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Hmm .. sharing social change/activist information here - gets less engagement than geeky stuff. Mentioned this on Twitter, and some think that social change activists are waiting for the geeks and early adopters to clear the path and make the mistakes - then come on in .. what do you think?
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I am noticing that my geek and ed tech folks are here, but less social activists. But I am getting more response to direct questions here than on Twitter (did a little test today). So attention may be more focused from early adopters.
No, I think social change activists and whistle-blowers are waiting until Google is not going to suspend their accounts if they don't post their real names
I'm finding many activists with wonderful engagement.

I think it's just the nature of "early adopters" that the percentage of tech types is higher - for now.
+Nancy White - finding the same. I have to wonder if people are posting to limited circles vs publically bc I see a lot of profiles set up .. a few public posts or if I'm in their circle a few limited posts and then nothing .... anyway, I'm finding good information and links here as well as good responses to questions
My social change people are way to busy to be early adopters. They are using their channels well and will adopt another one when it fits. They were late to Twitter but among the most engaged on my list. I expect the same once they migrate this way.
It's still way too early to know much - I'm finding lots of new people to connect with every day who I just hadn't found before, as well as the simple fact that many are still waiting to figure this whole G+ thing'll come with time.
Sure! How do you want 'em? I've been classifying my circles and selectively posting: education, mental health, environment, children, women, politics/democrats... (I'm a Dem, in case ya'll hadn't noticed!)
I think there was a lot of conversation earlier on as there were fewer people and they mostly knew each other.

But Google is very deliberately designing G+ to not be a broadcasting network, and a lot of social activist stuff is about broadcasting messages.

G+ is very very cleverly designed. The broadcast part will come when Sparks kicks in big time. It's pretty difficult to create circles or groups of like-minded individuals in G+. Clusters will form around Sparks content.

If they can sustain the network component - people talking more or less disjointedly with people they're connected to - then marketers, including activists, will pay (and need to pay) dearly for a marketing push through Sparks.

Activists - genuine activists, not just marketing agencies - need to figure out how to sustain collective discussion in a system designed to constrain it and shape it. Or, failing that, to come up with an alternative to G+.
+Stephen Downes Every time i mention the idea of being able to search through content producers based on interest of field of expertise to community managers there is no response at all. I know there are other users who see the potential in this.

I'm not at all convinced that this is an intentional strategy to control the growth of network in a specific way as much as it is an indication that Google doesn't have a clear objective for G+ yet.
+Beth Kanter For such an early stage tool, we're already seeing some nice traffic to petitions, etc. and seeing folks using it to post their petitions. I do think many are still taking a wait and see approach to it, and it's still a bit clunky. (Although the G+ Me has completely changed my experience, just in the past few days.)
Most of the social change folks I work with work with membership organizations and try to mobilize mass numbers (that's just my world, other people's social change activist circle's mileage may vary). And most of those folks are busy working with folks who aren't as wired or use the web differently from early adopters. So for my very specific circle, the people who I've seen on it tend to be the geeky ones and they aren't using it for their organizing. They are trying to figure out how it is different from Twitter and Facebook. Most everyone else is kinda like, great, another social media thing to try to understand. Just tell me how to use it. These are mostly people who share pics of their kids on FB and are never on Twitter. So... for my specific circle, it's not worth the time spent yet.
The activists who are trying to mobilize mass audiences and influence government and society as a whole will have to buy their way in, just like any marketers. They have their own issues (will Google prohibit certain kinds of activism, will it give other types a free ride, etc?) but those aren't my issues.

What's of more concern is the way peer-to-peer is disrupted. Small groups, local networks community initiatives, etc. What would typically (and misleadingly) be called grass roots activism (misleadingly because there is no intent to change or influence the 'leaders', rather, to just make do without them).
I'm not seeing a lot of social change/activism-related activity here yet. For organizations, it's tough without brand pages. For individuals, people largely seem to be taking a wait-and-see attitude.
I've seen a few nonprofit colleagues on here talking about their work ....
As an activist myself, I think it is a combination of wait and see and capacity. Some folks are dipping their toes in, its early for organizations to be strategically adding another social media platform. The grassroots organizations I am most engaged with have to stretch to really engage with Facebook and Twitter. I think the reality is that whatever capacity (small and mid-size) organizations have to be nimble is focused on programmatic and advocacy strategies outside of social marketing.
I am excited to read this, I am calling it GooglePlusSocialChangeActivistInformation - need to go right now though.

Back now. So I am trying to put words to the idea I have about making objects that we can talk about and build around. My friend +Edward Vielmetti put it well when we were talking about the stream, twitter, facebook, now Google+ - that the stream is a WriteOnlyMemory.

I want to gather us around and work together on a one to one basis. +Clay Shirky said it best WeUnderestimateTheValueOfAccessToEachOther - and I agree. We need to slow down and get to work. When I smash capital letters together, in my mind it forms a WikiLink - like the original Wiki, MeatballlWiki and CommunityWiki where we talked about these ideas. I am bludgeoning together a LinkLanguage, so we can slow down and talk about ideas, and create our shared language. Right now I use Bitly to do that - in absence of anything proper - like a wiki.

So the LinkLanguage here I want to point you to specifically is ; (4 comments down I think) and the one I made today that is for this post, it is a wonderful question to ask - and I think it deserves a place in our LinkLanguage -->

I am not so good at getting my ideas out, Google+ has been helpful in making it easier.

Solidarity, Mark

please watch this 6:23 video:

==Ideas about metrics and language sharing==
I think those of us who are activist are here, but the geeks make a whole lot more noise.
Personally I like to clear my own path and make my own mistakes
Bit of an assumption Google+ is going to work isn't it? We might all be back on twitter and Facebook in six months?
+Daniel Harder I can understand why someone would want to use an alias, I have been in situations where I have used an alias myself. However, I think using a real-looking name should be enough to fool Google. If you name your profile something really off the wall like "E. Normus Head" or "Jack Rabbit" it's going to draw more attention than something that looks more like a real name.
Mark Dilley's proposal of a LinkLanguage seems like an elegant solution to the lack of hashtags. However, when I tested it in Sparks, like this - - it appears that G+ actually extracts the words out of the search string, even if they are mashed together. That's probably why hashtags don't work either. Even nonsense strings - - resolve into ordinary words.

This is actually pretty deeply disturbing. It means that Google basically takes a search string and matches it against a previously defined vocabulary. You can only search for what Google allows in Sparks. This is a terribly broken system.
"You can only search for what Google allows in Sparks" - I think this may be the way Google search in general is going. Too often now Google tries to pre-empt search strings, swapping out your actual search terms for previously searched ones. You have to add + to terms to force the search to work properly. This fix doesn't work for sparks. I like +Mark Dilley 's idea of LinkLanguage but it's not the way Google is headed.
Thanks Stephen - I don't use spark and I am not sure that we need to rely on google. Right now, us bludgeoning and relying on Bitly works. I can see many solutions to relying on Bitly as well.

Thanks Linda - the thing I can see, that if we are starting to share language - then we rely a little less on caring where Google is headed.
drop me in this circle please. ill keep my posts inspiring, empowering, entertaining and educational. posts guaranteed less than 50% cat pictures, commentary on g+ extensions or talk of dead celebrities.
+Beth Kanter thanks for asking this question and getting the proverbial ball rolling, which means helping us to connect w/ each other and our ideas!
This Google Moderator Series is dedicated to providing meaningful suggestions for Google Plus development. I shared this link here because it is relevant to the discussion that I have read and +1'd. I am trying to develop a strategy for balancing relevant promotion with inadvertently branding myself and my associated circles as spammers. I am promoting this link because I want G+ to be widely adopted and believe early adopters can offer meaningful suggestions to inform this discussion. Thank you.
+Daniel Schutzsmith this is great! So I see +Beth Kanter asked the question, which I interpreted as a FutureLink and assigned it a 'stable URL' to refer to - albiet way to long for easy remembering - wanted to save a shorter one for group identification of idea.

Through conversation, real steps forward happened. Now, Beth as 'ambassador' to this idea - moves relevant comments into here 'wiki space' - so at minimum Beth, will you move Daniels solution into the post?

Hope that all made sense. Best, Mark
It's much easier to make connections based on interests on Twitter. Until Google+ implements a "hashtag-esque" situation, change makers will continue to struggle with finding their base on G+. ("Sparks" could work, if they would also pull in crowdsourced user posts...but not very user-friendly.)
+Mark Dilley can you say more about "stable urls" please?
Is there a combination word for geek+activist? gactivist? actigeek? So far that's who I'm seeing on here interested in Google+ for social change purposes, myself included. Right now it's a good place to reflect on our issues and build stronger ties, but until the numbers are here those who use social media primarily to mobilize won't be here...
Aimee - nice movement - I am wondering if we can explore how to strengthen those of us that are here.

Something that I had an ah-ha over the weekend about my work on LinkLanguage - do less meta worrying about it and just get down to the business of doing it.

What can we learn to do here that wasn't possible before?
I have a circle called social good and am slowing filling it up with people from around the world. It takes longer than on Twitter when you can find people more easily with hashtags. The group of social good people here is a strong group at least!
The thought of subscribing to someone else's circle is somewhat intriguing, but I don't really see how it helps "spread social good." (Those folks are no more likely to interact with your campaign because you've listed them in a circle.) Likewise, folks I put in my Activism circle aren't always going to talk about activism. Actually, because G+ put so much emphasis on privacy from the get-go, they won't share much with me at all unless they've circled me back...
I'm getting TONS of attention for activisty stuff I post :) Not sure the premise holds in my case.
Catrina - good point - what I am trying to do is signal my readers by telling the circle that I am sending the post to them. I am hoping this spreads and people start signaling to each other. Not simply posting to public all the time (or even if I do PublicPost I sometimes add the circle of interest I am trying to capture attention)
+Mark Dilley I don't know about you, but I NEVER check whether a post is limited or public or who it's sent to UNLESS I'm thinking about sharing it (in which case it's a respect issue). If Google+ is to be used for signaling like that, then who the post is directed toward must be made clearer.
+Jillian C. York You are lucky! EFF's mission is a natural fit with Google+. Here, your activist base will circle you organically to keep tabs on the issues. So G+ is a broadcaster network in this sense. (Whereas, my org is still working on transcending the digital divide...)
+Jillian C. York agreed - and since there isn't a way for the software to do that job, I hack it into each post I make.
I agree about G+ as a broadcaster network adding another way to get message out and messages in. What will be difficult as all SM is to sort out the legit from those seeking gain for all the wrong reasons.
Beth, what do you think about using your original post material as the start of the 'wiki page' and refactoring comment ideas into it?
+Beth Kanter Thanks so much for having this conversation. So important to start now. If you do a post on where we should be connecting, please let me know and I'll share it.
+Beth Kanter There's no way I can read through the 90+ comments here and still make sense of it all, so for the passerby who may catch my comment (and you), my thoughts:

1. I think Google+ will be an interesting platform for organizing pro-social movements in the light of day. It's not for everyone, but if you want to get the outside more engaged in causes, the best thing I think one can do is get things done -- and get them done where others will see it.

2. I think the times we're in require anyone calling themselves a social activist to rethink ways in which activism takes place. It must be more than protests. I'd like to think that I and many others like me are engaging in pro-social change actively as we try and open up stoic and static organizations and their services to serve the disenfranchised and underserved among us. It takes all of us to make even a little bit of lasting change.

3. I don't think anyone should be waiting for anyone else to do something. What I hope with all the hope I have is that everyone is doing what they can, everyday, and that we're all reaching out to each other and continue to find more people to work with. Self-organization works. It is messy, and it's often difficult to see the forest for the trees, but as convergence happens, we at least start to figure out if we're even working in the right forest.

Google+ can be a broadcast network, but in many ways blogs and especially Twitter are effective for mass broadcasts and calls to action, and Facebook works very well for subscription to organized messages.

Hold fast, brothers and sisters. We may not all agree on every fine point about social change and we're not going to, but we might still find many ways to work together for greater good.
+Aaron Silvers I am trying to self organize Google+ into not being another broadcast network. There are some affordances here that are WikiLike. ( edit and re-edit comments and posts) Currently this 'page' (because I have given it a reference-able 'name' i.e. ) is in thread mode. In the WikiWorld that is how pages sometime start, then people cinch them up to the most useful elements of the discussion. That is what I am proposing we do here, and I just need to do it.
+Mark Dilley One of the reasons I like the idea of Quora (if it would be an internal tool) is that it's essentially a structured wiki that is entirely usable to non-technical people. It would be great as a knowledge building tool for any organization

I suspect the same is true from a planning/collaboration standpoint of Google+. It is very wiki-like in the ability to edit posts, target messages to key groups. I can see pros and cons to the way circles are unsharable at this point, but the pros (in my opinion) outweigh the cons. It empowers every person to lead a campaign and self-organize.

We're trying to catch all the fish we can; not all the fish, nor all the fish we can in one fell swoop.
Yes Aaron, I think Quora is the most innovative wiki like thing I have seen in a while.
There is a definite edge that g+ has over FB: no groups = no admins. Anyway, for many activist I know (from either side of the political spectrum) this "lack of power" can be a problem. Personally I hate to be administered just as I hate to administer people, so it's fine for me. But do not expect g+ to produce the same kind of aggregation an admin based structure did.

The difference in response is something I would expect to hold on. People are generally not much responsive in g+, as they tend to "really read" what we post. So they tend to answer if they have some value to add. There is much less chatterbox around than in other media, but people do get the message, at least such seem to be the implications of the traffic, as much more traffic seems to be driven by g+ than by any other social network.
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