First, I’d like to thank PR dame Gini Dietrich for ending a slew of misfortune (misfires?). I’m wondering if it was because I never used Gmail…my primary email account since 2004 has been Hotmail, which I love.
But invites to play on what is being lauded the new and next social network (most of us unconvinced but still having fun) were in vain, mainly because the project is still in test-drive.
So I updated my Gmail account information, and presto! Was ready to roll.
One of the first viral vids that streamed in could not have been more appropriate, and I couldn’t help but head-bang to the beat of Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night (TGIF) — think Rebecca Black’s been replaced — with the help of familiar cats Keenan Cahill and Darren Criss:
I’ve noticed there’s a bit of perplexity mired in all the buzz surrounding the project, so I’ve compiled a few ideas and pointers as we continue along the field trial (love how John Falchetto put it >> “We’re just the crash-test dummies…” (What the Heck is Google+?).
1. Have fun – As early adopters of Facebook, remember how cool it was just jumping in and discovering long-lost relatives, friends and colleagues? Nothing different here. Format, visual, etc. changes, but creativity and inspiration does not. Bring back that impish, puckish play and you’ll start to see how much of a hoot it is.
As Mark Twain put it: “The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.”
2. Check out Circles – Similar to compiling lists on Twitter, Klout and Facebook, you can start to organize your social circles accordingly. Being the narcissistic, career-obsessed maven that I am, I only added one circle for the colleagues/contacts I engage with most frequently across social media channels.
3. Take the virtual tour. I strongly recommend this whether you’ve climbed aboard or not. The demo’s simple, really graphic/visual and gives you an idea of how to start clicking-away and organizing thoughts on how you will interface with the program. Tutorial here >> Google+ Project
4. Be vigilant – The notion of spammers, bots and viruses is all pretty familiar to us by now. One of the reasons we’re here is because quality, transparency and trust is increasingly difficult to replicate, automate or buy. If you don’t know the person, contact or business personally (in real-time), it’s unnecessary, uncouth and unsafe to reflect otherwise online. Use tact and be more persnickety about who you connect with than you might have been in the past.
Seth Godin nails it on the head: Influence ≠ Popularity (What’s the Point of Popular?)
5. Be genuine – Organic, earned credibility and expertise seems to be pretty valuable to Google, and they’re rewarding those who respect and honor the rules of its social and search algorithms. If this doesn’t appeal to you then get out of the game — the great Oz of Google and Facebook wields far greater intelligence and consciousness than any of us could ever dream of, so don’t be a tool.
Plain and simple?