What if Facebook was Good for Google+?

A great post by Mike Elgan the other day about how to get your friends and family on Google+, and making G+ your only social media stop. But what if Google+ needed Facebook? What if Facebook made Google+ better?

You see, where I grew up – in Portsmouth, N.H. – there were (and still are) two towns adjacent to each other: Portsmouth and Newington, N.H. The downtown part of Portsmouth had all of the trendy shops, coffee joints, local restaurants and clothing stores. It had all of the places you would get excited about going to and none of the nonsense.

Newington had the mall(s), chain restaurants, and corporate stores. Because of this – for a snob like me – Newington became the place you couldn’t live without, but never wanted to see. It was a place you could go, but you would never tell your visiting parents, “Hey mom, I just tried this amazing restaurant. Have you ever heard of T.G.I. Friday’s?”

Consider this: what if Facebook was the Newington to Google+’s Downtown Portsmouth? What if all of the junk could stay on Facebook and everything you wanted to see could exist on Google+? Without Facebook, all of the reasons you hate it could be the same for Google+ – not cool.

What I guess I’m trying to say is: don’t force it Mike Elgan. Google+ is a terrific place, and what makes it terrific is the people on it. No one has tried harder than myself to migrate the “laggards of the anything world” to either jump ship from Facebook or migrate content over to G+.

I’ve tried to describe the difference to them or how it doesn’t matter if people they know are on it (insert follow Mike ElganTrey Ratcliff or any of the countless heavy hitters that pump out great stuff), and how Hangouts could change social business for everyone. I’ve tried to get individuals who already have a gmail account and told them how with two simple clicks they could have a G+ account. I’ve tried to tell them about shared circles and how their streams could come to life in the matter of three or four more clicks if they just listened to me.

But again, I reiterate. Marketers don’t call them laggards for nothing. Sometimes it’s better to let them arrive on their own terms. People tend to resist things that could either be good for them or spark their interests – if it’s forced upon them. If I could only offer one bit of advice Mike Elgan: make them think it’s their idea and nothing else.


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