Social Climbing, Social Networking, Anti-Social Behavior

I have been using Google + for a few days now (and no, this is not a post all about Google +) and have noticed an interesting phenomenon already. Everyone wants a “do-over” on social connectivity. Much discussion is happening around posts like, “Will you build your network differently here?” And the consensus seems to be that many people want to approach the whole concept of networking differently. Either they intend to be more selective in who they follow or add or they intend to be more rigorous in the groups (“circles” in + parlance) they form or maintain.

Another common thread is the desire to return to the halcyon early days of social networks when the novelty of connecting with other people – interesting people –was the driver behind the growth of Twitter or Facebook. You know, back before brands and marketing became the main focus of those old networks. Yes, that was a tiny bit sarcastic, I admit. Google + could potentially be much larger than Twitter given its much larger reach and the opportunity for even the most casual, non-networked internet user to be exposed to it every time someone does a search. Google + will be baked in to the search experience in a very seamless way by early indications (new “share” buttons have appeared in my gmail and my Google Reader apps already).

I remember the euphoria that accompanied my early days on Twitter, now nearly three years back, when someone new followed me. I long ago turned off “new follow” notifications because the emails were swamping my inbox. But I have the “notifications” from Google + turned on and that old feeling is back…. a little rush when someone adds me or comments on a post or shares something with me. Will it last? Probably not. Google + may end up being a better tool for personal connection, but professional networkers will soon be all over that platform and newly minted Google + jedi, knights, gurus and the like will be hawking their professional help. Soon, the who is following whom will become a game of sorts… social climbing for the 21st century.

Will anything be different in two years? Won’t Google + (or whatever is next) become what the users make of it and choose to do with it? Is a “do-over” really possible if defining relevance online via social cues – really the reason Google is doing this – will continue to be driven by who you know/are connected to and who’s talking about you, your brand, your company, your last presentation, slideshare, blog post or content bit? What do you think?


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6 Responses to “Social Climbing, Social Networking, Anti-Social Behavior”

  1. jen July 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    Girl I can’t get a log-in yet!? As soon as I’m in I’ll “friend” you 🙂
    Anxious to see if it meets the hype.

  2. Vera Ezimora July 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm #


    Much has been heard about this Google +, but I’m yet to experience it. Obviously, I haven’t been invited.

    I’ve thought about social media and how it continues to change. I’ve wondered what the new thing will be, or if one day, we will completely abandon social media and start a new trend. Have no idea what it will be called or what form it will take. I wonder what cell phones will be capable of doing ten years from now.

    It’s all a wonder.

    • Mandy Vavrinak July 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

      It is a wonder… And wow, yes! What will mobile phones be, or be replaced by, in 10 years? That would be a shift for so many platforms built on cell communication.

  3. Kellyology July 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    I thought it opened up today to everybody? Thought I saw that posted on Twitter. I think it will be same old same old & much like private networking groups such as those on Facebook. Once the glow is off all SM venues seem to go the way of the marketers.

    • Mandy Vavrinak July 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

      It’s not completely open yet, but I think it’s supposed to be within the month. I do think there will be a different de-glowing for Google + because of the potential for wider reach and faster adoption. Perhaps we’ll see more of a mass adoption rather than the growth over time that sucks in marketers? I don’t know, but I think will be interesting to watch!

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