I’ve evangelised about social media for a while and the problem was always that everything is so disconnected. Yes, if you know how, you can make everything work together (hey, if you know how, you can make your own cheese too). It’s as important to use social media as it is non-obvious, so everyone is clutching at straws. Let’s face it, most people still don’t understand why and how they should be using twitter. For themselves, as information source and social platform, I mean.
It is a little bit like making short videos – if you knew how, you could do this before vine and Instagram. I’ve just started making little gifs again and it’s so nice – you just stick them on a page and they play. Can’t do that with Instagram video. But when Instagram and vine make it a simple and obvious thing to do, more people do it, and more people see the results too.
For gmail to integrate more with g+ is an innovation that makes it just simply work for most people. Start a hangout, make more of a direct connection with the person you are mailing – to most of us this is massively useful. The few stories about it having gone wrong in the early days are just as sensationalist as the reports about toilet tweets in the early days of twitter. We’ve seen it all, we should be above that sort of reporting? Even PC World writes a huge sensationalist headline, only to inform us that, by the way,
Google has said repeatedly that its intention is to integrate Google+ broadly and deeply with its other services, sites and web applications, so that it can act as a common, underlying social networking layer.
When I started playing with the idea to offer some new social media courses to small tourism businesses a year ago, g+ had become a bigger player and definitely joined Facebook and twitter in the must-have platforms. After all, most people use google to find a person or business, they are on google maps, sometimes even in shiny 3D, and their g+ profile then offers them a great way of being personal. It would still need a little bit of explaining.
Now g+ is getting more integrated with the rest of google’s suite of products, and gmail has an automatic integration. I see the problems people are having with google’s monopoly over information, but the ‘oh god how we all hate having g+ shoved down our throats’ arguments are silly.
It’s a great platform, it works far better than Facebook, hangouts should be more of a thing. If this further integration can make the process of being social online much more obvious for small businesses and everyone else than it has been so far, then I think that’s great.