The Great Google Plus Experiment

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I know most people hate Google Plus or snicker to themselves when someone brings it up as a social network. I get it. If a tree falls on Google Plus, it may or may not make a sound.

The sad thing is that Google+ has a lot of cool features. Functionally and from a design perspective, it’s a far superior product than Faecbook. Sure, it doesn’t have our likes and our grandmothers aren’t on it but it does a lot of things really well. The main barrier to adoption appears to be the lack of adoption. Nobody wants to use it because their friends don’t use it.

I’ve mentioned this casually on Twitter and to a few friends but decided to finally commit. Starting Monday 11/4 I’m going to give up Facebook and use Google + exclusively for at least one week. If I like it, I may try and go a bit longer.

So, if you work in social media full-time, how can you get away with not using Facebook.

Third-party apps and dummy accounts. 

Sure, there’s no way for me to completely avoid Facebook in every aspect of my life. At the end of the day, Facebook activity for clients pays the bills. I still have to maintain some activity on Facebook in regards to content management and ad buying. For my client work, I’m only going to use a dummy account to manage all the pages that I don’t have any friends or family attached to. I’ll also use Sprout Social for any other post scheduling or moderation needs. My Facebook restriction will come down to usage on my personal account.

The Ground Rules

Seeing how I’m in a bit of a predicament with my day job, I have to establish what I can and can’t do online to make this a truly successful experiment. Here’s what I have:

Only Using Dummy Accounts at Work: I will only use a fake account to attach admin credentials to for the time being and stay logged into that at all times.

Avoiding Open Graph: Facebook isn’t just Facebook.com but a whole ecosystem of connected content. I’ll avoid Open Graph objects like Like buttons and use +1 buttons instead to share content and give my online validation. There are a few exceptions to this rule. I have several apps (like Any.Do, Spotify etc) that require a Facebook login to connect. I’ll still use my Facebook login because I honestly can’t remember if I had a password on those programs or not.

Continue Posting on Google + Like I Would Facebook: Family photos, checkins, blog posts etc. Any activity that I would do on Facebook. Just because I’m not on Facebook doesn’t mean I’ll be refrain from being social. I want to use the new space as often as possible.

Avoiding Instagram Too: Haven’t completely nailed down an option but I’ll probably try and not use (or view) Instagram for a week too. Google just released a TON of new photo editing and sharing tools this week at an event. Not using Instagram will encourage me to use those new tools.

Not Using Facebook Chat: I use Facebook chat to keep in touch with the wife during the work day. Hopefully she’ll be okay with using Google’s chat option for a few days.

Before I start, I’m planning on doing a few housekeeping things the next few days. I don’t have to do this but want to give my Google Plus experience every chance it can of being great.

  • Re-organizing all of my Circles and creating any new ones that may be necessary
  • Organizing photo albums
  • Updating my Google+ profile
  • Joining (and leaving) a few Communities

What else did I leave off for Facebook activities to avoid?

Does anyone else want to join me on my week-long experiment? I now have my vanity URL as plus.google.com/+drewhawkins if you want to Circle up!

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  • April

    Let me know how it goes!

    • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

      Follow up coming soon!

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    I’m very interested in how this went or did you do it yet? I could get on board with trying this with you if you haven’t. And is it just Google+ over Facebook, or all social networks? I see you mentioned Instagram, but surely you aren’t thinking you could avoid Twitter too right?

    • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

      I just wrapped up one week today. Hopped on my personal Facebook today and skimmed through notifications quickly. May extend it another week.

      It’s mainly G+ over Facebook. There’s a two-fold goal of seeing if I could replace one with the other (I already knew the answer but wanted to confirm it). I didn’t see any way to avoid Twitter at all. I’m putting up a follow-up post on the week here in the next day or so.

      • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

        I’m very interested in if you found value at all in G+ after this…