I used Google Plus to write this blog (and my early thoughts on Plus)

by Jeff Hilimire on July 12, 2011

Ok, I only kinda used Google Plus to write this blog. I wanted to post how much I loved a commercial I saw over the weekend, because I almost never see commercials and when I do, I almost never watch them, so it was such an anomaly that I actually saw a commercial that I liked that I had to blog about it. Plus it has to do with social media. Kinda.

I’m also the guy that can never remember which brand a commercial was for. For example, for a long time I referred to this as “that deoderant commercial”. Which is where Google Plus comes in. Prepare yourself though, this is the least sexy way to use Google Plus.

I wanted to blog about the commercial but couldn’t remember the brand to even look it up on youtube, so I posted on Google Plus this question:

Help: I saw a commercial this weekend where a teenager is at her laptop and she’s talking about how her parents have no “friends” because they only have 19 friends on Facebook, they’re so lame, etc, and meanwhile it’s showing her parents out mountain biking and doing wild stuff with friends while the girl is at the kitchen table at her computer.

Anyone know what brand that was and bonus points for a youtube link to the video?

And thankfully, a few friends came to the rescue: Gresham and Sparno. They both shared the youtube video so alas, you can watch this commercial for…well I already forgot, but its an automotive company and I thought it was great. Video at the bottom of this post.

Regarding Google Plus, I have used the video chat with multiple people and that seems to be the killer feature to me. I LOVE it. I need a way to record those sessions so I can grab some people and do some video roundtable-esque podcast deals.

My early thoughts on Google Plus?

  • The circles concept (you can group people into circles) is interesting but it already seems cumbersome.  Do I put people in circles based on the company they work for? What if they switch jobs? Do I put them in a category like “social”? What if they start a new profession? Seems like it will quickly become hard to manage.
  • Love the ability to have video chat embedded within a social network. But then again, Facebook is doing this now so we’ll see.
  • At the moment I find it nice to have less clutter since EVERYONE I’VE EVER MET isn’t on Google Plus yet like they are on my other networks. So I like that for now but that will change. This is where circles could help.
  • Waiting for an iPad app. I know, I know.
  • Also waiting to see what the API will allow for as I think that will be a major indicator of the ultimate success of this platform.
  • Seems hard to send someone a direct message w/o having to email them. Maybe that’s on purpose, not sure. Or maybe I’m missing it.

Love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on Google Plus so far.

  • http://twitter.com/amygriz Amy

    What I find humorous about this entire “circles” thing is that FB allows you to do the *exact* same thing, and has for awhile.  This is why it’s going to be hard for me to spend more time on G+ than FB, because as of right now, there’s no reason for me to do it.

    I have all my friends in different groups, I can sort FB status messages by friend group (a feature that I love) . 

    When I have things I want to post that I don’t want certain groups to see, I change that setting on my status and I do that with ALL the photo albums I have hosted on there.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Google hater (I puffy heart Google) but for now, I don’t see myself jumping back and forth between the two.  With FB, Twitter, Pinterest, 409 (a message board I spend time on with several of my online friends), and real life, adding another site to manage just doesn’t fit in right now.

    I am on it though and will slowly check it out and give it a chance.  Just not sure how I’ll balance my online time with a new site. :)

  • http://twitter.com/amygriz Amy

    Oh, I haven’t tried out the “hangout” feature, but that for me looks to be the coolest thing about G+.  I might be sold on this more once I try it, as Skype can’t do multiple chat windows (with video) so this is really the only place I’ve see that allows it!

  • Tom Harris

    To me, your point gets to the most important difference between Google + and Facebook. Facebook has circle-like functionality, but how many Facebook users know about it? A small minority, I bet, because the Facebook interface all but hides that functionality from you. You have to know it’s there, then you have to dig. To me, the big plus for Google + is the Google team is paying close attention to user experience and approaches information architecture competently. Facebook can be shockingly bad at UX. I don’t know if that will be enough to give Google a leg up, but it’s a big distinction.       

  • http://twitter.com/amygriz Amy

    Yes, FB hasn’t done a good job of sharing that feature AT ALL.  If they would have made more of a big deal about it, I don’t think the ‘circles’ thing would be all that exciting.

    It also seems that Google listens to their users and adapts, whereas FB just pushes stuff out and doesn’t really listen to their audience.  And the UX is definitely a lot cleaner than FB.

    Will be an interesting “battle” to watch take place.  For now, I’m just going to stalk my G+ feeds and rarely post. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/thorinhanson Thorin Hanson

    This blog discusses the differences between circles and groups and why the G+ way may be the ultimate killer feature.  http://rethrick.com/#google-plus
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  • http://twitter.com/thorinhanson Thorin Hanson

    Direct messages are just regular share message but you select the individual you want to send it to instead of a circle.  This granule level of sharing is what will set G+ apart.  You can send something to a circle. a group of circles, an individual, and ad-hoc group of individuals or any combination thereof.  

    Check out this blog post for an “inside” perspective. http://rethrick.com/#google-plus

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  • http://twitter.com/amygriz Amy

    I’m not referring to ‘groups’ though.  You can create friend lists, and designate exactly which friends see what items you post.  I hate the Groups feature on FB, it’s clunky.

  • Christiaan Kanger

    When the API will be launched there will be a lot of cool apps made with the mulitple window video chat. ( if it wil be added )

    I couldn’t wait for the API en developed my first Google+ widget. ( http://widgetsplus.com )

  • Donovan

    As someone who is a passive user of social stuff (I don’t post often, but I scan everyday), my first reaction to Google+ was “ugh, now I have to put work into creating circles and follow another site which is pretty much exactly like facebook?”  Now that I’ve had a few days to start playing with it, my reaction is pretty much the same.  There are some cool features like the video thing, but I’m not a power user so I find it annoying that I’ll have to start splitting my time.  I mean, if you usually post stuff on facebook are you going to now post the same stuff on Google+?  Or are you going to stop using facebook all together now?

  • http://www.vladgorenshteyn.com Vlad Gorenshteyn

    There is some huge potential both for marketers and consumers. For consumers, heavy-hitting entrants like Google mean that you social networking experience is about to get better. 

    Monopolies (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) are worse at innovation than markets that have multiple products for the public to choose from. When competition is present healthy markets churn out much refined concepts, ideas, and products. This is one of the primary reasons why I want Google+ to succeed; the social media giants need the innovation fire lit under their social bums.

    I’m pretty excited about the new entrant, even if that means I have to go to bed late 45 minutes later every night in evaluating Google+.

  • Emil Engelman

    Ever thought of using a desktop recorder like camstudio or snagit to recorded the video and audio of the video sessions? 
    Loving Google+There is so much potential for Google to implement other products into Google+ and make it a one stop shop for all your information.  I could see Google allowing you to rent movies, read books, catch up on your RSS feeds, chat with your friends all on Google+.  It will be cool to see what they are going to come up with.

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  • Brooklyn Hayes

    what type of web is this?

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