If the title of this post wasn’t clear, let me solidify it for you. I love Google+. I appreciate that it is a somewhat dying (at least in the eyes of Google), stepchildish social network that is the butt of many jokes (“the only people who use Google+ are people who work for Google”) but it continues to be a key part of my day. There are a lot of reasons why, which I will share, none of which may be applicable to you. I’m not here to try to convince you to use the service. I look at all of the technology and services we use and I say the same thing to anyone who asks the question of which is better: You have to find the one that works for you. It could be an iPhone or a Nexus 6. It could be Facebook versus Instagram. It could be Google+ versus Facebook. There is no right answer here and I’m not going to try to tell you otherwise.
What I am going to do is tell you why Google+ continues to grow as a part of my everyday life. It comes down to content and community.
Let’s talk about content first. I’m going to break this down into a few sub-categories but generally they lump into three main ones: News, Tech News and Creativity. When it comes to news, we are surrounded by sources of it so in that sense, Google+ is not unique in any way. What does make it unique however is that by-and-large I can subscribe to the news content that interests me (space, Formula 1, baseball, politics, etc) and it is concentrated on just those topics. Unlike a news site I don’t spend nearly as much time wading through articles I don’t really care about. It’s a time saver for me. Sure there are other ways to do this. Flipboard is a great example and to a lesser extent the Google News & Weather app. But with Google+ I get my concentrated news mingled in with other interests like tech news and creativity posts. It’s not all one thing and maybe that’s more of a reflection of my short attention span than anything but it works for me.
Then there is tech related news. I get the vast majority of my tech news from either Google+ or Feedly but increasingly the former is getting my attention first. I follow dozens of tech sites on
Google+ which, while we all tend to repeat each other time-to-time, gives me unique perspectives from different writers and bloggers from around the globe. Yes most of it is centered around Android and Windows Phone, my two passion platforms, but I also follow Apple centric sites and sources as well. I want to know all that is going on in mobile technology, not just what Google is doing with Android. When it comes to Android, Google is great about posting information about upcoming service changes or app updates that they don’t necessarily post elsewhere. This makes sense of course as it is their platform but as a writer who focuses on this company, it is a huge resource.
Then there is the creativity of those who use Google+. There some amazing photographers, artists, developers and visionaries on the service that sometimes are simply put me in awe. This continual flow of creativity inspires me to be creative in my thinking, writing and other outlets. It’s as much a source of inspiration for what we has humans can achieve (as well as how horrible we can be) when we put our mind to things.
Mind you, Google+ is not utopia. There is plenty of negativity and hate mongering. You get everything from the on every isle of any argument or topic. There is also the normal amount of Apple bashing that goes on and for the life of me I do not understand why everyone thinks they need to create a poll to ask peoples opinions on things. Polls are helpful to an extent but mate, just ask the bloody question! But even with this negativity, I still find it far less polarizing than my Facebook timeline.
Which brings me to the second part of why Google+ is part of my everyday life. That is community.
The Google+ community is just that: A community. It is global community of thousands of users who share the same passion as I do about a subject, who try to help others or provide insight. Sure most of mine is related to tech stuff, more specifically Android, but every subject of interest I follow in Google+ has an equally passionate and insightful community surrounding it. This whole concept of community the platform openly supports – so much so that there are actually places called Communities in the service where you can go and deep dive into hundreds of thousands of subjects that interest you. There you will find a support group, a sounding board, tech support, how to’s, people passionate about the environment, politics and so forth. The list, quite literally, is endless.
In my mind this whole concept of community is the single biggest mark in favor of Google+ yet it is perhaps one of the least talked about or leveraged by Google when it comes to marketing the service. I look at Google+ often with an empathetic “what if” in my mind. What if Google had really pushed this community concept in the early days of the service? Would it have been able to truly rival Facebook? Who knows really. But it is one of the many things that brings me back day in and day out.
As I said at the start of this article, I’m not here to convince you to use Google+. You have to make that decision for yourself. But for all the reasons I’ve outlined and many more, it is a part of my day that I wouldn’t want to see go away. If you are on Google+ I’m easy enough to find. I’ll be there and likely there more often than any other social network these days.