Well said.

  • @adamtoporek @HowieSPM @DannyBrown @TroyClaus @ginidietrich Ahhh, then I shall cross the border at Niagara Falls, buy some fuzzy dice, NFalls keychain and SCOTCH, pay with some big Canadian bills and demand my change in American dollars…nanananabooboo:)

  • TMNinja

    Oh, wow. Gini. You read my mind with this one…

    Here was my tweet from over the weekend, “Hmm. #GooglePlus has been open <3 weeks, & is still in Beta… yet people are already claiming to be experts at it? *Right.*”

    And people are offering (read: charging) for Expert Seminars on this stuff?

  • balemar

    It’s stuff like this that has made me pull back a little on social media and make me reevaluate who I actually want to interact with online. I’m very disappointed that this is being offered. I’m even more disappointed in the people that will actually pay for the webinar. This screams of sleaze (the spin of marketing).

  • @rebeccawoodhead I can’t speak for everyone else. But it’s not about the issue of him being, or even calling himself an expert to me. Nor is it that he’s charging. I’m a business owner, which makes me a capitalist – charge whatever the market will bear for whatever you want to charge for. Also don’t see what’s self-righteous about warning people to try reading the manual before paying someone $47 to show you in a webinar. It’s beyond Chris Brogan and it’s beyond Google+ for me. It would take me quite a bit of time to detail all the points, but one is hypocrisy, speaking directly to the Chris Brogan situation. I’m seeing a growing number of people I used to respect touting one thing, then doing another, with no visible change in philosophy. Why should I trust him now, as a customer (I was actually a customer if you count book sales)? I don’t like it when someone I respect suddenly doesn’t drink their own medicine. It’s a big pet peeve of mine. But I agree that’s it’s not some kind of sin to make money.

  • @MSchechter I agree on giving it too much thought. I said I was done and I should really move on. Guess I’m just glad to see that I’m not the only one who mentally called BS. And I suppose I also feel it’s a responsibility for me to, at some point, stand up for where I think the line should be drawn, even if I turn out to be wrong.

  • Ameena Falchetto (MummyinProvence)

    Are we going to call it GooglePlus or G-Plus or Plus or whatever? I have to admit that Google+ has made me rethink my whole social media presence but you are so right to say it’s way too early to tell WHAT powers it holds … As far as the peeps are concerned who are charging to figure it out …well I say, well done, if there are enough muppets out there willing to pay for it then good luck to them … dammit for not thinking of the idea myself! What an excellent idea – train them to use it in Beta then train them to use it again when it’s fully functional … genius idea actually. Never underestimate the naivety of some people! (BTW we have time … wanna write an eBook with me? LOL )

  • I have been wondering about how long it will take to determine what use it has or doesn’t have. Will it be a full year or will we see things change in less.

    No matter what happens we’ll see some sort of evolution over time.

  • Ike

    There’s a larger issue.

    Businesses have seen the flow moving toward real-time and social, and they want to know. They also know they don’t have time to weed through Mashable and RWW and the rest in order to keep up.

    Chris seems to be filling a niche, and I wouldn’t doubt that there’s enough interest to justify the demand for content.

    How is it any different than small-biz owners paying a monthly fee for Spin Sucks Pro, or Exploring Social Media and asking Google+-related questions in those forums?

    Yes, it just feels icky, even if we can’t put our finger on “Why?”

  • dougridley

    @marianne.worley I would agree. I think you learn just as much from jumping in and getting your hands dirty. Any technical questions can easily be Googled.

  • wordymouth

    I actually am an expert on 8Tracks if you’re needing some help on using the technology.

  • G+ is simply a new platform. So, us social media consultants CAN do some overviews on G+, but mostly it’s about social media, regardless of platform. And so Chris Brogan has logged 250 hours INSIDE Google+. If he can make $47k in one hour online, I’m going to be impressed by his expertise.

  • dougridley

    Somehow expert and beta to mix for me.

  • dougridley

    @jmacofearth I almost envy his ability to enchant his fan base and turn around to make such a huge profit from it. Quite impressive.

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyD68 Um, I’m pretty sure it was thesaleslion who has to bring the cake because he was the last to G+

  • ginidietrich

    @jenzings @KDillabough @NancyD68 howiespm We very clearly have our priorities straight.

  • ginidietrich

    @jenzings But if @brandonchicago is right, we’ll get unicorns out of the deal!

  • ginidietrich

    @KDillabough I’m with you – there is a social media fatigue going on and I won’t let another tool overwhelm me into learning it until it makes BUSINESS sense. I love G+. I think there is huge potential for it. But it’s still in beta. And not applicable to businesses. Yet.

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter @rebeccawoodhead I have ZERO problem with Chris, or anyone else, making money. Capitalism is alive and well. Heck, I am hoping to make some money (and change the PR industry) when Spin Sucks Pro launches. What I take issue with is this feels like he’s taking advantage to make a buck. It’s been 24 days. It’s still in beta. Not even Google knows what it’s going to become. How about we all wait for the dust to settle, offer our opinions while it’s settling, and THEN make money by educating, teaching, and providing short cuts?

  • ginidietrich

    @Tinu Talk more about that. You think he’s doing something he didn’t tout early on?

  • ginidietrich

    @glenn_ferrell Abso-freaking-lutely!

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter I guess I don’t really need to repeat myself because I said this to you up there ^, but it’s not about making a buck to me. It’s simply that it’s just too early to say how, or if, it will affect business. Until then, let’s let the dust settle.

  • adamtoporek

    @ginidietrich @Tinu Dang Dietrich, I was just about to write that! I am curious too Tinu what you think has changed?

  • MSchechter

    @ginidietrich I totally take issue with it to, that’s $94 less! Hopefully there are more like us who can make the same decision.

  • MSchechter

    @ginidietrich It is way too early, but sadly some people are just impatient or foolish enough to pay. Think we are actually saying a lot of the same, but I’m just doing a crap job communicating today (stupid three year old woke up screaming about stupid stuff at 1am…)

  • Leon

    G’Day Gini,

    Ya gotta admire Google’s sales nous that’s got everybody so excited about Google+. But there are larger issues here.

    On her blog, ” Ries’ Pieces,'” Laura Ries points out that Google is involved in massive line extension that’s potentially very damaging. I emailed a copy of Laura’s article to Lisa Gerber. Please let me know if you’d like a copy too. Ill conceived line extension has seriously damaged many apparently impregnable brands.

    I’ve joined Google+. But like you Gini, I’ll br “waiting and seeing.”



  • dougridley

    @dougridley huh, that should be, “Somehow expert and beta DON’T mix for me.”

  • @TMNinja And yet you have “ninja” in your ID?

  • billlublin

    Gini – While I don’t fault Chris for trying to make a living, I think that the whole concept of expert in these spaces is a little off-putting. In fact it was at an Inbound Marketing event that I heard Chris say on stage, “none of us here are experts, we’re all still exploring the possibilities” G+ is an interesting new platform, and the thing that impresses me the most about it is the flexibility Google is showing in their design – which makes any course this early a little premature – IMHO – nice post though and great points made

  • You make good points that G+ is brand new, that there is a ton to sort out yet, and that it will take a while before we really know the implications for business.

    That said, I think you picked a poor target for your rant. Chris Brogan has worked his butt off over the past few years to build a large audience. He has also been incredibly active on G+ from very early on (25 days ago). Based on his experience I’d say he’s got $47 worth of info to pass along to folks who don’t know a circle from a poke.

  • laurakr

    Verrrry interesting.

    Just so everyone reading the comments is clear, I make my living teaching small businesses how to use social media tools so let’s get that out of the way!

    I agree that it’s too early to see how google+ will shape up for business (especially since they’ve told us that they’re launching business accounts but haven’t yet).

    BUT I will say there are people out there that want technical training on just how to use it. Like how to add people to circles, how do you control who sees what message, etc. I know because people are asking me! So I think it’s totally valid to sell this training, and I don’t disagree with what Chris is selling in any fashion.

    As I mentioned before, my community is asking me about google+ and my answer (as with everything) is “wait and see”. The small business owner doesn’t need to be cutting edge, in fact the opposite! It’s pointless to be on a tool that your customers/partners/whatever aren’t on in critical mass.

  • @adamtoporek @KDillabough @HowieSPM @TroyClaus @ginidietrich That would be the funny money that is kicking the U.S. dollar’s butt? 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @laurakr Ha! Well, I make my living off it, too. So let’s get that out of the way. Because of that, and because I see value in what @NancyD68 calls “paying for the short cuts,” I don’t have an issue with Chris or anyone else charging for education. But , I’m with you, I think let’s wait and see is the right response right now.

  • ginidietrich

    @ChrisCree Well clearly because he’s already spent 250 hours inside G+. But I also called out two other people (one who is charging $1,200 for six weeks), but they’re not as popular as Chris so the people reading this blog post are the ones who singled him out.

  • ginidietrich

    @billlublin I don’t fault him, one bit, for trying to make a living. But, like you said, there can’t be experts in any of this yet. It’s just too soon.

  • ginidietrich

    @Leon I need to subscribe to Laura’s blog. I’m headed over there now.

  • ginidietrich

    @dougridley Right?!

  • chrisbrogan

    To be clear, the word “expert” doesn’t exist in my language about this event or any other. I’m just a typist.

  • jamesdalman

    @ChrisCree I think anyone who can profit from their knowledge or skills, as long as it’s ethical and legal, deserves applause.

  • ginidietrich

    @dougridley @jmacofearth And, really, if he can get 1,000 people to sign up, he’ll be laughing at all of us.

  • ginidietrich

    @wordymouth Yes, please!

  • Maybe Chris is hoping people don’t read this post of his from just over two weeks ago:

    To use his own words:


    Probably in a few years. It’s really early days right now. People don’t want a lot of ads or spam there. There aren’t a ton of leads unless your leads are web nerds. So, I don’t think it’s really for the typical business person yet.”

    Nothing wrong with being paid for your services. But at least keep your message consistent – wouldn’t want to be seen as flaky, right?

  • ginidietrich

    @Ike I think the difference is it feel icky because fear opens wallets. And people are taking advantage of that with G+. And I’m not solely picking on Chris’s webinar. I’m picking on two others. The idea that ANYONE can provide education or short cuts yet is absurd. If they allowed business accounts or if it were out of beta or if even Google knew how it was going to be used, sure I can see the benefits. And I certainly don’t fault Chris, or anyone else, for trying. But let’s let the dust settle before we claim to know enough tips or tricks to charge.

  • ginidietrich

    @TheJackB Just like Twitter had no use for business four years ago, it evolved and changed and suddenly we’re all citizen journalists. It’s just too early to tell.

  • ginidietrich

    @Ameena Falchetto (MummyinProvence) Sigh…I suppose you’re right. It just pains me that people are taking advantage of other’s fears.

  • ginidietrich

    @balemar I think it’s sleazy, too. It’s taking advantage of people’s fears. The thing I like about G+ is it allows us to rethink how we interact. We didn’t have that advantage with FB or Twitter. Now we have the chance to do it the way it works for each of us.

  • ginidietrich

    @jmacofearth @TMNinja But he’s a time management ninja. Not a social media ninja. He’s had plenty of years of experience to become an expert on time management. Something that just isn’t available for social media tools. Yet.

  • ginidietrich

    @marianne.worley It’s definitely easier to jump in and learn it yourself. The barrier to entry is not high and it’s super intuitive. You don’t have to spend 250 hours in 11 days to learn it.

  • ginidietrich

    @marianne.worley It’s definitely easier to jump in and learn it yourself. The barrier to entry is not high and it’s super intuitive. You don’t have to spend 250 hours in 24 days to learn it.

  • ginidietrich

    @EricaAllison LOL!! I. Dare. You.

  • ginidietrich

    @Marcus_Sheridan Anything with a pile of poop mentioned makes my day!

  • ginidietrich

    @adamtoporek Ohhhhh. Should we take bets??

  • ginidietrich

    @Hollandz If this were 1692, they would be burned at the stake!

  • ginidietrich

    @jenzings Absolutely people are bored with the tools that are, gasp, four years old! I also think there is some social media fatigue going on (I know I feel it). So maybe there is value in charging to teach people how to short cut and learn the tricks without having to do the work. It’s just too soon to tell. And heaven forbid it go the way of Wave or Buzz. Then it will be all for naught. I’ll wait and see.

  • @ginidietrich I’ve got no problem calling out folks who aren’t delivering value. Some people gave Scott Stratton a hard time when he built a large Twitter following very rapidly. But what most didn’t realize is that he spent like 18 hours a day on Twitter for months.

    It’s only been a couple of weeks so far. But, from what I see, Chris has been keeping that kind of pace on G+.

    Like I said, I agree with your main points. Chris just seems to be a poor example in my opinion. We can disagree on that one point. I can’t speak for the other folks.

    But hey. It really comes down to perceived value anyway, doesn’t it? You could offer the same exact info for free and then turn around and charge a mint for it. You might find you have more takers at the premium rate simply because the market perceives it as being more valuable. Does that make it “wrong” to charge the higher price? 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @ThePRCoach I’ll still buy it! And so will @jenzings !

  • ginidietrich

    @Al Smith Ohhhh! Social Media Jeopardy! How much could we charge for that?!?

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM You mean, taking advantage of people’s fears makes them less trusted?

  • ChrisCree

    @jamesdalman I definitely lean in that direction myself. Pretty hard.

  • @DannyBrown Dazed and confused now

  • ginidietrich

    @spofcher There isn’t a governing board, which makes me nuts.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM @jeanniecw I’m with you, Howie. The only way to learn these tools is TO USE THEM. No one can teach you social skills.

  • ginidietrich

    @ChrisCree Ha! Good point. Perception definitely is reality.

  • pocojuan

    @ginidietrich does the phrase read Google+ Guide in Mashable ring a free bell – does the name Pavlov Ring a Bell #Yoda Said Charge Not

  • ginidietrich

    @hollandzblog ha!

  • ginidietrich

    @MikeHale You mean I’m not normally sane?!

  • ginidietrich

    @FasterDude All social media experts, in general

  • ginidietrich

    @corianda Exactly!

  • ginidietrich

    @yaseend Ha!

  • ginidietrich

    @jackielamp Well, not everyone has been thinking it

  • MikeHale

    @ginidietrich If you were I wouldn’t be following you! Just nice to see some common sense make it’s way through all the noise.

  • ginidietrich

    @Kristin_Uhlig LOL!

  • ginidietrich

    @jpyper EXACTLY!

  • adamtoporek

    @ginidietrich The big question is will the first one be an actual accident, or is someone celeb in need of press going to do it on purpose to create a faux PR scandal and get some ink. Am I getting too cynical? 🙂

  • spofcher

    @ginidietrich Let’s start a “SoMe Governing Board” to award gurus their deserved titles.

  • ginidietrich

    @billlublin I want a badge too!

  • FasterDude

    @ginidietrich The word ‘expert’ gets bandied about far too much. An expert is someone whose testimony is more valued by a judge than others.

  • ginidietrich

    @PhxREguy And??

  • FasterDude

    @ginidietrich What counts is being a successful producer. Do so-and-so’s marketing ideas, when implemented, gain a worthy ROI.

  • ginidietrich

    @angelambrown I am also an expert at consuming carbs!

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyMyrland Interesting discussion indeed. Remind me never to find an enemy on a Monday

  • ginidietrich

    @fearafear It makes me sick to my stomach

  • ginidietrich

    @RobertPickstone It’s really taking advantage

  • ShellyKramer

    Is there a certificate? If so, I’m gonna do it. Don’t you try and stop me.

  • ginidietrich

    @pocojuan Yoda said charge not. Ha!

  • ginidietrich

    @MikeHale Well, it’s tough going. Like riding my bike on a really windy day

  • RobertPickstone

    @ginidietrich It’s not braking the law and people are willing to pay, but some people just don’t practice what they preach. All I’m saying

  • alexwood15

    Well said Gini – Kinda of like the new kid who brings the skateboard to school first. Just coz they bring it, doesn’t mean they can ride. Hopefully ppl will save their $!

  • RobertPickstone

    @ginidietrich By the way, I love some of your blog articles. Keep up the passionate posts! 🙂

  • Liz

    @Ike It feels “icky” because it’s premature. I could say more but you get my point.

  • Liz

    @Ike It feels ‘icky’ because it’s premature. I said it before and I’ll say it again to the ‘typist,’ this is screaming opportunism and good for you for jumping on it but you’ve jumped the gun IMHO. The Plus ain’t ready for business consumption until it goes through growing pains. It hasn’t even started to teethe yet.

  • angelambrown

    @ginidietrich love it!

  • ginidietrich

    @FasterDude And who, in the words of Malcolm Gladwell, has 10,000 hours of experience

  • ginidietrich

    @RobertPickstone I agree

  • @ginidietrich @dougridley @jmacofearth Yes. Yes he will.

  • ginidietrich

    @RobertPickstone And thank you! That’s very nice of you to say. I was on a rant today.

  • ginidietrich

    @ShellyKramer Not only is there a certificate, you get cupcakes!

  • ginidietrich

    @alexwood15 LOVE that analogy!

  • ginidietrich

    @Liz @Ike God bless you.

  • DesignSpikeUSA

    @jamiemorgancda Right? Once again, we’ll have snake oil in the mix. While I am certain some have learned Google+ well, experts?

  • coachbennett1

    @angelambrown google+ is wothless, why reinvent the wheel. Still love u though

  • derekhalpern

    @Liz Google Plus is an investment. Right now, learning about it, and spending time on it is higher risk. That much is certain.

    Look at Google Plus like a penny stock. If it goes bankrupt (like way of Wave and Buzz), no problem. It’s a small investment.If it becomes the next Facebook, and the penny stock turns into a 20 dollar stock, then you’ll be reaping the rewards.

    Or you can buy in at $10, when you think it’s a sure thing, and double your money. But me? I like the chance to win big, and since Google Plus is still a penny stock, I’ll be checking it out :-).

  • PhxREguy

    @ginidietrich And I agree.

  • It occurs to me that you’re unfamiliar with the definition of expert.

    “A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.”

    Given that @chrisbrogan has extensive experience with Social Media in general, and an apparent addiction to Google+ in particular (not to mention the chops to know who to talk to within Google to get pertinent information and policy), I think he qualifies.

    Look, I’m as cynical as the next old fart – just read my blog posts sometimes – but to call out an actual expert who has built a career on educating technology newbies on how to use social media is a little silly.

  • PhxREguy

    Whoops, hit “enter” too soon @ginidietrich It was a *great* article. Spot on.

  • ginidietrich

    @rizzn Well first, I called out two other people who are taking advantage of people’s fears, not just Chris. And secondly, it’s just too early. I absolutely think he (or any of us) can and should make money teaching people how to use the tool(s) when it’s been around long enough to understand its value.

  • @ginidietrich You sell short people like Chris (and myself, frankly) that have the ability to spot trends and utility nigh-instantly due to extensive experience in the general field.

    Put another way, as Tali Sharot recently said, “The core function of memory is to imagine the future. Memory is not designed to perfectly replay past events; it is to flexibly construct future scenarios.” (,8599,2074067,00.html).

    Someone who lives and makes their career in social media can not only understand new systems when they come out, they’re also intimately aware of what mainstream reaction is likely to be to that product, as well as the functionality of that product as applied to various enterprise or consumer use-cases. Based on what they estimate the popularity of that project to be, they can make very educated guesses as to the long-term viability of that project.

    In other words, they perform the function of an expert. Now I’m not too familiar with the other two folks you called out, but I do know Chris on a personal and professional level, and I respect his knowledge in the field. I don’t hand out compliments lightly, and in general am skeptical of the “guru” type in general.

    I think you picked a bad position and bad target here. It isn’t hard to see the business applications of Google+ – indeed the first place my mind went to as I played with it on day two or three (or whatever it was) was that “this might be the first enterprise-ready mainstream social network.”

    Of course lightning could strike and G+ could disappear tomorrow. Given the popularity of the systems, the mechanics familiar to those of us who are veteran early adopters, and the careful thought Goog has put into privacy and control, I’m not alone when I say it’s highly doubtful that would happen.

    It’s not too early to start handing out advice on enterprise application of G+.

  • kareemy

    Chris Brogan is a business man. He finds opportunities and he leverages them to make money. This is how business works. I don’t think he is taking advantage of anyone. There are plenty of people in the world paying for stuff that they don’t need. This is what we do in America.

  • ginidietrich

    @DonnaGilliland Exactly!

  • adelsoasgj7
  • ginidietrich

    @PhxREguy Thank you!

  • I’m in too! Just for the cupcakes though 😉 The certificate doesn’t hold much weight to me. @ginidietrich

  • ginidietrich

    @kareemy I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree. I think it’s taking advantage of people’s fears. And it’s not just Chris. There is another “expert” charging $1,200 for a six-week course. Six weeks to learn a tool that has been out less than a month.

  • ginidietrich

    @KirstenWright Let’s do this then. @ShellyKramer gets the certificate and you get the cupcakes.

  • Totally! Can we add in martini’s though? I will need them to swallow down all the big words and google+ “can’t miss” details! @ginidietrich @ShellyKramer

  • NancyMyrland

    @ginidietrich Everything okay?

  • ginidietrich

    @rizzn I’m absolutely not discrediting that. I make a living off teaching and educating clients on how to use the web for business growth. My only concern is people are taking advantage of other’s fears…because fear opens wallets. If people are willing to pay it, so be it. And he’ll probably be laughing at me all the way to the bank. But it’s my job to educate my readers and I think it’s too early to pay for any advice on this particular tool.

  • ginidietrich

    @KirstenWright @ShellyKramer ABSOLUTELY!

  • centernetworks

    @ginidietrich Gini – back in 1996 I interviewed a man for a HTML position at the agency where I managed the development team. His resume said he had 10+ years HTML experience. He came into the interview and over and over said he had the experience. 10 minutes later he broke down and told me he made it up assuming he would only meet a PM who didn’t understand html.

    I think it’s more than people’s fears. I hate to say this but to some extent it’s Chris taking advantage of his farm.

  • ginidietrich

    @centernetworks LOL! Oh…people. You’re right, of course. That’s why I called it out. I don’t want people to be taken advantage of. I don’t like it.

  • Gini? Hon… unless I’m blind, you called out *only* Chris here. The remaining links in the post don’t go to anything negative. Unless you’re talking in the comments somewhere? This only refers to Chris. I’ve triple checked to make sure I wasn’t missing one. :

  • TBoard

    @respres oh it is never too early to be an expert. –I have been one since July 7

  • @ginidietrich If it were someone other than Brogan, I might agree. But it’s not as if Chris has a history of exploiting his readers for their cash. He delivers a lot of value through his many communications channels for free daily.

    But he also has an established client base of folks who aren’t savvy and don’t know their + from a hole in the ground. They’re the ones seeing Google’s stock on a seemingly unstoppable rally after the announcement of the private beta program, and they want to know what they do.

    The program he’s charging for probably isn’t for you or me or even the readers of his blog (who generally tend to be people who do what Chris does for their company, their region or their friends).

    They’re for those who don’t have time or the expertise to recognize what’s important about Google+, and trust Chris’s opinion.

    Basically, not everyone’s an early adopter, like you and me. And for many busy folks, it’s worth a couple bucks to get brought up to speed by a voice they trust.

  • ginidietrich

    @LucretiaPruitt They’re buried in the comments here. One is Wired Campus and the other is some company, I can’t remember the name of, that is charging $1,200 for a six-week course.

  • Pingback: Srsly? My Google+ Seminar Was a Joke, Apparently This One’s For Reals()

  • ginidietrich

    @rizzn I totally get what you’re saying. If it were a month from now and everyone who wants to learn it can get into the tool, have at it! But a lot of the people who will want to pay to learn the shortcuts can’t even get in there yet. I really appreciate your debate…it’s helping me think of things a bit differently. I still don’t agree, but it’s opening my mind.

  • m4bmarketing

    Hi Gini,

    First time I have commented here. What I have noticed for quite a while is the continued emphasis on marketing tactics as though this area is the most important that a business should focus on. While they do need to know how to implement tactics it is only one part of marketing. A brilliantly executed tactic will never get you repeat business if your product or service is lousy or the delivery of your service is just the same as everyone else for example.

    I have no problem how people make money but I do wonder about people paying to learn something without even a thought as to whether it actually should be part of their marketing strategy in the first place.

  • DonnaGilliland

    @ginidietrich Hi Gina.

  • HowieSPM

    @kareemy I actually agree with you. @ginidietrich and most of the folks here discuss often ethics and should we get rich quick. But buyers remorse is a big deal. Chris and none of these people are helping businesses make money. Only themselves. And while plenty of Evangelists con money from their flock, and lots of big ad agencies fleece big brands for little return, or Britney Spears making millions putting out crappy music. Most people are sheep and lemmings and many of us have a hard time conning them to make money.

    This country was built on thievery and we glamorize it. We stole the land. We enslaved a race of people. We love the Sopranos. Jesse James. Claim Jumpers. Pirates. Outlaws. Wild West. The Mafia. Rich Gangstas shooting up the streets. Insider Trading.All these people making a lot of money. But do you respect Bernie Madoff? Do you respect John Gotti? Do you respect a Preacher who makes millions getting people to send them money? No you don’t. So I have no problem with saying Chris is a great opportunist but i won’t respect him for it. He isn’t helping brands sell. I doubt he ever has successfully. David Copperfield of Social Media. lol

  • ginidietrich

    @m4bmarketing I LOVE YOU FOR THIS COMMENT! It’s like the rainbow at the end of a long storm. Thank you for articulating so well what I’ve been too riled up to say.

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @rizzn having experience in social media is not a trait I would use to say someone is bringing value. If chris really could help big brands make bank why would he share that info with the public or charge a teeny amount of money.

    Reminds me when friends told me they bought $250 of Iraqi Dinars because in a few years it would be worth $100,000. I said ‘would a money trader really tell you this if it was true vs hoarding the money themselves?’ This is no different.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM But I respect you!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @ShellyKramer do my damn rights also come with the certificate?

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM No. You get nothing.

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @Ameena Falchetto (MummyinProvence) is @johnfalchetto allowed to click Like on his wife’s post? Isn’t that some sort of collusion. Should I ask jennalanger what the rules are?

  • ginidietrich

    @TBoard An expert for 11 days. YES!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @Marcus_Sheridan well @lisagerber needs to break out the AC/DC song big balls and play it in the office right now!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @jeanniecw I think you should start a course on how to ride a bike and charge $1200 but the bike is not included.

  • amvandenhurk

    @m4bmarketing I appreciate your last paragraph… A LOT! Thank you for saying that. Too many people blindly follow the new shiny object.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM I can totally charge that because I AM a cycling expert. I have more than 10,000 hours on the bike. WOO HOO!

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyMyrland Oh yes! I just created quite a polarizing event on the blog today

  • ginidietrich

    @DonnaGilliland Hi to you Donna!

  • ginidietrich

    Is it safe to say I can go home now? I’ll write about something less polarizing tomorrow.

  • You’ve got a LOT of comments here, Gini, and you replied to many of them… and you only wrote this today. Hmmm, it looks like today you got your wish of having 11 hours a day to spend in social media! 🙂

    As for me, I do agree wholeheartedly with the folly of the countless self-proclaimed social media “experts” and “gurus” who prey on the innocent. There are some knowledgeable people out there though who do have great insights to offer and a proven ability to discern valuable directions for their clients far earlier than most. I’m a big fan of yours, but of Chris Brogan too. Thus, while I continue to think you are brilliant and a gifted painter of insights, I believe that, on this particular viewpoint, you have chosen slightly too wide a brush.

    But hey, you did get us all talking!

  • geoffliving

    @ginidietrich Don’t let yourself get shouted down!

  • geoffliving

    @ChrisCree @ginidietrich The fact that Google has asked the business community to wait says volumes. The fact that others will not wait in order to make a quick buck speaks louder than one can hear.

  • susanoakes

    @ginidietrich Love that you love it Gini and it has been a beef with me for a while.

  • geoffliving

    @Ike Same comment I left above… The fact that Google has asked the business community to wait says volumes. The fact that others will not wait in order to make a quick buck speaks louder than one can hear.

  • susanoakes

    @amvandenhurk And unfortunately they will continue while people they look up to emphasise the new shiny object importance.

  • I agree and I disagree with you. A) I think a six-week course charging over $1000 is ridiculous at this point. Especially since business profiles haven’t been rolled out and everything is still in beta. However, a 2 hour webinar giving people advice on how to set up their profiles, who to link to, how to build circles – aka the basics – is a smart idea. And, if chrisbrogan is distilling all that information down in to a 2 hour webinar and people find it valuable, why shouldn’t he get paid for his time?

  • rebeccawoodhead

    @Tinu I never thought his earliest ideas would be sustainable long term, so they bugged me. There’s more to running a successful business than just Kumbaya and catchphrases.

    If he’s helping small businesses to do well at the moment, he can’t reel out his own story as something to emulate, because it’s not replicable. Not everyone can hit Twitter at exactly the right time, and leverage some blogging into something phenomenal. A lot of that is down to timing and seizing a particular moment. He needs to do things like teach people how to put together marketing funnels, and all the other stuff that goes with running a business with employees.

    What he’s doing now, though, is giving others access to that opportunity he had. Not everyone likes to read the manual, when it’s all spaced out and experiential. Some people prefer something quicker and easier. He’s not doing anything crazy or wacky. All he’s doing is what Kim Castleberry and a bunch of others have already done. If I hadn’t been up to my arse in deadlines this week, I would have put something together too. Would I have charged for it? Probably. Would I have charged that much? No, but I don’t have the profile he has. At the end of the day, he’s not taking people for a ride. He’s providing guidance. He just happens to be charging for it.

  • jamiemorgancda

    @DesignSpikeUSA I think people can come up w/good practices and ideas, but be an expert in any of this? Never…it changes too fast & often

  • Robert_Fields

    Don’t you dare. You are right on the money! @ginidietrich

  • rebeccawoodhead

    @ginidietrich @rizzn I find this discussion a bit tricky to get my head round to be honest. People seem to be saying that:

    a/ A social network must only ever be about chatting and being friends with everyone.

    b/ they are too busy to spend the hours on here that Chris has. The inference being that they’re very important and have much meaningful work to do.

    c/ Chris should be called out for creating a way to enable those who value their time to be able to engage with people on here quicker.

    I don’t get it. How is that taking advantage of people?

  • @ginidietrich Geez, I just checked back in (had to kill the Livefyre updates to my inbox – blew up my Crackberry!) and see you’ve found some new friends to play with! One in particular keeps leaving the same comment over and over again – very clever gal she is!

    Hang in there! You’ve said the right thing. Apparently it hit a nerve with the rain makers!

  • Hold on! I spend 20 hrs a day on Google+ I better come up with a quick strategy on how to make money from that !

  • @ginidietrich Anyone, bothering you?? If so, do they know that you have security! 🙂

  • @ginidietrich @HowieSPM Cupcakes??? Oh, I am so in!

  • wordymouth

    @ginidietrich @wordymouth Gini, that interactive presentation will require the ’74 Country Squire station wagon,which will require a road trip. Plus, I’ll have to limit participants to only 7, even though Ford insists you can see 8 in the fold up seats in the back. The only thing I need to know before I forward you my fee is do you prefer The Carpenters or The Hotel California album?

  • @HowieSPM @ginidietrich dear Howie. I am not Gini’s scheduler nor am I the dj. Ok but that’s a good idea. I’ll pull it up on Spotify. We all have speakers in our offices. We don’t know what they are for but I could hook em up and blast it.

  • @Lisa Gerber @HowieSPM @ginidietrich Why oh why is Spotify not available in Canada? I’m bummed.

  • markdavidson

    This landing page seems very un-Brogan like. The poster frame is bad, the way the video is framed is bad, the audio is bad and the lighting is bad. I also do not get the impression from Chris’ facial movements that he believes what he is saying…

    I’m not sure what happened here. I initially thought the landing page was a fake, so I double checked the URL and watched the video. Okay. It’s Chris.

    What I’ve learned from this is, Chris is not an Internet Marketer. He’s a social media marketer and if I recall, he’s been really successful at promoting his personal brand, creating a web community, a massively trafficked blog, getting a book deal and then selling a lot of books for his publisher, writing an outstanding email newsletter, knows how to create a great deal of conversation around his brand, engage a global audience that he created, and gets the kind of speaking gigs many of us would fall over ourselves to get.

    I think when it comes to any of those things, Chris has a lot of knowledge to share that is immensely valuable. If from nothing else, his own personal experience of figuring out what works and what doesn’t work.

    What he has demonstrated to me with this landing page is that he has ventured into an area that is not his strength. Got it. Public fail.

    On the other hand, if Chris is thinking long-term and wants to establish himself early on as the first to offer G+ instructional training to businesses later this year when Google+ for Businesses is available, he might end up having the last laugh simply because he will have the longest track record of providing G+ training.

    And this web article simply solidifies that he was indeed the first one to throw himself head first through that window. Not only does everyone now know but because of all the surrounding buzz of comments, we are unlikely to forget.

  • @rizzn @ginidietrich Sadly, I think Chris does have a history of this. He has a huge following, he creates a new something or other quite often, charges an arm and a leg, and people pay him for it, because he’s “Chris”. Honestly, I’m not sure what they’re getting. I know people who have paid and then walked away, thinking they are getting less than nothing.And I say this as someone who jumped on the Brogan bandwagon early on.

    Google+ hasn’t even created a business application yet. That product is coming. I just spent some time looking at what Chris is saying for free on + and it’s not even close to spot on.

  • 237marketing

    @TweetSmarter agreed

  • DesignSpikeUSA

    @jamiemorgancda good ideas are great to share. Extolling one’s virtues as an expert, not so much. Ego gets in the way of learning.

  • Sadly, I think Brogan is like one of those guys who writes a book about how to get rich quick…and the answer is to write a book about how to get rich quick. It seems to me that he told us all how wonderful Wave and Buzz were. I’m still cautious of Google+ because it is too early. Not enough there to talk about how wonderful it is or isn’t yet.

  • @HowieSPM @ginidietrich @Ameena Falchetto (MummyinProvence) @johnfalchetto No rules around that when it’s a great comment! the quality speaks for itself. So where do I go to get my Google+ training? 😉

  • rustyspeidel

    @Liz @Ike it just reeks of opportunism and snake oil sales. Too early, a little presumptuous, taking advantage of shiny penny, feels like a bad condo sale.

  • rustyspeidel

    @Liz @Ike it’s. A. Tool. Everybody relax!!

  • markdavidson

    @johnfalchetto ginidietrich Actually, I was the guy to coin Twitter experts are like FAX experts… And I did so very publicly.

  • victor_crc

    @StephLDavis Very good rationale. In shorter words: it’s still to soon to tell ;-).

  • ElissaFreeman

    @ginidietrich Come on. We love it when you’re polarizing! When I saw 287 comments I thought: do I want to be the 288th? Heck yes!
    So, as for @chrisbrogan – sure if he wants to put bread on his table, he has the right to do it But all this Google+ expertise reminds of those women you randomly see on the bus with pins that said: “Lose weight now, ask me how.” Yeah, right. I don’t think so.

  • Ike

    @geoffliving …well put. But don’t discount the value of telling businesses they still have time to prepare, and how to be savvy about what to look for to be early players. Unlike early Twitter, there is no “Social Media Adoption” hurdle to clear.

    Too soon? Probably. And make that a Definitely if the information is Tactical instead of Strategic.

  • Rieva

    Gini, this is brave thing you do. There is often an advantage to being first to market, and I assume that’s part of the plan. However, to have a seminar to teach businesses how to use something that the businesses are not yet permitted to use smacks a bit of opportunism. What happens when Google+ is open for business (to businesses)? Well of course there’ll need to be another seminar to teach you about that.

    I am spent the better part of the last 30 years talking to and about small businesses. This year alone I have spoken to hundreds of small business owners at conferences. The vast majority of them aren’t even conversant in Twitter or Facebook business language. I was shocked at how few business owners had signed up for Google Alerts.

    Small business owners are busy–really, truly busy. They need every advantage they can get in today’s uber-competitive market. If there’s something to learn here that can give them a competitive advantage, they should jump on it. But if you’re paying money to learn how to put someone in a circle–ask the 4th-grader down the street–it’s just that simple.

  • rainesmaker

    Really enjoy all the hoopla around the “Brogan effect” on Google+ … that’s what gravity will get ya. I’ve been creating and leading seminars/webinars on Google Profiles for the last three years. Content rich and elegant approaches. My clients have been really pleased having this presence.


    Early Google profile adopter since 2008.

  • GWPStudio

    Beware the Google+ Experts That Are Looking For A Quick Buck! via @BuzzEdition

  • rebeccawoodhead

    @markdavidson except it doesn’t. Kim Castleberry and others already have, they just don’t have his profile.

  • @rebeccawoodhead @markdavidson She might have been THE first one actually, but unfortunately, like you said, askkim didn’t have “his profile”

  • markdavidson

    @rebeccawoodhead Well, if Kim Castleberry had been singled out rather than Chris Brogan, perhaps then it would be different.

  • I read your post without visiting the landing page for the seminar that Chris is selling early this morning and planned to come comment. I have mixed feelings on this because honestly I think there are a few thousand people that made the sort of time commitment (perhaps more in some cases) because of what they perceive the implications of Google+ to be. That’s kind of a smart move if you really think about it and it’s also an investment, with real risks involved. After visiting the page and seeing what Chris is doing I think he is explaining very clearly what will be covered and it’s really up to the buyer to decide if they want to participate. If the audience is there it will be a success and it will speak to the fact that people are hungry for some early guidance using plus and they are willing to pay for it.

    On the flip side of the coin I’ve resisted the inclination to produce screencasts or blog posts about plus. I normally do that with new tools that I test out. For some reason I just felt like this is not the time or the network to take that approach. People are already tired of the hype and a lot of people are feeling pressured to keep up. I’ve seen a lot of posts that really question the time and bandwidth that we all have to experience these things. If I wasn’t such a new tool/software nut I probably wouldn’t have spent the time I have on +. Instead I’ve just decided to joke about the animated gifs and complain about re-sharing. Beyond that I’ve been enjoying some hangouts and meeting some new people/getting to know some other people better.

    The one blog post I did consider writing was one encouraging people who hadn’t invested a lot of time into Twitter, Facebook, etc. that today is a great opportunity with Google+. The playing field levels each time a new service comes out that has even moderate adoption. You can quickly establish some great new connections and establish yourself as someone who is involved with the latest tools. Some people are doing that right now, some of them are the usual suspects and others are less known but seeing great opportunity. With Google+ Chris could have taken the wait and see approach, turtled back on his existing outposts or made an aggressive business move. It’s clear what approach he’s taking.

    As to the subject of where + is going, that is an excellent point, no-one knows. We do know though that it is growing at an extraordinary rate and creating opportunities for people to question what the future of social looks like. That’s kind of a big deal.

    I look forward to seeing how this plays out. It’s always exciting to see what’s cooking at Spinsucks! Enjoy your day Gini!

  • BetsyMunnell

    @attyscounsel My pleasure–Google + presents lots of possibilities, requires a rewired SocMedia strategy..It augments, not replaces, Twitter

  • corianda

    @ginidietrich What’re your thoughts on Google+? To me, just seems like another stream of links and info, which I get enough of on Twitter.

  • StephLDavis

    @victor_crc agreed 🙂

  • SharonHayes

    @markdavidson This fits in with the direction Chris has been going in recent times. It’s all about selling his ‘fan base’ now on things. I don’t doubt the quality, but I don’t agree that he NEEDS to cross over to typical IM tactics.

    It’s one thing to be offering this 2 hour program, but the line was crossed at saying it was limited to 1000 people. Leaves me feeling like I need to take a shower.

  • MrShri

    @MeghanMBiro @ginidietrich ha, I did laugh at 47$ fee by the very famous Brogan.

  • staniferhbzeg2
  • markdavidson

    @rizzn @ginidietrich I particularly like what Mark said here:

    “I think you picked a bad position and bad target here. It isn’t hard to see the business applications of Google+ – indeed the first place my mind went to as I played with it on day two or three (or whatever it was) was that ‘this might be the first enterprise-ready mainstream social network.'”

  • Ameena Falchetto (MummyinProvence)

    @ginidietrich but isn’t that what most people do? Fear of getting old, fat, lazy, poor, too rich (I’m not afraid of that) the list goes on … it’s about playing up on those fears … I think the main question is will these peeps actually go the distance? Making a quick buck now usually lands you flat on your face when the hype is over … don’t feel bad for those who are being taken advantage of … they are all big boys and girls who just possess a certain gullibility we haven’t managed to cash in on …

  • markdavidson

    @LucretiaPruitt Gini’s post seems to be predicated on CB being unable to deliver $47 worth of value. At last that’s my take on how she framed her blog post.

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

    Does that phrase exploit an emotional trigger? It does for me.

    Does this hyperlink leading back to a specific person’s program? “they claim to have introduced Twitter to the business world”

    The presupposition is that Chris will not be able to provide $47 worth of value and is therefore taking advantage of people.

    What if he does provided $47 worth of value? What if he provided a 2-hour shortcut for people who don’t want to spend two weeks figuring out the most effective use of G+ in its current state of build?

    Chris seems to have a pretty good track record. He isn’t known for taking advantage of people.

    I think the bigger issue people are having isn’t with $47, I think it’s more about the 1,000 x $47.

  • AskKim

    @markdavidson @Brankica @rebeccawoodhead

    It would have been easier to single me out, but would have generated less of a hot debate on the topic of over-reaching marketing. Few are really willing to argue that there is a huge issue with me selling something sub $100 that saves people time and guides them through the platform and delivers what it promises. MANY people however have an issue at the SCOPE of a tune of $1k and UP which I frankly agree is insane. (But if its not a market demand, then those buying should stop it!)I’m just not inclined to look at this and feel that @ginidietrich is necessarily – to borrow @LornePike’s expression “painting with that wide of a brush” when it comes to what I’m doing. Although its VERY easy to confuse that issue here and I think the door is open for confusion. Perhaps she is and perhaps I should be bent at that kind of attack but I dunno. I think shes sounding off as one exposed to ongoing over-hype. What distresses me about this thread – but is completely in keeping with the theme of this blog – is that its another “attack the marketer” which the marketer is filling a marketing niche. When is the consumer going to wake up and become held accountable for their purchases? Why an attack the marketer rather than make the fools that purchase over hyped stuff squirm in THEIR chairs and really really learn to THINK about their purchases? Why? I dunno, could be that we ALL write THOSE posts and they get no comments. Sometimes… hype and angle and positioning are everything.

    The marketers that need to will not read this thread – and that means it will have no results other than kvetching. It CAN however, honestly serve the readers if it wakes the readers up to their own CHOICES and causes them to approach sales with open eyes.

    Are we not, ALL, exhausted of overhyped garbage and trends and stuff thats dramatically overpriced? I think we are. I think we have a difference in definition, from one person to another, on how much is too much, but I think we look at MANY $1-2k products, developed on infant platforms, and we reflexively wince… not even in “I wish I could afford that” but in a “wtf is s/he thinking”. Yet, interestingly, those that ARE willing to market, continue to be able to generate strong incomes off their sites – something that many in the blogging community do NOT regardless of illusion. I’ve taken a lot of flack from “bloggers” for also being a marketer and I just can’t be apologetic for that. I am here for business. Its kinda a take it or leave it deal. I depend on my site, my courses, my products and my list to generate revenue … however, what I can NOT afford to do (not more than once at least) is screw people. I may not have Brogan’s name recognition but that does not mean I have not taken care of my community either.Spin and hype and fear mongering can lead to screwing people if we aren’t careful and I think that that is what is being kvetched about in this thread over and over again. For me – while my product introduces the platform and provides a guided tour – its goal was also to help people not waste time on the platform if they were to decide it was not for them yet. That has been the case for a number of my students and clients. Why should someone invest hours and hours and hours a day to walk around the new platform when they could be doing revenue generating stuff and paying someone for the guided tour that saves them hours. Lets not forget that wasted hours – not monetized – are wasted money. Often lots and lots of money.At the end of the day this thread come down to being perceived as an attack on marketers when I’d LIKE to think Gini is telling people to OPEN THEIR EYES and pay attention to what they purchase. Yet its been easier for most of the repliers to get out the pitchfork after the marketers. As consumers we have to take some ownership of our purchases and thats what many consumers are just unwilling to do and set themselves up like SHEEP. Gini’s trying to open eyes. At least that’s how I see it all… Kimberly

  • AskKim

    Yikes, I don’t know where all my paragraph breaks went.

  • AskKim

    RT @liveurlove: @AskKim just mentioned you in my comment on “Beware the Google+ Experts”: &lt;– Been monitoring this all day.

  • chaoticIT

    @tedcoine google plus doesn’f even allow business accounts yet. How can someone help your business?

  • tedcoine

    @chaoticIT Great point!

  • markdavidson

    @AskKim @Brankica @rebeccawoodhead @ginidietrich @LornePike I want to remove any ambiguity from my previous comment. I was responding back to Rebecca’s comment about being “first”. If you had been singled out in this post, I believe you would be forever known as being the first to offer G+ training and therefore at any given point, have been offering that service the longest.

  • Looks like you sparked a heated discussion here Gini.

    If you can expedite your learning process then paying for education is not a bad thing.

    Comes down to a question of value. Is what is being delivered valuable or not.

    Sure its early days, strategies are always evolving though. Nothing like getting in there and learning for yourself, though if you haven’t the time then pay somebody to do it.

    Nobody’s being forced, its a choice. Right for some, wrong for others 🙂

  • Ike

    Let me add a little more analysis.

    Brogan’s landing page is under fire for looking like crap. But have you seen what actually *works* in that realm? He’s following the blueprint perfectly, NOT to appeal to bloggers or WordPress template designers, but to his target audience. If you did four years of A/B testing every month to cultivate that particular audience, your incremental improvements would lead you to what Chris published for his landing page.

    Second, I echo what others said about the $47 fee. It’s not impossible for him to deliver that much value in two hours, today. Now, would that two hours be *more* valuable a year from now, when we know more about Google+ and its plans for business? Definitely.

    Third, the 1,000-person limit is likely a function of his distribution platform. You want business-grade bandwidth, you pay for it. If you think it is “icky” that Brogan stands to gross 47-grand, it’s not the same as netting 47K. He’s got to pay for the production and bandwidth and recoup his learning time. For the customer, if you see a guy is getting paid $47K for his wisdom, and it’s costing you a fraction of that, it seems like a bargain.

    The biggest failure I see in these comments is the lack of perspective from the viewpoint of the small biz owners to which Brogan caters.

    Now, do *I* think it’s too soon? Yes, I do. Do I think Brogan is taking a risk here, and potentially soiling his name? Yes, but not with the people who already write about and consult social media. He has a brand for small businesses, and if he delivers crap in his webinar then it will stick with him. Ultimately, I believe he delivers more than $47 worth of value for the vast majority of his audience. The fact of the matter is that most people working in online/social realms have NO idea how valuable their time truly is.

    When you hire a graphic designer to make you a logo, you’re not paying just for the eight-seconds of brush strokes on the final version… you’re paying for the years of training that made them valuable.

  • ginidietrich

    @LornePike Seriously, Lorne. Between all my client and staff meetings and this blog post, I got nothing done yesterday. I’m going to go ride my bike now. Hope you have some great scenery from where you work today.

  • ginidietrich

    @sue_anne I just think it’s too early to even do that, seeing as his audience (the people who will buy) can’t even get on there yet. But I definitely agree everyone has a right to make money.

  • ginidietrich

    @Brankica Yes, you’d better. Because that would make YOU the expert.

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller You will end up loving G+. I know it.

  • ginidietrich

    @Rieva Well you know you and I agree, Rieva. And, like you, I’m shocked at how few people use Google alerts to monitor the online conversation. The reason I wrote this is because it does smack of opportunism and that really bothers me. Let’s let the dust settle and, I don’t know, let Google even figure out what they are, before we start talking to people about its value.

  • ginidietrich

    @rainesmaker Hey Glenn! Nice to see you here. I have zero problem with anyone making money on educating and teaching people. Where I have the issue is, like I said to Rieva, it’s very opportunistic. Fear opens wallets and this is driving that.

  • ginidietrich

    @hackmanj I think the difference, Joe, between charging people and what you discuss here is that you’re offering an opinion for free. I have no problem with people making money. Heck, we live in a capitalist country and Lord knows we need to revive the economy. But it’s too early to charge for the knowledge because there hasn’t been enough time to gain the wisdom worth buying.

  • @ginidietrich I still need to figure out WHY I will love it. No one has been able to articulate that to me as of yet.

  • ginidietrich

    @nicwindley Of course you’re right. It just really bothers me and I see it as my job to educate our clients and prospects through the blog. I prefer the “let’s wait and see” approach.

  • ginidietrich

    @Ike I think you’re attacking some of the comments and not the blog post, but maybe I’m reading you incorrectly. The blog post was written for our audience, which are small business owners. And this blog serves that audience by saying, “Hey, let’s just wait and see what happens with G+.” Lord knows we’ll be including tutorials on it and how to incorporate it into your larger marketing strategy, when the time is right.

  • ginidietrich

    @AskKim Ha! I’ll see if I can fix the paragraph breaks for you. Sometimes the system is wonky. And yes, I’m just telling people to open their eyes. I think it’s way too soon for any tutorials…let’s just wait and see what the tool does and how/if it fits into a marketing strategy. Then charge forward!

  • ginidietrich

    @corianda I actually really like G+…more than Twitter. It’s different.

  • ginidietrich

    @sohinibaliga Exactly!

  • bradenergy98

    @seanmaynard On board with Google+ yet mate?

  • Pingback: Why you shouldn’t be paying to learn how to use google plus…yet. | Wright Creativity()

  • TyDowning

    @Ike Let me first point out that Gini is spot on. Kudos to her for posting what has surely become a hot topic, in fact I wrote a similar post myself yesterday. Ike, I concur with you, he does cater towards small biz owners, thus why no matter how big a brand is, or personal brand, you make mistakes, and you can fall, Chris has made a horrible decision. Why? well for all the reasons in Gini’s post, but also not a single person has yet to mention Chris Brogan left **Left**…can I say **Left** totally Facebook…Wow, and you cater to small biz? He abandoned nearly 1 billion “trust agents” and countless small biz owners. How can he ever consult, train, or speak to a biz owner about using social tools for biz? Facebook is not MySpace, or Friendfeed, sorry. I had much respect for Chris Brogan, but after hanging his “I have moved” sign on his wall, and charging $47 for an infant social site that’s still in beta, to me he is more than a capitalist, he’s desperate..

    Does he deliver more value Ike? Again on what? G+ is new, it’s not even open to the masses yet? Can you give me the last case study he has performed? How does he improve a small biz edge rank or affinity score on Facebook? (He can’t cause he’s no longer there) I can go on and on…sorry, but in my “opinion” he’s nothing but a social media speaker and advocate now, and since he has left FB totally, I question that too…

    In the end he’ll make his money, milk his “tribe”, I wish him success….

    P.S. You can learn everything there is to know about G+ from Google’s YouTube Playlist, they have several videos discussing how G+ works….for FREE 🙂

  • Pingback: 9X Effect: Google+ and Netflix looking at changing markets()

  • TyDowning

    @Ike Here is the link BTW to Google’s complete playlist on how to use G+

  • Hi Gini,

    I’m actually amazed and impressed with just how fast Chris has pretty much firgured google+ out.

    He’s shown an awful lot of small business owners exactly how to use social media to grow their businesses for a few years, now. That’s because he IS an expert.

    He deserves kudos for taking the time to explain google+ to those of us who frankly aren’t where he is…in terms of how quickly he’s able to figure out how to use all of these new tools. There is no “beware.”

    It’s easy for some to slam him…and in your case, Gini, I’m not sure why you chose Chris for this purpose.

    Chris is good people; he really does care, and I know that he tries to do the right things every day.

    He HAS become a google+ expert, and in just 24 days time.

    The dude constantly mazes me. And yes, he’s just another human.

    Like you and me, G.

    The Franchise King®

  • Ike


    You’re right — let me clarify:

    I was answering your commenters, not your post itself. And I agree with you that it’s probably too early to do a great job… but that it MIGHT be possible to deliver $50 of value in two hours for someone who’s too busy to do their own legwork.

    Three years ago, no freakin’ way. ONE year ago, no way.

    But TODAY, there is a legion of small business owners who KNOW they need to be in this space, and know they can’t sit back and wait a couple of years.

    For them, paying $47 and spending a couple of hours finding out what they need to know (and that it’s okay they’re not all over Google+ right this minute) might just be fine.

    And if there is going to be a premature land-rush into Google+ consulting, I’d rather a Brogan (or a Dietrich or a Schaefer for that matter) be in the mix instead of a bunch of fly-by-night’ers who really have no track record and no clue.

    It sucks. But it’s the market. And I have faith that the market will correct.

  • @rizzn @chrisbrogan I agree. It’s not like Chis is a newbie.

  • @ginidietrich @rizzn Gini; I disagree. I don’t think that this is about fear, at all. I think that’s it’s about teaching people how to set up and use google+. C’mon; it’s freaking GOOGLE!

  • Ike

    @TyDowning I agree, it’s premature, but allow me to copy/paste from myself:

    {{{ And if there is going to be a premature land-rush into Google+ consulting, I’d rather a Brogan (or a Dietrich or a Schaefer for that matter) be in the mix instead of a bunch of fly-by-night’ers who really have no track record and no clue.

    It sucks. But it’s the market. And I have faith that the market will correct. }}}

    Ultimately, it’s not up to me to decide if he delivers $47 worth. It’s up to each individual that ponies up to hear him. Would *I* get $47 worth? Likely not… But I am not the average small-business owner, either.

    I’m not ready to declare it a failure. Even if I think it’s too soon, and even if I could never imagine myself using the same approach.

    For Chris, it’s a volume play. If 500 people think it was incredible and 250 thought it was a waste, I doubt the 250 will make enough rumble to disrupt future sales — and the 500 will be a prime pool for upselling on other information.

    Icky? Yep. But it’s the market.

    (FWIW, I didn’t know Chris had left Facebook.)

  • TyDowning

    @Ike Point taken 🙂 I think in the end, we as marketers in this field have struggled with this whole “snake oil salesman” “hype” hot air” thing for the last 2 years, but social marketing is finally getting some legs and strength, so the last thing we need is CB to leave Facebook, and create a “squeeze page” selling classes to a 3 week old social site…personally he took himself back 2 years…Have you read Brian Solis new post? Now here is a balanced thought leader (IMHO) he just posted it, super balanced…

  • angelambrown

    @coachbennett1 I should have warned you. If you’re expecting Google+ to be like Facebook you’re going to be disappointed.

  • corianda

    @ginidietrich The sharing is, but isn’t categorizing circles like well-culled Twitter lists?

  • corianda

    @ginidietrich I guess I’ll wait to hear what you think when you post about it!

  • @ginidietrich , great points. It is one thing for those of us who advise clients to go in there and poke around to figure out the how, what, when and why of this. It is quite another for the clients who are overwhelmed just running their business and worried about selling widgets. Another network is NOT what they were hoping for. Too many of them are still adjusting to Facebook and Twitter. Social media isn’t their job. It is just a tool (or an annoyance) for them.

    Time will tell…

  • LiveUrLove

    @AskKim lol, I think you got a very nice mention there 😉 You deserve it!!!!

  • @ginidietrich dude – write the polarizing stuff. I may not always agree with you – but you do the analysis and add insight to our viewpoints. Don’t back down!! 🙂

    It is better to be right in the minority than to be wrong in the majority – it’s also better to be right in general, but hey, nobody is that perfect! 😉

  • Calistyle

    Couldn’t agree more, Gini. Not to mention, there is no Google+ for business…yet so even if you’re paying someone to be your expert, it will just be to show you how to build your circle of friends. 🙂

  • @Ike @ginidietrich

    I kinda like it when someone else says exactly what I’m thinking in a way that makes me say “dang it, I should’ve written that comment!”

    So yes – I concur 100%

    The format Chris is using is bang-on when it comes to “seminar pages” that get clicks. $47 is *cheap* when you consider that the average person would have to spend many hours fumbling about to get the information Chris will package in useful ways. Most of the people who will sign up for something like that would make more than $47/hr themselves – and they’re getting 2 hrs to learn what Chris has spent many hours distilling. Helluva bargain.

    I do think part of the reaction is thinking “$47k? He shouldn’t make that much just telling people how to use something it only took ME a few hours to figure out on my own!” But those are the same people who don’t realize that paying a speaker $10k for an hour isn’t paying for that one hour – it’s paying for the thousands of hours of experience that the speaker had to go through to get the information and expertise.Can I point out that “expertise” and “expert” are not the same word here? Or is that already belaboring the point?

  • AskKim

    @ginidietrich Gini you and I both hope to educate people and make better, wiser business folks. We may not agree on this situation – but I don’t need you to agree with my G+ product. Which you don’t but that’s fine. What’s important here that people have to realize is that we both seek to make people a little more “eyes wide open” about the platform, realities, risks, gambles and all. We simply disagree on risks and valuation and the rewards that come from a well placed social strategy of early adoption when it plays out. But that’s whats nice about marketing, there’s room on the field for all of us. There are risk vs reward ratios to all things – and in all things those are debatable and relavent to the individual preceiver. The best we can all do is continue to make educated percievers!

  • @KenMueller @ginidietrich The only “why” at this point is that it facilitates strong conversations one one specific topic.

    – It has the conversational element that FriendFeed used to have. UserX posts link, observation, whathaveyou publicly – a conversation not unlike the comments here in Gini’s blogpost evolves quickly.

    – The share function is swiftly implemented and easy to use and has the format that Amplify & Facebook find works so well – attributing the source and allowing for your own comments to be easily detected.

    – The notifications are relatively solid and don’t have to be emailed if you don’t want.

    Despite the futurists claiming it will replace Facebook, it’s actually more likely to replace something like Tumbler or Posterous. Short-form blogging with amplification and heavy user interaction.


  • Michael Purkiss

    I understand the concern in this post, and I do agree that it could be an ethical question of perhaps taking advantage of a situation prematurely. Having said that however, I do also think that this is what makes an entrepreneur what he is, a person who sees an opportunity and capitalizes on it.

    Will those using this webinar get their 50 dollars worth? Maybe, maybe not, but thats up to the customer of the webinar to decide. If they walk away feeling cheated they probably won’t use that persons services again, and the person giving the webinar’s business will suffer. Conversely if they walk away feeling they got their monies worth who are we to judge? If I had 50 bucks and no time to study a new social network that I want to get a jump start on, I would consider taking a quick crash course. It is the same reason I sometimes buy a book on certain topic rather then scour the web looking for blog posts or tips.

  • @ginidietrich @AskKim Except that it’s not way too soon if there are customers for it. If people are looking for tutorials and there aren’t any? They turn to whomever is willing to help.I will say that with absolute certainty, the reason that my snarky post on Quora went viral last December because of an absolute lack of other guidance… and I was *not* the authority on it at the time. I simply thought I was talking to some of my followers when it turned out that all they had to do to share that was vote it up once.Google isn’t sure what it has – they can give you the “how to’s” but not the “when & why”. If Kim or Chris or anyone is willing to provide those second answers based on 1) their previous experiences which translate and 2) their current experiences on G+ and 3) their being able to synthesize those into useful tutorials that save a client time and money figuring it out herself? Why not?

  • ryan.craven91

    I’m pretty sure Google will suspend accounts which aren’t representing real people. So if you put your business on there you risk having it suspended, which is only made worse if you have just paid to learn the tool! I really enjoyed reading this post and I have to agree, the only way to learn is to jump in and play around with it. I too have invites if anyone wants access.

  • Okay, this is driving me nuts. Gini? Just FYI – using Firefox, I can’t see anything but either the oldest or the newest page of comments. It *says* there are 346 comments on this. I can get to about 50. Does livefyre not play well with Firefox? Because I’d love to see ALL of the comments.

  • Okay, I just discovered that if I scroll ALL-the-way down PAST the Twitter section there’s a “50 More” link – but dude. Feedback to the livefyre people and you – that’s counter-intuitive as all hell. Put that link after the comments you show, not after the Twitter links.

  • jeanniecw

    @LucretiaPruitt I agree. I noticed that thanks to this crazy comment-laden post, too!

  • MorganBarnhart

    Thank you so much for this! I hate anyone that calls them an expert in a field that is ever changing (like social media, SEO and especially any of the social platforms). It’s just not right to call yourself an expert when all you do is know how to use it. Like you said, get in there and explore it. Definitely read articles about how to use it, but don’t just blindly accept what “experts” say as true. Find out for yourself what it has to offer. Great post!!

  • Pingback: Hiring Experts Isn’t a Bad Idea | Media Emerging()

  • jelenawoehr

    @CptTremendous They’re being pretty open about how they want + used for business but the tools aren’t ready yet. They will “work with” businesses to remove business accounts using the personal accounts system once business tools are ready.

  • ginidietrich

    @Marijean Or it’ll make you hate me. One of the two for sure

  • ginidietrich

    @LucretiaPruitt Oy. I had to turn the notifications off

  • ginidietrich

    @Thoora A firestorm is putting it mildly

  • ginidietrich

    @rcvane my pleasure!

  • Marijean

    @ginidietrich pfffft. Boo to haters.

  • ikepigott

    @LucretiaPruitt – If I have anything more to say on the subject, I’ll pick up the phone and call @GiniDietrich.

  • kirstenwright

    @ikepigott @LucretiaPruitt I had so much to say about @GiniDietrich’s post, I had to write my own (I agree with her)

  • j0d3y

    @ShellyKramer Beware the Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn experts too!

  • rebeccawoodhead

    @AskKim @markdavidson @Brankica @ginidietrich @LornePike There she is!! While I’ve said on numerous comments here that I’m not a mindless fan of Brogan, I just stepped in as the first voice of balance in an unbalanced discussion because he was being treated unfairly, I AM a fan of Kim’s, so I thought it was important to point out – for future ref – that she got there first, because this WILL blow over when people have some perspective, and those with the foresight to lay their proverbials on the line first deserve recognition.

    I’ve had issues with my early contributions to the web, where I pioneered the idea of breaking down stuffiness and barriers between business and customers from 1999 onwards, being ignored in favour of some alpha chaps who came along later, and many women have. Get in touch with me separately if you want to see evidence, because this isn’t about me. My concern is that it would be a wasted opportunity were that kind of sexist BS dragged into yet another network. Look at the gender split on G+. It’s not as bad as it was, but it’s still way out of balance. That’s why I think it needs pointing out that Kim Castleberry got there first, and that’s why I called it. She has long-term, practical experience of running small businesses, and is focused on training early and consistently, so I would absolutely have expected her to be first, and it’s no surprise that she was.

    I totally agree with Kim that there is a feeling of marketers in general being attacked and … looking at the top of the page … isn’t this a marketing blog? Isn’t it also about development? So, wouldn’t training for or by marketers be a good thing?

    The back-biting isn’t necessary, either within the blog or the comments. If Kim does well, that doesn’t make any of you do badly. If Chris does well for his people, that doesn’t mean you won’t do well for yours. Lead, follow or get out of the way, don’t just try to pull down others. It won’t help you, but it WILL hinder the industry as a whole. Celebrate the achievements of your peers instead. A rising tide lifts all boats, doesn’t it? It’s a much better mindset, in my humble opinion.

    The point is, if you are in a small or home business, you almost definitely don’t have a marketing team. In many cases, you ARE your marketing team. While you might not want to think of yourself as a marketer, you need to be one to get your product or service noticed. While you may shiver at the idea of anything ‘salesy’, if you don’t make sales, you will have no business.

    If you leave a negative comment on a blog like this, about how crappy marketers are, it could feel nice for a moment, but how will it affect you when YOU need to do marketing or make sales? Every time you declare your views in text, it cements them in your head. Every time you decry another’s right to earn money, you do the same – unconsciously – to yourself.

    If Kim or Brogan make 50k out of this, so what?? How does that hurt you? It doesn’t. All it does is give you something to aspire to. Maybe you could connect with your own prospects enough for them to trust YOU enough to hand over their money for training. I certainly intend to when the time is right for them. Maybe you could reinvest that money in helping THEM more. Wouldn’t that feel good for you AND them?

    All businesses need to engage with customers, build marketing funnels, and make sales. That’s just the way it is. Deal with it.

    I’m grateful that people like @AskKim and – later – @chrisbrogan have stepped up to provide this information to small business owners, to help them navigate the new network easily. Small business owners do not have the resources to lose staff for two weeks or more to a social network. Buying a course that stops them needing to do that is a sound choice for many and I WILL NOT put them down for helping their communities in that way.

  • RockhillStrat

    @ShellyKramer @maddiegrant Agree!!! Soooo sick of these so called experts popping up for #sm products. No one is a Google+ expert.

  • JamieCrager

    TY 4 the RTs & mentions! Grateful! @TallChicknVegas @VilmaBonilla @suzisquared @nickibeckinsale @2cre8 @DonnaBaierStein @Jackandpele

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  • LucretiaPruitt

    @ginidietrich I imagine so! You hit a nerve apparently. 😉

  • LucretiaPruitt

    @ikepigott @ginidietrich phones are really useful when they are 😉

  • LucretiaPruitt

    @kirstenwright adding it to this afternoon’s to-read-list!! 🙂 @ikepigott @ginidietrich

  • @MorganBarnhart In the case of Mr. Brogan, he is an expert.

  • KelleeMagee

    Along with Gini Dietrich (who I have a ton of respect for), I tend to be in the ‘wow it’s way too early’ to be showing others the ropes camp (esp. looking at business access). HOWEVER, that said, I’ve reflected on this a lot in the last 24 hours. Speaking on behalf of the 75% or more of the world who either a) doesn’t feel totally proficient in or b) feels slightly overwhelmed by all these new tools, I think it’s good to have a trusted source to turn to for guidance. We all ultimately sell skills that help make other people’s life easier, which is all that Chris is offering to do here. And the price point is not offensive to me (certainly less than most of us charge for an hour of consulting.)

    My view? I watched as Twitter turned into almost a secret society, with the ‘cool kid’ early adopters becoming so self-absorbed in their own echo chamber (and their own day jobs and lives) that they virtually forgot to actively INVITE others in, engage with them, make them feel comfortable, teach them the ropes. (And who has time for that, we all have paid day jobs, right?) But without those who go first willing to pull the masses along with them, we will have created snazzy useful tools without a critical mass of users. If Chris Brogan’s strategy to share what little he may know at the four-week mark with people who clearly know less and would appreciate a guide helps make G+ more widely adopted than Twitter’s 9% rate, then I think that’s long-term good for everyone. People paying to learn this tool want to say they ‘got it’ earlier than the last few tools — which is an awareness changer that we haven’t seen prior, in my opinion. And those people then in turn get to be proud that they ‘got in early’ (in the first few months of G+), and the community platform is only as vibrant as the spectrum of people sharing, so exponential growth is being fed. For the people sad that their private Twitter club got littered with the unwashed masses, that’s not a good thing. But for most of us it is.

    At the end of the day – while it’s waaaaay early, if any of us can help more people EARLY feel like they ‘get’ G+, we all win. Well, everyone except Facebook and LinkedIn.

    (**cross posted to Chris Pirillo’s blog also:

  • nataliemacneil

    RT @TwtTimesTop Beware the Google+ Experts most discussed on @nataliemacneil/women-entrepreneurs (

  • ginidietrich

    @ikepigott Uh oh. Does a phone call signify a bad thing??

  • AskKim

    @markdavidson @rebeccawoodhead My question here is, if we’re not playing gender games, and that could be taken multiple directions as cheap shots at either gender, why does it REALLY matter whether it was Chris or myself? Technically, I beat Chris out the gate with a similar product. That’s not the point here really unless we want to debate whether *I* can deliver. There’s a lot of very complex sub-arguments going on fueling this whole thread and if the at the end of the day it comes down to picking on Chris for being a boy… well.. I’ll eat my proverbial hat lmao! Ha!


  • ikepigott

    @ginidietrich never.

  • rebeccawoodhead

    @AskKim @markdavidson It’s actually not, Kim, at all. If you go back through all the comments, you’ll see I was the first to defend Chris and have done so consistently. My own experience is that even when women are first, or even better, they are overlooked if a man comes along with something similar at a later stage. That’s a significant point given that we’re talking about G+ where the gender balance is so far off.

    Ultimately, as I said, Chris’s community will buy his stuff. Your people will buy your stuff. The same is true of anyone else with a good connection with their community. That’s the point I was making:

    ‘If Kim or Brogan make 50k out of this, so what?? How does that hurt you? It doesn’t. All it does is give you something to aspire to. Maybe you could connect with your own prospects enough for them to trust YOU enough to hand over their money for training.’

    Best of luck to both of you, and anyone else here who does the same. I think it’s good to share knowledge and wisdom. Better than pulling people down. As I said:

    Celebrate the achievements of your peers .. A rising tide lifts all boats, doesn’t it? It’s a much better mindset, in my humble opinion.

  • drummingfish

    @KimBrater @ginidietrich Great article you posted and it’s sound advice. G+ is WAY to new to predict anything for/from.

  • DeeLieber

    @KimBrater @ginidietrich Gag me!

  • ginarau

    Nooooooo… RT @KimBrater You knew it was bound to happen. Behold…the Google + “Experts” post by @ginidietrich

  • KevMurphy

    Agree with @drummingfish that it is too early to make preditions about G+. At this stage predictions are mainly self-serving link bait.

  • KimBrater

    @KevMurphy @drummingfish But there sure are a lot of those “experts” out there in the wings ready and waiting to cash in.

  • drummingfish

    @KimBrater @kevmurphy And I think there always will be for these things. State of current digital landscape. Sound minds will prevail.

  • TheDMailMan

    @PamelaGrow Pam thanks much for RT today and Google+ invite!

  • MandyBoyle

    Great topic, Gini!

    I’m glad that you wrote about this, because when I think about Google +, I tend to think that all of the users on there (myself included) are still learning the ropes. This network is only 24 days old and who knows when new features may roll out? The early stages of any product are always a time of change and I think it’s difficult for someone to declare themselves an expert so early on in the game.

    However, I think this post raises a lot of other great questions:

    1.) Should we equate hours spent with true experience?

    2.) Is one’s prior successes with social media indicative of how they’ll do on other networks?

    3.) When is the right time to declare proficiency, or rather, expertise?

    It’s not just about Google+. I think these questions matter for all new technologies.

    In my opinion, I think Google+ is way too new to pass “this-is-a-game-changer” judgement on. When more features roll out and entity pages start popping up, we can dive deeper. I think it has potential, but I won’t be putting all of my eggs in the Google+ basket.

    Until then, we can just keep trying things out, testing to see what works, and exploring a new product as we would any new toy 🙂 Anything can change at any time.

  • gizmosandi

    @Mari_Kurisato Project 2 has been emailed to you. Hope you are interested! Another super secret one. : )

  • Mari_Kurisato

    @gizmosandi recc’d, will reply when not violently sick and am more coherent 🙂

  • markdavidson

    @AskKim @rebeccawoodhead Gender hadn’t occurred to me. Rebecca corrected me by pointing out that you and not Chris were the first to offer online G+ training. That was in response to my comment about the advantage of being the first one to offer something. In this case, my perception is that because of the surrounding controversy, people will remember Chris as being the first to offer G+ training.

    I don’t know if either you or Chris can deliver. I haven’t taken your training course or his. I have no reason to doubt either one of you and honestly, I’m inclined to believe that you both do an excellent job. Disclosure: I base my opinion on reputation and not on actual experience with either either training course.

    My written voice has been so pedantic in all of my posts on this subject… I try to write with emotion and never when emotional. So, I’m doing a lot of self-editing. The post made me angry.

    It wouldn’t matter if it singled you out or someone else who has worked hard to establish a reputation for providing value. I think Chris was simply the bigger target.

    If Chris’ landing page and video were too slick, it could have been framed as him having sold out. If his video is too “regular guy”, there are disadvantages to that too.

    There would have also been a disadvantage to singling you out because people are less likely to perceive such a post as bullying when such a post is directed at a public figure. This has nothing to do with gender. It has everything to do with perception.

    Okay, I’m curious. Why do you feel that gender is relevant?

  • JGoldsborough

    @FranchiseKing You make solid points about chrisbrogan . Good, smart guy I learn a lot from. But if I had paid for a course on Quora a few months back, I would have been pissed. #justsayin

  • JGoldsborough

    @Ike @ginidietrich Have thought about issues like this a lot and I have trouble blaming Chris in this situation only because I think business owners need to be smarter. He has a right to market. So does Klout. And you have a right to post this POV. I have a right to agree, and I do.

    Business owners…Do some research yourself. Use Google to find out more about Google +. No social media tool is mainstream or even potentially worth investing money in after 24 days. Sorry, it’s not. But it’s on business owners to figure that out. And you would think people who have to pay such close attention to their balance sheets would understand that.

  • JGoldsborough

    @LucretiaPruitt @KenMueller @ginidietrich Have to admit, like you all, I do this stuff for a living and I haven’t even tried our Google + yet. I am trying to avoid the hardcore echo chamber I fell into and still suffer from sometimes on Twitter. People have run to Google + like it is a money tree planted by the same guy who gave Jack his beanstalk beans. Sorry, but I’ll wait just a bit longer. Give me 3-6 months and I’ll dive in. I can tell by the opinions of people I respect that G+ has massive potential. But it is not mainstream yet. Not even close.

    It hit 10 million accounts recently. I want to know how many of those are active by the end of this year. If the number of accounts is closer to 100 million and active accounts are a quarter of that at least, then we have something to talk about, IMO. Cheers.

  • JGoldsborough

    @ginidietrich @ShellyKramer How about a badge? A badge in the shape of a plus sign. Bitchin :).

  • gizmosandi

    @Mari_Kurisato yikes! Hang in there!

  • @ginidietrich has certainly sparked quite a conversation here and maybe I’m missing something, but it seems to have gone off track. I totally agree with her that most of her clients / target audience should stop, take a breath and wait for Google+ to settle down before they add it to their long list of things to learn and get comfortable with. There is, so far, no reason for them to do that. Even G+ says it isn’t ready for her clients – or mine.

    It is our job to figure this ‘thing’ out for our clients. If you think someone else can do that for you in 24 days and you have the money then go for it if that is your job and you believe in shortcuts. I’m telling my clients the same thing Gini is saying here: Give G+ and me some time to see what it is and can be, you have more important things to do – like selling your widgets.

    Come on people, get real. This shiny object (G+) hasn’t shown us what it wants to be for business. It IS a waste of time and money for Gini’s and my clients to dive in at this point.

    Me? I think I need to be there to figure it out myself. My choice so far is not to buy someone else’s advice. That might change, but I doubt it and that has nothing to with gender (where the heck did that come from?). We are all free to make that decision – do what works for you and is best for your clients. There is no ONE answer.

    Thanks to Gini, SpinSucks and everyone commenting for another great learning experience!

  • AskKim

    Test post due to getting livefyre “there was an error posting your comment” on what I’m trying to post in another tab even after a refresh.

  • AskKim

    @rebeccawoodhead @markdavidson @Brankica @ginidietrich @LucretiaPruitt

    (Apologies for missing tags, and now an out of flow reply, I had to copy/paste this trying to solve a Livefyre error and it was hungry and ate my tags LOL)

    Just for reference and clarity, I was trying to reply to Mark who said it would have been different if my name was referenced, that it would have changed things. I was trying to ask him WHY it would have changed things. I accidentally in the reply had Rebecca tagged as well and that makes following the thought-process confusing.

    markdavidson You had said “if Kim Castleberry had been singled out rather than Chris Brogan, perhaps then it would be different.” I was attempting to gain some clarity on why you felt the thread would be different if I had been singled out. I actually was throwing around hypotheticals with some irony and humor because if the topic were handled professionally (and we ignore a lot of these splinter threads which are off on tangents) the point either had to remain valid or it didn’t. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander, perhaps. I do believe what you said is correct – and that is what concerns me here – and what has lead Rebecca to speak up in my defense. This post will affect who is remembered and likely end up cited all over the place. Too often females in both tech and business don’t get the recognition of first presence, or first with an idea, or first to bring about change, or whatever. Society is slowly improving but gender biases still affect recognition levels and being women in business, Rebecca and I find ourselves faced with those recognition issues on all too common of an occurrence these days.

    Unfortunately a large portion of these reply threads have now contributed to the view that Chris arrived first. Its actually not a situation I really felt the need to clarify until I discover that others are using it as their claim to fame! That definitely gives me pause for sure! I can claim that I shipped – and generated income – before Chris did that much is for sure. Maybe that will be a thorn in Chris’ side later when he wants to be known as the first one to bring G+ to businesses? LOL That might be an interesting moment for sure.

    I totally agree with your followup that there would have been disadvantages for ginidietrich. to have held mine up for the pitchforks rather than Brogans and both, as you said, that a public figure is easier to attack … but also that frankly I don’t have Chris name recognition and thus it’s easier to say “who cares” and not reply as though someone representing the industry is doing something impactful (like it or hate it). The post just would not have carried the same effect or generated 400 comments I’m certain! LOL

    What’s truly heartbreaking here – and that I hope once the dust settles people can look back and realize – is the number of client/consumers that are still not yet well educated enough to be able to own their psychology, evaluate potential purchases, and claim the decision to purchase even if it wasn’t a bright move. Goddess knows I’ve purchased some real craptastic stuff over the years, haven’t we all? And what’s interesting is that a lot of it, I set out to FIND! I knew I had a knowledge gap and set out to solve it… sometimes I got sold more or less than I needed or I was completely wrong about what I thought I needed to know or just how little I knew relative to what there WAS to know… but those were my choices. I feel bad for the individuals in this thread that are expressing such sheer levels of pain over marketing pressures and I know that these same people feel it over pressures to purchase in the offline world today… yet it’s much easier to vent that hurt and frustration towards anyone with a face than it is to vent that towards a “big box brand” on television. (lets see if livefyre will let me post this in two chunks)

  • AskKim

    @rebeccawoodhead @markdavidson @Brankica @ginidietrich @LucretiaPruitt

    As LucretiaPruitt. pointed out, the market is already hungry for this content. There is a void in the market and it needs to be filled and as someone else prior (sorry I can’t find the tag) said, far far better for it to be a Brogan, Brankica., a ginidietrich. or someone else that has proven through their track record that they care about their people than any of the large number of shysters that exist online today. A marketing void doesn’t sit around and wait on those of us that could provide to decide it’s time – it seeks out the first person that WILL provide – and plugs the void. First mover advantage and all that jazz. The brilliant question that I think that Gini’s original post could have called to mind (yet didn’t for most) was how can a marketer who fully believes in a first mover advantage and who believes there is value in the platform right now, sincerely, even if others don’t see it (visionaries are rarely agreed with early), present a product to a market that is hungry for it and wanting it, in a way that SELLS and generates an income stream for the marketer, while maintaining ethical behavior and brand integrity? There… is the question marketers have to ask each and every day. While it’s a brilliant topic for debate, I think that each of us has to answer that in our own hearts on each opportunity set before us.

  • @jeanniecw @LucretiaPruitt Hey there, we totally agree too and will be changing the placement of the “show more” button. Thanks for the feedback!

  • blogworld

    @ginidietrich @dariasteigman can I ask a question? do you think someone who has been practicing social media since 1999 (that’s before the term was invented by the PR flacks) would have a different, even better comprehension of a new social media platform than say someone who first joined Twitter in 2010?

    I think the answer is pretty obvious.

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  • JoanStewart

    Please send an invite to and thanks for this cautionary note, Gini.

  • @JGoldsborough chrisbrogan Hi, Thanks. As for Quora, it’s for a lot smaller “circle” of people to begin with; not the masses. Google is way to big to ignore, and if folks want to ramp up quickly, they should get on the train. Should they pay to board? It depends how valuable their time is. I don’t need Chris’s 2-hour program; I live in the space 10 hours a day. Other’s who don’t may. The thing that’s so wrong with Gini’s post is this; she chose to pick on the wrong guy; Chris Brogan isn’t one of the “Make Millions Online” folks…the ones who really should have been called out in this post.

  • nateriggs

    I usually totally agree with stuff on this blog, and I do agree with the whole “expert” thing in general. Anyone who calls themselves an expert on something that’s less than a month old is frankly a DB.

    What I don’t agree with is that some of you folks aren’t being fair to @chrisbrogan. It seems that while Gini is spot on with the post, some of you want to lump Chris’s webinar into this discussion. Make’s me think that you never actually read the landing page or watched the video. If you look closely, he never claimed to be a G+ expert. Don’t believe me? Go look…

    Here’s my take on what folks like us (content marketers, small business owners and PR cool kids) should be talking about in regards to his Learn Google+ Webinar.


  • denzlerhptu2
  • JamieCrager

    TY 4 the RTs & mentions! Appreciate it! @suzisquared @nickibeckinsale @richardpietro @DonnaBaierStein @hurriednotes @Jackandpele

  • DonnaBaierStein

    @jamiecrager @bestwordsmith You’re welcome

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  • Jenna – it’s outreach and replies like this one that are the reason so many of my friends are captivated by LiveFyre. Thank you for replying despite the fact that my frustration was clearly evident in the brusque language I used. I really do appreciate that. And just so you know? Although I haven’t started figuring out the implementation, this comment was the feather that tipped the scale for me and I fully intend to use LiveFyre on the blog site I’m in the process of spinning up to replace one that needs a different title. Thank you!

  • @JGoldsborough @FranchiseKing I assure you that chrisbrogan investigated Quora and didn’t see it as something he believed would benefit the kinds of businesses he advises. It may sound a bit odd, but I noted the day that he signed up for Quora last December because I was receiving email notices on new followers when the first connected their Facebook accounts and both @chrisbrogan & chrispirillo signed up on the same day. It was a signal to me that Quora was about to get a lot of attention as they were both carving out time & attention to see what was going on over there. Both also spent time analyzing Empire Avenue. Both are also heavily engaged in Google+.

    My point in bringing all of those up is that I believe that both of these guys (as well as a number of other ‘early adopter social media folks’) do throw themselves into new platforms to see if there is an edge that it will give their clients. If you had taken a course on Quora a few months back? You might have not been pissed at all – as there actually *are* some really amazing uses for it and maybe it would’ve been something that you found $47 was a helluva deal for that information. It all depends on whether you felt that one of those people was offering you insights that generated considerably more than $47 worth of profit for you and saved you the hit-and-miss techniques that waste time when you’re a small business person. Who knows?

  • @JGoldsborough @FranchiseKing I assure you that chrisbrogan investigated Quora and didn’t see it as something he believed would benefit the kinds of businesses he would create a course like this for – or he certainly would’ve.

    It may sound a bit odd, but I noted the day that he signed up for Quora last December because I was receiving email notices on new followers when the first connected their Facebook accounts and both @chrisbrogan & chrispirillo signed up on the same day. It was a signal to me that Quora was about to get a lot of attention as they were both carving out time & attention to see what was going on over there. Both also spent time analyzing Empire Avenue. Both are also heavily engaged in Google+.

    My point in bringing all of those up is that I believe that both of these guys (as well as a number of other ‘early adopter social media folks’) do throw themselves into new platforms to see if there is an edge that it will give their clients.

    If you had taken a course on Quora a few months back? You might have not been pissed at all – as there actually *are* some really amazing uses for it and maybe it would’ve been something that you found $47 was a helluva deal for that information. It all depends on whether you felt that one of those people was offering you insights that generated considerably more than $47 worth of profit for you and saved you the hit-and-miss techniques that waste time when you’re a small business person. Who knows?

  • TyDowning

    @LucretiaPruitt @JGoldsborough @FranchiseKing chrisbrogan chrispirillo @chrisbrogan Cmon yall…time to kill this discussion. The nutshell is that chrisbrogan threw up a cheesy “squeeze” page, bilked some people out of money for his webinar…In my opinion, and countless others (His farm too), he’s lost the respect of many in this field. He abandoned Facebook altogether…can I repeat…He LEFT Facebook…and he’s a SM consultant? He’s really not a social media thought leader anymore, just a desperate man trying to make some coin…and he did! We wish him well…

  • @KenMueller I think you’re taking a sane approach. I’m oddly one of those “let me get there, look at it, see what the benefits and pitfalls are – then I’ll go away for awhile and come back and see what the actual usage reflects” kind of people. I’m not so much an “early adopter” as I am and “early analyzer” and a futurist. But I come at a site like G+ from more than one approach. As someone who comes from the tech-side I look at the architecture, user interface, scalability, process flow first – then I look at it from the other side – user experience, ease of adoption, whether it addresses an actual point-of-need or is just “shiny”, how users are actually *using* it and whether the creators actually endorse that use or try to discourage it (Twitter and Facebook are notorious about telling people how they should and shouldn’t use their services and then implementing changes that try to enforce those views) and how it applies to the “average person” – then I start looking at it from the business use case, both small biz and large corporations, brands, agencies, consultancies…So I’m not the average person signing up. I take off my own hat & put on the hats of many others. You know what? Very seldom are the views complimentary to each other at the go-live point or beta of any service. Let’s say G+ turns out to be as widely adopted as Facebook – it won’t happen until quite a ways down the road. So yeah, good call on the “wait and see” thing.

  • @AskKim – you know, we are always skeptical when we’ve been burned. If you have paid for a “this is the secret” course, seminar, webinar, what-have-you and ended up just pouring your money down the drain? Anyone offering anything that even *remotely* sounds like it’s related gets instantly lumped into that category.But honestly? I think there’s a certain point where you have to look at what someone is offering and say “will spending $X on this course/etc. be something that delivers $X worth of value or more?” You’re dead on Kim. Evaluating potential purchases is something not everyone is naturally good at.For me, I know I’m going to be there investigating it on my own, so it’s not worth it for me to pay for someone else’s same work. But if I weren’t? I’d totally be evaluating whether or not a) it was going to help my business or clients, b) it was potentially going to generate revenue or profits that exceed the amount I am spending, and c) the person or company offering it was reliably successful at predicting whether or not a tool or platform will have a long term, beneficial impact on what I do.

  • ginidietrich

    @JoanStewart Just sent, Joan!

  • @LucretiaPruitt And your comment is the reason I love my job, I get to talk with awesome people all day long 🙂 If you have any questions at all feel free to send me an email – jenna at livefyre dot com. Thanks again!

  • @LucretiaPruitt Agree – @livefyre community outreach is second to none, and folks like @jennalanger show what great community management is all about.

    They also listen to their users, which is why my blog will be switching back to Livefyre. Well, once my favourite designer lisa kalandjian works her magic, that is. 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @TyDowning Will you marry me? 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @TyDowning I agree. It’s time to kill the conversation.

  • ginidietrich

    @FranchiseKing Totally agree, Joel. It’s been a long three days, but here is my qualm. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert in using other tools. It just hasn’t been long enough for anyone to become an expert on Google+. Until we know what happens when they let businesses in or if it fits into a bigger marketing or business strategy, it feels very opportunistic to me. He may very well be laughing all the way to the bank today, but I stand my ground.

  • ginidietrich

    @RickRice So I spoke this morning at a trade association with business owners in attendance. Most of them are small, independent retailers. The Google+ question came up and, when I said it’s too early to tell what anyone should do with it, you could actually hear the sigh of relief.

  • ginidietrich

    @Calistyle So. Weird. I was JUST thinking about you!

  • ginidietrich

    @CptTremendous Thank you for the nice comment!

  • ginidietrich

    @MorganBarnhart I take the Malcolm Gladwell approach to experts…if you’ve spent 10,000 hours doing something, then you’re an expert. If you spend eight hours a day, 365 days a year, it’ll take you nearly four years to become an expert on particular topic. So, in the case of Chris, he IS an expert in social media. Just not on Google+.

  • ginidietrich

    @KelleeMagee Hey Kellee. It’s been a long few days for me. I certainly created a kerfuffle. I do think there is value in helping people figure out their circles and how to organize their friends. Heck, I haven’t even figured that out yet. But I stand by my feeling that this feels very opportunistic. We all know two things: 1) The first person the punch wins and 2) fear opens wallets. Chris is a genius when it comes to this stuff. It’s just not how I run my business.

  • ginidietrich

    @MandyBoyle Totally agree with you, Mandy. I’m pretty sure some of the early adopters said Wave was a game changer and look where that ended. I’m with @JGoldsborough – if I had paid to learn Wave or Quora, I’d be mad I wasted my money. Let’s just let the dust settle.

  • ginidietrich

    @RickRice Amen.

  • ginidietrich

    @nateriggs This has sort of gone of its rails. It’s been exhausting to try to keep up. And a bad week to do it because I’m traveling and speaking. 🙂 But you’re right – he never called himself an expert. Others did. And I used it in the headline because I found three examples where people are saying they have the expertise to tell you how to use it in your business.

  • @ginidietrich @MorganBarnhart see, now, I don’t buy that metric at all Gini. I’ve worked with people in the past who could spend 100,000 hours doing something, day in & day out and they are *useless* as resources because they just plain will NEVER be an expert in that field. This is especially true in technology – it changes – you’re not an “expert” unless you can roll with a constantly changing landscape. And I’ve worked with people who are experts in their field in far less time – because they absorb information, apply information cross-disciplines and get what they are working with on levels that “time-based experts” will never get.Gladwell’s definition depends on the premise that people both learn at the same rate AND have the same capacity to excel. It’s a horrid metric and one that ends up sinking ships that otherwise would’ve been lean and unparalleled.

  • @ginidietrich @TyDowning It may be time to kill the conversation – but not by claiming that chrisbrogan “bilks” anyone. I’ve worked with people in this industry that really DO have no scruples and will take people for as much money as they can. Chris is not one of them. I don’t always agree with his methods, nor his conclusions. In fact, we disagree a lot… so he’d probably be surprised I’m defending him here. *You* may have no respect for him – but clearly from this enormously long and complex comments section, that’s not a unanimous assessment Ty.

  • ginidietrich

    @LucretiaPruitt @MorganBarnhart Fair point, Lu.

  • @FranchiseKing @JGoldsborough Maybe not pre-Trust Agents, but certainly in the last 6 months or so, he’s taken a pretty swift route to being “that guy” he used to rail against.

  • rustyspeidel

    @KelleeMagee @ginidietrich anybody know how many he sold?

  • rustyspeidel

    @ginidietrich @TyDowning hey!!

  • rustyspeidel

    @ginidietrich @hackmanj this is a CB reputation play, pure and simple. Capitalizing on past success and current visibility. The value of the seminar is really irrelevant.

  • MarcGirolimetti

    I’ve completely avoided commenting on this until I found out late this afternoon that somebody told Gini she should apologize to Brogan for this. If it’s gotten that far, and out of control, then I might as well drop some of my twisted knowledge while defending my homegirl. I find the chicanery of social media and paying to learn about it’s tools at the expense of natural curiosity and real retention from a DIY mentality to be 100% ridiculous(This coming from an adjunct professor who is paid to lecture). I don’t care if you claim to not have the time. Find it. Tinkering and learning has a much higher ROI. The only excuse you can possibly have is that you lack the skills to interact with people, because that’s all these tools allow you to do. How hard is that? How hard is it to be human?

    But I digress. First off we’ve got Brogan, who is friends with my friends, but somebody I have never met. He’s come under attack lately, but he’s out there. He’s got to have the skin for it. Triple the protection when you agree to have yourself roasted…poorly I may add. These actions draw ire from people, fair or not, and he defends it with a cop out defense of “haters gonna hate”. That’s a crockpot of shit right there. What would win me over Chris, if you’re reading this, is to grow the grapes to say GFY (Go Fuck Yourself for those who are confused by acronyms). Why worry about your personal brand? If you believe in you then defend you with all your might. Don’t pussyfoot in order to be a “professional”. You get more loyal customers by being true to yourself. If Gini paid $47 for my GFY Seminar she wouldn’t have a problem telling the “apology requestor” that they need to fix themselves a fresh hot cup of shut the fuck up. Thankfully Gini is a better person than me.

    However, all of this leads me to one significant conclusion. It finally hit me tonight and there are going to be a lot of folks pissed off at me for what I’m about to say, but who am I to care? If the interactive industry were to be compared to the adult entertainment industry then social media consultants would be the Fluffers. Don’t believe me? I hate pornos, but at least I know the mechanics behind their production and well I’m going to assume that you know what a Fluffer is. If not Wikipedia can help. In this analogy the Fluffer has to keep the male actor aroused in between takes. The male actor is played by the client. You have to keep the client aroused so they can do what they do best, which is to satisfy the star AKA the customer. But technology advances, the clients get smarter and they discover Viagra can do a better job than the Fluffer so all of a sudden you have a person, with a limited skill set, out of work. My point? Don’t be rendered obsolete by a little blue pill.

  • @MarcGirolimetti Best. Analogy. Ever. Especially since a few of the “supporting actors” are showing themselves to be either pussies or dicks, so fits even better. 🙂

    And that public apology suggestion? Yeah, right – GFY.

  • ginidietrich

    @MarcGirolimetti Oh my virgin eyes! Yes, I was asked to publicly apologize to Chris. I think this whole thing came off the rails. It certainly was not my intent. Chris is an expert. He’s built an amazing following. I just don’t agree with some of the tactics he’s uses when he advises small business owners. We also consult with small business owners and Chris’s approach is a complete 180 from what we do at Arment Dietrich. It’s my job to educate our clients and readers on what’s out there. I stand by the fact that I think this is very opportunistic. Hopefully none of us are rendered obsolete by the little blue pill.

  • aaroncorasdad

    @NobueIto What’s funny is that there have been more people defending that seminar than making fun of it.

  • NobueIto

    @aaroncorasdad Doesn’t surprise me. So many people just mindlessly follow everything Brogan and Scoble say. It’s depressing.

  • aaroncorasdad

    @NobueIto You would think something like that would be absurd on it’s face. But I guess not.

  • @MarcGirolimetti I have to agree with @DannyBrown that this the great analogy. @ginidietrich has nothing to apologize for to anyone from this post. She’s been a great diplomat through this firestorm, particularly from those who I think missed the point of her post – her clients, my clients, most of our clients don’t need to go here yet. G+ itself will tell you it isn’t ready for business.

    Hate me now if you want, I don’t find Brogan useful. That’s just me. Your mileage may vary – and good for you. The bottom line I took away from Gini’s post is that her clients don’t have to worry about it yet. As I’ve said before, I agree.

    As for a public apology, I would, again, agree with Danny – GFY. Frankly, those of you who have attacked her here just because she disagreed with your hero, owe her the apologies. If a POV can’t take a bit of disagreement without polite discussion I have to question the POV and the supporters. Open your minds people! If you’re only listening to one voice and shouting down other opinions you’re really missing the point of social media. And, oh, by the way, I believe you have every right to disagree with Gini – and my right to agree with her and disagree with Brogan. Be nice, I’ll listen – so will others. Tell me that one person’s way is dogma and all the rest of us are wrong – yeah, have a nice day.

    Please it has been OK conversation, but time to move on. Thanks Marc for the great points. Not sure I could make them quite that way, but loved it.

  • nateriggs

    @ginidietrich Like I said in my comment — I don’t think you did anything wrong at all. In fact, I agree with you on the expert thing. That said, it seems that the comments moved towards making fasle statements against Chris (and he’s my dude and I don’t think he did anything wrong, so I stuck up for him. Would do the same for you…)

    BUT, seeing this makes me seriously reconsider if I want to migrate to Livefyer. Not sure if all this drama in the comments has any value to anyone, and I can imagine how much of your time it has sucked up today just to stay in the loop.

    So there you go. I learned something once again… 🙂

  • MarcGirolimetti

    @DannyBrown @RickRice I was hoping to turn the analogy into an infographic. Thoughts?

  • @MarcGirolimetti @RickRice Oh jeez… I’ll give you $47 to NOT do that 🙂

  • @DannyBrown @MarcGirolimetti I’ll double Danny’s $47 to NOT go there. @ginidietrich needs some rest from this!

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  • ginidietrich

    @nateriggs I’m not sure it has anything to do with Livefyre. I think it’s because I allow people to say what they want and I don’t edit or ban them. I believe very strongly in an open discussion and that’s what happened here. That would happen with or without Livefyre.

  • @ginidietrich I somehow missed this post when it came out. Chris has helped me (small business owner) a lot, and I am a loyal follower. I did take the course. It was helpful, and I knew I was trying to ‘get out front’ on G+ when I could have just learned it on my own.

    I don’t have buyer’s remorse, but you were/are completely on track: G+ isn’t ready for business, and the seminar was meant to teach you how to use it FOR business. Instead, I just learned more about using it.

    Chris has given so much for free over the years that I don’t mind paying for this – he has good will equity. With that being said, you shouldn’t have to apologize to ANYONE for putting your opinion on Social Media tactics out there. It’s an opinion about tactics, not a personal attack. And, you were right.

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  • ginidietrich

    @AmyMccTobin Thanks Amy! I’m a big fan of yours and saw your comment on Bob LeDrew’s post last night and nodded my head. I also saw that Google started removing business accounts last night. They’re prepping for something big, but we don’t know what it is yet. It’s pretty exciting and I’m a G+ fan. It’s just a wait and see approach because none of us know how it’ll fit a business strategy. I appreciate your fair comment. Thank you.

  • @ginidietrich Well, isn’t this just a love fest:)

    As far as I can tell, Chris had nothing to say… right? Just a some ardent fans freaking out. Perhaps we ALL need to step away from the computer for a minute.

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  • gizmosandi

    I highly recommend @Mari_Kurisato if you are looking for a fresh spin on your photographs. Beautiful work!

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  • ginidietrich

    @LizKislik You’re welcome!

  • @rustyspeidel @KelleeMagee @ginidietrich 300 people at $47 = $14K if my math is right.

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  • @MarcGirolimetti Marc, if one believes in his or her own brand, and for that matter believes in himself, (or herself) then there’s no reason to get into a pissing match with those that don’t.. It’s like the folks who can’t stand Obama, no matter what he does. (Or couldn’t stand Bush for what he did.) I’m actually more angry about the fact that Gini (a friend of mine) didn’t choose to after the real pond scum that exists in the internet space; the “make money online” bunch, who promise to help folks”:make money blogging,” or get massive backlinks”, with their $97 software, or whatever. Chris is good people. Period. He’s helped an awful lot of people keep their jobs. How? Figure it out, man.

  • @FranchiseKing @MarcGirolimetti You know, there is such a thing as having different opinions from each other. You love Chris; others don’t. At the end of the day, who cares. He’ll have his audience while the rest of us do our stuff differently.

  • ExtremelyAvg

    I didn’t wade through all 448 comments. I read the post and the last 50 and only one things came to mind. I wish I had written it. Of course, knowing what we do now, I would have gone for even more commenter fury, but calling somebody a ‘monkey faced boy’…not saying who, because I still may play the ‘monkey face’ card on my own blog.

    *Evil Laugh*

    From an SEO standpoint, it is good to know that SM Gurus too have an element of their fan base, which excels at zealotry. Now, if I could just come up with a post pitting Democrats, Republicans, Apple Users, PC Users, and SM GURUs together, in a no holds barred caged match…I would be set.

    In fact, I think I may write that post now.

  • timjahn

    Chris is the same guy who posted that he makes $22,000 a day and the next day asked for a free intern to work for him.

    He’s a businessman who wants to make money, plain and simple. He builds a farm of sheep and sells to them.

    Are we going to change him? No. Let’s just do what we think is right and let karma get him.

  • @AmyMccTobin @ginidietrich Chris did have a few choice things to say over on Google+. It wasn’t just “ardent fans” 😉

  • @timjahn If he makes $22K/day and drives a Camaro, somthing’s wrong.

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  • @DannyBrown @ginidietrich I missed the entire dust up until AFTER I attended the Webinar and read bobledrew post. Would Love to see his comments; controversy often brings out the REAL in people.

  • ginidietrich

    @timjahn This turned into a Chris Brogan or Gini Dietrich bashing, which was not my intent. My intent was to educate our readers, clients and prospects about the need to wait and see what happens with Google+. I don’t think there is anything wrong with him making money on his knowledge. He certainly has opened the door for a lot of us who do. My only point is that it’s too early to make money on G+

  • ginidietrich

    @ExtremelyAvg Before you write it, call me so I can tell you the lessons I learned this week b

  • ExtremelyAvg

    @ginidietrich To be honest, I probably won’t write it. I’m sure that I could pile a few sentences together, either saying that (Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Obama, Nancy Palosi, Bill O’Riely, PC, Apple) either suck are are great, and it would get all of the zealots to rush to their defense or to jump on the ‘hate’ bandwagon, but I just don’t care.

    Is there value in building a traffic base of ‘hate mongering’ nutters? No. I’m not even sure if I want them reading my novels. I’m sorry that your reasonable and well thought out post, garnered such a crazy response. Do you know who I blame? I blame the ___________ (please insert your favorite political party), because they are the bad guys.

    I actually thought your post was rather tame. I’m surprised it got any comments at all, because it seemed to be reasonable to the point of almost being left unsaid.

  • ExtremelyAvg

    @AmyMccTobin @timjahn Is there any way we could steer this thread into a Camero bashing. I think it is just a poor man’s Corvette. Ha! Take that Camero lovers…Now, let’s see what you have to say about the Vette? Oh, and the Mustang is better too,

    When we are done insulting one another’s cars. I would like to have a lengthy cats vs. dog debate. (Go cats!)

  • @ExtremelyAvg @AmyMccTobin @timjahn What about frogs? No-one ever gives them any credit. Well, except that one time when a princess kissed one, but even that was only so it could turn into the Old Spice Guy. Meh – frog haters.

  • ExtremelyAvg

    @DannyBrown @AmyMccTobin @timjahn Mr. Brown is correct, the frog has not been discussed much at all. It is appalling that in the age of free information, people should so casually dismiss and ignore the frog. What would Miss Piggy think?

    I would like to state, for the record, I am PRO frog.

  • @ExtremelyAvg @AmyMccTobin @timjahn Thank you sir – I could tell by your avatar you were a smart fellow. 🙂

  • @ExtremelyAvg @timjahn I loved Cameros in the 70s. There’s something that says “we give up on new design” about all of these retro-we-look-almost-like-our-30-year-old-selves-cars.

  • ginidietrich

    @ExtremelyAvg Add Michelle Bachman and you have yourself a winning blog post!

  • ginidietrich

    @JohnFalchetto I kind of want the discussion to die.

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  • nikhewitt

    @aardmaan @spinsucks Here, here…

  • MarcGirolimetti

    @FranchiseKing I think the match begins and ends with GFY. Brogan doesn’t need to say another thing after that. He’s successful, but he’s also fairly thin skinned like many of his counterparts. Say something that folks fired up one day. Back down the next. Write “whoa is me” tweet or blog post one minute. Delete it the next. Heck Chris apologized for getting drunk at his own roast. To me that leaves a weak link in the brand. All I’m suggesting is he toughen up a bit, but your reaction seems like I was attacking him, which I was not. I could care less about Chris. We’re not in the same space, We don’t compete for the same dollars. I have no vested interest in him, but I have to admit, being able to sneak fluffers into a comment is A-OK in my book. 😉

  • LadyProducHer

    Wow! and great article!!! Sounds Rip-offish to me! RT @jfouts RT @ginidietrich Beware the Google+ Experts | Spin Sucks

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  • FollowtheLawyer

    @MarcGirolimetti@DannyBrown@RickRice Infographics? That’s Solis and Armano territory. Do they deserve apologies, too?

  • @FollowtheLawyer@MarcGirolimetti@RickRice Only if the BlogWorld CEO has a personal axe to grind…

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  • @DannyBrown@FollowtheLawyer@MarcGirolimetti I don’t care who is grinding what I’m not apologizing. Danny, you and I might owe Marc some bucks for not doing an infographic on this.

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  • @ExtremelyAvg Agreed – go cats! 🙂

  • @timjahn Some people would look at that as the reason he makes so much – by being stingy in other areas to save money. As a freelance writer, I know sites that pay a lot for their writers, but they still approach new writers and ask if they want to “contribute” to their site in exchange for promoting the writer’s website. They probably more often than not get a lot of free content that way.

  • @timjahn Some people would look at that as the reason he makes so much – by being stingy in other areas to save money. As a freelance writer, I know sites that pay a lot for their writers, but they still approach new writers and ask if they want to “contribute” to their site in exchange for promoting the writer’s website. They probably more often than not get a lot of free content that way.

  • I guess some people have more “expertise” simply by being in something longer, but I wouldn’t want to pay for a course on something that is still in beta mode and growing everyday. I mean, if you think about it, you could even pay for a course on Facebook now and the next day, if Facebook decides to change their entire bloody platform, you’d be out your change for that course.

  • @Kristi Hines I agree with Kristi on this one. With all these sites changing on daily basis, it is hard to call anyone an expert. Even if you get the “general strategy” right, they change one little thing that can completely change to way of getting the strategy to work.

  • @ExtremelyAvg@AmyMccTobin@timjahn I recently moved to USA and before that had no clue what a Camaro is, but it is definitely not something I would drive if I was making 22K a day. I think I would be riding a Ducati if I was making that much LOL

  • @MarcGirolimetti Great point, I can’t believe anyone would say she should apologize. I really can’t stand people with no skin to put up with stuff. I respect what Chris did in previous few years, but recently he posted a post and someone told him there are too many ads and he reposted the same post with no ads. That was so “I don’t have the balls” to me…

  • @ginidietrich@MarcGirolimetti I hope you are not going to apologize, that would be plain crazy 🙂

  • @Brankica Just another reason I think print books for social media tutorials is a little silly. The second it gets published, the entire framework of the network might change, so your “new book” becomes obsolete even if it was published the day before. I’m notorious for flipping through a book, looking at the screenshots, and if those are out of date, I move on. Probably why I haven’t bought a physical social media book in ages. 🙂

  • @Brankica@ExtremelyAvg@AmyMccTobin@timjahn Is it sad if I made that much a day I’d still just want to drive a Toyota Tacoma. Of course, it would have a sound system that would envy concert stages. 🙂

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  • NancyM.

    I agree. Even now, a while after google plus has been launched, it’s too early to see how it will develop yet alone how it will affect the business world. For all we know, ut can end up in failure because not many people are finidng it user friendly or registering. I’d give it time before I start paying to integrate google plus as part of my business campaign.

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  • techeditz

    I get it, who invented social media and put them in charge? Besides, most of them are blatantly ignoring the lessons they teach..
     We all know the first rule of The Social Media Ten Commandments: Thou Shall Not Sell.
     Social Media is just a friendly conversation between people, right? So how come so many of them have a new eBook to download every week? Hasn’t anyone ever told them you get what you paid for? I think if you got something to say and you think its important then stand up and sell it,.
    It wouldn’t be so bad but I download all of them cause just in case and I never read them (still lost in Window 8) so I feel guilty when they call to ask if I want to buy the sequel.
    Thank you for listening. 

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