Pushing the Envelope, the G+ Way

There is a natural Bell Curve (http://goo.gl/Gu8SF) to everything and this includes G+. You start off at ground level, and become more familiar, active, enthusiastic as your understanding of the system and your confidence in it grows and then, you hit a plateau. As you get good at using it, you also become comfortable with it. Suddenly the frisson of the early days when you were willing to take chances is not there. Your posts and interactions are more restrained. You are careful how you use your +1 because now it means something entirely different. You do not engage as much because you are trying to shape your online identity. You are careful who you circle because you wonder how it will reflect on you. 

Poppycock! (http://goo.gl/NsfN). 

This is not what G+ is about, nor is the online world that’s being created really meant to be a comfort zone. You want that? Time to get offline and unplug. We are here because it feels different, strange, empowering, challenging and maybe, even a little bit dangerous. Yes, you will find your favourite Plussers and yes, again, you will trawl your stream for content, but you need to do more than that. You need to think and share and interact in ways that reflect who you are even when they challenge other people’s views and beliefs.  

Follow people like +Yonatan Zunger  and check out his posts because they run the range from the scientific and highbrow to the mundane and even risqué (let’s call it edgy) and he posts and shares what he finds interesting not what will built his profile. Seek to find and check out new people like +Scott Friedman  (http://goo.gl/2dVkO8) whose writing is coming from a world which you and I can barely comprehend or +Alexandra Riecke-Gonzales   who's just closing her third week in G+ and fast becoming a native at a pace that puts us, early adopters, to shame. Check out Plussers like +Roz Hussin  and +Bruce Marko  and  +Gina Fiedel  who write straight form the heart, revealing a vulnerability that’s instantly appealing.  Or +Michael Bennett  who did not start writing until he joined G+ and has since discovered that he has something to say in a way that deserves to be listened to or +troy mc laughlin  whose trying to find his way into this world of ours or +Grizwald Grim whose every assertion is practically a challenge and yet manages to provoke some real thinking,  or any of the dozens of others 'newbies' who we come across and who in our work-orientated use of G+ we might be tempted to overlook. 

Sure use G+ to build your reputation and create the identity that’s important in the semantic web and get your SEO working but also use it to push the envelope of your perception, to challenge your own belief systems, to, in short, disrupt yourself. Because that is the only way to truly stay ahead of the curve, to use digital as a constant means of growth and development. The joy of the new is always about discovery. Discovering an idea, a person, a connection, learning something that gives us a new way of thinking or helps us join the dots faster. And when we do, then it up to us to make sure we surface the content, that others see it. 

G+ is many things. It is an online identity system, the first building block towards a semantic world where everything we do online matters. It is a great way to meet new people, it is the perfect place to find out new things. Above all else however it is a place where we each mentor each other. Where the newest member of the network has something to say that the veterans listen to and learn from. That is unique. And uncomfortable. And one of the reasons why I am here. 

Find a way to push the envelope a little today and have a great Thursday. 
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