Shared publicly  - 
Google+ evangelists need to be like Steve Jobs

Someone recently brought something to my attention which I already knew but was not practicing -- when you try to persuade someone to do something he or she really doesn't want to do, they might do it, but you take a risk that their experience may end up being a negative one.

Most of us who are active on G+ know that G+ has developed into a great forum to “meet” and connect with new people in a meaningful way. But if we try to convince our friends to start using G+, the conversation may go something like this: “But I’m on FB, why move?" You answer that it is not a “move” because G+ is simply not the same animal. “So what makes G+ different,” they say. Well, it is about sharing interests with other people. “Ok, but no one I know is on G+.” Yes, exactly, you share your interests, opinions, etc. with people who you don’t know and then create ongoing conversations and relationships with them. “Really?”, they say, ”Why the heck would I want to share things with strangers?”

And herein lies the problem. What Google and many G+ "evangelists" may not understand is that many people simply don't care in the least bit about sharing interests with and/or creating relationships with strangers. It is a concept that is simply not in their vocabulary (as it was not in mine pre-G+). They “don’t have the time”, they “have enough friends already”, and they “can’t handle yet another distraction.”

Here’s where a Steve Jobs approach is necessary. Steve Jobs would not simply have tried convince people that G+ was a better product because you could use it to do such and such. The genius of Steve Jobs was that he would not only have convinced us that G+ was a brand new product but that it was a product that we absolutely wanted to have (even though we didn’t yet know we wanted it)!

In my humble opinion, G+ is a potential game-changer. It is probably the only network that has actually succeeded, on a large scale, to connect strangers to each other in a meaningful way. One of the keys to its success among the masses is convincing people that they, in fact, want and need to join a network which connects them to strangers in this way.

As this blog
along with loads of G+ posts have shown, people who regularly use G+ “get” it. But the key to G+’s continued success is making sure not only that it is advertised as a way to connect to new people but, more importantly (and perhaps more difficult), that Google+ and its evangelists convince people why connecting to new people is something you actually WANT to do!

Shout out to a few people: +Eli Fennell +Max Huijgen +Gideon Rosenblatt +M Sinclair Stevens +Paul Stickland +Vic Gundotra +Yonatan Zunger +G+ Community Builders
I am also notifying Jack's 100, which I don't often do - please let me know if you don't want such notifications in the future (no offense will be taken)
Andrea Rothman's profile photoArek Bekiersz's profile photoMike Elgan's profile photoAnita Law's profile photo
Amazing! You nailed it!
You could have copied my comment +Anita Law I hate it when people are so careless with the time and energy of others.
Wow,Anita...what a great post! You are absolutely right! This is just what my friends say...and the FB "people" have absolutely NO IDEA how much of a "different animal" this is. They DO say..."I already spend too much time on Facebook". I daresay that FB has never spawned the type of conversations which occur on G+.
REAL connections are made here...people actually get to know each other....and again,you are so right....everything you are saying is so right.....
And now the magic question is..HOW DO WE get these people to "get it" as we "get it"???
you hit the head of the nail
Great post and absolutely spot on about the clever way in which we were made to understand that connecting with strangers was the way to go.
I LOVE G+. I have found people I consider friends, women whom I feel I can talk about absolutely anything to, my sisters!
I know I can come to G+ and always have a laugh, rant if I need to, unwind, and catch up on news.
In fact G+ is so much more fulfilling than any other social networking site. There is no comparison.
Btw, I am fine about being notified, thank you for doing so. :)
My sincere apologies +Max Huijgen. I most certainly did not mean to do that but I did that in my haste to correct the problem before it was already disseminated. I'd appreciate a re-do ... pretty please???
Sorry, but if I have to do this I do a quick save of the comments.
Hi +Anita Law, are you experiencing some really odd behaviour with posts, comments and notifications right now?
No, she just deleted a limited shared post instead of either sharing a new one or copying the old comments +Paul Stickland
I say let them find it naturally. I do not try to persuade. All these strangers are now becoming friends!!
I saw that Max but on another post I have just seen my comments drop out of a conversation, leading to me thinking that I had done it, then apologising for what I assumed to be my mistake, only to see them reappear minutes later, making me look like a total idiot!
+Siamak Manzarpour When I talk about "evangelism", I'm talking mostly about Google and its advertising, which I don't think is quite on point. And yes, there are many who say we should keep it as this small exclusive club which is fine. I for one have quite enough to keep me happy here. But the problem is that we may run the risk that if G+ is not as successful as was hoped, the same energy that Google is pouring into it now may wane. I know G+ is not going anywhere but I think a successful G+ is important to Google.
+Kim Crawford M.D. the way that people will "get" it is if they change their expectations coming in. Google itself needs to have a better approach in "selling" the concept of meeting new people, etc. to the world. Once people are sold on the concept, none of us will need to do any "convincing" - it will just happen.
The advertising is going completely in the other direction. They are showing it as a very integrated way to contact people you know.
Anita, respectfully, what Steve Jobs did, was leverage Branding. In every speech, every presentation, every product announcement, he was describing the Apple way. This is where Google has fallen down. It has failed (initially) to brand its products under a strong "Google" brand. The brand is where the persuasion comes from, not the individual product. People line up for the next iPhone because its an APPLE iPhone, not just a new phone. Google is starting to get the idea that they need to admit that Google + is essentially "Google" but much time was lost in translation. None of us who are promoting this platform have the luxury of the Google brand to fall back upon. Its not the "new thing" we need to promote, but the "new Google thing" that will change minds.
+Randy Hilarski I no longer try to "convince" any of my friends to join. I know that those who are interested in this having-conversations-with-strangers "thing" will eventually find it on their own. What I feel though is that Google itself is not taking advantage of this phenomenon that is happening.
Ohhh that is not good +Euro Maestro ! Yes, +Anita Law people DO have to change their expectations....but how?...usually word of mouth sells the best...that how I got on here....a friend in California called me and said "RIGHT NOW" must go to your computer.....and he was so psyched about it he got ME psyched.....

But yes indeed if what Euro Maestro says is true,then Google sure DOES need to change....the LAST thing we want is for them to declare this a "non-success" and shut it down. EEP EEP EEP EEP.
I think we need to deepen and extend our circles. If we each do that, the network will grown and incorporate more and more people.
+Kim Crawford M.D. being careful with other peoples contributions is rule no. 1 in G+ etiquette as we all put real time and thought in them. That´s what makes this place unique. Being asked to just repeat a decent argument is a no go for me.
+J.C. Kendall The point I am getting at (a point which I agree 100% with +Euro Maestro) is that Google has an opportunity to promote G+ as the "next Google thing" as you say, but is basically blowing it by continuing to advertise and tout it as the way to keep in touch with your friends, etc. That may have been what they initially intended it to be but it has become something completely different and arguably much better. What I am saying is that their energies should be used -- as Steve Jobs did -- in showing us what about this "product" is better than what exists out there today and why we need to have this product.
OK I'll go with that +Max Huijgen and you're right...but people make mistakes and Anita is an incredible person and wouldn't do ANYTHING "wrong" on purpose so all I'm saying is to just realize that you are one of the "founders" here and an expert on doing everything G+...and others might make mistakes....that's all. In other words,just kiss and makeup.
She is normally very very careful. Really. Don't be mad.;-)
Thanks +Kim Crawford M.D.. If +Max Huijgen feels so strongly about it, that's his prerogative. I will be the first to acknowledge that what makes G+ special is the special care and respect we all have for each other. I have already apologized to you Max for what was a mistake, not intentional disrespect (which I myself despise and urge people not to engage in). If you feel so strongly about it, that's fine. I'll respect that too.
I know it's his prerogative and as the Grand Master of G+ I think his power should be used to instruct and forgive. I think he is great. You know I think you are great.

And I just want peace and harmony on G+...especially for this stellar group of people you've singled out. That's all. I think we're all here setting an example of how social media SHOULD be.....
+Anita Law I dont dispute what you are saying, but the sad reality, is that Google has no idea what Google + will look like a year from now, making it very difficult to promote as an entity in and of itself. Think about all those who went forward with Books on G+ that are now worth less than the paper written on them, not to mention the extension builders who have simply given up in the face of a horrible API, and a ever-changing object model. This is the plight of a solution that is essentially beta-code. I would argue that the only true selling point of Google + is us, and the way we interact here, which is on an order of magnitude more productive than anything you will see on Facebook.
I have been attacked by a person on this thread (that I can no longer see because I used my block prerogative to not interact any longer) for inadvertantly sharing a photo without giving props to the artist (completely by mistake immediately rectified btw).
I apologized numerous times but was still reprimanded.

There are some that will not be swayed no matter how many times you try to 'convince'... whether it's 'sorry' or 'try it you'll like it'; which is the entire point of your lovely, well written, thoughtful post +Anita Law . I for one get 'it' and thank you for reminding me not to compare apples to persimmons. Just brilliant.
+J.C. Kendall I can't agree more with your assessment that Google really has no idea what G+ will look like a year from now. In fact, I would argue that that is exactly why it may have worked so well with those who are on it -- i.e., because it is fluid enough to be different things to different people.
But what I hope is that Google does see the great potential G+ has to be a sharing/meeting network and that it takes advantage of what has evolved here (perhaps by mistake?). You may be right in your pessimism but I would throw back your argument and say that "the only true selling point of G+ is us" and say, yes, exactly. Take advantage of it Google while you have us!
Thanks +Amy Gabriel! As I've said, I long ago gave up on "convincing". I'm hoping that people come around by themselves and that Google does not let this go by the wayside before they do (although I do really think they are in this for the long haul).
Hey +Max Huijgen - I know you're dying to get your 2 cents in, no? Peace :)
+Anita Law +Kim Crawford M.D. not a problem forgiving, but I just can´t repeat my own arguments with the same passion. So I will be silent as not to derail this topic.
+Anita Law I agree with your assessment of Google advertising. This is not a way to keep in touch with your existing friends, it should be a way to meet like minded new people. Google+ was an attempt to capture our "social graph" - and then amazingly they immediately lost that data with their shared circles approach and other not so smart moves.

Hopefully it will evolve into a capture of our "interest graph" - so we can better post to and read from streams of those interests, and meet people who also have them. Hopefully it will get also get better at community management and community development over time.
+Anita Law wonderful insights and post. I have personally completely given up on trying to convince anyone who is on any other social network to be here. I rather think that those of us who are here already have the personality type of Steve that we are willing to go where no man or woman has gone before and we like taking risks and seeing what is around the next corner that might be a complete surprise. I wonder if what distinguishes, perhaps FB and that one provides safety and the other is an invitation to the unknown.

The only comparison with Jobs that I question is that he invented things, which can be seen as playful (although sometimes expensive), but they will never argue with you, or be contrary or hurt you or troll you.

While the G+ platform is certainly a thing in that sense, what is really going on here, as you so well point out, is the introduction to human beings, very, very bright and talented ones in my view, from cultures all over the world. And it is therefore a place full of feeling, and opinion and emotion. And that can be scary to a lot of people.

I personally think that the Steve Jobs direction that G+ should go is the difference between PCs and MACs. The one is for traditional thinkers...the other is for we rogue, creative, risking taking types.

The whole world thought Steve would fail. Now the entire publishing, movie, music, architecture and photography world, not to mention scores and scores of other creative types...are all on Macs.

What if G+ is that way?
Interesting post Anita, which, were i not on a mobile now, would not only wish to contribute to but plus one many of the comments made , whilst in an ideal world, minus one a couple of rather self regarding and pompous ones! If you get my drift! :)
Hi +Anita Law . Thanks for an excellent post! I never thought of myself as a "G+ Evangelist." However, with a web site and AdSense, I understand why I should be. Just a few comments: As we may remember, Steve Jobs played a major role in the development of the now defunct Palm WebOS. He convinced me to buy a Palm Pre in an Internet presentation. Though I'm disappointed by Palm's disappearance, I don't regret the purchase. I still believe WebOS could be one of the finest smartphone OS' on the market, and don't understand why HP is just sitting on it. My point is that it was Steve Jobs' sheer and sincere pride and enthusiasm for his own product that convinced me to buy the Palm pre. I was new to 'really' smartphones at the time, and it was his contagious excitement that sold me. I figured, "If it's good enough for Steve Jobs, then it's good enough for me." Personally, I enjoy making friends with people all over the planet, and I enjoy the few 'close' friendships I've developed very much. As "G+ Evangelists," perhaps, like Jobs, our own enthusiasm for it can develop contagion and allow it to "sell itself." Secondly, I can understand why people might be put off by G+. It's a 'monster.' My inbox is still jammed with people who've 'Circled' me that I simply will not have time to grant them the courtesy of reviewing their home pages and deciding whether or not to 'Circle' them back. It makes me feel guilty and rude, actually. I'll get to all of them eventually (hopefully). But, in the meantime, I simply can't sit in front of my computer 24-7. Just some input... Thanks again!
I really agree with the latter pat of you post +Jeffrey Kunkel . I too feel really rude about not being able to get to know my incoming followers. It is the single biggest flaw in my mind.
Another great post +Anita Law
Most things have already been said but I do think G+ should be promoted as something different to FB and not a competitor. That way people will be happy to use both rather than swop from one to the other. They will eventually find which is the right one for them. But equally they could be quite happy using both as FB would still be used for FIRL and G+ for same interest friends on a different level. FB and Twitter have lived happily alongside each other as some people use one and some use both. There is no reason why G+ can't be a different social network alongside the other two. One thing that FB has in it's favour are Groups, that aren't available on here, so anyone on FB who takes part in those groups is unlikely to move over here completely. It just doesn't have to be one or the other. Most people find their own way to use a new medium and prefer not to be pushed to try it. They are more likely to be tempted if it is something different to what they already have on FB.
Very few of my FIRL are actually on any social media +Siamak Manzarpour but the ones that are can stay on FB as I am not at all bothered about trying to persuade them to come here. I see them enough IRL without "speaking" to them on here.
Sometimes the most interesting things are accidents. Sometimes companies, entities, businesses, artists... stumble upon something that works and it takes on a life of it's own. In the theatre there is the saying that on opening night the last member of the cast - the audience - appears and then you see what the play is really about. So too this joint...
I agree with everyone who commented that G+ and FB should be regarded as two different entities. They really are different. I'm an "arm chair traveller." I've always been fascinated with cultures different from my own. I wish I could afford to travel the planet extensively. But, because I cannot, I enjoy immensely getting to know international people and learning about their cultures. In this way, my G+ experience has been quite illuminating. For me, FB is a way of keeping up with past and present friends from high school, college, and professional acquaintances. It's a different experience, altogether. Additionally, my experience with FB is that it has become a platform for political and religious ranting. I enjoy keeping up to date on these topics and being given numerous opportunities to petition my government for its injustices and corruption, however, on FB, the comment threads are often unpleasant, argumentative, rude, and ignorant. Regarding these topics, most are only interested in what they have to say on FB. My point is that G+ and FB serve two entirely different purposes in my life. Lastly, I wish to thank everyone in this comment thread for your good manners, intelligent contributions, civility, and well thought out comments. In this one, single comment thread, +Anita Law , I've encountered better manners, civility, greater intelligence, and higher quality elucidation than I've ever participated in on FB. Thanks again, everyone!
A lot of very thoughtful comments here.
+Rob Gordon I do think Google is trying to listen and heed a lot of our suggestions. People like +Gideon Rosenblatt and others have gone a long way in crystalizing the notion of G+ as an "interest graph." This is the key to G+'s success and Google needs to recognize and nurture this. They have and will continue to make some mistakes but as a whole, I think they are trying.
+Giselle Minoli I love the way you put it: "the Steve Jobs direction that G+ should go is the difference between PCs and MACs. The one is for traditional thinkers...the other is for we rogue, creative, risking taking types." G+ has found its "niche" and should focus on and nurture on get people to recognize this niche.
Yes, +Jeffrey Kunkel, our enthusiasm may eventually help G+ "sell itself." But the question is whether Google will help the process or effectively get in its own way by continuing to promote G+ as a FB wannabe. And on the issue of not having time to get to know followers, +Paul Stickland, I do not see this as a problem at all. That is the whole beauty of G+! There should be no strings (I'll follow you if you follow me). We should feel free to follow whomever we want with no guilt. And +jane mizrahi, I don't think we are necessarily insulating ourselves. We will naturally gravitate to those people who we are interested in and vice-versa.
+Siamak Manzarpour Google very much does care about whether we are interested in this site because the more interested we are, the longer we will stay glued to it. If Google concentrates on the "interest graph," and implements good tools to help us in finding shared interest, it will not only succeed in getting us to stay on longer but will garner for itself the information it seeks to help its advertising business.
+Suzy Jenkins - yes exactly, G+ is not FB and should neither try to be nor promote is as such. As you eloquently explain, +Jeffrey Kunkel, "FB is a way of keeping up with past and present friends from high school, college and professional acquaintances. ... G+ and FB serve two entirely different purposes in my life." They are two different animals and should be promoted as such.
As +Giselle Minoli notes, Google has perhaps "stumbled upon" something that they probably never imagined -- a place where people from around the world can actually connect with each other based on factors having nothing to do with their existing relationships
Rather than bragging about this, Google still seems to be trying, in many respects, to be a wannabe. And I disagree with you +Siamak Manzarpour when you say that "Most people think of G+ as a competitor to FB...except that Google thinks differently." I think that for all of its talk (that G+ is merely a "social layer" etc.), Google is, at its core, still trying to make the world think of it as Google's version of FB. It should stop being the nerd trying to fit in with the "cool" crowd. It should embrace its strengths and take it to the next level.
I think we are generally in agreement +Siamak Manzarpour. My main point is that if Google truly wants to bring in new users (which it obviously does because it does try to publicize and advertise in various ways), it should stop trying so hard to to be FB and focus more on promoting its own identity.
I just saw this post shared by +Anja Wright who really "got" the gist of it. She says: Once you "get it" Google+ is something you wanted before you knew you wanted it.
Exactly what I was talking about as the genius of Steve Jobs.
+Anita Law I agree to some extent with you but this usecase of g+ has been accidental discovery by the users of g+ and not what +Vic Gundotra and his team consciously created. They consciously created and endorsed g+ around circles(which is a better(BEST) way to manage our social connections and sharing with them or in fact you can just share with yourselves(for future reference and organizing, works better than bookmarks) in an empty circle(yet another such usecase) and Hangouts the best video conferencing tool presently. Those two were their main selling points around which they created google+ and in creating that the other useful features which we find are complimentary for them but super useful for us. So they only endorse this product with the usecase around which they originally created this product. May be they want someone to realize all not but selected accidental but super useful and innovative use cases discovered by their users(created by them while creating g+ with their perceived vision) and advertise them so that people can realize that it is not just another social network with better people management but there is a lot more they can do with google+. That's a PLUS.
Oh, lest I forget you +Kim Crawford M.D. - yes, we have made wonderful connections here. It is now Google's job, if they really want more people to join, to highlight this aspect as G+'s crowning achievement.
Agreed +Kartik Negi. G+ was created with certain excellent features - the circles, the hangouts and great UI. The point I think you are making is that because these were the original features, Google keeps focusing on them. My point and I think yours too is that the "accidental discovery" part is something that Google should address in their promotion of G+. To me and many others, this is what sets it apart from any other network of its kind.
Hi again +Anita Law and everyone. This is just an afterthought. This may sound strange. But, I see one enormous benefit to G+ that I'm not sure if I can express clearly. However, I'll try... I think we G+ 'ers have enormous potential to create a lot of political pressure. By this, I mean 'the good kind;' the kind that could help cultivate world peace. I'm reminded of a conversation I had with one of my good G+ friends, +sweet liberty . As I got to know her, I learned that she lives in Tehran. As our friendship had grown, I became embarrassed and compelled to apologize to her in behalf of my government for all the mindless trouble it was stirring up in her part of the world and, especially, because our friendship was developing when the U.S. was strongly considering invading Iran under the guise of nuclear arms proliferation. My apology turned out to be a post of novel proportion. It is possible for G+ to 'shrink the world' even further. And, because G+ has for its basis, "friendship," as our friendships expand outward globally, perhaps many of our planet's corrupt governments will become embarrassments to us. Perhaps political pressure on our world's leaders to stop killing our friends will begin fostering diplomacy. Well... It's late where I live. I'm tired and, as such, I'm not sure if I expressed myself clearly in this comment. But, I hope you'll all 'catch my drift.' Pleasant Dreams!
+Anita Law May be yes, they need an innovative marketing around those accidental but extremely useful use cases of this wonderful product, those use cases which would not be possible with any other social product currently in the market. Because they never know which one will catch user(public) attention and spread like fire. A separate team focused on doing this might do the decent job.
+Jeffrey Kunkel, great point! G+ has the capability of being the means for actually creating personal friendships throughout the world. What a great approach to bringing about world peace!
+Siamak Manzarpour just plug in "Google plus" intoGoogle and see what you get if you are a potential new user. The Google website is still promoting your profile as the place where "your friends" can find you and circles as the way to share things with "friends" and "family". This sounds like a fb wannabe to me.
The website should promote itself, among other things, as a place to meet and connect with new people, people who share your interests, people in other countries, people you can learn from, etc. Continuing to tout it as a way to connect with your friends and family is a losing proposition. 
From Facebook Village to Google+ Galaxy

I’ve heard and read so many for and against opinions as to the Google+ vs Facebook dominance game and who’s killing who, that I wanted to take a look at the whole state of affairs from another perspective.

Where everybody knows your name...

Mystery writer Agatha Christie’s heroine Miss Jane Marple lives in a small village called St Mary Mead. The people of the village know each other well; gossip and sometimes also scandal seem to be part of their everyday lives. The village is a safe place to be, you know what the topics you can safely discuss are, interacting with familiar people on a day-to-day basis. Birthdays, marriages, children, weather and diet are widely discussed.
Sometimes life can be a bit boring, too. Like in a stagnant pond, even fairly insignificant activity may get a lot of attention. Travelling to London every now and then helps brighten up the life and give it the much-wanted flavor that the village life is incapable of providing!

How many roads must a man walk down? 42.

Ford Prefect is a character in the bestselling science fiction comedy series created by Douglas Adams: ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’, a five book series in the “increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhikers Trilogy”. He is exploring strange and wonderful new places and meeting interesting strangers around the Galaxy in his quest to do research for the electronic guidebook. He’s accompanied by the main character Arthur Dent who is unwillingly launched from one crisis to another while trying to find the place where he belongs and at the same time rediscover himself, too.
At some point Arthur Dent's spaceship crashes on the planet Lamuella, where he settles in happily as the official sandwich-maker for a small village of simple, peaceful people, ready to stay there for the rest of his life.

Based on this, could we liken Google+ to the Galaxy / London and Facebook to planet Lamuella / St Mary Mead village?

Spirit of adventure, anyone? :-)
I posted this text on my FB and immediately some of the friends started to use Google+. Not abandoning FB totally, but using these platforms side-by-side for separate purposes. Just like I do.
Excellent excellent comment +Jaana Nyström and so wonderfully conceived and written! This is exactly what I'm talking about. +Kim Crawford M.D. asked how it could be done. Here it is.
What you have done +Jaana Nyström is to beautifully describe G+ not as a competitor to fb but something completely different. 
+Anita Law in a way this reminds me of what Pres. Kennedy said. I leave that for another day.

You said:

Google+ and its evangelists convince people why connecting to new people is something you actually WANT to do!

Seth Godin said in the Unleashing The Idea Virus that it's all in the design. If you design it well people will brag about it. All I can do is brag about Google+ (no convincing...I can bring you to the water. You must drink ;-).

All I can do is cross platform publish from here.

I have no expectations.

And I am not one to drag people in here.

Convincing people to connect with new people..... I am not sure I understand this. There's an exchange of value here. I choose to connect and engage because people engage and add value; new or old hands.

In 90% of the cases I connect with people who have the right intention.

Google gave us a design and I brag about it. Come and circle me and engage, New people, any people show me your positive intention and we will engage.
Wifi in London! About to head off to the streets ...
Mary T
I came to Google+ not knowing anyone here. I love it. I've met people here who I connect with more authentically than people I deal with in everyday life who do not share my same interests. I follow several circles that are incredibly enriching (art and photography), and intellectually stimulating, such as neurobiology. I learn something totally awesome everyday.
FB drove me nuts with all the privacy nonsense and people from high school looking me up after so many decades to discuss stupid and embarrasing pranks we did as kids that had no place posted on the internet. Gah!
Google+ is a salon of learning and culture and enrichment, and place to make connections across the globe and facilitate change and be heard as citizens of the world. And maybe even help create world peace <3.
What a great exchange of views, clear, rational, polite and we are all listening and engaging with each other in a way that simply did not exist until last year. I still find that an astounding achievement, regardless of the intentions of google, we have been given the means to create our own context.
Personally I have been offered an extraordinary broadening of horizons. I don't get this level of debate in the small rather parochial town that I somewhat unwillingly live in.
To have met, engaged with, been entertained by, shown wonders, by some of the best brains on this planet has been a life changer for me.
I have loved meeting you all, learning all the time about your opinions, ways of life, fears and hopes, it's difficult to explain quite how much this means to me.
Apart from a small coterie of dear friends and family IRL, I just don't get this level of intelligent debate anywhere else. Not just occasionally but on a daily, even hourly basis. I can throw out an idea and immediately get responses from people whose opinions I genuinely respect.
This has not happened before.
The level of debate is really stimulating and I really mean stimulating, I am not exaggerating in saying that it has changed my life.

Let me explain..
For years I have enjoyed a very successful career in the world of illustration and children's books, the best part of which has been traveling the world meeting my audience, publishers and colleagues. Wonderful, a blessed life.
Of necessity this has involved long, long hours working on my own creating intricate books for children. But this is a lonely occupation and inevitably leads to a sense of atrophy and an awareness that some parts of one's intellect may never be truly satisfied in daily life.
With G+ all this has changed. I am in daily contact with a fabulous array of artists, writers, scientists, entrepreneurs, business folk, programmers, musicians, it is a dream come true.
I feel like my life has opened right up.

So what effect has this had?
Well apart from the deep satisfaction I get from learning from you all, it has totally changed my attitude to my work as an artist.
I have been aware that the (publishing) world that I inhabit sets the parameters for my work and is usually driven by the lowest common denominator, usually the blinkered and over cautious accountants, or some junior editor trying to justify their position with an opinion that is not informed by either experience or often intelligence.

I was lucky that for 20 years I was able to find my own way at the helm of our own publishing company, to be quirky and use my natural sense of what works for kids. This all collapsed seven years ago in tandem with my then very unhappy marriage. Because of the way the courts work here, this has meant that I have lost my company, house, life's savings and most importantly twenty years of backlist. We won't talk about the legal fees involved in a six year fight!

So I started again, trying to find a new publishing home but because of the constraints and lack of imagination explained above this just wasn't working. Very depressing and I have looked at many alternative careers.
But then I started posting personal work here. Immediate positive response, wow, wasn't expecting that! Encouraged by responses from people whose opinions I learned to respect and treasure, the new work has been pouring out, work that is closer to the true me than ever before. No longer hidebound by some junior accountant or sub editor, I'm flying, it's wonderful, I love my art again, I have an audience, amazing.
And guess what? I have now been commissioned to do books that I have always wanted to do by people who truly get me.
This simply would not have happened without you all and g+ has allowed this to happen.
I can't thank you all enough and I bless the day I found g+.
+Anita Law I think it is passion and enthusiasm that is truly infectious :D I have noticed 2 friends come on board to G+ this week as they could no longer be around my positive emotion without joining in!
+Paul Stickland what a beautiful post paul!! Are you commissioned by Google friends or work has opened up because of your new inspiration? In any case..I am so happy for you. I understand you and can relate as I am starting over too. :)) I love your attitude and I believe your joy is mirroring back more joy-creativity..etc.. what pours out..flows back:)) Thank- you for sharing your heart. So happy for you! Sorry about my grammar.. typing from my phone.
No matter how we try to sugar-coat it, the crux of the matter is this. Google+ is great for people who love to explore new things, meet new people and have inquisitive minds. The majority of the 7 billion people on the earth are shallow. Facebook feeds on that shallowness, posting pictures of yourself, constantly telling the whole world of your needs, accomplishment, and the fun you had at the bar yesterday.
Lol!!+Tina Vale that's good to know. The question is why do i need to know?. How does that help me?.
Hi +Tina Vale and +Euro Maestro, thanks.
To answer your question Tina, yes, both google friends and new work that has opened up as a result of all the great interactions and intellectual stimuli. I love your music and wish you love, luck and happiness in your new life. After all the problems, I am in the midst of the happiest five years of my life, who knew that so much was lying in wait, certainly not me!
Sounds trite but read a lot and then start! There are a lot of far better writers than me here who will be very willing to share their advice I'm sure.
The funny thing for me is that the three works I am most pleased with just arrived out of the blue, quite unbidden. (These are very simple children's rhymes, no great magnum opuses from me, yet!)
Good morning +Paul Stickland! And +Euro Maestro we should chat offline as I do make money from writing and am happy to share what I know. Let's chat. Also +Shira Gal is the person to model when it comes to Kindle. She has an interview with +Yifat Cohen that can will act as an instruction guide :D
+Jeffrey Kunkel You expressed yourself perfectly. I meant to tell you (yesterday) that I commiserate with your worry about being "rude" to people who circle you to whom you don't have time to respond. I never in a million years expected to meet so many wonderful people. I consciously made a decision not to even concern myself with SULs from the get-to and to move viscerally through G+ and find my own way. Now the dilemma is that I have a bit of time in the morning and a bit of time in the evening and a bit more on the weekends...but there is a gravitational pull here that speaks absolutely to your point about the global political/cultural/social nature of G+ that is, for me, aside from all my fabulous new friendships, the thing that I, too, believe is going to be it's future.

I don't care what the charts and graphs say - there are scores of us who are using this platform to communicate with people all over the world about things that really matter to us and that is a tide that cannot be stopped.

I am sorry that I missed your epic post. I love that you personally expressed to someone in another country for "rude" behavior toward their peoples.

"By the people, for the people..." I mean, really, we are not supposed to be sitting on the bleachers not giving a damn what goes on in the world around us. I love what you wrote, +Jeffrey Kunkel. Love it.
Thank you +Siamak Manzarpour for your favorable comment and 'heads up' on Google's opposition to SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA. I'll definitely check out your link. Thomas Jefferson said something like, "I disagree with everything you say, but I'll defend to my death your right to say it." Though those three pieces of legislature are presented as vehicles for protecting "Intellectual Property," they represent unprecedented infringements on American rights to free speech. Like so much of our legislation, they are "wolves in sheep's clothing." The U.S. government has been involved in 'mass mind control,' really, since the late 1800's and Wilhelm Wundt. And, presently, we're seeing it becoming increasingly more pronounced via mass media. In essence, I see SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA as just further attempts at 'mass mind control.' Whether or not they pass, fortunately, the intelligent will always be able to 'read between the lines.' But, I still feel that they need to be stopped at all costs (perhaps for the gullible and unintelligent). I can be very politically radical at times and I would hate for my communication with my G+ international friends, and elsewhere, to be impeded and used against me (or them). Besides, what is "Intellectual Property," anyway? As Solomon purportedly put it in Ecclesiastes, "There is nothing new under the sun." How can someone own an idea derived from someone else's idea, which was derived from someone else's idea, which was derived from someone else's idea, on back to prehistory? Well... I'm glad to see an entity as large and wealthy as Google taking a stand against it as well as the Chamber of Commerce. It is something I feel strongly about and would like to get involved with, myself. Thanks again for your information, +Siamak Manzarpour !
Good morning +Anita Law and everyone on this thread. Your conversation here made my morning. +Jaana Nyström mirrors some of my sentiments in a very colorful way, which is one of the unique characteristics of the people I tend to follow on G+. I too do not see this as Us vs. Them. (FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)

What I initially found unique about G+, before meeting and making new friends from all of the world, is the structure. G+ is a collaboration and conversation machine. Controls over conversation with unlimited space to write, hangouts, and document sharing hooked me before I met any new people. My special friendships, that are unlike relationships I've developed on other venues was an unexpected bonus.

For many of us, G+ was like falling in love. The world changed. It became brighter, more colorful, and filled with anticipation. And like someone in the throes of love, we want everyone to know how incredibly fantabulous it is and to have what we have.

I also have a large number of wonderful relationships that were developed on Twitter and Facebook. Many of them have came here and just did not get "it" right away because they were not looking for the kind of love we have. As time has passed, many have added G+ as another marketing channel because Google owns search.

As for my family and FIRL, they are not looking to expand their social horizons like we have and are not looking for the marketing values Google offers, and are so deeply embedded in FB that there is no need to move...yet.

G+ is a unique world that can meet a multitude of social networking needs. I have no fear of G+ going the way of the dodo; G+ will continue to grow. Will it reach a tipping point and go viral? Who knows. No one can predict a hit record or academy award winning film, but here is what I believe. G+ will grow because it owns search. People and businesses who have the foresight to take advantage of "being found" because of G+ integration with search will embed themselves here and develop communities. And while marketing growth here may sound negative and damaging to G+, you control the vertical and the horizontal to filter out what is noisy to you and make your digital garden a pleasure.

You fabulous people have made my days more enjoyable. Thank you for being you!
+Giselle Minoli , Thank you for your favorable comment! You've made my day! Later, today, I will circle everyone in this thread because I've enjoyed our discourse so much. I hope you all will consider circling me back. But, +Giselle Minoli , I will circle you now so that you can read my "epic apology." :-) I'm still learning how to navigate G+. I don't know how to 'direct you directly' to it. But, for your reference, it is to a very gifted Iranian poet named here as +sweet liberty . Sometimes she calls herself "Crow." Thanks again!
+Jeffrey Kunkel If you click on the Time Stamp on the post itself it will open it up into a separate brower window. Then you can copy that URL and send it to me in a DM. Thank you! Looking forward to reading it!
Thanks +jane mizrahi, it is infectious!
+Jeffrey Kunkel, I strongly agree with your first comment. I think we have a mechanism and forum here that offers real hope in a world where thinkers and those with the wish to see and engage in change are disempowered by the egos of politicians and the ravages of big business.
This has been a great hopeful post, I am very glad to have met you all and look forward to our contact in the future.
What an awesome comment thread this is! It contains just about everything that is good at G+. It's filled with positive energy, enthusiasm, and polite discourse. People are meeting new people to tell their own unique stories, and to collaborate and help each other. There is a sense of community and even of being a better citizen of the world!

As +Gary S Hart and +Jaana Nyström (and others) correctly point out, this is not an "us vs. them" situation. G+ has come into its own. My "gripe" (if you can call it that) is the fact that Google is not telling this wonderful story! As I mentioned above, if you are a new user and go to G+'s site, you will not see this story at all. Instead you will see the same old: connect with your "friends" and "family." (hmmm, this could be a post unto itself).

And if there were ever a model for G+ "evangelism," I would include +Jaana Nyström with her description of the FB village and the G+ galaxy -- both working side by side fulfilling different needs (shout out to +M Sinclair Stevens with the FB hometown and G+ bustling city meme, +Eli Fennell's "pioneer community"

+Paul Stickland whose life has literally changed entirely because of G+. (I agree with +jane mizrahi, this is the subject for a fantastic post if I've ever seen one). There are other stories just like his, +Ted Ewen, +Mike Shaw are just two examples.

+Johan Horak, I'm not saying that G+ users should try to "convince" anyone to use it. I'm saying that Google itself needs to work on the way it is promoting G+ because it is failing to take advantage of what has developed here. To +Gary S Hart's point that his IRL friends and family "are not looking to expand their social horizons " or "looking for the marketing values Google offers," that is exactly my point about the genius of Steve Jobs. As +Anja Wright put is so well: "Once you "get it" Google+ is something you wanted before you knew you wanted it."
Google has both the money and the means to show people why they want a forum like G+ even before they knew they wanted it. This is a two-step process: 1) educate people about what G+ is and is not (and that requires Google to face the fact that it is simply not about "connecting with friends and family"), and 2) showing people its benefits (e.g., expanding your knowledge, your contacts, your business, etc. etc. etc.). The second step involves highlighting G+ success stories instead of celebrities (Twitter has probably cornered that market anyway).

The point is that Google is listening when it comes to suggestions about technological "fixes", UI, etc. But I think it is not listening or taking full advantage of the potential gold mine that it has here. In other words, G+ is a diamond (perhaps still in the rough) but Google is still promoting it as costume jewelry (an exaggeration, but you get my point).
A short marketing addendum my sweet +Anita Law. Google telling the story is no different than an individual or corporation touting their greatness if you will. Absolutely nothing outperforms word of mouth and third party endorsement. +Google+, I believe, is wisely allowing organic growth through the enjoyment of "us." We are the marketing and PR.
I agree 100% about the word of mouth part +Gary S Hart and organic growth. I'm not saying Google should tout itself. What I'm saying is that Google still seems to think and is promoting G+ as an apple ("connecting to friends and family"), when it really is (or has become) an orange.
Well that's what I get for being a part time plusser this week. Only Apple is Apple and Google should be the very best Google it can be. Hopefully, +Google+ reads through this thread and learns something about they're blossoming community.
haha, great how you seized on the word "apple" in my apples vs. oranges analogy as Apple!
I'm not really for evangelism. If the product's good enough it'll succeed.
Thanks for sharing my blog post. I agree but at the same time wonder why you'd need "Jobs" tactics here. You'd think that being able to network with people in this way would sell itself. Maybe its not that people don't understand this but that the tech media quickly branded G+ as a direct competitor to FB. Once that was done the public expectation of "friend" networks is set and hard to turn around. So now the "Jobs" tactics are needed.
On Point-On Time
excellent approach +Anita Law.
I appreciate it
Thanks for the notification.
Exactly, +Phillip Hagger . First, thanks for a great article. Yes, not only did the media brand G+ as a competitor to fb but Google itself is not doing anything to change that perception. Continuing to promote itself as a way to "connect to friends and family" furthers the perception that G+ is a fb wannabe rather than a separate and different animal.
+Thomas Morffew, I'm not saying you or me should" evangelise". What I'm saying is that Google needs to first "set the record straight" as it were as to what G+ is and is not and then, if it is serious about expansion, tap into the unique G+ energy that has been created here. What I see so far in Google's promotional efforts just doesn't do this.
+Anita Law Sadly if its up to Google then it won't happen and I was about to state that in my last comment. Google makes great products but they don't market them well. They won't take charge of the messaging and the tech media will continue to bash.
I agree with you in general +Phillip Hagger but I thought and still hope that the "new" Google may eventually get their marketing right. We'll see...
Interesting views expressed here. Thanks for the kudos +Euro Maestro :) I have already mentioned that comparing Facebook to Google Plus is not appropriate. ( )

Also I don't believe in "bringing people over" any more, This is Google's job not ours. If all of Facebook were on GPlus - GPlus would be different and you most certainly would not "know everyone's name"!

GT Plus is still very young and requires some maturing as well as stabilizing features and allowing more code extensions for commerce - as Facebook grew so will Google Plus.

In my eyes the best way for people to want to be on Google Plus is by seeing results and enthusiasm rather than "convincing".

It shouldn't be a case of get off Facebook and Join Google Plus rather, stay on Facebook with your friends and check out Google Plus to see how much it has to offer on it's own.

I am very happy and even surprised by the number of real relationships and new connections available on Google Plus and don't know whether it is because we are the pioneers and feel an important part of something big or whether it is just due to the platform...
Agree 100% with you +Shira Gal on everything you've said. I do not think we, as users, need to "evangelize". I do believe that it is Google's job to present this great platform accurately as something different than FB that can be used side by side with FB. It's current marketing does the opposite.
At first I had mixed feelings about Google+. Basically the same you so accurately describe--no time, enough friends, why be-friend strangers? But Google+ has enriched my life. I view it as a sort of virtual pathway leading to a better future.
I'm glad to hear that you are seeing it this way +Andrea Rothman! (Andrea is a G+ newbie, all)
Great post +Anita Law, THX. I usually don't like these G+ apologetic posts, like "why G+ is better than Sun" & "why the whole planet (and Mars too) should join G+" :) I got my own mind and I see G+ is really great. Besides, being forced into something I might not have joined. Thanks God I joined. And your post really nicely sums it all up.

BTW it was a pleasure to read you, Eli, Gary and the old G+ pack again. I was long gone, not seeing your posts. I think I've added too many folks to my circles & was flooded. Now I'm back, equipped with better filters & "Read Later" circle, ready to go :-)
Thanks +Arek Bekiersz - interesting to be called "the old G+ pack" - haha! My point here is that Google itself IS promoting it but is promoting it in a way that is probably not helping.
Shout out to +Mike Elgan. Thank you for your great commentary on +pio dal cin 's hangout and your excellent response to my question. I think we agree almost 100% about the way Google is promoting G+. Rather than promoting it as the potential game-changer that it is, it continues to promote it as merely a better way to connect with "friends and family" etc. Just doesn't cut it in my humble opinion.
Thank you for your participation in that hangout! (I hope Google heard us!)
You made so many excellent points +Mike Elgan. If Google should listen to anyone, it's you!
Add a comment...