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8 reasons you should quit your blog for Google+.

+Demian Farnworth at +Copyblogger rebutted my advocacy of blogging on Google+:

He called me the "poster child for Google+ blogging" -- a designation I am very proud of.

It's a nice article and worth a read. But he's wrong.

Here are Demian's 8 points why you shouldn't blog on Google+, followed by my 8 counterpoint points (apologies to SNL): 

Point 1. You become a digital sharecropper.

Counterpoint: Google+ is more viral, gives you a vastly larger audience and a more engaged community around your blog than you can get on any other site. (What bloggers should really fear is needless obscurity.)

Point 2. You can’t (easily) monetize a social media blog. 

Counterpoint: Google+ is more viral, gives you a vastly larger audience and a more engaged community around your blog than you can get on any other site. (You also can't monetize a blog with no readers.)

Point 3. No effective archive.

Counterpoint: Google+ is more viral, gives you a vastly larger audience and a more engaged community around your blog than you can get on any other site. (Nobody wants to read old posts on most blogs and, if they do on Google+, the search feature and auto-hashtags are better than an archive.)

Point 4. Clunky link structure.

Counterpoint: Google+ is more viral, gives you a vastly larger audience and a more engaged community around your blog than you can get on any other site. (There are benefits, too. Namely, by exposing the links readers are less likely to be tricked into opening a malware page.)

Point 5. No schedule posting feature.

Counterpoint: Google+ is more viral, gives you a vastly larger audience and a more engaged community around your blog than you can get on any other site. (Plus you can use Do Share to schedule posts.)

Point 6. No control over design.

Counterpoint: Google+ is more viral, gives you a vastly larger audience and a more engaged community around your blog than you can get on any other site. (It's fun to play publisher on a blogging site with custom design, but it's better for readers to have a unified design, as on Google+.) 

Point 7. Plantation owners change, wither, and die.

Counterpoint: Google+ is more viral, gives you a vastly larger audience and a more engaged community around your blog than you can get on any other site. (In the extremely unlikely event that Google would close G+, the loyal readership you would have gained would be movable to the new site. Bloggers move their blogs all the time -- usually because the site sucks and not because the company shuts it down.) 

Point 8. Google doesn’t think it’s a great idea, either.

Counterpoint: Google+ is more viral, gives you a vastly larger audience and a more engaged community around your blog than you can get on any other site. (You blog for you, not Google.) 

The bottom line is that when you consider any benefit of an outside blogging site -- archiving, embedded links, etc. -- ask yourself exactly how many readers you're willing to give up in order to have that feature -- and why. 

Go here to circle the Blogs of August -- 150 bloggers who are blogging on Google+ for the month of August!

Tor Ivan Boine's profile photoMike Elgan's profile photoGlenn D's profile photoAudrey Sheppard's profile photo
I thought +Robert Scoble was the poster boy for everything? Glad to see you took this nomination away from him. Scoble is on too many posters :]
Just the fact that I'm reading this right now should indicate how much better Google+ is. I may never have noticed your blog, but here I am reading your position on Google+ vs. Blogging. :)
I dropped blogging for FriendFeed (and have since moved on to G+) quite a few years ago.

More engagement, more fun, more cathartic. more spontaneous and easier to do.

To those that are worried about control and managing their legacy -- all I can say is get over yourself.
It would be nice if more people could get vanity urls to use G+ as a blog (such as yours +Mike Elgan ).  If you can't customize the url it is harder to share and doesn't feel like "your" site. 

I gave up on blogging a good while ago, but I don't feel like G+ has really taken on the difference because it is missing several key features that make a blog feel like my "home" on the web.  A url is a big one of those missing features.  The ability to categorize my posts so that people can filter them to the things they are interested in (cut down on static) is another big one (Pages don't cut it!).
Thanks for the mention Mike and the share. I was hoping you would respond. Always looking to challenge my own ideas. And by the way, I was hoping you would take "poster boy" as a compliment. 
I'm wondering how does it affect if one wants to pull, let's say three most recent post from G+ into their website. Do we end up in some kind of SEO jam with that?
I would want to. But blogging platforms such as Wordpress are endlessly customisable. Easily upgradable when one decides to get one's own website and also with the recent changes, pleasant to write on. Sure bloggers fear obscurity but getting one's very own page is beyond sharing something on a social network. Also, most bloggers like an engaged audience rather than random ones. Google plus is a lot of things but its not a blogging platform. 
And dont forget: Google+ is more viral. Just saying ;)
+Arnab Das How many readers would you be willing to sacrifice for customizability? 
I moved my blogging activities to G+ pretty early on, mostly because G+ is really good for blogging in the older sense of the word weblog: a list of links you've found interesting, with minimal commentary. For newer definitions of blog, such as an online diary, well, G+ works for that too.

The only thing I miss in G+ is the ability to make a post containing many links, all with a nice preview. G+ prefers a one-link-per-post strategy, which can sometimes be stifling.
I found an excellent way to group/archive posts for people or for myself if I want to go back and make changes or re-share and it works quite easily. 
For me I use the hash tag   #codecrackx15  which I've had associated with my online self forever. I add it into each blog with my other hash tags and if I want to see all of my posts I just do a search in G+ for my unique hash tag. 
You have to pick something unique though or other people's posts will start coming up too. 
+Mike Elgan, a big endorsement for your counterpoint from someone who reads alot:

When  it comes to "blogs", nearly all of what I read comes from Google+.  Yes, there is likely stuff out there that I don't get to see this way, but with G+ not only do I get a great diversity of views and perspectives, but I can only read so much in a day - and why chase around from one blog site to another?

(Before someone comments about RSS feeds and the demise of Google Reader - I do have an RSS reader, but most of what is there are routine notifications that I can't get through other channels - such as product update notices of products I use, or specific news sources I value that haven't yet discovered G+.   Other stuff I may have receive via RSS is slowly getting purged as I find that the topics of interest is already so well covered in G+.)
"I don't care what others say because...Google+ is more viral, gives you a vastly larger audience and a more engaged community around your blog than you can get on any other site.

and Oh BTW...

How many readers would you be willing to sacrifice for (fill in the blank)"
+Mike Elgan I suppose I already made that sacrifice a long time ago... It's been years since I maintained a blog in favor of services like G+ (and FriendFeed before that).  My point is that G+ doesn't fully make up for a blog and it is more difficult to share information in a way that could generate more readers because of lack of features that blogs typically offer. 

It is easier for you to suggest using G+ in lieu of a blog because you have one of those missing features (the vanity url with your name) but other people don't have that luxury. 

Also, the +1s fiasco recently is a good example of why something like being able to put filters on your subscription by topic is a good idea.  If people could subscribe to only the things you post about a particular topic that they are interested in (as they can do if you set up your categories and RSS feeds correctly on a blog), then they will be more engaged and less likely to drop you for "spamming" them with things that they aren't interested in (which the +1 complainers are complaining about).  I post about a bunch of unrelated things in most people's opinion (programming, photography, politics, absurdity). Many posts that I might connect with some people on through a specific topic will get drowned out by the static of my other posts they don't care about, not to mention posts from other people.  Honestly, from my perspective as a reader, 1 out of 10 or fewer of the posts that show up in my stream catch my interest, and if hundreds queue up and I only scroll through 20-30 in a "session" then I have missed a bunch of potential posts that might interest me because of lack of filters to only show me what I'm interested in.  Blogs offer this ability naturally.

So yes, you can get a lot of readers on G+ but you could get MORE if G+ offered a few more features that were more blog-like.  Not that that means I will be going back to a blog.  But I do miss some of those features.

If you care, text formatting (such as for code snippets) and image inclusion directly in posts are two other things I miss a lot from blogging.  But again, obviously not enough to go back to one.  I suppose for that I should just use GitHub.
This is a crazy it must work! lol!  I've never heard of this before, but it seems like you could do it...hmm, I don't want to give up my blog tho!
Why not have the best of both worlds: taking advantage of the near infinite customisation of a personal blog whilst posting the summary and link of the article to G+? One can even in incorporate G+ comments into the personal blog to further take advantage of Google's platform. 
Brilliant retort +Mike Elgan, agree with you!
Though almost all of us are addicted to traditional way of blogging, why not try something different? One thing for sure that you'll get more crowd on Google+ and instant engagement with your readers.
Not sure I agree. You are comparing g+ to a blog that gets no readers. Yes, you are right, g+ wins. But if you have a blog that gets a thousand faithfuls AND you can monetize it and only make $100 then it beats out the $0 you made on g+. I think a better idea is to use g+ to post a quality excerpt that points back to your blog. Then you have the best of both worlds. 
The vanity URL doesn't really make sense. You can change your G+ URL to whatever vanity URL that you like and that will redirect to your G+ Profile. That's who you are.
As far as sharing your posts with others, if you post publicly you can share that link and anyone can follow it back to your blog post and see it. 
And like I said previously, you can keep all of your G+ blog posts grouped under a unique hash tag that you can give out and also promote that hash tag so anyone in G+ can search G+ and use that to see all of your archived entries. 
It really brings the blog back to the simplified and original way of doing it. 
+Mike Elgan "Plus you can use Do Share to schedule posts."

It's also worth noting that +Buffer  is beta-testing G+ integration into it's services.  It's only in testing stages right now, and only for Pages, but hopefully they'll roll it out for the rank-and-file non-business G+ users.
I have no idea which G+ users, businesses, and pages have custom (vanity) URLs.  I didn't find them because of their URLs, I don't read them because of their URLs, and I don't share them because of their URLs.

In fact, when looking for a company's web site outside of G+, I almost never try to find it by guessing their domain name.  There are too many companies with similar names, too many domain squatters, and too many unaffiliated sites (malicious and otherwise) that try to trick you by buying up the domain names with misspellings of popular people and brands.

Too me a URL is like a phone number - a unique series of characters.  That's all.
The only thing missing is an RSS feed but Google seems to have declared RSS dead.
Agreed. G+ is the new RSS. Well, that's at least Google's great hope. 
+Stefan Svartling Of course that excludes all those that are using RSS readers and don't for whatever reason want to use G+ directly.

And I think it is an opportunity missed by Google to attract even more users to G+.
I have been on the net since 1983. I have made heavy use of Usenet, Email redirector lists, and successive things that eventually became known as social media. over the years. I never read any blog regularly. I never found any blogger compelling enough to deal with setting up an RSS reader. On the other hand, Google+ has all but replaced all of the other forms of social media and introduced me to many bloggers. I am much more likely to read an article posted directly to G+ than an external blog article with just a link posted to G+.
love the counterpoints Mike!  
+Stefan Svartling 
I understand how it is possible -- but there are lots of people out there not on G+ using RSS readers of some kind that could be reached if there were RSS feeds on individual's streams.

It is tough to preach to the unconverted if they have no choice but to commit fully.

But even for myself certainly at this point G+ does not cut it fully as my only aggregator of content. Many of the sources I want view aren't here or even if they are here post different stuff.
+Brian Sullivan Yes as I explained in the video, the method at the moment is more for people like me that follow and read tech blogs, because they are all here on Google+ so you can follow all of them. If you follow more personal small blogs, then it still can be a drawback, but hopefully these also starts using Google+.
How about the integration of your blog with Google+ like Blogger does with G+ comments? That way you have arguments from both sides covered?
I think it depends on the type of blog. For example, if it's instructional like a rich media "how to" blog (CSS, html, javascript), it's nice to be able show inline examples. Being able to read old posts on this type of blog is important. Question, though: is there a way on Google+ to do a hash tag search that's restricted to a particular person?
The point / counterpoint really glosses over the monetization. If you can't make money at it that seals the deal.  
+Lindsay Donaghe Lindsay, I switched over recently (last 20 days).  I wasn't that upset about the Vanity URL as I just pointed my old URL to G+.  So anyone who went to my old site, now goes to my G+ page.  I did the same thing with my podcast the Channel Happy Hour, and pointed it to a Google+Page.  

I was getting maybe 100+ people a month to both sites. (I blog for me, so it was a very limited audience.)

Since I really kicked this into gear (about 10 days ago) I have had over 100 people follow me EACH DAY.  This weekend an additional 300 people Circled me.

I post Mac Tips almost every day.  So I stated a community 5 days ago and moved the tips over to it.  I now has 41 members and I really haven't even promoted it.

So, to quote +Mike Elgan :

Google+ is more viral, gives you a vastly larger audience and a more engaged community around your blog than you can get on any other site.

Anyway, just my two cents. 
+Mike Gleason please look at my comments above on using a unique identifier hash tag in each blog post to group them. 
+Eugene Lishnevsky I think you could do that by appending the +inurl:xxxxxxx construct (where xxxxxx is the user's unique G+ id number)
I think I understand what you're saying +Jason Falter. If I create a unique identifier hash tag, others can use it too? If so, I could see someone leveraging another's popularity this way.
+Mike Elgan Wouldn't it be better to say do both?   While I agree with your basic thought that G+ is more viral thus allowing your content to spread faster I would counter that there are issues:

1.   When someone re-shares your post, the comments don't enter your stream.   This fragments the discussion and if you aren't carefully following it you may not even see large parts of it.

2.   Archiving, permalinks, and sticky posts are also very important depending on what you are blogging on.   Some subjects don't have a quick expiration date and really benefit from the traditional blogging model.

I think the dual mode of publishing often to G+ and keeping your greatest hits archived on your traditional blog (ideally with G+ comments plugin!) is the best way to go.
so from now on we will see Mike writing ONLY on Google+. So we won't read Mike on Cult of Mac anymore.
I'm totally on Demian's side. But hats off to Mike for the open debate. Therefore I had to +1 this post.
+Kevin Millman In my experience it doesn't pay diffuse effort. By pouring all your energies into Google+, the community here responds with enormous engagement and sharing. Why would you split your investment between one that gave you 50% return and one that gave you 5%. I say put it all on the first one and get rich. 
cool stuff, this is what I need to show to some of my friends who do a lot of blogging , btw I already brought up some of the points you mentioned in this post to them .

Thank you +Mike Elgan 
+Swapnil Bhartiya Cult of Mac is not my blog. It's an online publication owned by a company called Cultomedia, which pays me a fee to write a column each week to be posted on that site. That's what I do for a living.

Because it's part of my world, I post links to that work on my blog, which is on Google+.

I don't think it's unusual for bloggers to have day jobs. Mine happens to be writing columns for publishing companies, some of which use content management tools considered "blogger" tools. 
Harkening back to the Nym Wars ... it became painfully apparent that if you do not own the platform - a change in the ToS and you lose everything ... readers and all ... just my 2 cents ... when you own your domain and have an independent site ... the odds of a whole life disappearing because of the power of privilege are greatly reduced
I would also add that all your crowing about # of readers underscores the lie that was screamed at us nyms "Just go somewhere else if you don't like it" ... or - shut up and disappear in the corner over there ...
+Mike Elgan Exactly. For some writers there is no such incentive as getting paid for your work on Google+. Thus beyond hobbyists there is no place for blogging on Google+. Yes it's viral, but that won't feed someone's family. So that needs to be taken into account as well. If someone is blogging just for the sake of blogging after work then it's OK. But if someone is blogging as a day job, Google+ is not the place. Yes it is a platform to share links to that work. 
Also lack of Vanilla URLs as FB or Twitter offers, there is no 'feeling' of my blog. I thing Google must start offering vanilla URLs for people, pages and communities. The elitism of being available to only few is not working in the era of FB and Twitter. G+ will become prefered blogging platform if like BlogSpot google starts offering some means for people to monetize from their works.
If you have a blog covering topics where postings are to read months or even years, the proper archiving system is a must. In Googleplus it is missing.

Googleplus also offers very clumsy and non-professional looking visual environment.

For me Twitter and Pinterest are the best sources for traffic, Googleplus naturally won't work together with them.
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I never knew who +Mike Elgan was before I came across him on G+. Now I know he writes all over the web (I often click though to the articles he posts on here), that I have never read an article by him did I didn't enjoy or not find valuable in some way, also he travels all around the world and he's an all-round nice guy who I wouldn't mind meeting in person one day. I'd say G+ has worked out pretty well for Mike. He's not alone either... since I've been on here I've been following various other bloggers who use G+ posts very effectively as a blogging platform and/or hooks to external articles - these are all people I probably never would have discovered otherwise.
+Swapnil Bhartiya The percentage of bloggers feeding their family from blogging is a rounding error -- statistically irrelevant. Nearly all bloggers are blogging for other reasons -- to promote their work, to engage with their passions, etc. I've always said Google+ isn't for everybody. But for the billion or so bloggers languishing in obscurity and trying to gain readers on some remote blogging site, Google+ is an awesome place to get discovered and gain engaged readers. 
I'd also like to note that I've noticed on both Wordpress and Blogger where I have around 50 views per day, that there is very little interaction as there is on G+ and then if I take "image views" from Google or Bing image searches into account then that 50 views drops almost in half from people looking for cool images and finding them in search and copying them down. It registers that your blog had a view but the fact was the person never even looked at the blog entry or the words your wrote and instead just saw the pic they were looking for. 
If people are just grabbing images then it defeats the point of writing anything out or having the ability to use special formatting. 
+Timo Kiviluoma Everything you said is the opposite of what's true.

First, Google+ is the only blogging platform where old posts rise from the dead and become popular again. And it's because of search. Nobody is going to go to a blog archive and say: "Oh, I wonder what was posted in October, 2011." But they will search for their passions and find Google+ posts there.

It took me 5 years to gain 20,000 followers on Twitter. I get that many new followers on Google+ every two weeks. Before I was on the SUL, it took me six weeks to gain that many.

Twitter and Pinterest are horrible places to try to gain readers, especially compared to Google+
In addition to  +Mike Elgan 's Counter Point 5. No schedule posting feature....
+Buffer is currently beta testing it's new 'Share to G+' feature.
Hopefully available soon. Buffer is an extremely powerful tool for sharing with analytics. I highly recommend trying it.
+Mike Elgan it depends a lot of topics. I've found travel related topics here in Googleplus very difficult, only photoblogs are somehow successful.
I like to own my content, not use it to drive traffic to somebody else's project.
+Mark Barnett I like my content to be read and engaged with by a lot of really smart people. 
Like +Mike Elgan said about blogs and their archives, who is going to look for what was written in October 2011.
That part of WordPress I have never, ever understood.
For me, that 'timeline' only makes sense in terms of historical recollections, or a personal diary.

Never have I got to a blog and clicked on an archive date. I'm interested in topics and content, not a date.
The vanity URL disappeared with Twitter and the use of short URLs.  How many links do we see all over the place?
While a vanity URL is great for telling people your 'address', in the end it's the content at the location, not the URL, that people want.

I see no difference in a link +Mike Elgan's profile than any others. As you can see, Mike's link is
Only when you get there does it change to his vanity URL.
the design is boring, I want my blog to be unique
Blah. Just like in high school, all the kids look the same as they try to look different.
There is a reason a lot of websites look the same... certain designs work. And visitors want consistency in their experience.

The 'boring' layout of a site, in which the information is available through a quick search is efficient.  Unless it is an artistic design site, people want the info.
+Lindsay Donaghe hits upon a big feature missing on Google+.   A way for readers to only follow certain topics of someone.
I saw someone suggest 'profiles', Lindsay uses the term 'filters', I might use 'channels', but the end product would be a way for followers to control what content they get from us.

Like Lindsay, I might post something on Racism one day, then photography, maybe religion, maybe politics, maybe tech stuff, and I'd like to perhaps post some horrible dark humor.

But, someone circling me on a week that maybe I'm posting a bunch of cute cat pictures might be quite surprised when I suddenly joke about the glorified and horrified 'N' word. (it's ok, I have a black friend)

I have de-circled people for this reason... they have some interesting posts and comments, but then they also spam the hell out of the world with daily affirmations.

Now, if only Google+ was more viral.
Great debate I never would have read so far on any other social feed. Reading to the end seems a regular thing since jumping to g+ !
+Linh Nguyen Any post that takes me longer than a couple of minutes to write I create the draft in Google Docs. 
+Brian Shea I'm working on a post about this. This is yet another great thing about Google+. Instead of uncircling or blocking people who have some content you don't like, just "mute" the content. In doing that, you train Google to learn what you like and don't like. 
uh oh. I've been using "mute" wrong.  I've been using mute as "mark as read" to clear out my stream.
So, if "mute" is learning what I don't want to see, then Google must be very confused as I mute everything once I've read it.

Maybe we need a "mark as read" option.
I find that Google+ is like being at a networking meeting whereas a Blog is a kin to publishing a newspaper article.

I find I get good results from sharing my blog spot on Google+

As sharing it on Facebook book is like trying to get my point across on "loose women"
When people come to my blog, they just have to know how to read. When they come here, if they aren't familiar with Google+, they might not understand it. You're assuming that Google+ works well...for people familiar with Google+. Some of my readers wouldn't know what to do if they ended up on my Google+ profile. But they know what to do on a "regular" web page.
Just have some fun post a few notes & don't hurt for fame!
Does the mute option really "learns" what I like and dont like +Mike Elgan ? I use mute like +Brian Shea does. since some posts gets really popular, and I dont want a new notification for each reply. Google+ should have an unfollow post button like Facebook have. 
Glenn D
+Mike Elgan By any chance, have you written anything anywhere about the logistics of consolidating one's existing online properties into a G+ profile and/or pages?
A few questions if I may, because I really want blogging on Google+ to work.  "Point 7. Plantation owners change, wither, and die. ...  Bloggers move their blogs all the time -- usually because the site sucks and not because the company shuts it down.)"

Bloggers can move their blogs pretty easily with the import/export function.  So far, I've been able to download my Google+ data but haven't figured out how to import it to a blog, if I should need/want to move it at some point.  Since my blog is a private one for close family/friends, and a large part of what I'm sharing is personal history, I'd like to have a USABLE record.  Any suggestions?

Also, I don't want to blog using my personal name, but a blog name.  My understanding is that I have to use my name on my profile.  Which brings me to my next question ...

I started a business page for my blog and was using it.  It became more & more irritating because I can only post under the PAGE name and not my name.  I wanted to have contributors and have them be able to post under their names.  They can't.  So, I decided that I could use a private community.  But, I find no way of downloading that data, and photo album sharing in a community results in a "comments disabled" message on each photo.  

Yes, I guess I'm a control freak.  But still, I really want it to work.  Family and friends like the ease of reading posts here.  Thank you for reading this long post and I really hope you have some suggestions for me.
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