Where will you get community on the web if it's not Facebook and it's not Google+? What's next?
There are so many things wrong with Facebook it's hard to know where to start. I've probably written 50 posts on how Facebook could improve, how our participation on Facebook could be a bit more authentic, and on we roll. And now the buzz around Google+ has died down a bit, and friends are asking me, "Do I need to join ANOTHER social network? For what?"
The answer with Google+ is, I don't know.
No Google+ is not a rival to Facebook. Yes, Google is wisely putting a social "platform" together with Google+. And yes Google has a lot of assets to bring to the party in ways that they aren't telling us. Imagine a place where your G-Mail, Voicemail, TXT, Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Google Docs, G-Chat, and the BIG ONE Google SEARCH are all living together under one roof, on one uber-iGoogle page.
Do you even know what an iGoogle page is?
Let me give you a vision into the future of Google+ as a platform by showing you my iGoogle layout.
* this graphic is available as a downloadable PPT file from Slideshare.net: Google Plus as a Platform
So what you see is the "framework" or "platform" that is currently called iGoogle. But with Google Plus adding so much to the equation, when you can build your own social media dashboard, of ALL OF YOUR NETWORKS, Google Plus will become the UBER.SOCIAL.APP. Because from within a single window, much like the one above, you will be able to do everything you need to do online.
The "windows" or "gadgets" as they are called in iGoogle can be configured and programed by third parties to insert pretty much any kind of content you want displayed. In Google Plus you will be able to check all of your email accounts, update facebook, twitter and linkedin all at that same time, check your stock portfolio and recall the last 15 searches you have made to "refind" that link you now need again.
There are several companies that are already way ahead of Google on this type of personal/integrated dashboard. But companies like NetVibes, SocialText, and even SalesForce.com will pale in comparison to the power and information that Google has about you. And that's the trump card that Google holds. They know almost everything about you. They can bring up Gadgets you might be interested in based on recent searches you've performed or emails you've sent.
So if that sound a bit creepy and big brother-like, you ain't seen nothing yet. In a book called Click, the authors show how, even with Google's ANONYMOUS data profiles, a company like HitWise (now worriedly owned by Experian) can match up the Google data with their own datamining technology and tell you where you should go to dinner and what movie you should see this weekend. They've already got the data on you. There's very little you can do to shut the pipeline off, other than refuse to use the web, or refuse to use any Google products.
And don't use Amazon either, because they are the largest online retailer in the world and they know everything you've ever bought from them. And your Mom, your kids, you cousins. Amazon knows all of your purchase history and can easily predict your future buying patterns.
If you're going to use the web, and Amazon, you can pretty much give up the idea that your information is private or even very anonymous. And if you're against this type of "intrusion" you can join and support the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), who are lobbying and fighting for our consumer and privacy rights.
I have chosen to assimilate. I am openly sharing my Google data with Google. And I know that Google knows all. Perhaps this is a kind of power. If I don't want Google to know something, I don't put it online. EVER. Not in email, or txt… NEVER.
The good news is that Google Plus is already an astonishing platform and social network. And with the next rev of Google Plus you will begin to see the promise of the personal social dashboard, courtesy of Amazon and Google. (if the two companies ever got together, we probably would have the equivalent of Big Brother. And since any of your anonymous data can be purchased from Google OR Amazon, well… Buckle up for the ride, the "next generation" of the information age is already here.
Google Plus is not competing against facebook. That target is to small. Google Plus is going to be your everything for everything on the web.
See the Facebook vs Google+ page for more
Check out the Social Media for Business page and these other posts about learning social media:
- Losing My Way on Dell.com < How the Retailer Still Confuses and Coupons Us To Death
- Crack the Motivational Code: Put a Ding In Our Universe and Your Team's Universe
- Work Life Balance and Survival; It's Up to You to Grab It
- Facebook's Community Value is 5% of 5% or 0.25% < A Failure to Communicate
- SEO: You Have to Know Your Search Engine to Understand How to Optimize – Content Marketing
- Going for the One on Google Search is Just a "Phrase Match" Away (Own It!)
- How to Get Useful Business Information Out of Twitter: Hashtags for Social Media Research
It's been a great year. Thanks for being part of it. See the 2011 Summary and Best of 2012!