The Google+ paradox

I’ve been using Google+ for almost as long as it’s been available. It has a lot going for it: excellent apps for the iOS platform, a gorgeous browser interface and interaction with other users that is missing from almost every other social media platform I’ve used.

There are some fantastic interest groups / forums and a very varied user base. The recent update, coinciding with Google I/O was just lovely.

But…there’s always a but.

It just doesn’t play nice with other platforms. With Path, I can share a photo on Facebook, Tumblr and Foursquare simultaneously. With WordPress, I can automatically post to Tumblr.

Every system on the planet seems to interface with both Facebook and Tumblr at some level.

But Google+ sits on some kind of deserted island. If I want to ensure I cross-share a photo, this is a piece of cake on the aforementioned apps. Google+ requires an additional posting.

One could argue I’m using far too many of these social media platforms, that I should just pick one and stick with it and basically get back in my box.

One could indeed.

However, Google+ has amazing potential that I think may be hampered by its lack of connectivity. I don’t think Google’s strategy on this front is gaining them additional users. But thats just anecdotal, based on the very, very few G+ users I know personally.

Why can’t I post something on this WordPress blog and have a link and summary automatically posted to my Google+ stream automatically? Why can’t I ensure my Twitter stream of Wildean banter is shared with G-plussers too?

Annoying.

So right now, my online shenanigans (using this word far too much lately…) breaks down as follows:

Friends and family, social nonsense: Facebook (e.g. “look at this photo of me with my parents”)

Angry, one-liner rants: Twitter, possibly Facebook depending on the content (e.g. “I can’t believe Ireland got no points in the Eurovision”)

Longer rants, focusing on the geekier aspects of life: WordPress, automatically shared with Tumblr (e.g. this very post)

Pictures (mostly of my meals, admittedly): Instagram, automatically shared on Facebook and Tumblr (e.g. “Marvel at how much I ate this evening. And here’s a funky filter to make this burger look arty”)

Anything not for public consumption: Path (where I have very, very few connections, all close friends) (e.g. “Do you know who’s really pissed me off today?”)

Collation of Instagram, some Foursquare and all WordPress posts: Tumblr

Complex, no? Not really – it’s all set up via IFTTT. With some manual bits.

Ideally, I’d like all of this to appear in Google+, removing the need for Tumblr. A kind of “lifestream”, where everything I’m happy to share with the world at large is available in one place.

Now what are the chances of that?

  1. I am really neurotic with checking in on which service. JUST learnt I have a FB page complete with posts, although they were deleted and deactivated in 2011. http://lilyreed.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/i-am-a-facebook-zombie/?preview=true&preview_id=5220&preview_nonce=3ea6d0d3be

    Tumblr & WP are connected to WP. I took Path off phone due to space but I like it, it’s just a large app for my 32GB phone (and I’m a space hog).

    I love G+ but like you, it’s still niche. I kind of like that part but x-posting is balls.

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    1. Your phantom/zombie FB posts are scary…figured it out yet?

      Think I’ll just keep going as I am and see how G+ develops.

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      1. I’m back at work where I can do this looking at a real monitor rather than my mobile, so I’m going to see if my old creds still work.

        If so, I plan to delete the posts and just say eff it to the account termination since they won’t let me die.

        I want to be able to monitor their JACKOFFNESS. That’s legal jargon. Too bad the TOS covers that for them.

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  2. Yes you have ‘hit the nail on the head’ with your observation that Google+ is sat on some kind of desert island.

    And it’s not just WordPress… Blogger.. Google’s own blogging platform can’t automatically post to Google + we have to do it manually. If a post goes live when you hit ‘publish’ you get a prompt to post to Google+ but nearly all of Philofaxy posts are at mid-night East coast USA time… normally about 5am UK time, 6am my time here in France… not exactly convenient for doing a G+ update!

    Having heard only yesterday that Google have now shut down Buzz… how long will it be before Google+ disappears?

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    1. I’m really surprised that Blogger doesn’t integrate better with Google+ – that seems really bizarre.

      I have a feeling that Google believe G+ is some sort of inevitable destination for bloggers…that we’ll all eventually abandon other platforms and just use G+. I can certainly see the attraction – great apps, great interface and lots and lots of interaction with readers.

      All the same – it would be better if Google could increase G+’s popularity by letting it interact with the wider blogosphere (hate that word!) on equal and fair terms, rather than by restricting interaction and forcing users to choose between equally attractive services.

      If G+ *IS* the ultimate in social networking, then users will come of their own accord – but not if they see it as somehow cut off from all other services.

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