Google +

Google PlusWhat keeps Google on top? Their ability to, and obvious lack of fear for, trying new things. Not every project is a success and not every service lasts. Remember Google Wave or Google Buzz? It seems that Google, once again, flexes its muscle to remind us that they are not just a search engine.

Hot on the heels of two recent rollouts (Google City Pages and Google +1), Google has launched Google+. In a nutshell, Google+ aims to do what we humans naturally do: compartmentalize our social life.

Google+ breaks down like this:

- Circles : A topic/category that you create (i.e.: bowling), then you add people to this group (the people you bowl with).

- Sparks: As with any group, you need something to talk about. Can’t think of anything? Google will use what they call SPARKS to “feed [the circle] highly contagious content from across the Internet.”

- Hangouts: Google’s less invasive answer to instant messaging. Let’s say you have a few minutes to talk bowling with your circle. Log into this video-chat option so others will know you’re available. According to the Google blog, “Hangouts lets you stop by when you’re free, and spend time with your Circles. Face-to-face-to-face.” Sound familiar? Yea, I call it Skype too…

- Mobile: Another service that will allow you to geo-tag your updates.

To be honest, this all sounds like a mash-up of several different social media services (Twitter, HootSuite, LinkedIn), but most notably…Facebook. Talk about a clash of the Titans…we’re looking at a combined user base of over 1 BILLION people worldwide!

While most of us don’t have Google’s funding, we can keep them in mind as a model. Try new things, keep up with the competition, and listen to what your users/consumers/customers are telling you.

If you, as a small business owner, were resistant to social media in the past, this may be the wake-up call you need. With more and more people using the Internet to connect to their world, can you afford to be the holdout?


  1. Wolfgang says:

    Hi, I find it amazing that local business owners are so unaware of what is going on with local advertising and the fact that it isn’t working anymore, and yet they still shy away from getting online with Google places, and their own local business website.

    • Sharon says:

      Yes, just like they still spend thousands on the Yellow Pages. All we can do is work with the ones who do get it and hope the others wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late…

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