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Why should I use Google Plus?
A question I see to often.....

I usually stay out of the meta discussions regarding G+ and why and how it should be used. It is many dedicated people with much knowledge about social media on G+ that share and help the newcomers to manage and find out how to use G+. Despite this, many new users often is more confused than enlightened by the information they get from superusers, evangelists and community managers, and the same questions arises: Why should I use G+? Give me a reason why? No one is following me? Where are my friends?

There may be no exact answers to these questions, but then that is in the nature of G+. 

First, G+ is not what it seems. Most new users are familiar with other social networks that for the most locks their users in to a portal solution. Facebook is a product of an evolution of portals that has been going on for more than a decade. Web 1.0 gave us Angelfire, The Globe and My Space among others. Those had some interaction with the rest of the web because of the very limitations of Web 1.0 had regarding implementing crossover services and applications.  Web 2.0 brought us Facebook and changed the game by offering a lot more within its boundaries. Users did not need to leave Facebook anymore to get what they wanted. For many Facebook became Internet for that very reason. 

So what make G+ different? G+ may at first glance seem very similar to Facebook and the more traditional approaches we have seen for years, but it’s not. G+ is the step towards Web 3.0 and semantics. It is intended as a hub for all of Googles services, and I am sure you use many of them already. For Google it is important to interconnect Search, Youtube, Newsgroups and make it all integrated with each other to greater extent than ever before. You may at this point ask yourself: Isn’t this what everyone else does? It is both a yes and no to that. Google need the rest of the web more than any to make its business go around. They have no interest in locking their users in as much as making the rest of the net accessible through their services. The whole idea of semantic bases on associative databases will make their business, but that is a whole other discussion. 

So, you are here. What to do and what matters? Most of your friend are not here, yet. It has been repeated over and over that G+ is about sharing interrests, opinions and passions. Is that it? Now there is many ways in to this. To get many followers is not paramount to enjoy G+ even that for some it is. 

Ask yourself these questions: What do I want to share, why and with who? What is important to me and why do I engage? Do I create, curate or consume content? G+ may look a bit like Facebook, but the way users engage is far more similar to Twitter with less limitations. Anyone can add you and you can add anyone. If anyone add you without you adding them back, they can only see what you post publicly. Public posts also get indexed by Google and will come up in searches on Google search. Anyone, on G+ or not, can read. Those that follow you will get it in their stream and may respond and engage with you. 

So how to get followers? Is that important? Not necessarily. If I use myself as an example. On Twitter I do not post much. Not so many follow me, but I follow many. It is my big newsfeed. I don't need followers to enjoy it a lot. The same apply here. The most important is not who follow you, but who you follow. It will make your stream go alive and make it easier to engage with others through their posts. When you engage with others they will start engage with you and follow you if the share your interests, opinions and passions. If what you post is of interests people will start to follow you and engage back and maybe even share you with others in circle shares. If you are a content creator or curator, that is great. 

I'm not creating or have any interest in curating others content, you may ask. That's also fine. If you get people in your stream they will offer knowledge, new, fun and entertainment to you. You will have a wide array of Google services integrated for you to use and communicate more privately. Video conference through hangout with those you know privately, yes its free and is integrated with Gmail as well, or share with friends across the web regardless where they are. This do not apply towards Facebook as they have closed their doors for outside services they do not own or is affiliated directly with, because openness towards what they do not control scares them. But if you need Facebook, then keep your account there open. You don’t have to stop using Facebook to enjoy G+ and enjoy what it gives. What you make it, is what you choose to make it. No more, no less. 

If you feel that Googles own Suggested user list is not what you look for you can try +Best Shared Circle and similar pages to find good circles of people to add. I will also reccomend adding +Ivar Choi Espedalen and +Jaana Nyström that know a lot about G+ and is more than willing to share to share their knowledge with anyone that want to know more. For more on sosial media and G+ you sholuld check out +Morten Myrstad, the man that break down the statistics and numbers so it makes sense, and +Jorgen Poulsen with his thougths around SEO on G+ and other social media. +Johan Horak, the man that kicked my butt to publish this, also share interesting thoughts. 

I hope this help you having a great time on G+ and make your online life even richer and more engaging than ever. 
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34 comments
 
+Pål Basso well said my friend. You have a lot to share. I like it all but this quote: The most important is not who follow you, but who you follow.

I like it. 

The problem with great posts like this is that you will get attention and more people who circle you! ;-)
 
It is a valid point +Johan Horak. That was what made G+ great to me when it dawned om me. It made it easier to engage, learn and get informed as well as having way more fun. Suddenly I had hangouts and even made new friends based on interests, opinion and lifestyle. 

I have do not have focus on how many followers, but do my best to engage with those I follow and those who engage in discussion. If anyone find value in what I share, then it is a good thing. I may not be smarter than other, because there is a lot of really bright minds on G+, and vanity is not my thing. If it was, I would not likely prefer G+ as my social arena online.

Here I meet, share and communicate with new and old friends as well gettig food for thought. 
 
+Pål Basso interesting view. And it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing. Not that I agree with everything ;-)
 
Woohoo! True words, true words.  Thanks for sharing this and thanks also to +Johan Horak  for kicking your butt! :-)
 
It is just a point of view, +Johan Horak,  and not stated as a fact. I leave to the reader if it makes some sense or not. It is not lack of information about this that is the problem, rather the oposite. Sometime I feel the  amount information like a firehose directed at tea cup if I try to absorbe it all. I believe most people should focus on having a good time on their own terms rather losing out due to information overload and false presumptions on what is expected from them. I do not believe there is a definite answer or that I hold it. 

Share the fun. :)
 
Thank you for the kind words +Jaana Nyström :) I feel a bit anxious to publish what I write and stick a lot to keeping private notes or share limited. 
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Yeah great post +Pål Basso  that give another point of view about G+, which give a good foundation to think about and reflect, and a good starting point to even make up your mind about G+ in "the bigger picture". :O)
 and I think it  also compliment my norwegian post about G+ very well! ;O)
So please keep up your good work, and share your thoughts more often! 
 
So this is what happens when you feel too sober to join hangouts with Danish bellydancers!?
You start posting awesome thoughts on G+ that everyone who's ever hung out with you know that you had, but that you only shared limited and/or in hangouts before!?

You'll have to not join hangouts with me more often, I regret to say! ;)
I love hanging with you but your insights are too valuable not to share, my sweet Norwegian hangout pub friend! :)
 
Thank you for your kind words +anamir vieira. You were so sweet and charming when you came around gave of yourself. :) that is one approach to the sosial layer of Google services. You seem to give those you interact the feelgood feeling showing a warm smile and genuine kindness. Open curiosity and engagement show that you do care. :)

That's what I like about G+. It's so personalized and all is free to have a good time on their own turns. Some are open and share with all others get all the privacy they need or want. You do as you please when you want combing all Google provide. When people realize the create their own G+ and benefit gaining new knowledge and perspective, most love it.

Thank you for being a part of my G+ experience Anamir. 
 
:)

I guess I can be a bit shy +Lise Bjerregaard Nielsen, particular towards belly dancers. Just kidding, but I plea guilty in falling in to habits like the Friday hangouts with the same lovely bunch. It makes me happy and content. Sometimes I need a kick in the butt and I come along.

Thanks for warming words Lise, they mean a lot when they come from you. You got a beautiful mind and share what it holds. You capture my focus with your writing and thoughts out of the ordinary and that you seem to make people connect.

I will do my best to share more even tho I have fear of publishing when I write seriously. But, then again, I'm maybe a bit shy when I share myself with other people.

You're the sweetest Dane I know. :)
 
Am I, by any chance, the only Dane you know? ;0D

Kidding, scrumptious.
Hope to hang with you guys again soon.
Unfortunately I've got plans for friday evening this time around - again so I can't join this friday. :(
 
Thank you for this information, I going to use with some friends that dont be  in G+.  
 
I've been wondering what purpose Google + serves, making comparisons between Facebook and twitter and you've just made it clear on how I would like to go about doing things here on g+. Thanks for sharing.

 
Google Plus serve like an integration between Google services. It is meant as social layer thatis there when you search, use mail, surf Youtube and much much more. So Google Plus is just a component of the Google experience.

Unlike Twitter and Facebook it is not meant only as a standalone service. Another difference is that Google services follow my  workday and I always have it in front of me to keep productive.

Google Plus may in many ways remind of a hybrid between Twitter and Facebook and is invitin to meet new people and engage in discussions as well as sharing. There is more to Goggle Plus than meet the eye at first glance +Julius Greig :)
 
Thank you +CecilieTS Thunem-Saanum. It is a point of view. I love that Goggle pit me in control of my experience and that it connects my total Google experience. Google follow me all day in my work and at home. G+ is the social layer connecting it all for me.....and I always have someone to ask or just dicuss with. Not to mention all the wonderful, smart and intelligent people I meet here.
 
Try to find what entertain you and interest you +Deniz Kalkan and engage with others. Half the fun is to get to know new people and some of them will even be your friends. 
 
Precisely!
Facebook for close friends and family matters.
Google+ for the stuff that interests you!
 
+Deniz Kalkan Google + is not just a social network  on the internet....
 Here are some useful links which is worth to take a closer look at.. They will probably give you some new perspectives when it comes to Google+:
Google + is not only a social network  on the internet:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/104121790462114071634/posts/67NPuv2PEqY

https://plus.google.com/u/0/104121790462114071634/posts/dqSR2GAf4iC

SMX Social Media Keynote Conversation: Vic Gundotra, Senior VP of Engineering at Google+

https://plus.google.com/u/0/104121790462114071634/posts/TH9ZRfM5m6W

https://plus.google.com/u/0/104121790462114071634/posts/7JYnAZHKitx

https://plus.google.com/u/0/109856811237624829337/posts/cLNLoxDtjmm

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108384201920217141722/posts/LBM45P2PQGU

https://plus.google.com/108384201920217141722/posts/HLGxv8iuh87

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108384201920217141722/posts/LDgXtduM8MY

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108384201920217141722/posts/9hz97XHHjpj

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DenisLabelle/posts/6Jgf59JjiLV

https://plus.google.com/107022061436866576067/posts/eyPB4p6MQeR

http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2012/03/08/for-the-last-time-lets-all-say-it-together-google-is-not-a-social-network/

http://www.virante.org/blog/2012/01/23/our-guides-to-google-for-business-and-personal-use/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108384201920217141722/posts/aqikzJJEdWG

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108384201920217141722/posts/6Jgf59JjiLV

https://plus.google.com/u/0/109018224010056005635/posts/KXm8p594YhU

https://plus.google.com/u/0/104121790462114071634/posts/WyS6oELJm7m

http://googleblog.blogspot.com

http://www.google.com/+/business/

http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/media/

http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/nonprofits/

http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/politics/

http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/universities/

http://support.google.com/?hl=en

https://plus.google.com/u/0/104121790462114071634/posts/EKvveEBEoBF

https://plus.google.com/109471940039062886080/posts/THSmofP5stv
 
I agree. I think it needs another reshare :)
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