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BlogTalk: Facebook vs Google+

by - Thursday, June 14, 2012

The first BlogTalk Hangout happened this week and despite some technical difficulties, i think it was a great success. Kathleen, Lisa, Heidi, Michelle, and Shannon joined me and we talked about social media, how people were (or weren't) using Google+, the different audiences with Facebook vs Twitter, and how you should never take photos of yourself in your underwear on Instagram [I won't tell you who has that hidden gem in their archives ;) ]

Looking awesome, ladies!
Unfortunately, Michelle and Shannon's mics weren't working so there are still a few obstacles to deal with when using G+ Hangouts - which means all the more reason to have another one! So if you're interested in testing out this new technology, let me know in the comments (Hangout is limited to 10 persons so I'll have to randomly select if there are many of you interested):

But on to the topic at hand... This came up in the first hangout so I think it's worth discussing again here:
When I asked my brother how G+ was different from other social media networks, this is how he explained it to me:
  • Facebook is full of people you know but you might not share any interests with them. Think of these people as Acquaintances.
  • Twitter is full of people you don't know. Think of these as Strangers.
  • Google+, if you define your circles well, becomes full of people you might not know but likely you share interests with them. Think of this as Community.
Having now experienced a Google+ Hangout, I can see how G+ can quickly feel like a community of like-minded people. Since I already knew the people in the Hangout through my blog and because I "chose" to put them in my G+ circles, talking to them for the first time felt very easy and familiar. We already had a common base and shared interests to start with so the conversation, I found at least, flowed quickly and with little "first date" awkwardness.

Kathleen mentioned how she was interested in perhaps using G+ to replace her usage of Facebook. I think there are some definite ways that G+ 'beats out' the competition:

  1. Separation of communities: Through Facebook Groups and sharing customizations, you can limit who sees your updates or photos, but this is much easier done in G+. In G+, you create circles similar to the way you have circles in real life - there's your blogging circle, your real friend circle, your family circle, your professional circle - and you share what you want with each of those circles.
  2. Easier sharing: G+ makes it real easy to share whatever catches your eye, and because you have already segregated your circles, sharing relevant info with people you think might find it interesting is easy to do. Again, you can do the same in Facebook but its not as intuitive. G+ is also integrated with other sites so sharing a favourite YouTube video with friends or a Google doc with business colleagues is super simple.
  3. Chat capability: Can you even have a chat in Facebook? G+ Hangouts on the other hand are awesome.
I think Google+ really will be fantastic if more people start using it. The good thing about Facebook is that everyone is already there, so if you have a Facebook Page for your company or blog, its an easy place to be found. But - if what you're looking for is a deeper level of engagement with your peers and others who share your interests, a place to find cool, interesting stuff, all wrapped up in a simple interface, Google+ just might be what you're looking for.

What are your thoughts? Do you use Facebook Pages for your blog? How is it working for you?

UPDATE: I won't be able to do the hangout tonight (June 19th), but will schedule another one soon!

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