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Social networks need people — Google+ isn’t different

August 10, 2011

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The other day I was on a confernce call. A senior partner took a quick poll: how many of you are on Google+ he wondered. A few responded yes.

“How many of you don’t see the value yet?”

just about everyone answered me.

The value of a social network isn’t in the 1’s and 0’s of the code. It is in the people on Google+ who share, comment and interact. 

Facebook used to be like this. There was a time when a post on the wall was news. Back then, I would get an e-mail noting that someone posted on the wall. Such was the infrequency of the action. In time, the e-mails (or notifications) stopped and the wall became a place to just visit.

But the point isn’t lost.

Google+ is still in that adoption phase, and it may never get out of this phase. But the fact that we get e-mails when someone comments on a post (or gives it a plus 1) doesn’t mean it is hurting. It means Google+ is following the same path as Twitter and Facebook.

And the fact that people aren’t seeing value in it, doesn’t mean they won’t.

Google+ needs to tell people what it can do. It had some momentum, but that momentum is fast eroding. While I still get the occasional person adding me to a circle, it is a lot less than it was. Until people actively use Google+ to share content, or, [shudder], Google lets brands in, things will be quiet for some people. And coming from a very noisy Facebook, the quiet will seem bad.

It isn’t. But that doesn’t mean Google shouldn’t get on track. For me, Google+ is active, but I have people in my cirlces who have changed their behavior.

What do you think?

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