Elgan: What I lost on the Google+ Diet
After using only Google's new social network for a week -- forsaking all others -- here's what I learned
Computerworld - On July 8, I went on the Google+ Diet, using Google's new social network for all my online communication. As part of the diet, I stopped using Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and several other services. I even stopped using e-mail.
As I explained in my column last week, the purpose of the experiment was to see if consolidating and streamlining all social activity into Google+ was possible and, if so, desirable. (You can follow my experiment here, even if you're not a Google+ member.)
I was able to answer my two questions on day one of my Google+ Diet. Yes, it's possible, and yes, it's desirable.
More interestingly, however, I found out all kinds of surprising things about Google+ and about using Google+ as the one-and-only medium for online communication. Here's what I learned:
A lot of people want to get on the Google+ Diet
I've been surprised by the number of people who want to get on the Google+ Diet. Social networking fatigue is an epidemic, and people are feeling overwhelmed by all the social networks and social media out there. Dozens of people have told me they're going all-out on the Google+ Diet, and hundreds or thousands have apparently jumped into some version of it.
Google+ is the most 'social' social network
The social activity level on Google+ is off the charts. If you have 1,000 followers each on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, and ask a question, you will probably get 10 times the feedback on Google+.
It's the feedback that's motivating A-list bloggers like Digg founder Kevin Rose to shut down their blogs and redirect traffic to their Google+ profiles. I have found the same to be true.
To me, this is what social networking is all about. You share something, then people interact with you about that, giving you additional information, correcting your errors, expressing their opinions and sharing their own related stories. Google+ is by far the most social of all the social networks.
Google+ is highly addictive
I did not expect Google+ to be psychologically addictive. But I have felt the pull myself, and others have, too. It's the only thing I've found online that draws you in like console video gaming.
I say this not to praise Google, but to predict that Google+ addiction may actually become a real problem in the future for some people.
There are two things about Google+ that cause this addiction. The first is the Stream, which is simply a running feed containing the posts of all the people you're following on Google+. While Facebook's News Feed is also a running stream of posts, it's a censored stream. Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm is blocking the majority of posts from your friends from reaching your feed.
- Google+ popularity jumps with 540M monthly users
- Getting around Google+: 25 tips and tricks for power users
- Getting around Google+: Expand your circles -- and your influence
- Getting around Google+: A guide to the basics
- Google+ updates mobile apps for iPhone, Android
- 500K users flee dead-RSS-walking Google Reader for Feedly
- Petitions plead for Google Reader's life, collect 100K signatures
- In Google+ hangout, astronauts talk tech, Isaac Newton and Twitter
- Obama talks about math, online privacy and an open Internet in Google+ hangout
- Google+ suffers outage Friday morning
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Face Time Anytime Real-time communications facilitates team collaboration from nearly anywhere in the world. With facts and figures you can use to justify an investment
- Riverbed Stingray Application Firewall: Securing Cloud Applications with a Distributed Web Application Firewall Responsibility over IT security is moving away from the network and IT infrastructure and to the application and software architecture itself. IT organizations...
- Now is the time to implement a video conference solution Video conferencing is getting a lot of buzz lately due to the recent cost decrease, making it tangible for many law firms. It's...
- Video drives engagement Achieving maximum results means building a solid platform and network infrastructure. As digital age unfolds, it's clear that the ability to communicate effectively...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts