Google is beginning to roll out another social offering that is tied to the search mothership (and the ads displayed on it as well ). But I will be honest. After doing some research as to what others were saying about +1 in addition to what Google says about it, I am at the point where my hair hurts. Let’s start with the obligatory Google nod at marketing called the cute video intro on the Google blog of (insert service name here).
The blog post goes into tremendous detail of what +1 will do and it should rank number one for the term “+1” because it’s mentioned 15 times in the post (my count at least).
Here’s my question to our readers though. How many of you have the same group of friends or social connections in your Google profile as you do in Facebook Twitter or anywhere else? I ask because the key to this becoming truly social is how many people will see your +1’s (which is now Google’s Like or retweet equivalent). Those would be the people in your Google social network which, until today at least, has been an oxymoron.
According to Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land
Let’s talk about your +1 social network now. When you enable +1, it will be made up of:
People in your Gmail & Google Talk chat list
People in your “My Contacts” group in Google Contacts
People you follow in Google Reader or Google Buzz
What’s missing are people you are connected to via non-Google services, such as Twitter, Flickr or Quora. That’s something that will come in the future, Google says.
Indeed, we know that there are some “hidden” options that were added to Google Profiles recently, allowing you to connect those profiles to other social networking accounts. It could be that these will be enabled soon, as part of the +1 rollout.
Sullivan then goes on to explain how you have another social network from Google’s Social Search which is still separate from the +1 group. Honestly, it’s like a social clusterplusone. Then Danny, bless his heart, gives the whole Google social picture in painstaking detail which only served to confuse me more even though I know that what he wrote is spot on (it almost always is). I just don’t see how these can all run concurrently (+1, Social Search, Buzz) and the average person can make any sense of it. Is it so much to ask for Google to produce something that could be understood easily by the vast majority of people who use search engines which are just regular folks looking for some information rather than a spider web of social starts and stops?
In the end, I am going to wait to see exactly what +1 does and who it does it to before I say anything else. If you would like to join the experiment you can do so here.
Can you explain +1 in a succinct sentence? Let’s see your attempts in the comments. I sure could use them.