Let’s face it, with the healthy lead of 750 million+ users, established by Facebook, Google Plus will take a good while to catch up. Even if the mainstream are to ‘overcome social media fatigue’, that is.
So we plod along on G+, in wonderment of the growing ‘circularity’ of the early adoptscoble, et al.
Meanwhile, most of us have adopted Google’s offering, only half-heartedly. Awaiting that ‘Tipping Point’, when the bulk of our Facebook friends make the switch too.
The digital divide
Meanwhile the digerrati and twitterati, tantalize with tales of G+ goodness. Some, even switching to Google’s social network, without the slightest hesitation.
However, unless the mainstream switches over, G+ will remain a niche social networking site, second fiddle to Facebook. Maybe Google should tackle it another way.
Taking on WordPress
Now, I refer to WordPress loosely even if it is the leading content management system worldwide. What I actually mean is that G+ can probably be a very effective content creation and publication platform, if Google makes it easier for content creators to switch to it, making G+ the publishing platform of choice.
There have always been very good reasons why content creators should own their content. Unlike Facebook, whose business model and lead depends on the data that is created and shared within its gates, Google can afford to open up because it plays King, rather well, elsewhere.
Mr. Page, open this gate! Mr. Page, tear down this wall!
I tried live blogging a recent trip with G+. Uploading images were easier and quicker than on Facebook. Love the way the comments are displayed against each pic etc. However, to make me abandon my blog and thumb my nose at those who warn against doing so, here is what I’d like Google to do:
- Play to my vanity: ‘Link to post’ option is great. Do it better by having an option to link to vanity-like urls that are connected to the content creator/owner’s domain. E.g.: www.jacobv.com/gplus/nameofpost.html . Like google apps and email?
- Show me love: Pass on Google juice from posts on G+ to the authors domain. Google knows who I am, where I play. Why not pass on the credit to my domain too? Find a way for this to tie in with the ‘author’ markup so it makes sense for multi-author domains as well.
- A little decoration?: Allow me to ‘Pin’ specific posts on the sidebar OR have an option to switch my ‘Homepage’ on G+ to display my ‘Pinned’ posts first.
- Freedom!: Data Liberation is good. Do it better by allowing me to liberate and back up only my selected posts. Better yet, allow users to schedule automated backups and downloads of their posts and comments AND an easy way to publish them without G+, if they chose to part ways. If I can be assured that all my content is secure and under my ownership, I am more likely to use your platform for all my publishing needs.
- BONUS: Do #3 better by allowing me an easy way to post to WordPress etc., from G+. Always remember to pass on the Google juice to my domain; allowing ‘G+ comments’ to reside on my blog will ease the sharing pain (if any) for Google.
All this should help users rapidly set up an online presence with a powerful, integrated social layer. The intuitive concept of circles could also help individuals switch seamlessly between private and professional realms.
I’m guessing that as more content creators use G+ as their central hubs, the mainstream will interact with and adopt G+ in increasing numbers. Content creators will finally be able to easily consolidate their online presence and activity.
Before we know it, each individual, will have their own open OR private, ‘ Social Web Hub’ instead of being part of a walled-in ‘social network’.
Google has thrived due to its ability to bring us relevant results. Opening up the G+ platform will probably make it easier for them to do this better. Then the new social layer will, perhaps, allow them to do it the best yet.
Does this make sense to you? Any other way G+ can increase mainstream adoption rates? Maybe some of the features are already implemented or underway? Other thoughts?