beyond social media: I’ve seen the future and it’s name is Google+
“How are you going to use Google+?” That’s the question on early adopters’ lips.
We have been programmed to look at each and every evolution of Web 2.0 as something to use, something that can be harnessed to do our bidding and serve our needs. The race to establish your profile, the mad hunt for followers, the not-so-social tactics for driving eyeballs back to your site… it’s all pretty familiar now.
Let me offer you a different thought about this new “platform:” Google+ is not just another evolution of Web 2.0 but a genuine step into the world of Web 3.0.
Web 3.0 has been defined as the Semantic Web, where the machines & algorithms understand us just as well as our friends and family. But I think we’re a ways off from having machines that truly comprehend the nuances of human communication. Instead, it appears that we’re entering an era of true integration with technology, at least in the connected class.
The tool that has become synonymous with search now offers a way to create a virtual representation of yourself.
Actually, that’s not quite right.
Your Google+ profile is a direct representation of who you are online. Nothing virtual about it.
You owe it to yourself to create the best “you” there as possible. Why? Google has already integrated itself into your life: Gmail, docs, calendar, maps… This isn’t about business versus personal, networking versus socializing. This is about the whole you, the well-rounded you.
And this is about what people find when they look for you.
Case in point, check out what pops up when I Google myself:
Yep, my G+ profile is listed above this very website. The one that bares my name! Now, I asked around and discovered that this isn’t yet the case for everyone. And, no doubt, if you haven’t yet activated a G+ account, this is not that case. But just how much longer is this going to be a new thang? Not long.
How you build out your profile, connections, +1′s, and comments will affect how the almighty G-machine understands you and that in turn will affect how real live human beings understand you.
The implications are vast.
How am I reacting to this new platform? Well, since I believe G+ represents a fundamental shift in how we integrate the ‘net into our total lives, I’m having a bit of an existential crisis! Okay, that’s a bit dramatic. But I feel pressure to create a compelling profile that avoids fluff, pitches, and blatant advertising.
I have confidence that I’m all I need to sell me – so how can I translate me into updates, links, and photos?
That’s the (multi) million dollar question.
I’m striving to create a stream of content that, when taken as a whole, invites people to learn more about me. On the flip side, I’m endeavoring to offer Google what it needs to offer me the best experience of the online world as possible.
That’s putting a lot of faith in a corporation. I think they deserve it. And they’ve done their best to earn it.
What are your thoughts on Google+? Are you using it yet – and, if so, how? And if you haven’t joined the party, are you hungry to give it a try?
Other smarty pants thoughts on Google+:
- Sarah J Bray lays out her adorably dorky circling strategy.
- Chris Brogan on why Google+ is a very different sharing environment.
- Pamela Wilson interviews Grandma Mary about the new kid in school.
- How Google+ can grow without killing itself…
By the way, you can circle me up on Google+ by clicking here. And you can help me out immensely by clicking the +1 button below!