I've only just got used to Twitter, well and truly sorted with LinkedIn (I think!), battling on with learning how to use Flikr and my new Facebook Page's just about to go live and then those boffins at Google decide to luanch yet another social network site....the catchily titled GOOGLE+
Having started to play with Google+ I think this is going to be another internet biggie and a pretty cool, mega-opportunity for SMEntreprenuers around the globe.
On first use, Google+ feels like an a la carte version of Google fried up with a less geeky version of Twitter and a not-so-businessy LinkedIn. You invite, friends, colleagues, peers and interesting people into your Circles and you can listen, learn, read & takepart in very specific conversations.....and with multiple Circles on stream you can be involved in as many or as few conversations as you want.Love that Circles idea Nice one GoogleGeeks! This is cool bespoke networking. Keeps people in when you want them in and out when you don't and what a brilliant way of meeting up, collaborating and info swapping with like-minded business-types
So, how will it help SME's?
I get invites everyday to BNI breakfasts, Chamber of Commerce lunches, FSB meetings, and a plethora of Business Club dinners and awards. All very nice but somewhat time-consuming. Google+ can to an extent replace these events from a networking point of view. With G+ (yikes sorry about the abbreviation), you limit the networking to people you want to, you start chatting with who you want to and you don't have to eat another calorie-filled traingular sarnie, a deep fried prawn or some flattened chicken -on a stick kebaby thing !
Google+ either lets you share your stuff with everyone or with those only in your select Circles. For example, you go to a conference and meet a bunch of purple squirrel importers and you'd like to understand thier sector in more detail, you group them into one of your Circles and you chat, share, collaborate only with them, without the world and his dog reading it and sticking thier oars in. However, if you want to grow your connections and want to encourage people to stick thier oar in and understand & measure reaction to your purple squirrel importing aspirations market then you stay public !
Simples ! (or the squirrel alternative)
So what makes it different from Facebook, Linkedin etc?? Quite simply, its open to the world. Facebook and LinkedIn are "closed networks" that rely on exclusive invites, "likes" and specific requests to hook-up. Being linked to the Great God Google and its global domination of the search engine world, means that our presence in G+ is now well and truly open for all.....is that a good thing or a bad thing...time will tell.
Google+ is in Beta mode for the time being....but not for long so I strongly reccommend you get into bed now with this remarkable and perfectly sensible online tool. Get in early, start sharing, makeing new connections because it won't be long till the whole world goes Google+ Ga Ga!
Register yourself today at https://plus.google.com and lets chat soon !!