Google Plus Win

Over the last few years I’ve become quite involved with social media. That’s great and all, but to be perfectly honest, there are some days I wish I’d never become active. It’s not that I don’t enjoy connecting with others, and it’s not that I don’t care about what people are doing; it’s all the goddamned spam!

Google Plus LogoI’m not kidding. My Twitter stream has become an illegible scrawl of “look at me”! And I long ago stopped using Facebook when a girl who I haven’t seen since the third grade (and who was mean to me then) wanted to be my friend. Not to mention all the Farmville spam, invitations to join groups I would never want some people to know I was a part of, a continuous barrage of “my vampire beat up your zombie” updates…honestly…I DON’T CARE!

But you can’t tell people that. Unfriending someone on Facebook is almost like telling them you hate them on some deep personal level. Filtering Facebook updates requires a degree in advanced calculus. Telling people, “please don’t spam me on Facebook” when they were in all likelihood offering you something you might enjoy, could hurt their feelings.

And Twitter? It’s fully binary: either you’re following somebody, or you’re not. Sure, you can unfollow one person, but to really carve out the spammers, you need a third party plugin. And even that’s not foolproof!

So it was I felt despair.

And then I got an invitation to join Google+.

At first I thought, another godforsaken social media app. I accepted the invitation and didn’t really look at it. But then I thought, what the hell, why not give it a whirl?

My conclusion? It’s. Fucking. Awesome.

The most important feature of Google+ is that you can throw all of your friends into circles. You can have a circle for your family, a circle for colleagues, and even a circle for lesbian Nazi vampire hookers if you want to. Why is that important? Because you can choose which circle you want to share something with. Had a fun time at a lesbian Nazi vampire bar and you wanted to show your friends pictures of a hot stripper biting you on the neck? Only those in the appropriate circle will see.

Busy on a project and you just want to look at updates from your colleagues circle (or a more specific Project Team circle)? Turn off updates from the other circles, and the noise is instantly turned off.

Want to be friendly and return a follow request from someone you totally don’t care about? Create a circle called “Boring Creepy People” and lump them in there. They won’t know how you’ve categorized them, and you can turn their updates on or off as you like.

I’m not kidding you. It’s heaven. Google+ has solved two important social media problems: the lack of privacy, and the lack of effective filtering.

From a project management perspective, it has some very intriguing uses. I’d like to get your comments in the section below with ideas on how these two features could facilitate project delivery!

And if you’re looking for an invite to Google+, by all means, hit me up!

I’m a professor of project management at the college where I work. My students continually amaze me with their insights, passion and all-around awesomeness. I figure they deserve access to more answers than I can give them by myself. This site is for them.
  • Steve Hart

    Haven’t totally wrapped my head around social media and project management. I do think the circles would be helpful for different stakeholder groupings (core team, steering committee, etc). Not sure where it goes from there. Welcome back! Great thoughts!

  • Rick Valerga

    Amen, Geoff.

  • I still wait breathlessly for my invite to Google+.

    The only thing I wonder is: sure I can control who gets to see what – vampire nazi pictures – but if some queen vampire nazi decides to share that picture with her circles it’s back out in the interweb. Or, is it? Do I have some type of control over this?

  • Thanks heaps, Steve! πŸ™‚ Elizabeth Harrin writes a lot about social media and project communication. You actually make a very good point about using circles to manage different groups of people within a project. So you could, instead of just one project-related circle, have multiples for the stakeholders, team, vendors, blah blah blah. That’s a great idea!

  • *big cheer*

  • I think you should totally get an invite, Perry! πŸ™‚
    The point you raise is an interesting one. I don’t believe you can ever eliminate the possibility of a photo somehow falling to the wrong hands and being used inappropriately. The question is, are you specifically identified in it? I had a friend whose sister posted a twenty-year old photo of him passed out in a tub from drinking to Facebook. Not only that, but she tagged him, so all of his friends’ friends could see the picture until he got his sister to remove the tag. As examples go, it wasn’t catastrophic. I mean, we’ve all been there at one time in our lives. And the photo was clearly old. But that functionality could so easily ruin peoples’ reputations.

    As to whether or not Google+ can share in that respect? I checked it out. If you share something with one circle, yes, they can re-share within their own circles. However, before they re-share, they get a little note that says, “This post was originally shared with a limited audience – remember to be thoughtful about who you share it with.”

    Of course, once you hit “OK”, you can still share it with anyone you want anyway, so maybe sharing photos of a fun time at a lesbian Nazi vampire bar is a bad example! LOL

  • Thanks for the Invite – need to find time to set up. πŸ™‚

  • You’re most welcome! πŸ™‚

  • I thought that might be the case. I hope people don’t feel too safe with their circles. But, then we would miss out on some great stories

  • That the truth. What’s the Failbook equivalent for Google+? Fail+? Loozle?

  • Tomasz

    Hi,

    To defend Facebook: you can also filter people in Facebook without them knowing, and you can define groups of friends, then share different content with different groups. What’s the qualitative difference at Google+?

    Maybe if you send me an invite, I can compare for myself πŸ™‚

    Best

  • Hey, Tomasz! Thanks for chiming in! From my perspective, the big difference is one of usability. I found Facebook’s filtering and grouping options to be clunky and hard to use. It may be that I’m just spastic, but those same features in G+ are seamless–they’re built right into the foundation of the platform. And absolutely you should get an invite! πŸ™‚

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