You may have missed it but yesterday Google opened up it’s new social network, Google +, to everyone in the U.K. - oh and the rest of the world too !
G+ or g+ has been on ” a very limited field trial ” since June 2011 and I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in this limited field trial ( by some kind people in my network ) and so can count myself as a first generation G+ user.
I am not sure that I had any room at all for another social network in my life but I certainly do have an interest in search, internet marketing and Google and therefore really felt that I had to take a look at G+.
Depending on whether a social networks content is ” open ” to search engines or
” closed ” to them ( Facebook’s content is mostly closed to the world outside of Facebook but e.g. Ecademy’s content is quite open ) social networks are powerful e.g. blogging platforms.
If content on G+ was linked to Google search results then there would be at least one very powerful reason for participating in the production and sharing of content on that platform.
There were some interesting aspects to the time that I spent in the G+ ” field
trial “. i.e. from June to date.
Since G+ had essentially emanated from Silicon Valley on the West Coast of America my first connections ( On G+ you ” circle ” the people that you want to follow and those that want to follow you back circle you ) were U.S. West Coasters. Unsurprisingly many of these were involved in the High Tech. industry but perhaps more surprising was that there were many artists and photographers – who produced and posted some interesting and even stunning work.
There were also lots of marketing people and quite a few Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, business angels and venture capitalists. ( It may not be well known but Silicon Valley has been booming with new start-ups and slightly older ones getting more funding ).
So, from a social point of view I felt right at home in G+.
G+ rolled out across the U.S. and the Western world – but I should mention that there were a lot of Chinese and Far Eastern members of G+ in the early days aswell.
One of my tests for any software and certainly any social network is that it is easy and intuitive to use – which G+ certainly is.
I also found the people on there amazingly polite ( they had definately been trained in ” netiquette ” ! ). How long this will last now that it has been opened to “the masses” has yet to be seen. Certainly there are a number of 1st Generation G+ users who are dreading a massive decline in the quality of the content and the friendliness of the members.
Opening up G+ to everyone in the U.K. and the world is regarded as G+’s 100th ” new feature ” and the demarcation point between ” field trial ” and ” beta trial ” – yes – even though everyone can now join G+ it is still in
” beta “.
Another thing that I noticed with G+ was that the G+ Community Managers were very good at telling us all about new features and plans.
Recently a feature was launched whereby if you clicked on the G+ symbol on a piece of content ( one not on G+ as far as you knew ) not only were you ” voting ” on this content but also you were able to ” share ” it on G+.
It seems very likely that content that comes up high in a Google search in the future will be influenced by those that G+ and share that content.