Before I respond, let’s make two things clear. One: I am currently speaking only for myself- based off my personal opinions and experiences, over the last 24-hours. Two: You don’t have to agree. I welcome a [professional] debate.
I recently published the blog post “OK, Google, #WTH?” because I found Google Plus hard to adopt/adapt to, given the fact that at this point in my “social” life, G+ is still a tool to me. It is not engrained in my day-to-day social behavior like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. In addition my trusted community is not interacting heavily there. It’s just another social platform on which I would need to spend time.
The response was nothing short of incredible, and has actually given more fodder for a longer and deeper look into brand/community engagement and loyalty. That was not my initial intention, but hey, while we’re all here hangin out…
And then, this morning as I scrolled through the litany of responses, twitter message, and emails, I realized something about this experience: everything I learned about this G+ community experience, I learned in grade school.
You are the Company (uh, I mean Circles) You Keep
I find Google Plus Circles to be a nuisance. Like many, I have a couple of different personas- that often need to be fluid and having someone ask me “Which circle(s) I should be in” or if they should “include me in a circle at all” is down-right laughable and I honestly don’t have the bandwidth to worry about it.
If you don’t like my opinion or lack of interest, then don’t include me. No feelings hurt. I am not at a point where I want to use the tool, so “circle” me in with the “yet to be converted” crew. Totally cool with that.
The New Kid at School Gets Picked On
What I find amazing is my blog didn’t state anything that hasn’t already been said, but I’m the new kid in school, and the new kids get picked on for standing out- that’s the way it goes.
My opinion that I didn’t adapt/adopt G+ is simply mine. I haven’t told anyone else not to use it. I can poke around in there all I want. I don’t have to like the way it looks; I don’t have to make my profile public. I can even change the profile picture to be a less informal one if I want (since now random strangers are looking at it). I can blog about my opinion anywhere I see fit. The point was to provoke conversation about a topic everyone is passionate about- social networks. And clearly, it has.
The Mob Mentality Usually Wins on the Playground
As I stated in the last sentence of my previous G+ blog, I felt we would continue to be politely bullied around the playground until we all hopped on the seesaw.
Interestingly enough, within 24 hours of the post, I had strangers adding me to circles, taking screenshots & posting images of my personal G+ profiles, and asking for the “Real Samantha DeVita to please stand up.” If you were all as savvy as you say you are, you would realize the profiles are attached to my maiden/married name- very common, and used for two very different purposes/engagement in my community.
These were accounts that I did not wish to make public, based off my dis-interest with the tool, since I started using it in July. It would be the same as if someone disliked Facebook and simply did not use the platform. But, touchy touchy…don’t pick on Google.
This “community” also attempted to connect with me on every possible social networking platform after that, and consistently urged me to fill out my profile, share my location, interests, etc.
Now, I understand the obvious point of filling out this info, but again… my “trusted” community is not on G+, so why bother? For me (and-only-me) this does not make sense. There is a place for my personal info, and that is on Facebook- with the personal and professional network of people I trust.
So again, I am back at square one…why invest time in another tool where my community isn’t active?
If You Don’t Have Something Nice to Say About Someone, Don’t Say It
It’s unfortunate there are G+ lovers out there who feel the need to personally attack someone’s intellect and credibility based off their opinion (*wondering what circle I would put them in…).
Bottom line- I get it. But I don’t want it. If you want to know me and connect with me, engage me where I prefer (@saminj58). Why try and force-feed me something I haven’t bought into? Is my opinion going to turn Google Plus upside down? Doubt it. But, you are all talking about it, so…
Unfortunately, this experience has done quite the opposite of what I believe/hope was the intended purpose- it has completely turned me off to the G+ “community.
Although I truly admire the “passion” of the community and acknowledge the importance of having these evangelists in this uphill battle to convert, I am 1 person… who is -1 at the moment. And that’s OK. I am not alone in my little bubble (uh, I mean circle).
And yes, I am considering doing the G+ interview in a hangout. Cause…why not? Maybe the cool kids will be there.