In its infancy, two years ago, people called Google+ a ghost town. But infants grow up. We don't know what they will be as they grow. I think in the world of existing social media people are caught in that mental framework and think something new is just another one of the same. They compare apples to apples.
I like apples. I prefer apples actually. You know, the Steve Jobs kind. But here is not just another apple. Its more like a mango. Its got a much more international flavor, rounded differently, and amazing taste when opened. Okay, let me explain as this must not make much sense.
I join Google+, okay, set up the "about me" page, loaded a photo, and well, now who do I post to since there's no one in my circles. I think that's about where people get stuck. What do you do next? On facebook you go find your friends. But, that's where they are. This is not likely to be the case on Google+.
I didn't immediately think of getting new friends. That was not something that occurred to me at all.
But I found a few people I knew. It was easy in the web world as geeks are there first on every new web thing. And actually over the first 8 months from August 2012 to March 2013 I found one and then another and it looked pretty good. I knew a couple people in my web and SEO meetup groups and they kept giving me tips and information. I posted things and people commented and I commented on my friends posts and so it began. In March I had almost 50 people following me. (cue laughter) I had 800 or more friends on Facebook, but I personally don't enjoy facebook so I don't play there.
Then I attended a Digital Marketing for Business conference in Raleigh NC and a fascinating person, Gopi Kallayil, spokesperson from Google, showed me the world. Ah, I said. It is a whole different experience, this new thing. I get it now. People all around the world are hanging out together. Hangouts are on Google+. He showed me the Dalai Llama talking to Reverend Tutu to celebrate his 80th birthday - people who could not possibly ever come together due to where they live. What?
He showed me the President of the United States, Obama, talking in firesides to the American People on Google Hangouts. This is a whole new world, literally. The American People? - that's no ghost town!
No, I didn't want to just talk to people I already knew. I figured out I could meet new people here from all over the world. Then I started doing just that. Here is what I did. It works. It is nothing like facebook where 78% of the people who are your friends already knew you or are already your clients if you are in business. You can keep in touch with them there. Google+ is about discovering the rest of the world!
In a few short months, I am celebrating a goal I never thought possible, the first 1,000 followers on Google+. How can this be possible? I know there are many who have more, like a friend of mine who has over 300,000 followers. But, to me, each person is special and valuable and I have watched them find me from all over the world, really, every continent.