I’ve spent the last few weeks toying with Google+. I admit, I’m not going into it full steam, but wading in and seeing if it provides enough value to stay. One of the big things I’ve noticed is that I seem to spending an inordinate amount of time trying to group people I already know from Twitter into different circles. And maybe that’s why I’m not really feeling the love, yet.
I find myself longing instead for those early days of Twitter. It was a time to connect with new big thinkers in my industry or people who I had blog-followed for years. People who seemed remote were suddenly available for contact. I found a lot of smart people I didn’t know existed. Following and conversing with them made me better and smarter.
It was a heady time. I found as much pleasure in connecting with people around the world as I did in watching them find each other. It resulted in lots of in-person connections that developed some pretty strong interpersonal ties. I saw it happening at conferences and especially at SXSW.
There’s a chance that Google+’s threaded conversations will make it easy to discover people who I should be connected to, who will have interesting ideas and comments, but who I don’t know of yet. Hopefully that will happen. It hasn’t yet.
Right now the questions for me of this new social network boils down to: is it a place where I’m supposed to more easily connect with my existing network? If so, it’s not really that easy to move my Twitter lists and friends to Google+. Or is it a place to connect with new people? It if is, it’s not really working so well.
Ultimately, I’m looking to use social networks to keep me connected to and informed by lots of really smart people who don’t necessarily live in my immediate area. It’s not to follow big swinging +s whose comments produce an endless thread of responses.
For me, the jury on Google+ is still out.