So, Google rolled out their new applicationGoogle+ Communities last week, to much fanfare.
And to anyone who has used Facebook Groups to follow their own interest networks it will be feel familiar.
Certainly interest network communities was something long overdue introducing.
Take a Step Back Though
For the last 18 months or so Google have been chiming on about Google+ circles.
Thing is, G+ Circles is a very much a people-centric approach to social networking.
“Here’s a circle of folk I like. I’ll share it on to my tribe as they may like them too – Birds of a feather flock together… and all that jazz.”
By contrast, the application of G+ Communities is very much an interest-centric approach to social networking. In fact, I’d go one step further and say it is idea-centric.
There are lots of things to ponder about such a change:
- Are idea-centric communities less personal? Less emotional?
If it is then wouldn’t the exit barriers be lower (people are less attached/loyal to the system)?
- Are ideas more powerful anyway? Wouldn’t they be able to drive more engagement & discussion?
There is a quote from the female protagonist in V for Vendetta that sprung to mind when considering the power of communities and circles:
“We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I’ve witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I’ve seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them… but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it… ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love… And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man… A man that made me remember the Fifth of November. A man that I will never forget.”
Will it Succeed?
We’ll have to wait and see. It’s still early days.
Google needed to do something with the social network and shake it up a little.
Thing is, they are keeping both Circles and Communities live. It’s not an either/or scenario.
- People-people will gravitate to Circles.
- Cerebral-people will gravitate to Communities
And Cat-people’s meme pics will still annoy the heck out of me either ways