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My take: Nonprofits most valuable commodity is their time. So they have to be strategic in selecting platforms. Google + is a power user tool right now. Nonprofits need to consider their audience. One thing that bothers me is the trade-off between privacy needs and community learning and social context.

http://www.bethkanter.org/google-plus/
On Friday, I tripped down the rabbit hole of Google + field test with many other social media early adopters and nonprofit technology (#nptech folks)
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12 comments
 
+Vicki Davis looking forward to your post and reflections on the privacy needs for teachers - it is similar for some nonprofits.
 
Now who to share this with directly...
 
Thanks for including my blog post - and glad you found it helpful. It was honestly the only thing I could do in the beginning was to step back and think about why one would adopt a new platform. Looking forward to digging into your blog post later!
 
Beth; you know whats funny about ASymetric sharing ? Is that you have been noodling away at exactly this thought at the same time as I have. And for exactly the same issue we highlighted I was n
ot aware of your conversations on this topic until I followed you. I am pretty sure the nature of Circles is all Sets and no Unions for the moment and I have been struggling to explain why this makes Google a different social media platform. I think we need to look closely at what Communication are not happening so we can understand the audience we can reach.
 
Nicholas, just re-read your comment and really think you nailed it: what conversations aren't happening?? For me, what is not happening is actually meeting new people. If I want to converse with them, I have to send them an email, and I love the on-platform nature of the private conversations that can happen on Linkedin, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, etc. Also, I think the asymmetric sharing means that conversations are really disjointed and there have been many similar threads in different places amongst my same circles...which is hard to track.
 
Debra: Circles aren't communities .. or there aren't yet enough community management tools to allow circles to function like communities. I was on a call this morning with Jerry M - and one of the designers from Google - they said they wanted to focus on the asymetric sharing model - and protect privacy. He didn't say whether there would be open circles or shared circles or adding groups. We also talked about the need for more refined filtering. I have a post summarizing that conversation. It is a lot of extra work to pick up the different threads and make meaning --
 
Can we declare google+ as not being a social network ? Has google released a product that sits between Email/Forums and Social Networks ? A Third product A Social Forum maybe ?
 
Nicholas, joining your new thread (yes, this is a difficulty in Google+, as discussed above). I think it IS a social network by definition but it is not configured exactly like what we are familiar with already. I think that's a really good question, Nicholas, and want to think a bit more about it.

Beth, the lack of community management tools is frustrating and I'm still struggling with the asymmetric sharing model. Twitter is a bit like asymmetric sharing, too, and it wasn't intuitive at first at all. Looking forward to your blog post about your convo with Jerry M. I suspect circles will be open, groups will be added to Google+, and so will Google docs. We are already seeing the renaming of blogger and picasa into Google products, so I think the trend is showing itself. Of course..only Google knows. For now, Google has made the biggest play for our online attention in years, and that is certainly worth paying attention to for a bit.
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