Google Plus is two weeks old now and early indications are that the Google team finally have a social media winner. In fact, I’m prepared to bet that Plus will be huge and I wasn’t remotely interested in their previous social efforts.
(By the way, feel free to chat with me on Google Plus)
Currently everyone is trying to work out the best ways to use Google Plus, or asking what the “rules” are? The thing is…its new, its evolving and there is not right or wrong. In the end its the community who tend to set the rules of engagement. I doubt the guys at Twitter had no idea that it would look like it does now, or be used the way it is now when they launched a dicky little SMS based service back in 2006.
So far the early adopters are the usual suspects from the IT and social media industries and community. Early stats from the first million users show that 73% are male, over 70% work in IT / computing fields with “engineer” being the number one career, 49% live in the USA, the leading city is San Francisco and there are 16,500 men “looking for love”.
Yes Google Plus is almost entirely inhabited by geeks.
But that will change, and fast. Its is estimated to hit 10 million users this week and be the fastest social network to 100 million users.
I intend to look at the benefits of Google Plus soon, but in the meantime the most obvious one is the use of “Circles” to sort or categorise the people you are following.
The Circles are a great way to both filter and share information. My original circles were like “Family”, “Sticky” (Ie my office), “Friends”, “Acquaintances”, “Following” etc. In other words, degrees of separation from my own world.
Since then I have added geographic circles radiating out from my own world again: Newcastle, Australia, North America, Europe etc.
And finally I have created some subject or industry circles: Media, Tech Media, Industry Leaders, Advertising etc.
Most people I follow end up in a few circles. Ie. Friends + Newcastle + Australia, or Acquaintances + Industry Leaders + USA.
The reasoning is that some information or discussions are only relevant to some groups. So, if I am discussing the New Lunaticks events or Newcastle innovation I can keep it in local Circles. Switching to “Australia” instantly broadens my Circle. If I wish to chat with or follow conversation by Industry Leaders I can filter out the other noise.
Jason Berek-Lewis tells me his circles are all based on themes but he’s not sure if that will be sustainable. Time will tell.
Like I said, its only been two weeks and there’s no right or wrong because we’re all trying to work it out. What I do know is that Google Plus is going to be big and how we use it will be important.
How are you using the Circles on Google Plus? Any good suggestions?