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My Problem With Anti-Social Networking

So the buzz around Google+ has pretty much died down…

Google+ hasn’t died itself yet has it?

The truth is that I’m less and less hopeful Google+ will ever become a place where regular folks share their updates and photos. If that’s unlikely to happen, then at least I hope regular people start creating accounts so they can see my photos.

I get a feeling others feel the same way because “Is anyone still using this?” is the question I’ve seen others ask in my stream a few time. It’s funny because there’s irony in people posting something completely boring like “Tell me how you’re using Google+” and wondering why nobody is using the network.

Google+, What Happened?

When Google+ first came out I thought it was the best opportunity we’ve had in years to get a better social networking experience. Unfortunately, it seems like people expected a different kind of social networking experience. They compared Google+ to what they already had, and saw no reason to stop using Facebook.

Not long after the launch, I started seeing some behaviours I didn’t like. People started asking how to get their tweets, check-ins, and Google Reader shared items to show up on Google+ and they started posting links to all of their blog posts. I didn’t know why at first, but that stuff bothered me and I was disappointed by it. After I thought about it a bit, I came to the conclusion that those things bothered me because they were anti-social.

More click-throughs, more followers and more comments on your blog might get you more Klout, but compared to what should be possible with a complex platform like Google+, it’s wasteful.

We don’t need to use every social media platform for the same goals, especially when those goals aren’t important. There’s little benefit that comes from automated cross-posting of more of the same links to the same people. If we used Google+ differently, then everyday could be an opportunity to make real connections with others that improves the quality of our lives.

That’s the reason most of the time I don’t get care about how brands jump onto platforms, be it Facebook, Twitter or Google+ (Though Tumblr on the other hand, interests me.). There’s few outcomes that will come from brands coming onto Google+ besides buying more stuff, but for some reason we pay more attention to that while we send our own friends automated links and try for more click-throughs.

Amazing things happen when people pay attention to one another and the real things that matter. We’ve seen it happen on Twitter and Facebook again and again with the different pop-up-charities that have been started.

If there’s an opportunity to do more of anything on Google+ it should be more of that.

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