One year ago today, Google+ launched. The immediate (and overused) statement jumped out as everyone wondered if this would be a “Facebook killer.” Unsurprisingly, Facebook is as strong as ever. Google+ adoption has been a bit slower than many anticipated, but I’m finding it to be a great place to share and converse with photographers and other media professionals.
Choose Your Battles… er, Networks
Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. Pinterest. Instagram. Google+. Each social network has pros, cons, and an audience. Unless you spend all day doing nothing other than social media, you’re not going to be a strong power user in all of these places. Chris Brogan calls them outposts. Rosh Sillars calls them outer planets. Either way, they’re a supporting role in your online presence. Experiment with all, but focus on the ones that provide the most value.
I’m not generally finding and booking clients via Google+. That said, Google+ a network (one of several) where I can occasionally “check in” with existing clients and prospects. Perhaps I +1 their post… perhaps I comment. I’m reminding them that I’m there.
The big benefit I’ve found in Google+ is that of social interaction with photographers. Most of the social photography discussions I used to have on Flickr are now happening on Google+. I follow a lot of photographers and I love browsing through my photographers circle to check out their work. I connect (and interact) with photographers of various backgrounds… everyone from “everyday folk” who have a good eye as well as the bigger names such as +Thomas Hawk or +Nicole Young.
If you want to dive into Google+ and connect with a bunch of photographers that are actively sharing and participating, Thomas Hawk’s list of his recommended photographers is a good place to start.
The other big feature that I’m digging is the Google+ Hangout feature. Free video chat for up to 10 people, with the optional ability to broadcast it live and archive it on YouTube (Google calls this feature “Hangouts on Air”). Whether we’re talking about an informal chat between friends, a collaborative photo editing/review session, or a high-profile broadcast, hangouts are great.
I have no idea what’s in store for Google+ in the future… I suspect we’ll continue to see tight integration with other Google services1 and enhancements of existing features. Frankly I’m surprised that we’re one year in and have yet to see an open API that third parties can use to integrate with the service. The upside is that we’re relatively spam-free over on Google+, the downside is that I can’t integrate Google+ easily with other services and there aren’t any third-party Google+ clients.
Here’s to another year of Google+ improvements and adoption.
Feel free to circle me on Google+.
One of my favorite integrations is that when one receives a Google+ notification via Gmail, you can comment, +1, and interact with the item (and the people who’ve previously interacted) directly from the Gmail message window. ↩