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Has Google+ Decreased Your Facebook and Twitter Usage?


ReadWriteWeb author Richard MacManus asked a question on Google+ about whether or not people’s Twitter and Facebook usage has gone down since they started using Gooogle+. He received over 60 responses (more than he received on Facebook or Twitter) and it seems the census is a yes. It has significantly changed how much his followers are using the other social networks.

Some of the comments were:

  • “it’s replaced Twitter totally for me… and will slowly replace Facebook as more friends get over here”
  • “Living here now. I find it interesting because I’ve circled a lot of people who I don’t know and am gaining a wider perspective than on any other social network I’ve used before”
  • “Don’t read twitter any more, Reduced facebook usage, increased use on Quora and Namesake”
  • “Using all three, but am using FB and Twitter less than usual. Still trying to figure out exactly where G+ fits in (and wait for others to join)”

MacManus also gave 2 examples of Google+ power users who were previously avid Twitter users, and showed that  both have decreased their Twitter usage quite a bit.

Although he admits the survey was both unscientific and a little biased, it still makes you ask the question if Twitter and Facebook should be worried.

So, let’s do our own little survey here: Has Google+ decreased your Facebok and Twitter usage?

Is Google+ Losing Steam?


According to Ancestry.com co-founder Paul Allen, Google+ should have reached around 18 million users yesterday. It’s still the fastest growing social network and is setting records like crazy, but do these numbers show Google+ is losing steam?

18 million sounds incredible for the amount of time the network has been alive, but that means its growth rate is down by about 50%.

In a Google+ post Allen said, “Last week we saw two days where more than 2 million signed up in a single day. If that rate had continued, Google+ would have reached 20 million users by last Sunday night. But the last four days have averaged only 948,000 new users and yesterday the site added only 763,000. Yesterday’s growth of 4.47% was the slowest viral growth since Google opened up invites back on July 6th.”

Why the slow down in growth? Mashable points out that according to Google Trends, the Google+ buzz has slowed a bit.

The growth may have slowed for the time being, but as Allen points out in his post, Google hasn’t brought out all the big guns quite yet.

He said, “Google hasn’t started marketing Google+ through any of its other channels yet. More than a billion people worldwide use Google products, including its top rated search engine, YouTube, and Blogger. Chairman Eric Schmidt says the vision is to integrate Circles and sharing with all the other Google properties. When that happens, you will likely see millions of people joining Google+ every day for some period of time.”

I definitely don’t think the Google gods are worried about the slow down at the moment, do you?

Is Chris Brogan a Google+ Expert or Just Stealing Your Money?


Earlier this week, Chris Brogan announced that he’d be offering a 2-hour webinar for $47. The topic of choice? Google+. Now, it’s inarguable that Chris has been spending a ton of time on Google+, but some are calling foul, given that the platform is so new.

So the question I hope to answer today is this: Is Chris Brogan a Google+ expert or is he just stealing your money?

Before I start, I’d like to note that since this is such a strong opinion piece, my opinions might not be the opinions of everyone at BlogWorld. Furthermore, if you wrote about this debate on your own blog, just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I think you’re stupid or that your opinion is invalid. It’s a little sad to me that I have to even type this paragraph, but there’s some venom in the blogging community about this topic. Also, I’m not trying to “call anyone out” here – I just don’t like when bloggers are obviously writing about someone but refuse to link to them or use their name. It feels a little like talking about someone behind their back.

First, to catch you up to speed, I want to invite you to check out the landing page for Chris’ webinar. In case he takes it down after the webinar happens, the video he posted is on YouTube here. Are we all caught up now? Good. There are two things in particular that I want to talk about now: being an expert and knowing your audience.

Is Chris A Google+ Expert? Is Anyone?

Back in January, I wrote a post about how you shouldn’t call yourself a social media expert, especially if your claims are unfounded. My argument is that although you might have a lot to teach about social media, this is an industry that is so new and changing so quickly that no one person can truly be an expert yet.

Do I think this argument applies to the situation? Yes and no. I wholeheartedly agree with bloggers who claim that Chris is not a Google+ expert because, frankly, I don’t think that anyone can claim to be a Google+ expert. Over on Spin Sucks, Gini Dietrich actually wrote a post called “Beware the Google+ Experts” about the situation, which I was excited to read because the title aligns with my feelings perfectly. Google+ is way too new for “experts.”

Only…well…Chris isn’t actually calling himself an expert. That’s where I think the whole “Chris Brogan isn’t an expert so you shouldn’t pay him” argument falls a little flat (and to be clear, Gini isn’t by far the only one making this argument).

In my opinion, there’s a difference between being an expert and charging someone money for something. For example, in my work as a writer, if a client wants me to write articles that use keywords, I charge extra. I’m not an SEO expert at all – I just know how to insert keywords into an article. I don’t bill myself as an expert and neither does Chris. In fact, in one of his blog posts about this debate, he writes,

I’ve seen dozens of comments and posts and blogs saying “How someone can claim to be an expert after 250 hours is laughable.” What’s laughable is that I’m not saying I’m an expert. I’m saying that I’ve used the service a lot and I’ve got some ideas that I think are worth your time and some money.

So, no…I don’t think Chris Brogan is an expert. I think he’s a guy who has had some success on Google+ and is offering to teach you what he’s learned so far – and that’s all he’s claiming to be. He’s being very transparent about his relationship with Google+ so potential buyers can make up their own minds about signing up (or not). You don’t have to buy things only from experts.

The Blogging Bubble: Know Thy Audience

Chris’ webinar is being offered through Human Business Works, which he writes is “an online education and community company for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs.” As a blogger or social media professional, you are definitely a solo entrepreneur (if you want to be, at least)…but so is my dad, who runs a part-time business as a metal fabricator or my aunt, who has her own beauty salon. Sometimes, we’re caught in this blogging bubble where we forget that there are people out there who barely know what social media is, let alone how to use it. They’re part of Chris’ audience, just like you and me.

Let’s face it – most of us here, the BlogWorld audience, has been exploring Google+ because we’re interested in that kind of thing. This is our industry. It’s what we do. But Google+ is for everyone, and not all of my friends fall into my blogging/social media circle. If I invite my dad to join, he would have no idea what is going on and although he is a smart man, he’s just not interested enough to take the time to learn. Chris’ seminar would make perfect sense for him.

In other words, you are probably not Chris’ target market for this product. Allen Stern recently wrote a post where he voices his opinion that Chris is taking advantage of his fan base – but I think maybe he misses the fact that Chris’ fanbase isn’t just made up of bloggers.

It’s kind of like the Dummies books. Let’s say I decide to pick up the one about blogging. It would be a total waste of money…for me. I’ve spent 5+ years learning that stuff myself. But let’s say my dad decides to pick it up because he wants to start a blog. It would be perfect for him, saving him lots of time. Yes, he could learn everything covered in that book for free, but it would take him a long time. Someone buying a Dummies book isn’t paying for information that can’t be found anywhere else. They’re paying for convenience, because it is a shortcut to learning something specific. Chris’ webinar is for people who don’t want to spend 250 hours figuring out Google+ for themselves because, unlike those of us interested in social media, it’s not their primary area of focus.

Basically, you’re only taking advantage of people if you’re not delivering on your promises. And I obviously haven’t been to Chris’ webinar since it hasn’t happened yet (and I probably won’t go because I’m not the target market), but I’ve followed him for years and got the chance to meet him in New York through my work with BlogWorld. My professional opinion of him is that he’s a trustworthy guy. I don’t think he’s going to bait-and-switch ya with this webinar.

That’s not to say that you should be out there recommending this webinar to your readers. Who is your audience? For example, Kirsten Wright wrote a post called “Why You Shouldn’t be Paying to Learn How to Use Google+…Yet,” and for her audience (which I suspect is similar to the readers here at BlogWorld) I think it’s good advice. But again, her audience isn’t necessarily Chris’ audience – at least, not his whole audience. I don’t agree with the idea that he’s wrong to offer this webinar.

So, no…I don’t think Chris Brogan is stealing your money. I think he has a product for sale and you can choose whether or not that product is right for you. As Chris Pirillo puts it,

I’m largely in the camp of “Let Chris Do What Chris Wants to Do” – which intersects with the “Do What You Want to Do but Don’t Piss in Someone’s Cheerios” camp. I’m not here to claim that what Chris has to share is anything more than Chris’s insights on Google’s new social network, but… hey, how much is two hours of your time worth?

For someone who is interested in learning Chris’ opinions on how to best use Google+, two hours might be worth $47 to you. If it’s not, that’s okay, but it doesn’t mean that Chris is wrong for offering it. After all, we’re all adults here. I have a problem with “experts” presenting products that make outlandish promises to feed on people’s fears, but when the scope of a product is made clear, as I feel is the case with this webinar, I don’t have a problem with someone selling it…and I don’t understand why anyone would. After all, people pay for a lot of weird things. Haven’t you ever purchased anything that others think is worthless but that was important to you?

The bottom line is that the title of this post is a little misleading because I don’t think either option applies to Chris. He’s not a Google+ expert and he’s also not stealing your money. He’s offering a webinar, and you have the option to buy or walk away. You also have the option to promote it or to tell your readers that you think it’s a bad idea – but in both cases, try to understand the product before posting what amounts to a review of someone’s idea. Just like it’s unfair to your readers to promote something that is low-quality or not right for your audience, I feel like it is also unfair to your readers to recommend against something that could be helpful for some people.

I hope you’ll leave a comment, whether or not you agree with me. All comments are welcome as long as they’re respectful! Also, when I mentioned this post on Twitter a lot of people showed interest in reading something where I disagreed with the mainstream opinion out there. If you enjoy that kind of thing, this is my shameless plug for Blog Zombies, a project I’ve been working on for over a year now that’s being released this fall, where I’m going to be voicing opinions that heavily go against the status quo. I hope you’ll check it out if you think you might be interested.

Google+ App Now Available for iPhone


The Google+ iPhone app is now available in the iTunes store and can be downloaded for free here.

Description: Google+ for mobile makes sharing the right things with the right people a lot simpler. Huddle lets you send super-fast messages to the people you care about most. And no matter where you are, the stream lets you stay in the loop about what your friends are sharing and where they’re checking in.

Here are a few screenshots:

It seems so far there have been several glitches with the app from crashes, freezing and even no way to share. You can see some answers to the issues here.

With the 10 million people who have reportedly already created a Google+ account, it’s expected that there should be quite a few downloads of the app. Hopefully they will get these glitches fixed soon and more features to the app rolled out.

Have you downloaded the app and if so, what do you think?

Google+ Is Working on Verified Celebrity Accounts


Did you hear that William Shatner’s Google+ account was suspended for “violating standards” but was then reactivated?

After being suspended, he tweeted “My Google+ account was flagged for violating standards. Saying hello to everyone apparently is against the rules maybe I should say goodbye?”

Most are guessing that the reason his account was suspended was because Google+ does not have verified celebrity accounts yet, so they had no way of knowing if this was an impersonator or the real deal.

That’s about to change according to CNN and emails they received from Google. Apparently, Google is working on a “celebrity acquisition plan”. They aren’t releasing any details as of yet, but did say “We plan to add a lot of features and functionality to Google+ over time.”

Being verified on Twitter has become a big deal for celebrities, so it makes sense for Google+ to do the same.

After getting his account back, Shatner said “I am back plusers. I still do not know what happened but I will refrain from saying hello again for a while just in case. My best, Bill”.

It will be interesting to see which celebrities start using Google+ and exactly HOW they use it will be even more interesting.

Source: CNN

Facebook Will Not Allow Google+ Ads, So Don’t Even Try It!


You might have seen this story over the weekend where Michael Lee Johnson ran an add on Facebook asking people to add him to their Google+ account. What happened? Facebook removed the ad after only an hour and also suspended his entire advertising account with them.

Ouch Facebook. Ouch.

Here’s the email Johnson received from Facebook after his account was suspended, which he posted on his Google+ profile:

Your account has been disabled. All of your adverts have been stopped and should not be run again on the site under any circumstances. Generally, we disable an account if too many of its adverts violate our Terms of Use or Advertising guidelines. Unfortunately we cannot provide you with the specific violations that have been deemed abusive. Please review our Terms of Use and Advertising guidelines if you have any further questions.

The moral of the story: Don’t try to advertise a Facebook competitor on Facebook.

What was Johnson’s message to Facebook on his Google+ posting?

P.S; Facebook – You Suck.

He’s deleted his personal Facebook account, but not the one he uses for work.

Do you think Facebook is justified in deleting the ad and suspending his entire account?

Source: ReadWriteWeb

101 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Google+


Today, I have a special edition for Brilliant Bloggers for you all – on the subject that absolutely everybody that seems to writing about: Google+. Since this new social media platform is brand new, I didn’t single out anyone’s posts like I usually do, but instead groups them into topic areas. If you wrote a post about Google+ as well that I missed, believe me, it was definitely unintentional/ Please feel free to comment with a link to your post!

And yes, for the record, it took me 20+ hours to compile this list of resources. I lost count after realizing that I hadn’t showered or eaten all day Sunday as I was finishing. Thank you everyone who made my job a little easier by sending in links! If it’s your first visit here, you might want to follow me on Twitter @allison_boyer – I do link round-ups at least once a week and ask for submissions by topic on Twitter, so it’s a good way to make sure I don’t miss your post. And also so you can remind me to shower when you notice I’ve been on Twitter too many consecutive hours.

Guides and How-To Posts

Photos on Google+

Google+ Circles

Google+ versus Facebook and Twitter

Google+ and SEO

Google+ Hangouts

Google+ for Businesses

Other Google+ Opinions

Videos about Google+

Other Great Google+ Link Round-Ups

Again, if I missed your post, please leave a comment below with a link – the more bloggers who share, the better this resource list will be! And for the record, yes, I’ve since showered, much to the relief of my roommate and cat.

Friday Findings – July 15, 2011


Friday Findings is a weekly series where I show some link love and bring you interesting stories from around the web. From social media news and viral videos, to news on technology and more.

5 basic things you should be doing to manage your online reputation – Whether you are applying for a job offline, online or going on a first date, people’s first impressions of you are starting to occur online. Here are five things you can do to manage your online reputation.

Snapeee: Asia’s (Cuter) Answer To Instagram Hits 500,000 Users -Is the photosharing service Instagram cool but not cute enough for you? Here’s Asia’s answer for you. Snapeee for the iPhone.

Google Plus Users Top 10 Million; 1 Billion Items Shared Each Day – CEO Larry Page talks Google’s earnings in a conference call and not only went over financial data, but other notable figures like the 10 million Google+ users.

Is Microsoft Creating a New Social Search Engine? – From the looks of this leaked (okay, maybe leaked) screenshot, Microsoft might be creating a new social search engine. It’s called Tulalip where you can “find what you need and share what you know easier”.

Google Aims to Make News More Social with Google News Badges – Google has announced a new Google news feature. Readers can earn badges based on what they’re reading. The more they read, the higher level badge they will earn.

Image via Mashable

Bob Caswell “What if You Had the Idea of Google+ Circles Three Years Ago?”


Bob Caswell, a product manager at Microsoft, asked an interesting question on his Google+ stream. He asked, “What if you had the idea of Google+ “Circles” three years ago but decided to pursue other interests?”

Well, maybe I’d be writing this from the beach in Tahiti? Who knows.

Come to find out, Caswell did have an idea very similar to Google+ Circles but being the cautious entrepreneur he is, it stayed just that – an idea. In a post on his personal blog (which he didn’t point to his Google+ stream like some tech bloggers have done), he talked about a project he worked on while he was a student at Purdue University. It was called iPrivacyManager or “iPM”.

You can read some snippets from his business plan here, but the paragraph which is most interesting is this one:

Currently, user profiles posted on Facebook and other sites are potentially accessible in an identical way by a wide range of acquaintances, who are typically kept separate in real life (employers, coworkers, fellow students/alumni, friends, family, and relatives).

So, although there was no mention of “circles”, the main jest of them is there. What’s the moral of this story? Here it is in Bob Caswell’s own words:

I have been asked what the moral of the story is and thought I’d add a mini-epilogue here. For me, this is the story of entrepreneurship often untold. You have to give up a lot for the hopes of a nice pay off, and the odds are against you. But what happens when you go with a decision where the odds are in your favor?I’m cautious by nature, so also being entrepreneurial is a bit of a paradox. But I have no regrets on this. I think being cautious worked out well for me, actually. That said, if you choose the cautious route, be prepared for someone else to do exactly what you were planning (in my case, Google!).

Do you think the world was ready for Google+ 3 years ago? Heck, is it ready for it now?

Prominent Tech Bloggers Point Domain Names to Google+ Streams


With the launch of Google+, it’s stirring up questions about whether or not blogging as a form of personal expression is dead. With prominent tech bloggers such as Kevin Rose (founder of Digg) and Bill Gross (founder of Idealab) shutting down their blogs and pointing their domain names to their Google+ streams, it definitely makes you wonder.

Go ahead. Type in www.kevinrose.com and see where it leads you. Yep, right here – https://plus.google.com/u/0/110318982509514011806/posts – to his Google+ stream.

What’s Mr. Rose’s reasoning behind this move? He said, “G+ gives me more (real-time) feedback and engagement than my blog ever did”.

Google+ not only allows users to interact with their friends, share links and interesting finds, but it also allows you to blog at length. Obviously blogs in general aren’t dead, but it seems their original purpose may be. Now of course, bloggers who monetize their personal blogs wouldn’t make a switch like this, but the ones who solely use it for self-expression just might,

What do you think? Is Google+ changing the blogosphere as we know it?

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