Following my last post titled ‘Google+ and #ukhousing – is 2014 the year?’ I’ve continued to have lots of conversations with people about the ups and downs of using Google+. I’ve also continued using G+ to interact with other people and learn as much as possible about the platform.
Since my last post, I’ve had some further thoughts on Google+ and I’ve identified 5 reasons why I think #ukhousing should adopt Google+:
1. G+ will become more common place. We’ve all seen that Facebook numbers have started to reduce, but this trend was forecast some years ago. Well here’s another trend that’s been forecast, G+ membership is growing fast and will continue to do so. Whether you agree with Google’s continued plan to embed the platform in other Google products, it’s a fact that this will only increase G+ membership.
2. G+ Circles and Communities. I had no idea what the Communities facility, or even the circles part was about when I first looked around G+. But the more I’ve used them, the more they make sense. In essence, they enable users to link with other like-minded people, either individually or in groups. You can part of a small or large community and it can be based on anything or interest to you. You can even start your own community. You can also sort your G+ followers into circles of similar people. For me, I’ve only recently sorted my G+ circles out and I have to say, after doing some basic categorisation (e.g. blogs, social media, family, friends etc.) they are really helpful. You can use each circle to post something just to that circle, or conversely you can view G+ posts put out just from that circle of people. It’s a joy to use once you get it right.
3. G+ has a higher usability factor than other platforms. We all know that Twitter has a 140 character limit. Whilst this is brilliant for quick conversations and thoughts, G+ allows for much, much more. In fact, I’ve recently read that the limit is at least 10,000 characters. The other big difference is that G+ allows for video and pictures to be embedded in posts, making this a nice visual platform that also allows for a decent level of writing as well. It’s the sheer volume of people on G+ from the #ukhousing world (this is still low) that’s holding this back. But you read it here first, #ukhousing will adopt G+. It’s just a matter of when not if.
4. G+ enables a much richer conversation to be had with people. You can have conversations on G+ with people you wouldn’t be able to on other platforms. I’ll be putting this to the test in the next few weeks to see just how effective this can be and posting the results on my blog.
5. G+ ‘hangouts’. I was recently involved in a Google+ hangout as part of the Visceral Connected Housing Report 2013. I’d never been involved in a G+ hangout before, but after having done so, I can really see the benefits. It’s much like using Skype, but has more fluidity as you can make the hangouts public (or not) and users can pop in and out of the hangout as they wish. Thinking it through further, I think G+ hangouts could well be used in the future for customer/tenant/staff interface.
So come on #ukhousing, who’s up for the challenge?