Google+ Freaks Me Out, But I Like It!


I've been playing with Google's new shiny toy,Google+, more and more since learning more about it at PodCamp Nashville 2012 and from the Google team themselves at the #G4eNashville event.

Just like any emerging social network, I see a little buzz around it, so I sign up for it to see what all the fuss is about. Personally, I like connecting with people and ideas that inspire me and love sharing resources and ideas with others.

As a marketer, I'm always looking for examples of how brands are using technology to reach and engage audiences and create communication channels for customer service and brand advocates.

Here's what I've discovered I like about Google+:

  • Circles of Organization - I've been collecting people, brands, and topics I'm interested in and putting them into categories of "circles" - I love organizing, so this is helpful- and it is another way to brand myself by the categories and people I follow.
  • No dogs, cats, or babies (sorry Facebook peeps!) - I sometimes only want news and thought provoking content from industry leaders. There seems to be more intellectual content on Google+.
  • SEO / Reach - Since Google is the mecca of search, it only makes sense that they are going to rank content from their network higher in natural search results. The key is to keep the content coming and feed the spiders (AKA- Google's crawling search algorithms).
  • Hashtags and Trends - Same concept as Twitter hashtags and trends, only more visual and interactive with the hangout capability. You can create  a hangout on the spot about any given topic and chat about it with other people who have the same interest. (I have not tried this yet- still freaked out a bit!)
  • Hangouts / Real Time Video - It's like Skype, only better - you can have one on one video chats or add several people, or make it public to answer questions via comments. Screen sharing is also pretty cool for live demonstrations. The video quality is excellent!

Still freaking me out a bit on Google+:

  • Public inappropriateness - Porn on public hangouts = creepy! (yes, this happened to me and I'm scarred for life!)
  • Being followed by strangers - Random people from other countries are following me and adding me in their circles.  It's not permission based like LinkedIn or Facebook if you have a public profile.
  • Strangers asking me to hangout - Who are these people and why do they want to connect with me? It's like the nightclub of social networks.

Opportunities for improvements / innovation I'd like to see on Google+

  • Ability to directly upload and post video from iPhone
  • Sharing with other networks might be nice :)
  • Import / consolidate YouTube brand Channels with Brand Google+ pages
  • A library of pre-recorded hangouts: combine educational webinars with Google hangouts (make content available in an organized / searchable and indexed by topic, business, or industry.

Are you on Google+?  Connect with me on Google+ and let's explore it together!