Google+ for Fashion Bloggers?
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I have to admit that from my time playing with Google+ this past week it’s beginning to seem to me that it’s less of a social network and more of an anti-social network, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  This newest social network is simply not designed for the mass-sharing and spreading of information, it is designed for the opposite: the precise and controlled flow of information to only the people you want.  Quite honestly I don’t currently see Google+ offering you, the fashion blogger, any direct benefits for the growth and expansion of your blog that are not already offered by sites like Facebook and Twitter where you’ve invested countless hours connecting with new friends and readers.  That being said, G+ absolutely has strengths unique to its localized capabilities.

 

I HAVE NO FRIENDS!

 

My biggest issue with Google+ right now is that, being in one of Google’s infamous Beta periods, it’s essentially a closed system.  It’s going to be awhile before our non-social media enthusiast friends find their way here.  But that might just be a good thing.  G+’s ability to sort your contacts into “Circles,” small groups organized around criteria of your choosing, means that you can direct conversation only to people you really want to.  Where Facebook and Twitter are by design either totally global or totally private, G+ allows you to create local communities around your interests and then use those communities to generate real conversations.

TOP DOWN DESIGN

 

You can read an excellent article by tech-blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick about this issue here.  Google+ will never replace your blog (or even your Twitter for that matter) because, despite its ability to do long-form posts and save them to your stream, you have no control over what posts to save in a sidebar, what your G+ profile looks like, over anything really, other than your content.  What makes a blog so special is that you have control over everything: you create a world of your own and invite people to come into it for a little while and spend some time there, getting to know you and your interests.  On G+ you have no control over your brand, Google essentially controls it for you.  So be wary and don’t start throwing all of your eggs into this one basket.

 

ON THE PLUS SIDE

 

There are some pros to Google+, although right now they seem more like potential pros than a real concrete reason to join the network.

Share: unlike Facebook G+ gives you the ability to share not just links, but posts of any sort.  It seems to me that this is much closer to real conversation, to the real sharing of ideas, than only being able to comment on others’ posts.  With this function, essentially a large-format Retweet, it allows you to see people’s opinions that they’ve previously shared only with their circles, give your own take on it, then share that new synthesis of opinions with your own circles.  Like I said, I don’t have a ton of friends on G+ yet, but this function seems extraordinarily powerful to me, you can pretty literally watch the evolution and spread of an idea in real time.

 

Hangouts: Like G+’s Share function, Hangouts allow true conversation amongst a group of people in real time.  This is not just a phone call on Skype or FaceTime, it is the chance for people to come together and have a dialogue as a group, a conference call with infinitely greater potential.  I can see the potential here for there being the birth of real Webinars or totally online and interactive workshops.  Imagine if a fashion blogger had a question about building a better blog: now they don’t just have to read other blog’s tips or email people they know for advice.  You can now get ten fashion bloggers into one room at anytime and from anywhere to share ideas and opinions and beliefs about how to be a better blogger.

 

And it is here that G+’s strength lies: its ability not to generate more “Likes” or “Fans,” but to generate true, meaningful, and productive conversations with the people that matter the most to you.

 

 

Comments

  1. Eli says:

    I’m excited about the possibilities of this, BECAUSE I can break groups up into the circles (so I can differentiate between friends from different cities, college, blog friends, family, and even my current grad school/work people)

  2. Nnenna says:

    I agree completely with Eli- this is exactly what I like about Google+, the ability to share things with specific groups of people. I’ve long been hesitant about integrating my blog and Facebook because I wanted to keep FB private and now with Google+ I can control all of that. I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves as more people join the network.

  3. I dont understand google+ and im not sure i want too :p

    • Nando says:

      Don’t be a hater! G+ is definitely something worth taking the time to understand. It’s growing incredibly quickly (Mark Zuckerberg is already on it) and you don’t want to be behind the curve, especially in this field. Just consider where Facebook started almost ten years ago and think about what it is now. G+ is going to experience the same evolution and growth, but probably even more quickly because of everything learned from Mr. Zuckerberg and his inept design team.

  4. vasare says:

    great post O just joined google plus and can’t wait for more people to join it think it will be really good you can add me here

    https://plus.google.com/111720636981573848468/posts?hl=en

  5. Style Maniac says:

    Since being hearing about Google+ I’ve been wondering if I want to spend the time and energy on yet another social network, and have been unable to find an explanation of why I should do so. Until now. Great insight to this platform, you now have me intrigued. I may now just give it a try.

  6. Malanb says:

    I am currently on G+ and I agree that there are not many of my contacts on this new social network yet. I am loving the potential of the Hangout function but I have to see what I fully think about G+ when more of my friends come onboard.

  7. Ondo Lady says:

    I am not on Google + yet but I have heard a lot about it and it is good to get a simplistic account of how it works.

  8. tessa says:

    Still waiting on Google+ to become more open to the public.. Not many people are engaging in the G+ community yet.. but I can see it will be a valuable resource. Another thing that maybe semi-related.. is the Google Plus One button.. I feel like this is a good thing to implement on our blogs too because having friends Plus One your post may affect its ranking in searches? Not sure if this is true, correct me if I’m wrong :)

    • Nando says:

      I just read this on the LinkedIn forums:

      “Links on Google+ at the moment are not nofollow. So if someone shares the link through their public profile, the page will be indexed by Google and will be considered a backlink to the site. In case your website gets shared a lot on Google+, it will eventually have a big impact on your PageRank.

      Other than that people will also be using the Google+1 buttons which will increase your CTR and rankings on search results. The more +1s your pages get, the more beneficial it will be for your website. Normally you can expect a change of 0-8% in your CTR depending on how many likes you get.”

      That sounds like a yes to me. Definitely something to invest some time in, me thinks.

  9. Iris says:

    Like it a lot! But there aren’t much people on it (yet!)
    I think it will be a good tool especially when you have a blogger account (it’s also from google) maybe they give bloggers a better opportunity to let it grow.

  10. I just recently signed onto Google+. After I complete my profile I am really not sure what to do next. I get requests from people to join me but they have nothing to do with fashion.

    How do you target fashion editors/bloggers?

    • Nando says:

      Good question, and no doubt that it will be awhile before a strong community centered around a single thing really starts growing there. The nice thing about it though is that you can accept all of those requests, send all kinds of requests of your own and as long as you keep your circles in order you won’t need to worry about making too many non-fashion related acquaintances on it. also, in your sidebar is the “Sparks” section, which is essentially an RSS feed where you pick a category and it displays related stories. I can imagine this growing into something with much more user-generated content soon

  11. Well, somehow yeah. I find Google+ a bit hard to navigate or I’m just new on the network. hahaha.. but nevertheless it’s fun to try! :)

  12. kimmiepooh says:

    I joined Google + about 2 weeks ago and one of the reasons I like it is that I can separate everyone into specific groups so depending on what i want to read or share, I don’t have to wade through a lot of stuff to do it. I created circles for friends, family, media & pr, fashion, etc.

    I think that it’s a great way for bloggers to connect with and develop better relationships with other bloggers, media, editors, etc. I’ve already found quite a few fashion bloggers and pr pros (some I’m connected with on FB, Twitter, or my blog) and hopefully we all can somehow benefit from the connection over time. People will be much more selective with who they follow back (like Twitter you can choose if you want to) so IMO, that says a lot.

  13. Wilma says:

    I also just joined Google+ and haven’t figured it out yet. Hopefully soon it will all make sense. The idea of chosing your circles is great for having a conversation with like-minded creatives.

  14. Chelsea says:

    I do like the “circles” feature.

  15. Felicia says:

    I am very much excited to hear the blogger fashion,honestly i am new to this site but i wont regret and this taken my time for today yet i am so glad that i find this i may apply this to my self thanks for sharing.

  16. Kristina says:

    But you need an invitation?

    • Nando says:

      Indeed you do, but there’s not a limit on invitations. Anyone who’s on it can invite as many people as they like so it’s growing extraordinarily quickly. If you don’t have any friends on it, let me know what your email is and I can send you an invite.

  17. Charles says:

    It really allows you to sort of split your personality among your groups of friends in a way Facebook certainly doesn’t, but is absolutely the natural way we interact with people. Most people talk about different stuff with their parents than they do with their friends, for example. Or business contacts and your Friday night gang, these things need to be divided.

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