Jul 26

How to Be More Pleasant on Google+

Apparently I’ve been dubbed some sort of queen of social media, and yet, it really can bore me quite a bit. From people ranting about some client they’ve had to people underhandedly pitching their brands left and right, it can get annoying. People aren’t trying to be noisy, mind you. They just aren’t given easy filtering mechanism to determine what they say to whom. This filtering is something we do naturally in the real world to keep ourselves from saying the wrong thing and the wrong time.

Enter Google+. I haven’t been the most active on Google+ yet simply because I’ve been playing with it and getting a sense of how committed Google really is to this project. I do like it though. I hope it succeeds for the sake of online communication everywhere.

It’s like Google put all the user groups I attend into one easy to use interface. I have a circle for “marketing”, one for “tech news”, one for “web developers and designers”, one for just my close friends, and another for acquaintances. I can see myself getting dozens of circles and I hope Google makes it easy to categorize these as I follow more people. I do this because I recognize that some of my followers really don’t care about marketing news, or what I did this weekend. Google+ also makes it easier to learn about different subjects because I can just click on a stream to see what is said by people who are experts in that topic.

I believe Google+ would benefit by allowing users to be transparent with at least some of their Circles. This would allow people to choose if they wanted to follow my posts pertaining to marketing, tech news, or just funny comments. I’m no UX expert so I’ll leave the details of something like this to them.

My biggest fear with Google+ is that people will get obsessed with the follower count game. As I’ve said like a broken record, it really doesn’t matter how many followers you have. If you can figure out how to deliver messages to people in a way that converts, you can be more effective with 50 people than with 50000. If people on Google+ get caught up in the follower count game, we risk just as much noise as we get on Twitter and Facebook.

I’m not sure how to stop people from using Google+ as a broadcast channel with little regard of what gets said to whom. I just hope people are mindful of their signal to noise ratio when they use it.

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