Google + Offers a Second Chance for a First Impression
At this early stage, it is hard to say how or if Google+ will change the social media landscape. The features and design of the application will be much less important than critical mass, so it may be a while before anyone knows. But regardless of the eventual outcome, it offers a great chance to rethink our personal relationships with social media. John Sutter at CNN calls it a Social Reboot. The technology is clearly evolving and I think we are too.
Here are a few ways that I will approach my Google+ interaction differently than I did when I first started using Facebook. Perhaps you can add a few of your own.
All talk of privacy aside, social media is social and … it’s media. This may seem like a silly statement, but if we all kept this in mind, all of the time, we wouldn’t hear about teachers being fired for posting pictures of themselves with a beer in one hand and a joint in the other. (Yes, we get that you only wanted your friends to see it, but they don’t call it the World Wide Web for nothing.) As I’m the kind of person who writes technology blogs for fun, this isn’t a big problem for me, but given the chance, I wouldn’t copy everything I’ve posted to Facebook to Google+. Would you?
Build Interest by Being Interesting. Keeping in mind the fact that this is “media,” it might be useful to think of each post as a personal press release. Just like in PR, you might ask, “Who is the intended audience and what is the expected reaction? Will the post inform, amuse or peak the curiosity of your friends or followers.” Google+ seems to have the best method so far of sorting out communities into “circles.” This means that content can be made even more relevant. This is a great opportunity to share with a purpose.
1 + 2 = Your Reputation. Networks like Google+ and Facebook are one way that people get a sense of who you are. More so than your resume or the description you write of yourself on the profile page, the whole of your posts, comments, friends, followers and so forth, give people a really good idea of your personality, interests and skills.
While there really isn’t any way to completely erase the mistakes of the past, Google+ does offer a bit of a clean slate and an opportunity to reintroduce ourselves. How will you use it?