What a day! The platform war between Facebook and Google + officially launched with a press conference at Facebook announcing the new “awesome” features including one click skype/Facebook integration for video chat. I watched live stream on Facebook and the real time snarky reactions coming across Google +. The snark comes as no surprise given the characteristics of the users so far.
The most popular snark was this photo of Mark Zuckerberg. The screen capture also illustrates the lack of filtering in your stream when something really funny or important is shared, prompting, more than one person to request, “Please don’t stream pollute.”
Meanwhile, Google+ opened up invites to people who didn’t make it in the first time. and looks like more NPTECH folks found their way into the sandbox. I’ve managed to find about 200 other people who work with nonprofits or nonprofit technology exploring it. No one has figured it out yet, so we are learning together.
Since this “field trial” is for individuals, not brands — we were starting to see individual accounts set up as brands, businesses, and even a few nonprofits. Google is discouraging it, but announced that they were going to roll out a pilot to test the organization/brand experience and invited people to apply. Hope they include a nonprofit.
It reminded me of the early days of Facebook when the National Wildlife Federation set up a profile for Ranger Rick, its mascot, and Facebook deleted it. Nonprofit techies organized a protest on Facebook.
What’s interesting is that many of us have five or more years experience on social networks. We were early adopters when Facebook opened up – and some of us were kicking the tires of social as far back as 2003-2004 in the blogosphere. Ah, an opportunity for reflection! If Google+ is giving up the chance to “do over,” what would we do differently as part of the exploration of a new platform?
I asked this on Google+ as a public thread so I could share it more broadly. Some reflections from colleagues who have snagged an invite:
Wendy Harman, Red Cross:
“I have a pretty organic approach to this stuff and just try to make the stakeholders and potential stakeholders happy by providing the same value and utility the org offers in the real world marketplace. Paying attention to measurement benchmarks will be interesting here. But it’s also like starting over – I mean, what to measure? What goals to set? What’s even going on here? We have to figure out this part before we decide what’s valuable.”
“For experimental purposes I’m using this tool (now)to connect with professional peers and friends. How I might use it for clients can be decided in the future after we’ve all kicked the tires a bit.”
“I am figuring out how we as nonprofits can advance our mission – and in a measurable way that proves social media ROI to our executive team and boards with this new tool.”
“I think it really depends on uptake. Like Facebook, it took a while for things to get going. Google’s social experiments haven’t gone well so far (Wave, Buzz). I’m happy to kick the tires now, but I think it will be a while, and I’m not even sure it will go far. Dislike of Facebook isn’t enough to move people. That said, once Google figures out the org thing, I think it’s worthwhile to spend the 15 minutes or so setting up an org profile.”
I’m writing this blog post NOT to give you early adopter envy, but as you’re drumming your fingers on the keyboard waiting for an invitation, I thought these post might help you be thoughtful about how you will explore this new platform. If you do managed to get in, here’s two pretty good sources for cheat sheets so you won’t walk around in a confused daze like I did.
What’s your game plan for learning and piloting a new platform in the early stages? Wait until the kinks are worked out or dive in?