Social Web Apps Design
Online Community Development

What my Googleplus “About” Page Does for Me

by Saul Fleischman on August 29, 2012

It used to be LinkedIn for me

My LinkedIn profile was my most important and most shared representation of my career, publications, interests, professional affiliations, sites, projects, community involvements and social media presence.  I joined and participated in groups, formed and developed LinkedIn groups, and eagerly shared my LinkedIn profile with anyone who expressed interest in connecting with me professionally.  Now it is Google+ where my hardest-working professional profile resides, and this article is intended to encourage others to give their G+ About Page the attention that it needs – to ensure that you are known for what you want to be known for.

LinkedIn Profile vs Google+ About Page: It’s all about the dynamics

The untouched missing element in LinkedIn is the lack of any means of real-time communication.  People see our comments in groups, then move on to our profiles, or search for skills, etc. in LinkedIn and then come upon our profiles.  They can learn about us and perhaps connect, but know that we may not even find their connection request until the next day (or later).

Contrast this with Google+:  people search terms and tags, come upon content-sharers whom they may not already be following and Circle us or comment on our posts.  If we are online or use one of the available notifying Chrome extensions, we see this immediately.  We are notified that someone has “come knockin.”  We tend to meet with their act of engagement and respond – rapidly.

Even before Hangouts G+ virtual conferences, in which up to ten people can communicate with text chat, audio, video, share documents, YouTube videos, and more, when people circled me or commented on my posts, I found myself following this course of action:

  • Reply to comment and/or “+” (the G+ “like”) their interaction
  • Click their name, and perhaps peruse their last few posts and, then…
  • Read their About page
  • Decide whether to Circle them or not – and if I do so, from their About page, I decide which Circle to add them to (or create)

If I find a blank, sparse, playful, or cryptic About page, but like their posts or what we have discussed in a Hangout, I will probably add the new Google+ contact to a general “friends” or “fun to hang with” Circle.  More often, though, I am intrigued by what people say or post and am motivated to click on links in a strong About page and really learn about someone.  Oddly, within the left side G+ menu, Profile leads us to our Posts page, not our About page.

In G+ we are really connecting; in LinkedIn, I find that people keep each other at arm’s length.  As such, I aim to share my blogs, social media tool project, main profiles and social network accounts, and even be a little light-hearted in my Google+ About page.

Ways I connect with people on G+, what I want from our relationships

Most often, I am learning and helping

More so than LinkedIn connections or Facebook friends, I find (G+) Plussers to be far more willing to help a new friend out with an application configuration or new tool to try.  I help people with what I have figured out all the time, too.  The give-and-take is really going on in G+.

Sometimes, I find people in want of a resource for hashtag know-how

I love how quickly I can take a small group of new contacts with interest in the topic tag optimization tool my team is refining, RiteTag, and launch a quick demonstration or workshop on using the RiteTag site.  The majority of our first RiteTaggers have come to know our site through interaction with me in G+.  Nearly 100% of the bug reports, feature ideas and other feedback that helps us improve RiteTag comes from my Google+ connections (or the RiteTag page’s connections).

I also network and even do the “coffee break” hangout thing, too.  I have my “fun people” and hangout with them whenever I can.

Here’s what we recently did to brush up each others’ About pages:

Thoughts from “About Page Makeovers” Panelist John Crow:

“Google+ for me is about meeting people. To have a conversation. It doesn’t matter if we agree, in fact the argument is half the fun. I will and want to be civil, but if you “pull a gun” I can go there too, and enjoy that just as much, if not more. G+ is fast becoming my window on the world. I’m not a tech expert, nor am I looking to improve those skills primarily, so you won’t get much from me in that area. I do try to keep up with the Grand Poobahs, so I attended the “About Page Makeovers” hangout, In fact writing these comments has already improved my “About” page. But I really just want to talk to you. If we connect, that’s wonderful, if not, we continue down the street.”

Thoughts from “About Page Makeovers” Panelist Dan Nichols:

“Google+ is a medium to promote yourself and connect with your interests. It serves as a hybrid for professional and personal advocacy. The “About Page Makeovers” forum provides a great opportunity for Google+ users to help each other improve their profiles.”

About Saul Fleischman

Founder of emerging social media tool sites. Bootstrapping innovation with lean startup development teams. I do project management, user experience, PR, marketing and community development. size it!

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  • Dan Parrington

    All hail Google+! I sure hope this great network continues to grow and prosper. It’s been a great tool for me again and again.

    That said, I’ve found a lot of opportunity to network and build relationships on LinkedIn. It seems most people find Google+ the relaxed alternative, but no one has come across as unduly hoighty with me on LinkedIn. I guess every experience varies.

    Nice article, thoughtful analysis.

    • Saul Fleischman

      many thanks, @google-140a0e079a6caeea2fce38052d3c7087:disqus . G+ keeps adding more ways to get hooked. Be sure to master Hangoutsonair, for doing workshops, webinars, etc. I’mm all over them.

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