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This is a guest post written by Peter G McDermott in response to an op-ed written on Mashable on January 10, 2014.
As an avid Internet-user, gadget consumer and overall technology enthusiast, I find that your abundance of negative op-eds about Google+ are getting stale. For over two years you have let your columnists rip this thing called “Google+” to shreds, but you’ve never once allowed anyone that truly understands it to have a go at writing an accurate and informative piece.
I think the reason that your editors are okay with the Google+ bashing is because it’s incredibly easy. Google+ (in its social media form) is an interest-based network. You don’t connect with people you think you want to know, or people you already know, but people you should know.
Because this interest graph is a foreign concept to most Internet users and “social media” pros, it gets framed as a scary thing. “You mean you’re going to talk to strangers on the Internet?”
The fact of the matter is that Google+ in its social media front is only a small piece of the puzzle. If your editors would see that the platform allows you to consolidate your contacts, streamline your communication and easily share different types of information across different products with the same different groups of people, they would be amazed by its simplicity and ingenuity.
Back to the Ghost Town
Engagement on Google+ is seemingly low, but there’s a reason for that. Because Google+ (as a social media platform—remember, that’s only one small part of it) is interest-based, your content isn’t always going to resonate with your entire audience.
The reason mainstream people don’t use Google+ is because they are sheep. They read articles like one of your latest that tells them that Google+ is only a place for engineers and geeks. You forget the fact that in the last two years, thousands of communities have connected millions of users with people across the world that share like interests.
The platform is responsible for creating businesses, connecting customers in new ways and improving the work flow of hundreds of thousands of companies that rely on Google Apps. Now all of their products are streamlined and all of their contacts easily accessible from each and every product.
Like anything else, Google+ is only as powerful as you make it. If you write a shitty blog post and expect millions of page views, you are going to be sorely disappointed. Likewise, if you join a social network and only circle 12 people that don’t use social media, you’ll be incredibly bored.
The opportunity that Google has given consumers with Google+ is to connect with people that share ideas, interests and common goals. Whether you are trying to lose weight, build something, start a business or write a book, there are communities and experts that are only a mouse click away.
So many of those connections reach far beyond our LCD screens and into the real world. I know I have created dozens of real-life relationships based on the people I have engaged in dialog with over Google+. This wouldn’t be possible with Facebook or Twitter because of their limitations as platforms.
If you would like someone who has forged hundreds of relationships with people around the world by using a simple, free social tool to share the in’s and out’s of this incredible product, I’d be happy to do it.
If you want to continue bashing something that you don’t understand; if you want to continue misinforming your readers; if you want to continue creating link bait and a bad reputation, keep doing what you’re doing.
Google+ is an ingenious tool that allows you to connect with the world. That’s a story worth sharing, maybe you should finally let someone write it…