The Evolution of Social Networks
It hit me this morning with a giggle that yesterday I deleted my MySpace account and opened my Google+ account. A sort of passing of the baton from one era of social networks to another.
I've always called myself an Alpha Adapter. I love to try out new services, tools, apps and gadgets as soon as they come out. I want to be in there first and figure out for myself if something works for me or not and how other individuals and organizations can best leverage it for success.
MySpace for me was amazing. It provided me connections to bands to get permission to play their music on my podcast and it gave me a quick and easy way to connect with my listeners. I started using Facebook before they opened the gates because I was working at a college and had a .edu address. I understood immediately how it was a different beast, but wondered if it would ever replace MySpace for the reasons I used it.
I've been thinking about deleting my account for years and just never got around to it, but with the sale yesterday it was the perfect time and I know I'm not going to miss it since I haven't actively used it in quite some time. Then last night I got a Google+ invite and dove right in to see what all the hype was about.
I've been saying for a while now that I thought the next evolution of social networks was going to be making them small. Going back to the tighter knit small town model that has been missing as you collect and lunchbox up "friends" on all the services. The more connections you have without proper filters, the less useful a social network becomes.
The concept of circles in Google+ is what has me excited because they are the filters I've been craving. I can quickly and easily organize my contacts into circles that make sense to me and then share what I want with only the circles I want. I love that level of granular control and it quickly and effectively lets me filter out all the noise that I don't want to pay attention to. This is how I've been using Google Buzz for a long time and now that of course is built right in.
Lots of people will be talking about if this is a Facebook killer or not. Trust me that Facebook is not going away anytime soon. There is plenty of room in the market for both of them.
I personally lost any usefulness from the FB Wall a long time ago because of the number of connections I have on there. Between Twitter lists and Google+ I can make sure to stay up to date on the people that matter the most to me to keep up on. That has me excited.
So, if it isn't clear already I'm giving a big Like, +1 and Thumbs Up to Google+. I wonder if I can somehow give them a +K *grin*