It’s ironic that CNET published this article last night (I saw it today). It’s ironic because it’s how I feel, and this morning, I thought of (what I think) is a pretty good metaphor for two popular social media sites, Facebook and Google+. I’ll share that in a moment, but first , let me “go around the block” as you’ll find I often do.
I plan on writing a lot about my social media experiences on this blog as well because social media is technology, and I am a consumer of it. A consumer in the sense that I use a product or service, not necessarily pay for it. But because we are all users of these services, that also means we are customers, and customer service (and the customer experience) is something that I take very seriously, both as a customer as well as in my real job. I was brought up to have a certain work ethic and truly care about the product and/or service that I provided, and as such, I expect no less, if not more so, from the products and services I choose to use.
My wife gets frustrated with me when she sees me post “frustrations” about Facebook on Facebook and that I continuously champion Google+. And while she has a point that, “if I don’t like it, stop using it,” the main reason I have posted said frustrations is to inform people as no one should accept the status quo if something isn’t done right, and that there may be a better alternative. I haven’t “left” Facebook (yet), but it is my intention to either help drive a better customer experience, or show people the way to a better customer experience. The block is now rounded.
Facebook is a nightclub or a bar in your hometown. It’s full of people. Some you know, a lot you don’t. Some you are happy to see…and a lot you aren’t. Some people are there to have a good time. Some are really drunk and end up having a bad time (or worse, make you have a bad time). Some are there to hook up and some don’t want to be there at all. A lot of are there just because all their friends are. And, EVERYONE is taking pictures.
But no matter what the reason you are there, you are all stuck in there together. Everyone is trying to rush the bar to get drinks, and the News Feed bartender picks and chooses who he wants to serve.
Google+ is a nice big park on a spring day. There may not be a lot of people there, but you’re pretty much there for the same reason. You’re there to have fun and you enjoy being there. There are circles of people there that all have the same interests that you can join or leave as you wish. Everyone is generally pleasant. It’s wide open enough that you can actually find your own private spot that you don’t have to share anything with anybody. Occasionally you see celebrities jog by and you can jog along with them if you choose. And, everyone is taking pictures here too, but you get to pick who gets to see them.
There is no one governing what you do or say, other than yourself because you choose who you want to say it to, and the people, because they can choose to listen or not.
I’ll let you ponder on that for a bit. Please comment, I’d love to get your opinions. +1 me on the G+ button, and you can Like me too…once in a while I like to go out to the bar. Oh, and I said that I was just writing about Facebook and Google+, but Twitter is that late night pizza stand you stumble up to after leaving the bar. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes you grab a slice, and sometimes you miss it. But it’s a good quick fix and then time to go home.