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vic1  Google Plus Ghost Town : My Open Letter To The Misguided ReportersIt’s that time again. Google Plus Ghost Town from the media and reporters. This round is brought to you because Vic Gundotra (the guy behind the Google plus project) announced today that he would be leaving Google. Vic is a great guy and I’m sure has many reasons for leaving Google. Family time, additional opportunities and projects come to my mind. But immediately the media once again, has resorted to posting nothing but articles talking about how his leave can only lead to graveyards, walking dead, and ghost town.

Know what the common theme is between all these “ghost town posts”? No interviews. No named sources. Lots of reporters who never used it. A quick search usually shows that the reporter has not used Google+ themselves. Sadly, to not even post the article they just wrote about the platform, to the platform. In fact most have less than 20 people circled and more often than not… have never even posted, ever. Awesome. Good reporters generally go out and interview people who are involved with something before they write a story, if they themselves do not happen to have first hand experience. This is fringe opinion piece media. Yet tons of these garbage articles keep getting posted on major tech publications presenting like it’s the facts.

I figured it was time I wrote a letter to these reporters. Please media… realize that I have tried to reach out and talk to many of you, do interviews, and help you get these points, but too many times you tell me “your company doesn’t care about writing about the positive sides of Google+” or that “other stories are more important than G+ success”. Yet whenever anything could possibly be seen as negative about G+, all of your websites light up with a million ghost town posts. It’s time the users of G+ spoke out…  I’ll start. Here are my thoughts for you.


Dear Reporters Who Can’t Be Bothered To Learn About Google+ Before Writing Your Ridiculous Articles About It;

I know this is going to be hard for some of you. You have been a good tech writer, involved in social media probably for awhile, and spent time building up your Facebook account and Twitter profile. When Google+ came along, many of your company Tech websites had already done things like integrate Facebook comments or sometimes heck, even invest in Facebook themselves! You certainly didn’t have time to get involved in another social network, and come on.. “Google has never got social”. Your mom isn’t there. Google+ is obviously a ghost town.  Right?

Wrong.

Google Plus Has Never Been A Ghost Townghost1  Google Plus Ghost Town : My Open Letter To The Misguided Reporters

Google plus is still a baby on the social media scene. But since day one, there have been active, engaged users… and LOTS of them.

SOME FACTS:

Facebook was launched in 2004. Early adopters got access to Facebook in 2006/2007, your mom probably did not get involved until sometime in 2009 or 2010.  2010 is also the year that the Facebook like button was launched. A full 6 years after Facebook officially launched. 1

Google+ is not even 3 years old yet.  2

(See those tiny numbers Reporters? Those are footnotes. They are used to add credibility to your posts when you make bold Claims and Facts)

Comparing to Facebook life cycle, this is about the time that “mass adoption” will start, and everything points to that exact thing happening right now on plus. Every day companies, celebrities, brands, and regular people around the world are joining and playing around with Google+ when they “didn’t have time” before.

But alas, real fact are not good for the media…  Death, DOOM! DESTRUCTION! ANY DAY NOW…Ghost town.

But what about those “Active User” numbers? Just how many people are actually there?

Sure Google has released stats saying there are 300 million users 3 and there are lots of debates about exactly what that means… but here are some real facts. I personally have over 983,000 plusses, 239,000 shares, and 224,000 comments and 172 million views on my posts. 4 I have 4 million people who are circling me, Which media like to tell me is  often tell me is full of “ghosts” but several million interactions have happened on my personal posts on google plus in just under 3 years. Compare that to roughly 20,000 @ mentions and 6,000 RT I have received on Twitter, in the 7 years I’ve been using that. People are on G+.and they interact. If you my dear reporters are getting zero interaction, hate to be the bearer of bad news…. Its not Google+, It’s you. Deal with it.

 

stats  Google Plus Ghost Town : My Open Letter To The Misguided Reporters

I know this is confusing reporters… but please try and keep up…

There are 2 products/ideas called Google+…

1. Google+ The background account… You use this to log into all Google products. This holds your security info, passwords, apps, location history … you know.. your account. Same as an Apple Id, or Microsoft Live Id. No difference. Including the “forcing” of these companies for you to create and use one when you interact with any of their services or products. Zero difference.
2. Google+ the “social stream”.. this is where people post what they are eating for lunch, The latest science news article they found, and their thoughts on the latest movie they watched.

Google Is an Advertising Company…

Google+ your account.. ties all the many many Google products you use every day together, and allows google to share that information between them. 5 This allows better results in their search engine AND allows better ads to appear when you are using google products. (because they know you live in LA, California for example and can show local results). This… dear readers, makes Google Money. In fact 97% of Google’s revenue 5 … comes from advertising. And that advertising is tied to the most valuable thing Google has besides their insane index of the Interwebs… Information about the Users who Use Google via… Google+.

Yet ive read at least 5 articles today talking about how Google might be shutting G+ down. One even got an official Google PR’s response on the possible shut down.  “Today’s announcement has no impact on our Google Plus strategy—We have an incredibly talented team that will continue to build great user experiences across Google plus, hangouts and photos”.

But facts and real quotes? Naw. You as a Reporter obviously know whats up from unnamed sources. You don’t realize how uneducated it makes you sound when you state G+ is closing down?  Let me spell it out nice and clear… Is Apple going to cancel their Apple ID because Steve Jobs passed away? Are Microsoft Live accounts being terminated and called failed because Steve Balmer left the company? That… IS.. how ridiculous you reporters sound with these posts today to that vast majority of the world that gets this concept Google has been saying for 3 years.

Here’s another one that might be a shocker to some of you reporters….

gvsf  Google Plus Ghost Town : My Open Letter To The Misguided Reporters

Google+ Is NOT Made to Be a “Facebook Killer”

7
As one of G+ largest and most popular users, In my very humble opinion, Google does not care if you post cats on Saturday on G+ the social stream or not. They still know what city you now live in, that you are male or female and maybe even what school or where you work. Their advertising has become way more useful than it was 5 years ago. If you post cats on the social stream, Google also knows you like cats in some way. Rock on. Better advertising for me. I personally don’t mind trading that small amount of personal data to Google so that I can have free email, look at every single street in the entire world, and have an amazing customizable android phone. Many do, so Google allows you to turn all that off and be anonymous after you create the account. And its not crazy insane rocket science like Facebook privacy settings are. Who also by the way,actually are selling your soul and everything you ever post there to every company that walks by. If you are mad at Google for using your info to advertise better, you better be just as mad at Facebook, Twitter and oh pretty much most other websites today, who are doing it too. 8  In fact you should probably log off the internet right now forever.

Google+ Changes Your Entire Life… Google+ Makes Everything Just Better

Eventually though, with time, (THIS IS KEY MEDIA…. PAY ATTENTION) because using G+ the social stream just makes your life better, you will just start using it. Be it because of Hangouts, the photo auto back-up, the sign into android, because you want to promote your company with PostAds and their amazing CTR, how everything Google works so nice with chrome, because you want to join someone elses hangout, because you want to comment on a you tube, connect with people around the world based on you interests in millions of communities, you want to know when to leave your house for an appointment automatically and not be late with an update from Google Now, because you want to book dinner with your friends using a G+ app, because you want to share the “bar out night photos” with only your friends and not your boss and co workers… or 7 million other reasons I use Google+ every single day, you, yes YOU reading this article,  will start using G+ the social stream, without you even realizing it.

Now I know some of that was hard to take, and perhaps you’ve been a little confused. If any reporter is interested in having a more detailed discussion about any of these topics or getting some facts, please feel free to reach out to me. Heck I know millions of people on the Google+ platform you can reach out to as well if I can’t help you for some reason.

Few of you probably will. The Ghost Idea is just too good link bait isn’t it?

Sincerely,

Amanda Blain
20th Most Followed Person On Google+


Google+ IS the next big thing. The rest of you non reporters, You have a choice You can embrace Google+, and spend time educating yourself on how its a different platform, different experience and have an amazing time connecting with others. Or you can look at these pointless media “ghost town” articles that are riddled with random sources, zero facts, and written by people who have never used Google+ themselves, and choose to ignore it.  Choose wisely my friends.

If you LOVE google plus, why not write a post about it? Share how it changed your life, why you like it, why it’s awesome. Use the hashtag #MyGooglePlusStory.. or heck just do it without the hashtag. It’s time more of us spoke out about the product we love from Google.

(here are those facts again … so you can check it out yourself ) icon smile  Google Plus Ghost Town : My Open Letter To The Misguided Reporters

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Facebook
  2.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google%2B
  3. http://googleblog.blogspot.ca/2013/10/google-hangouts-and-photos-save-some.html
  4. http://www.circlecount.com/p/+AmandaBlain
  5. http://investor.google.com/earnings/2010/Q4_google_earnings.html
  6. http://investor.google.com/earnings/2010/Q4_google_earnings.html
  7. http://www.fastcompany.com/3001935/google-goes-looking-love
  8. Http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/how-facebook-sells-your-personal-information-130124.htm

Author

Amanda Blain

Business Owner, Super Hero & Geek Girl. Likes Google, Technology, Video Games & Social Media. Over 4 Million followers on GooglePlus. http://www.amandablain.com I am the owner of Girlfriend Social the website. http://www.girlfriendsocial.com

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Comments

  1. David Foster    

    This is a great article Amanda, and needed to be said. That is the difference. You are backing it up with FACTS and I have not seen any of these talking heads show anything substantial. Their articles are all based on ignorance, and as you said, most of them do not even post on the platform…

    That would be like me saying bananas are the worst tasting fruit ever having never eaten one. Thanks for posting!!

    1. Amanda Blain    

      Exactly… :) Not sure why so many report on things they have never tried, without talking to anyone who is using it.

  2. Bearman    

    Great stuff AB. And one other thing to ad. So far. NO ADS and you control the throttling of what you see in your stream unlike Facebook
    Bearman recently posted…Pumpernickel MeaningMy Profile

    1. Amanda Blain    

      I really enjoy customizing my stream… It makes G+ really show me what I want to see…

  3. Jason Connaughton    

    Very informative and well written Amanda. Unfortunately the same journalists who can’t be bothered to research the numbers will skip this article too, because “Ghost Town G+” just sounds more fun.

    I was recently at a party at a friend’s house, (who happens to have written a best selling book about social media in business) and I got “the look” when we discussed my love of G+. At the end of the day it is an amazing tool for connecting with others with the same focused interests and so I feel like it’s much like the internet itself in the 90′s. People with common interests have little trouble connecting with others and have no need to explore or try anything new. Fringe groups are the gentrifiers of internet neighborhoods.When the G+ community reaches a certain saturation point, the masses will find a deep resource of posts and discussion groups waiting for them, unlike anything Facebook can offer. Then they’ll see the value. I feel like G+ is more than a new social media community. I think it’s what the internet is going to become.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      This article was mostly a “tongue in cheek” post for the reporters… I’m fully aware they wont read it… Its much more for regular folks who read these posts and think it factual :)

      “What it is going to Become” is my thoughts exactly :)

  4. Matt Aquila Clark    

    Well said and thank you for writing it.

  5. Jason    

    What many of them don’t understand is that Google+ usage model is a lot more like Twitter than Facebook. Most people on Google+ prefer to just read what others are saying. Same for Twitter, about which we already learned that 44 percent of their users NEVER POST ANYTHING.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2456489,00.asp

    1. Amanda Blain    

      A very very good point… Twitter is much similar to G+ in many ways than Faceybook :)

  6. Good Anxiety    

    I read that news in mashable. To be honest I like Google+ than Facebook. I’m a community owner and I reach more people using google+ than facebook. Facebook want’s to squeeze every money you have for your post to reach many users and I don’t like that.
    Good Anxiety recently posted…Problems Only Anxious People Will UnderstandMy Profile

  7. Jack C Crawford    

    Amanda, you hit the ball out of the park with this one. Just one thing, why can’t I login with G+ account to post here ;-)

    1. Amanda Blain    

      You can… you had to select the “g+ option” at the top of the comments :)

  8. Jen Smith    

    Excellent volley back!! And am most glad that a friend posted this link to me! I get so rattled and so riled so easily that I have this most annoying and obnoxious habit f speaking before I think. Reacting with no real research done on my part..and that’s a responsibility I better work on.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      It gets to lots of us Jen… Thanks for stopping by :)

  9. Casterly Rock    

    Unfortunately your experience is ALSO just as skewed as journalists who don’t use it. You’re one of the extremely few ‘mass followed’ people. Comparing your personal G+ and Twitter stats is irrelevant (bordering on stupid) when applying that logic to normal users. If you compared my G+ stats and twitter stats from the time I was actually using G+ then twitter would dwarf G+…but that also proves nothing.

    You need to do a mass survey of NORMAL internet users, and then you will see why G+ gets the stick that it does. You can then claim it is some ‘niche’ product only meant to be used by a few people, but then niche products shouldn’t be shoved down the public’s throats.

    And with the ’6 years’ thing? Pleeease….G+ did not start in some college bedroom, I don’t think you can quite apply the same standard.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      I think lots of people in the comments posted their stats here Casterly… I only shared mine to show its not “empty” and you know.. provide some math and not just feelings…

      Lots of “feelings” about G+ out there.. much like your response.. but not really any math or facts.. :)

  10. Jovan    

    Great article, Google+ is like my morning paper ;)

  11. Alex Masters    

    Well said Amanda.

    I guess if you have a shockingly poor following on G+ like Alexia Tsotsis, it’s easier to spread propaganda than it is to make up lost time and effort building a following. While Google+ continues to grow, the likes of Alexia Tsotsis look more and more out of touch when they have little to no activity on Google’s social community.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      Well.. i read they had FB stock to protect :)

  12. J. Riley Castine    

    OMG! A RANDOM ACT OF JOURNALISM! WHERE WILL IT END?!?!?!

    Ahem, apparently, it ended a long time ago, thank you for resurrecting the lost art of “researching a story” and “engaging with the subject”.

    –Riley
    J. Riley Castine recently posted…SlideshowMy Profile

    1. Amanda Blain    

      :) The madness! The horror! :)

      Thanks for stopping by

  13. MonkeyFish    

    Well I wish they would call ‘Google+ the ID’ a ‘Google ID’ instead of G+. I’m one of those people who thought, G+? Isn’t that a social network? Why the hell do I need to sign up to social network just to post feedback on an app?! So I didn’t, and haven’t, signed up. That as a long time user of Gmail and host of other Google services. I think that’s why they’ve got the reputation for forcing it down people’s throats. If they called it a Google ID then I would have probably signed up without thought. Then I might have tried the social network too.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      I dont work for google.. but I assume there is a reason they’ve called it all the same.. and mostly around the idea that it basically IS all the same…

      Other companies are doing this to you without you realizing it… LIke amazon, Apple, Ebay, Facebook… basically any site that lets you “log in with a user id” and share it with other apps, platforms, purchasing, websites…

      G+ just is so many different items we use everyday … it seems more … “invasive”

  14. Marjorie McDonald    

    I am not a “mass followed” person on G+ (I have a meager 3200 followers) but I have still had 1.1 million views on my posts, in roughly 1 1/2 years. The level of engagement on G+ is what makes it great. On Facebook one of my page posts might reach 150 people, maybe, on a good day. On G+ that same post, exactly same, reaches 10s of thousands. Is reshared. Is commented on. Extends my reach to the places where I want it to be seen. And requires the same amount of effort as posting on Facebook. And its FREE, they never once said, hey, boost your post by PAYING for viewers. Google makes advertising revenue from G+, but I am not the advertiser, unlike Facebook, which also makes money from revenue, but they want users to be the advertisers too

    1. Amanda Blain    

      Exactly Majorie :)… 1.1 million views.. congrads! :D
      Amanda Blain recently posted…Google Plus Ghost Town : My Open Letter To The Misguided ReportersMy Profile

  15. Remco Tensen    

    I wish you had done more to make your article sound less biased. I was about to share it, (because I agree: G+ is not dead and these articles suck), but then I decided not to. Under the fold it just screams: “Google+ is great why won’t you believe me!”

    You and Google both are making the same mistake. You can send what you like, sure. But you can’t control what people will think. We hear Google telling us Google+ is something that’s just meant to connect Google products together. We hear Google telling us Google+ isn’t supposed to be a Facebook killer. But I bet most people already had their minds made up about G+ from the moment they announced it.

    I can tell you right now: these publishers and writers don’t give a rats arse about what you’re preaching. They don’t care about whether or not G+ is here to stay. Truth is: journalism, real journalism, is too expensive and time consuming for free media companies (this is why VICE Media sold out). Working on the same report for weeks is expensive. Fact checking is expensive. Proof reading is expensive. The old ways aren’t working for publishers of free media. So your job as a content provider, (I wouldn’t call these people “journalists” or even “writers”), is to steal and push as much content as you can.
    Remco Tensen recently posted…Jouw goedbedoelde Facebook likes maken criminelen rijkMy Profile

    1. Amanda Blain    

      This article was mostly “tongue and cheek” for reporters Remco. It was designed to make people think as I drove to the airport for a weeks vacation :)

      The point I think I was trying to stress here is… Google doesnt care if “you believe me” or not… You will end up using G+ anyway someday.. :)

      Thanks for stopping by

  16. Joe    

    Excellent article. One thing I do notice, though, is that there’s a lot higher signal-to-noise ratio on G+. I see far fewer caturday posts and many more posts or links to things I’m actually interested in. Perhaps it’s because I actively groom my circles, but it’s such a difference from FB (which I gave up last year in favor of G+).

    1. Amanda Blain    

      Definitely a highlight for me too Joe… You make G+ what you want it to be :)

  17. Gordon Wallace    

    I just think it’s funny that the social share bar on this article has ~200 for FB and Twitter each and ~4k for G+

    Of course that probably talks more about Amanda’s biggest audience than anything but thought it was interesting enough to point out.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      And the numbers have changed quite a bit since then :)

  18. David Fowler    

    Great article…again backed with Facts. G+ is my goto source of news and commentary.

  19. MonkeyFish    

    Well, duh, the people most likely to like the article are people already using G+. Though if you want to evangelise G+, you’d be better of sharing it on FB and Twitter, wouldn’t you?

  20. Lynette Young    

    I love you for this Amanda. I was in a RAGE last night over all these ‘journalists’ that are nothing but *tools with tin foil hats* trolling for link clicks. If you remove the word “Google” from the company, it becomes just another mega corporation evolving. Not to mention it’s is highly disrespectful IMO to assume that because Vic left the entire project will fold and ignore the entire team that got Plus where it is on the back end.

    I needed to simmer down a bit today, but I’m planning on a bit of an open letter video today.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      Getting old eh?

      That was a main one for me… the negative views about the rest of the team… It’s why I had to post something.. :)

  21. asd asd    

    Why the hell do you even care…these “social” networks are the most useless things ever created by man…I don’t have a smart phone, don’t use twitter…facebook…whatever else is out there…you just don’t need any of it…so yeah…go people, unplug yourselves!!

    1. Amanda Blain    

      Hmmm why the heck did you even comment on a social media post… since you don’t care about social media at all? :)

  22. Jessica    

    I would fight someone if they tried to take Google+ away from me.
    Jessica recently posted…Now Open Naperville AuroraMy Profile

  23. Mark Fine    

    It is amazing to me how “tribal” it has got G+ versus Facebook. They all have a place in the social media hemisphere. Personally I’ve found G+ to be a platform to engage in my passions, be they writing, soccer (football), music, wildlife conservation with like-minded individuals (whether friends or strangers, local or foreign). It remains a wonderful experience, and destined to live on despite executive changes at Google.

  24. Andrew Goodman    

    You have 18,000 Twitter followers, and 4,000,000 Google+ followers? Explain.

  25. Mark G    

    The G+ Hate is spewed by many than have Facebook stock and fear Google.

  26. Dan Auito    

    You tell’em Amanda, way to put the story straight. We can only hope these dopes pick it up and run it as a voice of reason piece. Loved it! Can’t wait for you to set the story straight in front of 5000 social media maniacs and movers and shakers in November! Bravo Amanda!!!!

  27. Sheila Hensley    

    Found you from a comment by a friend. Newish to G+. Trying to find my place and learn from others. Consider today my lucky day because I was fortunate enough to read this particular post. Brilliant! Thank you. I am now among the many who follow and admire you. You go girl.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      Thanks for stopping by Shelia.. and welcome to G+ :)

  28. DJ Thistle    

    Amanda Blain crushing it again. :) Nice job and well said. I say your article shared shortly after I read this one by Matt Cruikshank: http://mattcruikshank.blogspot.com/2014_04_01_archive.html

    I think you’re right about people who love G+. We need to get out there in masses and tell everyone why we love G+, be it a blog post, a podcast, a video, or whatever. I’m starting my #MyGooglePlusStory tonight.

    Thanks as always Amanda. :)
    DJ Thistle recently posted…SteamFeed TV – Google, US Airways #Fail , Twitter RedesignMy Profile

  29. vijay    

    just like bing is ghost engine & win phone is ghost mobile…

  30. Marc zwygart    

    I think what most reporters fail to realize is that Google+ isn’t trying to be the ultimate social network. They are using Google+ to connect their services and to identify authorship and influence of content creators within their particular niche. The problem has been that Google has done a poor job of getting large content creators and reporters to understand this and to get on board building a following.
    Marc zwygart recently posted…Best URL Structure for SEOMy Profile

  31. Tara Ross    

    I bet if you asked most reporters to define “social search” they would look at you with a blank stare. If they *actually realized* the power of the social search feature that Google creates via G+ every. single. one. of them would be using it madly.
    Tara Ross recently posted…Overcoming Procrastination – a No-Guilt GuideMy Profile

    1. Amanda Blain    

      :) Shhhhh Thats our secret Tara! :)

  32. Raj K.    

    “As one of G+ largest and most popular users…”>/i>

    Oh, don’t be so hard on yourself, I’m sure there are much larger users than you on G+.

    But seriously, this is comically poor writing. It continues to baffle me how, by posting inane motivational graphics, cat pictures, “OMG I Love coffee!” and other drivel that’s already ubiquitous all over the web, with poor spelling, atrocious grammar, and not an original thought for miles, this lady has 4 million followers.

    It defies explanation.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      You again Raj K? Are you following me around the web and commenting everywhere my name gets mentioned positively?

      Don’t you have better things to do then hate on a girl without original thoughts post that your arguing and commenting on?

  33. AskSock Ngo Quang Dao    

    I love your article and mostly agree with you! Google+ help me and my company a lots, i can seo with Google+ Author.I used Google+ for my work, to promote my brand, my company, my project – Google+ is very smart and i loved it.Google+ will never die, or be a ghost town!
    AskSock Ngo Quang Dao recently posted…Người Việt Nam chỉ thích chém gió…My Profile

    1. Amanda Blain    

      :) Author is an amazing part of G+… really helps my searches! Thank you for stopping by!

  34. Kevin Tomlinson    

    Great article. The media. They sit at a table, decide the angle and go after that angle. Not the true story or any nuances. The writer just wants to meet the deadline and do what the editor assigned. #sad.

  35. Gil Pacheco    

    Well stated, Jason. I share the same opinion regarding the purpose and feel I have experienced on G+. I am relatively new to G+ but can say the interaction and communication value surpasses anything I have experienced on other social channels.

  36. Duncan Booth    

    Casterly Rock, you make a fair point that we need to look at ordinary people. I’m nobody, but I use G+. I have 1,163 followers, 643,092 views of my posts, most of my posts get multiple comments and +1s. On Facebook I have 132 friends, no idea if any of my posts ever get seen.

  37. Phyrra    

    As always, fabulous article. I’m glad you brought up the numbers!
    Phyrra recently posted…If you could splurge on one luxury beauty treatment what would it be?My Profile

  38. Karmi Phuc    

    Great article, AB! The more I hate TechCrunch, the more I love every words/facts/figures in your article.
    I am a Vietnamese fan of Google/Google+, and this article will be a wonderful weapon for me to make use of. Thank you very much.

    And bye bye TechCrunch, the Talking Dead!
    Karmi Phuc recently posted…6 tuần hạnh phúc cùng Facebook FavoriteMy Profile

    1. Amanda Blain    

      :) hehe talking dead… I plan on linking to the post regularly also :)

  39. Mike Weaver    

    Holy cow. Your grammar is awful. This should have been a wonderful article to read, but I couldn’t make it past the second paragraph.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      I went on vacation for a week immediately after posting this Mike. Sorry you were unable to read my typos and i’ll make a million percent positive that all future posts are up to your standards of viewership.

      Feel free to volunteer to proof read my stuff in the future :)

  40. Johnnie L. Martin    

    I’m looking for Google+ to explode to be the best social media concerning my interest, within the next 2 years…Thanks for the article and hard work!

  41. Barb David    

    I’m gonna feed a few trolls… There is nowhere in her post where Amanda claims to be a journalist, so harping on grammar and structure while intentionally ignoring the content is a complete cop-out and I call shenanigans!

    1. Amanda Blain    

      Thanks Barb. I’m not.. and never will be a journalist… I SERIOUSLY appreciate your commenting among a sea of grammar Nazis… I just didn’t have the time to get this professional read before posting and just wanted to get a message out before my vacation :)

  42. dean    

    Amanda,

    Thank you for writing this article. I like Google+ and I have helped clients use it for the SEO benefits we have been told exist for those willing to utilize Google+.

    What is your take on why G+ masked the +1 counts? Do you believe that Google considers the +1s the most important social signal that goes into tabulating search rankings? Thanks again.

    1. Amanda Blain    

      I think Google Is working on much more complicated back end stats for your G+ account… close to analytics/adsense tools…. Views help people see there stuff is being seen… +1s were getting spammed a bit lately also… Will be interesting to see what happens :)

  43. Gina Drayer    

    “social search” is one of the best features in G+. It’s a powerful tool for anyone looking to build a brand. There’s no comparison to any other social media site.

  44. Michael Alperstein    

    This is a really good message Amanda. The reporters have a huge influence on whether or not it is seen as a ghost town.

    I would like to add something else to the mix..

    This is something else I think will help change the Ghost Town perception:

    I would like to see more enticing and inviting search results on Google Plus.

    For example, suppose I love to go bowling. Suppose I am BRAND NEW to G +, so I search for “Bowling” out of curiosity.

    I see a handful of results, but they are NOT very interesting.

    That is where the rubber hits the road! Because I did not find much on Bowling, my chances of sticking around are low.

    On Facebook, Bowling has 6,000,000 enthusiasts.

    I don’t have the exact solution, but my gut tells me there is a way to increase active users and show how busy it is. Using my example, there is a way to encourage a bowling enthusiast to join a bowling community on G +.

    After a search. a call to action would help: “Join a community that interests you.”

    There needs to be a clear invitation. To a Newbie, the results of a search have a very high chance of looking boring.

    Contrast this to doing a search for “Bowling” on google.com. and you immediately get tons of enticing results!

    Of course you don’t want G plus too cluttered, but I just think if the results were a little busier-looking it would knock down the ghost town perception really fast!!

    If you agree, please submit this suggestion to Google using Feedback on the left side of a page at the bottom of the pulldown menu.

    Thanks,
    Michael

    1. Amanda Blain    

      I Think that Communities are still under work… and yes highlighting them more in search results would be a great start :)

  45. Carlos Molinatti    

    Muy bueno! Creo que G+ es genial con todo el conjunto de productos y, sí, si quiere estar aislado entonces nunca entre a internet; se supone que uno está en una red social para interactuar con todos!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Berrie Pelser    

    Amanda, very well said, Google+ is here to stay and will be the biggest of all but also the most usefull! Thx!
    Berrie Pelser recently posted…Social Networks You Should Care About in 2014?My Profile

    1. Amanda Blain    

      Hey Berrie! Been awhile… Totally agree… thanks for stopping by

  47. Susan Walsh    

    Nice letter to who ever these reporters you are talking about. You have some good input, the statistics are great and here’s my story about Google+, which I tout all the time as to how we use it both externally and internally.

    My partner and I have been on Google+ since the beginning, we each have a Profile page and our business has a Google+ Local Page and a Brand Page – we use Google+ to engage new clients and interact with our peers in Communities. We serve clients at their locations, at one of our home offices and now via Google+ Video Hangouts providing WordPress, Local SEO and Google+ Training. We also use Google+ internally; we are a small business, therefore, Video Hangouts are used a couple of times a week for our meetings. We train clients via Video Hangouts how to use Google+ and WordPress. It’s great because you can share your screen and even take control of someone else. Communities can be used for internal projects such as a Workshop we are putting on. You make it Private, invite those involved and create categories. We use Google Apps, which is integrated into video Hangouts.

    We started off helping businesses setup Google+ Local (formally Google Places) and design and developing WordPress Websites. From there, we realized people want to learn how to use Google+ and WordPress. Video Hangout allows us to expand who we train, the client doesn’t have to be local. I’m located in MA and had a call yesterday from an accountant in Italy. I had setup Google Authorship with the WordPress (Yoast) plugin and wrote about it as a blog post. Well, Authorship worked and that’s how this person, now a new client, found me. I was able to schedule a Video Hangout for today, the client had never used Video Hangout of Google+ except he recently setup the Google+ Profile for his daughter that blogs – long story short – Video Hangouts are a great business tool – it helped the client and it helped me secure business. I could go on and on about how much I love using Google+. I engage using my Profile page in Communties and the business pages for everything else. It’s harder to get followers on a business page, but they are what I consider solid leads if they follow us back. Profile pages can have 100,000 followers, bt are the really interested what you do. I’m serious about who I follow and would not want someone following me who isn’t really looking at what I post. Perhaps you should write an article about how much value there really is to how many people that follow you – it’s like n twitter or LinkedIn. A matter of fact, when someone one LinkedIn wants permission to link with me, if I see they have more than 500 people, it turns me off.

    Thanks for encouraging us to write about how we use Google+. It would be nice to see you interact with your readers. Perhaps, you are out of town, you seem to have disappeared. Mike Blumenthal from Blumenthal’s blog interacts with his readers. He’s a guru when it comes to local search and Google+ Local. What I love is to read the comments, especially, because Mike responds to most of the people that make them. Here’s an example http://blumenthals.com/blog/2014/04/23/google-now-displaying-full-review-snippets-in-the-knowledge-panel/

    1. Amanda Blain    

      Hey Susan,

      I was away on Vacation for a week immediately after posting this (which i posted on all social platforms but didnt have an option to update the blog here)…

      Thanks for sharing your story and stopping by… It’s a good one :)

  48. Stephen Welton    

    I just love it when my Canadian friends get fired up. I could hear the sound of the bell as the round started on this one. Amanda the world I work in from time to time sees the same things. Comments or statements made that buzz but have no data or sourced information. Bunch of wild media warriors just doing their part I guess. I love the people on Google+ who live and share meaningful things. Who give us all a glimpse into their world. Their point of view. Obviously you know that I’m all about the “positive mojo” but I work my butt off behind the good vibes. I think what I love most about what you wrote is that you walk the walk. May the 4th be with all of you. :) (Sorry had to)

    1. Amanda Blain    

      :) Yeah I imagine you see a lot of this in your industry too … Appreciate you stopping by to pass on the mojo

  49. Henry McHenry    

    I like the article. I couldn’t agree more G+ is (way) far from dead. Thanks to it I’ve met unknown people and can read a bunch of interesting stuff, be it technology, arts outdoors, etc

    It’s kinda like I use FB for interacting with friends and family and G+ for the rest of the world.

  50. Azareal    

    You seem surprised that a pro-Google+ site has more followers on Google+?

  51. Azareal    

    ^ That comment was directed at Andrew Goodman who was surprised about the higher follower count on Google+.

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