Remember when Google+ was the only thing we were hearing about? “It’s a Twitter killer, it’s a Facebook killer, it is the only social network I will ever use.” Since the exclusivity approach to marketing the network has gone out to shore a bit, we tend to hear less and less about the network – other than the preemptive mentions about it being on the level of Facebook or Twitter here and there.
Before I get into this post which may bring a litany of criticism, let me say: I have no beef with Google+. I get the concept, I like what has been done. Circles are great – it’s nice to segment the content we publish and receive.
I just want to bring to the forefront the danger of the shiny object syndrome. I’m not saying Google+ isn’t big or that it won’t ever be big, 10 million+ users is nothing to scoff at. I am saying that as it stands, it is currently catering to a very techie audience (including me, a borderline techie) and I believe it will continue to do so for at least another year. We were the ones who Google marketed to here: “come look here early adopters, this is exclusive!” I scrambled for an invite, I engaged in hangouts the first few weeks on the network – but my activity has severely declined. And I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but it is for a good deal of us.
Facebook and Twitter remain interesting to me for the same reason that people tend to complain about them, I have no network segmentation. I like seeing the techie talk about his dog trekking dirt into the house on Twitter. I like seeing the world through pictures my friends from college post to Facebook. I like the broad social concept of social networking where I get to know people as people rather than solely professionals. Maybe that is just me…
Bottom line: I think shiny objects tend to blind people from seeing they’re making very broad generalizations about things that may be quite niche. Be progressive, be a leader, but experiment for a bit before shouting too loudly.