Some of you complained about all the ads in yesterday’s post. Since it became my most trafficked post ever, I thought I’d give you ad-free version to allay your frustrations. It’s exactly the same list as yesterday, but with 80% fewer ads.
If you’re curious about Google+, the new social network platform from Google, you’re not alone. I’ve logged several hours already on the platform, experimenting, testing, and observing. It sparks my attention from several angles: marketing, technology, community, media, mobile, advertising, and more. To that end, I wrote down 50 things to think about with regards to Google+, in no particular order:
The purpose of this list is to get you thinking about a bunch of different possibilities. You’re welcome to dispute them all, but that really wouldn’t be the point. Instead, make your own similar post and link back. People can compare.
The Google+ 50
- Google+ is built to take you away from either Facebook or Twitter (or both), and it could do it, in time.
- If it seems like FriendFeed, and thus you worry it might burn out, know that Newt Gingrich has already joined.
- With a G+ account, you get unlimited photo storage on Picasa. (Flickr feel threatened? FB photos?)
- With Circles (how one groups people), you control privacy in a way that makes clear and obvious sense.
- Your “about” section is rich, robust, allows links, photos, QR codes, and more. Marketers rejoice.
- If Google+ starts influencing Page Rank (meaning, if a link shared on G+ is weighted more than others), it’s game on for SEO/SEM.
- If Google Music integrates into this platform the way YouTube is now, it’s a powerful entertainment media platform instantly.
- The Android integration for G+ is strong already in these early days. If the platform does take off in a big way, this could shift mobile OS choices, and spending. (very speculative, I admit)
- You don’t need Quora, if you can ask detailed questions in G+ and share them with specific Circles, etc.
- The live video chat feature is a powerful addition to collaboration and workshifting scenarios.
“A question to ask yourself is, ‘Should I get in early, before anyone’s there to bother with? If I don’t look at it for a year, will I lose ground? If it’s still early days, why should I bother with Google Plus yet?'”
- A standalone Google+ Apps version plus Google Docs = a very powerful business collaboration environment that would trump most white label social enterprise tech easily.
- With G+ seeing our comment streams, their ability to better plot social graphs and integrate AdSense and maybe even Google Affiliate opportunities is huge. (Yes, FB does this, but Google thrives on Adsense.)
- If Google+ offered a WordPress comment integration, I would give G+ my comments in a heartbeat.
- That lame +1 button from a few months back now became something rather valuable, if G+ takes off.
- People keep citing the FB has 600 million, so no one’s going anywhere argument. AOL, anyone? People migrate. It happens.
- There are more big name visionaries poking around on Google+ right out in the open than on any other social application that I’ve seen (this just might be the nature of G+, that everything is so visible, but it FEELS like big news to have Michael Dell and Mark Zuckerberg and others checking it out.)
- G+ pushes more use of Gmail. I’ve received 15 non-spam messages in 2 days from my core gmail account, after having had almost zero traffic (nonspam) for 2 years.
- If Google integrates Calendar into + and makes it like Tungle, then social calendaring gets pretty interesting.
- Google Buzz, which went nowhere for most folks, now looks like a nice sharing stream in your G+ profile, especially if you share a lot via Google Reader.
- The photo display interface in Google+ is stunning, adding to my thoughts of this making for an amazing media platform. The moment G+ full-throttle opens up accounts for businesses, you’ll hear big news plays about this platform.
“Would all Google’s efforts in building an OS plus their commanding growth in mobile point to a potential rapid leapfrogging of either Twitter or Facebook? I don’t think so, but Google is wealthy enough to play the long game, and if you think of all these various integrations, this becomes much more interesting to consider.”
- With Google’s ChromeOS push, plus the proliferation of Android, Google+ now becomes quite a robust integrated communications, media, and sharing layer on multiple platforms natively, plus it is supported by browsers on all other platforms.
- Hangouts (live multi-user video chats) works with Google Translate to faciliate multi-language instant communication. Neither Skype nor Facetime do that.
- Google+ is perfectly configured to run social customer service, if only they allowed baked in search capabilities akin to search.twitter.com.
- It would take relatively little to integrate Google Voice into this stack in a meaningful way to add SMS to this, plus GTalk already does voice and video 1-to-1.
- I don’t think that Blogger integration would improve G+. WordPress has won that war, though Blogger is still serviceable and people still like it.
- G+ also won’t replace blogging, such as it is, but not unlike the decline in blogging frequency after Twitter and FB became more popular, G+ makes is really easy to see how you could do the same things inside G+ and maybe get more traction.
- (Don’t be swayed by the above. Your blog is your own real estate. Blogging inside anyone else’s platform is like renting a hotel room, putting up posters, and thinking it’s your place.)
- Twitter makes a cleaner “newsroom” feel, but G+ has many more methods to tell and deliver a story. A news Circle in G+ would feel as rich as Flipboard.
- Oh, I almost forgot: G+ on an Android Tablet is pretty darned good.
- Advertising integration seems simple and obvious. Commerce integration doesn’t seem that hard, if you squint.
“Will the mainstream pick this up the way they did Twitter? Does the fact that the URLs for your account on Google+ are messier mean it’ll lack that simple audible sharing we hear on the radio and on TV?”
- If you enable location on your mobile device, G+ creates circles by “nearby,” thus allowing for instant location-centric social networks.
- If G+ did something special with QR and empowered more location-focused media delivery, then you’d have a powerful media/marketing opportunity right there.
- G+ could enable some really interesting multi-format publishing if you turn it around: mix audio, video, photo, text, link, and location data into a “package” or a “project,” and you’ve got a powerful digital publishing platform. (See also the last part of the next point.)
- How long before we see our first Hangout live music “jam?” That’s one record button away from being supercool. And one “name your price” Google Checkout tweak away from being instant micro content for sale.
- If Google Places integrated with G+ and one were using the mobile/nearby functionality, interesting “migratory” graphs suddenly become a new datapoint for marketers (or researchers, or whatever).
- The nonprofit tech use implications of Google+ are quite interesting, especially of Google Pages is reimagined for Google+.
- If I can move a Google Presentation into my stream, then I can share business information in a valuable in-system way.
- Google+ needs a “sticky” post for streams, so that we can hang a daily status or special update on our stream/profile for the whole day.
- When Google+ gets off-site sharing and/or bookmarking abilities, plus when it integrates a URL shortener with stats built in, kapow.
- There are no private message functions built in, but that’s because there’s a “send an email” on everyone’s profile page. This is still clunky. This belies the motivations of Google (let us see it all) versus Facebook/Twitter (you just keep feeling like you’re private, if that helps you!).
“Remembering for a moment that Google’s biggest monetary trick is to serve highly targeted ads, what does the Google+ platform do to enhance their data set? Hint: lots!”
- The Spark area isn’t that compelling yet, but add user-created materials, plus let us curate that area differently, and we’ll eat out of your hands.
- If I were Google, I’d buy Alltop and replace Spark with that.
- If users could add themselves to “public” or “member’s only” circles, Google+ would make the ultimate conference attendee/participant tool, almost as-is.
- There talk about how some of us are using hashtags inside Google+, even though they don’t function that way. What we’re saying is, “Please let us have tools to create our own folksonomy,” and when Google listens to that, they will see even more interesting social graphs.
- Ford is already investigating the heck out of Google+. Location data plus Places plus users’ friends data makes for a rich marketing profile, and some really useful tools.
- Google+ would be the ultimate environment for ethical affiliate marketing, if the concept of “objects” or “things” existed. Meaning, if I could say, “I’m enjoying my new !TDK Boombox! today,” and that use of !! became a link that paid me a few bucks if someone bought a TDK boombox after my recommendation, that would be nifty for some.
- I saw many early worries from users that marketers would come and ruin things. They’re right to worry. This is a new place to experiment and it will happen. But I’m optimistic.
- Small Businesses would benefit from an integration of Places, Pages, and Google Plus. That whole social customer service movement? Pow. Done. Easy.
- The minute I can pump a bunch of saved search RSS feeds into Google+ directly, the sooner Google+ would feel like a listening station mixed with a media making/curating platform all in one platform.
- The notion of “trending topics” would be exponentially more valuable inside of Google+, depending on how the algorithyms reflected this.
I Could Be Wrong All Over the Place
Again, the point isn’t to be right. The point is to get you thinking on any of these potential directions above, and thinking about how it might impact you, or your clients, or your company, and the like. You’re definitely encouraged to share your own perspective of what else Google+ might mean. Speculate. It’s something we’re allowed to do as bloggers. So share your thoughts. Disagree. That’s the whole purpose of doing a post like this. But also, take time to speculate on what WILL happen, because I feel some of these possible futures are closer at hand than you or I can imagine.
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