Something VERY different today.  Almost entirely off topic.

You’ve seen me mention Google+ (G+) often in the past few months.  For those of you unfamiliar with this platform, let me give you a primer based on my experience.  You can find many primers on the platform itself, but I want to give you my own as well.  I’m sure those of you already on G+ have heard this multiple times.  The question that reverberates around social media is:
Why do we need yet another platform?

That question is a shot at G+ from the other major platform out there.  I think we all know its name.  I won’t mention it in this post.

G+ is different.
G+ wants you to find people you don’t know.  Interact with people who are strangers to you, build your circles with those you are unfamiliar with.  Make new connections.

That’s the REAL power of social.  Building relationships with people you have no connection with.  If you stay in the same place your thoughts, your posts become an echo chamber.  If you have something important to say, isn’t it better to reach the broadest audience possible?  I’m not at all telling anyone to leave somewhere where you’ve built a community.

The biggest challenge I have, the most distressing thing I see about adding people to my circles is when people do not include a bio in their “About” section on their G+ profile page.  Tell us about yourself.
What are your interests?
What circles should we include you in.

You have no idea how many people add me and I want to add them back but I have no clue where to put them because they haven’t taken the time to fill out their profile.  If you are serious about being here on G+, then PLEASE, I beg you take a moment and tell the rest of us about you.  It will go a long way toward proving your value to the entire community.

G+ is different.
The concept behind it, at least from my impression is to build a community of like minded people who are not initially familiar with each other.  You can continue finding people who share similar traits.  I believe this is what differentiates G+.  Other social platforms rely on your knowing the other people in your groups/circles.  That’s all well and good if you use social to communicate with friends.

G+ is  different.
G+ expects (at least in my impression) you to network.
Use G+ to build a business.
Use G+ to build an audience.
Use G+ to promote yourself, whether you are a blogger, like myself, whether you are a photographer, like myself.  Whatever business you are in, you should be on G+.

G+ is different.
You can’t expect to be placid, be dormant on G+.  You must do the work.  People won’t come to you.  You must make the first move.  Create your circles, then go out and look for people to fill them.
Are you a fan of Science Fiction?
Are you a writer?
Are you a photographer?
Search those interests and add people.  When you’ve added people you can’t just leave and expect miracles.

G+ is different.
G+ expects interaction.  You have to devote time to G+.  You must post relevant data and if you want interaction with others, you must comment on posts you find intriguing.  Sharing others posts is a sure way of receiving kudos and having your posts shared as well.  I think G+ is the most social virtual environment I’ve yet to discover.

Is G+ a ghost town?
Dustin Stout, one of my recent additions to my G+ family has attempted to debunk this theory with his post:
Google+ Ghost Stories and Fairy Tales

I agree with everything Dustin writes in the post and I’d like to add my own thoughts here too.
I think the reason The Ghost Town Theory proliferates is that people are still stuck in the old social media paradigm.  As I inferred above, the people who are spreading The Ghost Town Theory are the ones who are not using G+ in the new and correct manner.  In order to get the most out of it, you must be interactive here.  You can’t expect to create a profile and simply disappear for weeks on end.  Never mind weeks, you can’t fade away for days.

Unless you have time to devote to making yourself visible on G+,
Unless you have time to comment and share on G+,
Unless you reach out and make new friends,
Unless you make time to be relevant, you’ll come away with the same concept: that G+ is a ghost town.
Unless you fill your circles your stream will be empty and that will confirm your suspicions that G+ is a failure.

G+ is not a failure.
G+ is a vibrant and exciting community but it will only seem that way if you devote the time it takes to build an audience.

G+ is different
for all the reasons I stated above.  Are you willing to do the work to make it more vibrant?

What are you waiting for?
If you are waiting for your friends to join then you have missed the theory behind G+, then you have missed the entire thread of this post today.

G+ is not a place for your old friends.
G+ is a place for engagement.
G+ is a place to make new relationships.
G+ is a place to network

You must do the work however.
Are you ready for a new paradigm in social?  If so, come on over.  You won’t be disappointed.  If you have challenges everyone is here to help.  All you have to do is ask.  Might I suggest creating a social media circle to start with.  You can even grab mine:
Chris’s Social Media Circle

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.


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