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Facebook, Google+ or Something Else? Whose Side Are You Taking?



The past week has brought some significant change (or opportunity for change?) to the landscape of the social web. The biggest news being the initial trial balloon sent up for Google+ (with the supposed general rollout happening at the end of this month) and the announcement of the Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed ‘super awesome’ deepening of the relationship between Facebook and Microsoft (can that be a good thing?) with the Skype via Facebook video chat offering.

There is much to consider now from a personal and professional standpoint. With every ‘innovation’ it becomes increasingly clear that the one thing that even Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page can’t change is that pesky 24 hours in a day rule. In other words, we are all only human and can only handle so much and have a life as well.

As marketers we are forced to have a grasp of it all but as people we can only handle so much. So today we need to ask ourselves some serious questions and our answers will shape how we move forward personally and professionally in the Internet industry.

Here are some questions I am pondering.

  1. Am I willing to split my social web time between different services to serve different needs in my life?
  2. Are the limitations of each platform restricting enough to make me use more than one social media platform to get everything done the way it fits me best?
  3. Am I willing to simply give everything I have and say online to two large companies whose end game is not to protect me but to exploit me?
  4. Will the social web start to look like the two party political landscape we currently have which creates ideological camps and ultimately restricts how well we can all get along?
  5. What company am I more comfortable with when handing over my personal interactions; Google or Facebook?
  6. As a marketer, how realistic is it to expect individuals to have a true grasp of the ins and outs of all the options that exist in the marketplace?
  7. As a person trying to survive in a world of less and less opportunity, how willing are you to stake your professional life on one or the other platform? Could a solid stand in either direction ultimately cost you your job and/or reputation?
  8. Along with the finite limitations of time itself, what about the finite marketing budgets that most live with? The business world is not an ever-flowing fount of money to hand over to every Tom, Dick and Facebook that comes along. Where will it be best to spend marketing bucks?
  9. How confident can I be that one or more of the current options won’t go all MySpace on me and completely derail?

These are just a few of the questions I am considering in light of all the change that is right in our laps today and the likelihood that we ain’t seen nothing yet.

What about you? Where are you on this rollercoaster ride of the Internet? Are you going to be a generalist? Are you going to be a specialist and if so where?

So many questions and so many readers. We would love to hear what YOU have to say. After all, if YOU don’t play along then these companies have nothing to do from 9 to 5.

  • http://bit.ly/freetrainingcall Ted Peterson

    Hey Frank…

    This is a great post! I have already signed on with Google+ and still figuring it out…There are some real differences. Your right, there are only 24 hours in a day… I’m already using Social Oomph (http://www.socialoomph.com/87452.html) to help with automating my post to several social sites (twitter, facebook & linkedin) but you do need to spend some actual time on the site building those relationships…Until I get a better idea of how well Google+ is going to work out for me I will still be spending most of my personal time with Facebook and twitter…

    Ted

  • http://www.arcanasphere.com MrAndrewJ

    3. Shouldn’t it be mutually beneficial exploitation between us and the social networks?
    4. Facebook is trying to draw some kind of us/them line, aren’t they? No one likes an overbearing relationship. It could only hurt any network whose policies take the tone of, “You cheating louse! You stay in the KitchenVille where you belong! (Please don’t leave. Please?)”
    9. You can’t. You can’t control the decisions – good or bad – of the social networks. You can’t control the reactions that your contacts and clients have to those decisions.

    My question, based off #9. Wouldn’t well-calculated adaptation be best? Any one site/network may be viewed as a fad, but it also seems that people have wanted to be social on these networks since day one. Usenet (1980) and IRC (1988) could have also been called fads. The tools change. The social element stays mostly the same.

  • http://www.drivingrain.com Bryn Adler

    I think point 6 is spot-on. Google+, from what I’ve heard, sounds increasingly complex and difficult to use casually; it’s something that requires persistence to crack. How many people will acquire it, stick with it, use it regularly and confidently, and be able to be reached as consumers through it once the time comes? Marketers are still trying to find out the best ways to utilize Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for marketing purposes; is Google+ going to throw another wrench into the system?

    Especially given the nature of the “circles” – if nobody knows what circles they are in, the community is less open and therefore it will be harder to reach out across connections’ channels to access a larger audience.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    I hate Facebook and only use it because my friends compel me to.

    I doubt I’ll use Google Plus unless everyone jumps ship on Facebook and moves over there.

    I hate Facebook even more now that more sites are using Facebook as a login portal (I use it myself on my forums — I must hate me too).

    God help us all if Google tries to become the login portal of the Web.

    Can’t we all just login to local databases?

    • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

      Logging in locally is the only way I will do anything. If I am not given the option I simply go away. I wonder how long I will have that luxury before I won’t be able to do anything online without first checking into some Big Brother-esque overseer of my activity.

      Let’s face it Michael, we’ve created this monster and now it’s going to eat us whole. Here’s to individuality and freedom on the Internet (as long as it’s done the way they say it should be)!

      • http://stores.ebay.com/SeeWhatYouBuy-Books Catalunya

        I doubt individuality and freedom will go away, as any market need that is large enough will find a provider.
        This consolidation of access simply has to stop as it takes just one accident to compromise billions. Ugghhhh.

  • http://www.create-a-home-business.com karen comer

    I detest Twitter and loathe Facebook, like Michael Martinez but FB is the best way for me to keep in touch with my friends around the world. Being in the internet marketing business I really should start using Twitter, but frankly I find 99% of it unnecessary BS and noise, I don’t give a darn about the latest (millionth) acne remedy or whether it’s raining in Walla Walla.

    I think Google is going to place less importance on Facebook links etc as time goes on, and especially if Google+ takes off.

    I am certainly willing to give it a try – I just wish social actually meant social and not another marketing venue. Hopefully Google+ will be able to keep everyone’s personal information more secure than Facebook has, but it looks like Google is really becoming Big Brother.

    Log on with FaceBook? Hell no.

  • Mex

    I’m quite a heavy user of both Twitter and FaceBook, but I get annoyed the the silly character limit in twitter, and they just can’t stop themselves from buggering about with FB making it more annoying to use with each /improvement/ they make. I’ve only been on G+ for a few days now, but so far I’m really liking it. As soon as they iron out a few kinks and fix a couple of bugs, I’m ready to drop the other two completely.

  • http://www.accountantsnewcastle.co.uk CJ from Accountants Newcastle

    I am just not comfortable with this either. I can not stand Facebook and I doubt that Google Plus will be any better – willing to give it a try though if anyone could do the honours.