I’ve been poking around Google+ and have come away with three things I really like so far:
Organizing (Circles): I love that I can put people in categories, like thought leaders or professional contacts, as well as friends. It’s like the Lists function on Twitter, which I also love. Right now, I use my Smarty Pants circle to get ideas and insights and to learn about things like Google+. (For a fun read on Google+ Circles you might want to have, check this post out from HappyPlace.com)
Tracking: Sometimes it’s hard to follow a discussion in Twitter because tweets aren’t inline like they are on, say, Facebook. That’s something I like about Google+. It’s easier for me to follow discussions because they’re all in one place, so I can get more information on a given topic.
Publishing: Google+ makes it very easy to build little multimedia posts, so you can build little content “packages” for your posts that integrate links, visuals and copy all in one place. It's more elegant than Facebook's approach, which means I'm more likely to use it as little mixed-media tool. I haven’t done much with that just yet, but I can’t wait to build some media-rich content!
Despite liking all these things – and I do – I’m not trading in my other channels just yet. First, there still aren’t boatloads of people using G+, so my other networks win on that front. Plus:
I don’t foresee giving up Linkedin because it’s still the best place to get a business-only view of people and to connect professional connections. G+ is more of a mixed breed of business and social for me (though you could easily make it one or the other). Plus, I’ve got a lot of connections on LI and I don't really want to repopulate.
Twitter is still the best way for me to get breaking news and keep up with a lot of people quickly. On G+, I get lured into reading full threads. That’s cool when I really want to get a deep dive into something. But when I’m just scanning for news or items of interest, Twitter’s easier. And I’ve got more contacts there on my @word_factory and @margot_lester accounts, sorted by list.
Though you could use G+ as your blogging platform, I won’t. I like WordPress’ CMS power too much, for one. (These companies also agree.) But I also want to keep my blog mine. WordPress isn’t always elegant when it comes to uploading media, but it works well enough. And I want my blog to be under my control. G+ feels like renting instead of owning.
I only use Facebook for friends and family, and for the moment I don’t see myself leaving for awhile. But as more of these people get on G+, I'd be glad to make the move. I’ve always been drawn to Google’s “don’t be evil” credo, which is even more important to me given Facebook’s privacy shenanigans.
What do you think about G+? Is it compelling enough to make you quit your other social media channels?