Read the full version of this blog entry with a focus on project management at the UCSC Extension, Silicon Valley – The Art of Project Management Blog.
In my blog post, The Next, Big Social Network, I speculated that Facebook would soon be declining in popularity and wondered what the Social Network of the Future would have. Well, I think it’s finally here, and to no one’s surprise Google has created it. After all, they botched 4 earlier attempts at it – remember Google Wave or Buzz? As you’ve probably already discovered in your email box – it’s called Google+ and my early impressions are good. Here’s why I like it:
- It Can Control the Conversation. When I joined Facebook, my biggest gripe was that everyone saw everything I posted. I won’t use the big P word (Privacy) because I think the problem was more web pollution vs. an invasion of privacy. There are Facebook Groups now, but when I first joined Google+, I was able to setup my network by relationship type from the start (Friends, Family, Acquaintances, Following, Custom Type). I can post job or career-related comments to the people who would actually be interested.
- It Can Start the Conversation. I find that while I still post on comments, most of my friends are more “passive consumers” of information and rarely comment or even click “Like.” In Google+, the feature Sparks (like a web clipping service) helps you find interesting web content. This should lead to increased engagement or activity because the more interested you are in content, the more likely you are to share it and even comment about it.
- It Can Make the Conversation Real. Google+ allows you to ‘Start a hangout’ in which you can have a live webcam conversation with someone. You can videoconference with up to 10 people simultaneously. Hello Skype users! It even allows you to show YouTube videos during the videoconference.
If I were Facebook, I’d be scared. And, so should Twitter, Skype, and Digg. It’s still in private Beta, but I think Google+ is very promising both for personal use and work. The only thing that bugs me is that I’m Facebook friends with about 20 people who still aren’t old enough to vote, and not one of them is on Google+. They are probably too busy with Facebook to bother.