Monday, August 1, 2011

You Are What You Read

You can make some interesting observations about the people who frequent Google Plus by the length of the comment stream that follows each posting. The other day it was quite a challenge to catch up with all of the threads that had appeared literally overnight. But it was interesting to note which topics generated the most chatter.


These observations are based on a relatively small number of people in a very limited time frame, and is by no means a statistically significant sample. But I did find it interesting that most posts were followed by only a handful of comments. In fact, mine generate so few, it makes me wonder if they are actually getting published. But some of the posts by noted journalists or Google officials generate lots of chatter.


Posts that garnered the least reaction were about the business value of Google Plus, the content and the style of use. For example, one referenced an article citing how Google Plus brings more and better quality traffic to business and it hardly got any reaction. Google Plus early adopters, or Pluserati as I call them, don't seem to care a lot about making money. The other commented on how a few people were writing their entire blog entries in Google Plus instead of posting a link to blogspot, wordpress or other popular blog sites. Not much feedback on this one either. Personally I prefer posting a link since these blog sites have (at least for the moment) much richer creative tool sets. The Google Plus text editor is very limited at the moment.


Posts that offer new tools, extensions or neat tricks had on average 50 comments, though most were one sentence long. Frequently they were expressions of gratitude: Hey, thanks a lot, acknowledgement of value: This is really neat - going to use it a lot and instant feedback or impressions after putting it into action: Worked exactly as advertised - simple,fast and clean. These new Pluserati don't waste any time. 


When the politically charged topic of freedom of speech appeared, I knew the comment stream was going to be long. But I did not expect the number of lengthy and rather well written essays that appeared debating how Google could or should deal with content posted by hate groups, pornography, insurrection and other controversial topics. When the comment stream topped 100, I stopped counting. 


Much to my surprise, though, it was not the topic that won the comments contest. It was the mere mention of the impending introduction of games to Google Plus that sent the Pluserati into overdrive. Not a lot of well thought out, well constructed, cohesive and coherent arguments here. Just well over 200 short but clear expression of dismay.  


Keep an eye on your Google Plus stream and see if your impression of the Pluserati matches mine. 


Captain Joe

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