I’ve spent the last few days exploring Google Plus a little more in-depth. After staying up until about 2am yesterday, I’ve come to the conclusion that, for now at least, the benefits of Google Plus are like those of a blog conference event.
Strong Social Profiles and Meaningful Online Presences
For right now anyway, almost everyone on Google Plus has a strong social profile, which means you’re interacting with people who take their online presence seriously. To some degree, most of the people who attend a blog conference are the same way – they are there at the conference because they are willing to invest in their online community. That’s the type of people I’m noticing almost across the board on Google Plus.
Good Content From Experts in Various Fields
So much of what I’ve seen flow through my home stream on Google Plus so far has been relatively strong content. This is a stark contrast to Twitter, where the build up of robotic tweets and spam trash has taken over my main stream, or Facebook where there are a wide variety of users from Liz Strauss to Aunt Judy.
I know that because it’s still very much in beta, that it isn’t an accurate assessment of what Google Plus will be, but just an evaluation of what Google Plus is right now in the first several days of use. So whether this changes or not, at least I’ll have the ability to keep my circles close and hold on the upper-level of content I’m seeing.
One of the coolest features, and the reason why Google Plus seems very much like a blog conference event to me, are the serendipitous meetings that can occur in the Hang Out rooms. It starts with you and a friend you know well hanging out. But because that is visible, others come and join in – maybe people you don’t know but who know your friend.
In another 10 minutes someone else joins whom neither of you knew, but who knows the third person. In this way you are able to literally meet face-to-face an ever growing number of people with second or third degrees of separation. This happens to me ALL THE TIME at conferences – and it’s one of those magical things that can alter the course of a business or professional career.
Last night after my friend had left I wound up joining another hangout where the only person I knew was the third degree person who had joined at the end of our initial conversation. It was so amazing to see the flow of people in and out of the chat organically and freely. I met a web designer, a programmer, a theatre director, and a freelance writer. I am going to help someone monetize their site and may have a lead on a freelance writing gig. From chatting in the hallways or lounge – just like at blog conferences.
Will this easy feel change as more people join the fray. Perhaps so. I can’t really say. What I can say is that for now, Google Plus feels less like “Facebook Lite” as some have claimed, and more like “Blog Conference on Tap.”
What do you think?