Spammers, Baby Boomers, and Google+

Boy, do I feel like a digital slacker.

On June 28, Google invited me to a Field Trial of Google+ — and you better believe I interrupted a family vacation to get involved lest I miss out on all the fun.

But unlike Jay Baer and Chris Brogan, I’ve failed to contribute to the pithy Google+ commentary that has flooded the marketplace. (Reason: school’s out, which means more time with family, and less time for blogging.)

And at this point, I certainly am not going to write an opus on Google+ Instead I’ll ask a few somewhat annoying questions and provide comments smackng of personal whimsy:

  • Google+ is a boon for Baby Boomers like me. We like clean layouts, big pictures, and easy-to-read text. We are too tired of squinting to find content designed by people who fail to comprehend the fundamentals of an engaging user experience.
  • I love how you can add anyone to your Google+ Circle even if they don’t add you to theirs. I’ve always thought it disingenuous of Facebook to suggest friends to you and then ask, “Do you really know Mark?” when you follow through on Facebook’s suggestion. On Google+, I can pretend Mark Zuckerberg really is my friend even if he doesn’t add me to his Circle.
  • I am shamelessly promiscuous about adding people to my Circles. If Google thinks you can add value to my life by suggesting I add you to one of my Circles, I’m going to do so. I like the idea of having a river of ideas from all walks of life flowing through my Google+ stream. That said, as of July 27, I have 1,717 people in my Circles, and only 454 have added me. Does that make me a Google+ loser?
  • I don’t mind admitting that within 10 seconds of joining Google+, my first to-do was claiming my own vanity URL (
  • If you have created more than six Google+ Circles to curate your interests, you have way too much time on your hands.
  • I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to become a member of the Circle for CEO Celebrity Hedge Fund (gender: male; in a relationship).
  • I am learning more about Google+ from all the third-party commentary resulting from the Google Field Trial than I am from Google itself – and I’ll bet Google likes it that way.
  • Google has a chance to differentiate itself from Facebook by providing more personal service  on Google+ — like actually responding to you when you encounter a problem (unlike Facebook, which treats its members like second-class citizens). But I have a feeling Google will also take the DYI approach to customer service with Google+.

Finally, a word of sincere counsel: I keep hearing about people leaving Facebook for Google+. You’re seriously going to leave behind 700 million people? Sorry, but if you want to be active in social, there is no either/or choice – you have to find time for both Facebook and Google+.