Why I'm Long Term Invested in Google Plus
Over the past few days I've been having a very interesting and at times passionate (ok, heated) debate with someone in a LinkedIn group about Google Plus. He was proclaiming it a total waste of time for businesses, and expressed his frustrations with what he sees as huge inadequacies in the platform that make it too difficult for businesses to use effectively.
This is my latest reply (edited only to add headers for easier reading here), written after he agreed to give Google+ another try (see our complete exchange at the link below):
Charles, thanks for that feedback. Indeed, I'm probably as passionate about G+ as you are cynical toward it, and because of that we clashed in this thread more than was probably necessary. But I think we're now coming to a useful meeting place.
You've stepped up sincerely from your pace of skepticism to sign up again and give it a go. So I'll make a good faith gesture to step down from my high and mighty cloud ;-) and try to engage in some realism.
Yes, I'm gung ho about Google+, but I'll admit that to some extent that is about what I see as it's great potential rather than present reality. That's not to say that I and others aren't already getting big benefit out of it (we are), but it is to agree with you that a lot needs to happen yet for G+ to be a "no brainer" for many in the way some other social networks are.Google+ As a Long Term Investment
I'm a believer that Google is committed to G+ and has a brilliant (if sometimes frustrating) "long game" plan for it (see http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/05/why-the-google-long-game-is-brilliant/
). This is typical modern-day Google. They have the resources and patience to walk out a long term strategy and to build slowly and carefully (as opposed to Zuckerberg's "rush it out the door even if it doesn't quite work yet" mentality). Google takes the luxury of carefully testing new features and rolling them out slowly, letting the users uncover what works and what's broken, and then adjusting and fixing in response. On Google+ many of us regularly find Google engineers and execs interacting in our threads, getting our feedback and letting us know what they're working on. That never happens on Facebook or Twitter.
And so bit by bit we see Google regularly rolling out changes and updates, and almost always they are real useful improvements that make it a truly better, more user- or business-friendly place, as opposed to Facebook's too-often shot-in-the-dark catastrophes, like local check in and other ventures they roll out only to have to pull them a month or two later.Long Term Investments Are Hard
But I understand that to a busy business person, that Google pace can be maddening. And I need to have more empathy for someone like you. You don't have a lot of time to be a beta tester, to keep plugging away at an "under construction" network when you already have other networks up and running and working for you. I get that.But Oh, The Payoff When They Hit...
But here's the trade off (and why I am "wasting time" on G+): the payoff for the early adopter in a network that eventually goes big time. Of course, just like a stock investor, it's tough to know which newcomer to hitch your wagon too. We can all think of companies that we wish we'd bought stock in when it was a few dollars a share.
So why am I buying early into Google+? Because when it launched a year and a half ago, I think I saw where Google was going with this. My field is search marketing, and Google remains the by-far biggest search marketplace. Especially in these days of Panda and Penguin clampdowns on what used to be easy pickings in SEO, when Google points at something and pretty much says, "This is how you get our attention in a way we approve," I pay attention. I had been reading statements by Eric Schmidt and Larry Page during the year before they launched G+ about how "if we do a social network again," it would be very different from Buzz or Wave, how it would not be an add-on to Google, but actually BE Google. Google 2.0.
So while I and some of my clients are experiencing already some benefits from using G+, I'm really in it as a long term investor. And because I got in early, I have an opportunity I never had on Twitter or Facebook, which I joined after they were already "the big thing." I have a powerful network of over 28K followers, among them very influential people who actually pay attention to me. As I said earlier, this network has opened up professional opportunities for me like nothing I've ever used before.The Early Investor Payoff
Because I'm an early adopter and poured myself into it, I've been able to establish a reputation as one of the prime experts on Google+, and that's led to all sorts of great opportunities. And if Google+ becomes all that I expect it to, and because of the search benefits its already bringing me, my company, and our clients, I believe that G+ will propel me to some great heights in the future.
But, of course, I could be very wrong about all that. But I've seen enough of how Google is unfolding G+ to believe that I am not wrong. And that's enabled me, like a long term stock investor, to hold on and be very patient.Finally: Could I Ask a Favor?
(I've never done this before on a G+ post, but I feel strongly enough about the value of this one to ask you that, if you like this post, you would take a moment to upvote it at Inbound.org: http://www.inbound.org/articles/view/why-i-m-long-term-invested-in-google-plus
- you just need a Twitter account to sign in and vote. Thanks!) #evang
+ #gplusbusiness #gplusforbusiness #googleplusbusiness #googleplusforbusiness #googleplus #gplus