Tag Archives: Twitter

Why Google+ should publish to Twitter & Facebook, and You Should Too

The walled-garden vs. open architecture approach to the web has been raging since the early days of the Internet.  AOL perfected the walled-garden with its keyword search while we were all on dial-up access, but the web (and AOL) have since moved on.  Which is why it was a bit surprising to see Google+ (still in project mode, admittedly) launch without an ability to pull in from, or publish out to, our other existing social networks.

That Google+ is first and foremost an “Identity Service,” according to Eric Schmidt, makes it even more baffling.  Another “Identity Service,” run by my employer, About.me, takes quite the opposite approach.  Even other social networks enable cross-posting.

But, I’m not arguing that Google should do it because others do, my argument is simpler than that.  Cross posting encourages discussion that might otherwise be missed.

This weekend, in a fit of annoyance at having to boot up my laptop after not being able to get information about Irene on my iPad that was hidden behind some Flash coding, I posted the following to Twitter:

LCMilstein Lee Milstein
After a year with the iPad, I can honestly say lack of Flash support is debilitating. I love it so much I don’t want to need a laptop too.
It got no retweets and the only reply was a spam message clearly picking up on “iPad” as a keyword.

But, because of how I have my accounts linked, the same post appeared on my Facebook wall.  24 hours later, there is a 15-comment string discussing the longevity of Flash as a web standard, Apple’s approach to controlling the user experience on its products, and whether next generation Android tablets will be able to compete with Apple’s dominance.
I never intended to engage my Facebook friends.  I thought Twitter was where the tech folks followed me and that I’d see traction there.  I was wrong.  Without this cross-publishing functionality, Twitter would have been unaffected, but Facebook would have lost out on this engaging experience.  As a one-off on my account it is meaningless, but taken to the natural conclusion, this is what makes a social network work.  This is what keeps people coming back.

Google, you may have other things you’re planning to build on Google+, and I am certain I line up to use them (Gmail, Picasa and Android are 3 of my all-time favorite products, so you have credibility with me), but I think you’re making a mistake here.  Who knows what kind of conversation my circles would have engaged in.

EDIT:
[I received feedback from some of you that this post didn’t really fit the blog; that it was industry analysis and not personal recommendation.  You’re right, but only because I ran out of time.  Here’s the last bit.]

For the rest of you, take this into account and take advantage of the linking capabilities built into your social networks.  For me, I have my Twitter publish to Facebook and LinkedIn, and I have my blog and Tumblr page post into Twitter which then pushes out to Facebook and LinkedIn as well.  I recommend you do the same.  And, as if on queue, a tweet from the Twitter team today:
twitter Twitter
#protip Have a Facebook account? Try hooking it up to Twitter for a little multitasking! Here’s how: support.twitter.com/articles/31113… 
So, to learn how to get started and link your Twitter account to Facebook to publish into both locations at once, check out their article, and see how your followers and friends engage.  You just might get more social out of your social networks.
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Facebook is for Birthdays

[Note, I apologize for the delay in real posts.  They will pick up again, but in the meantime…]

Many of you have been emailing/texting/calling asking about Google+, and you’re not alone.  The web seems to have shifted focus overnight and Google has once again become the darlingof the industry.  The frantic, nightly, “Invites are open!” messages followed by the “aww, sorry, too late” jeers only served to enhance the perception.  At this stage, however, it seems most people who want to get on to the new service have found a way, and commentary is shifting to compare the service to other social networks.

While I don’t intend to argue that you should or shouldn’t use Google+ at this point, I did feel the need to share a couple of observations

  1. No one on Google+ wished me a happy birthday this weekend.  Perhaps this is because the number of users is so limited, and
  2. More interestingly, no one on Twitter wished me a happy birthday either.

Now, I’m not actually big on the whole “it’s my birthday” thing and don’t seek contact for it, but I received a LOT of wall posts, messages and emails wishing me a happy birthday as a result of Facebook making the event prominent on my friends’ pages.  By contrast, I received 0 tweets/DMs and 0 Google+ comments.

This really highlights the difference between the existing social networks.  Facebook is where people with real world connections connect, and Twitter is where information flows between acquaintances.

What’s really interesting about Google+, though, is that it could be both:

Google already maps my real-world connections with gmail, chat, and other services that haven’t been considered a “social network” in the past, and now Google+ makes it easy for me to follow acquaintances.  As I posted to my plus.google.com profile page:

Being able to change your stream just by clicking a circle is a GREAT feature. Works better than lists on Twitter and far surpasses Facebook’s current implementation of Groups. And I love that “Following” is a default circle.

By creating circles and switching the stream of news flowing onto my Google+ page, I can see updates from my friends, influencers, news sources, business colleagues, etc. and not get lost in too many posts.  It is an exciting feature.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when Google starts telling me about my friends’ birthdays.  In the meantime, check out the service and let me know what you think.  Start with my page.


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