On the innovation curve, I’m not an innovator, but I am typically among the earliest of the early adopters. As a long time market researcher and ex-futurist, I’ve always felt that adopting new technologies, approaches, and innovations whether for the office, the kitchen, in restaurants, or my quilting, makes sense and is exciting. Yes, I’m a foodie and I’ve loved chocolate covered bacon for ages. And yes, I’m a quilter—making Japanese art quilts when not working on the CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey.
So when I was invited to join Google+ a month ago, I did. I’m also active on LinkedIn because I find the groups incredibly valuable as a news source and as a place to make contributions to our communities of practice like the HR Technology Conference or CedarCrestone. I also tweet and occasionally use Facebook, mostly in fits of loneliness over not seeing my kids and grandkids enough. I don’t really like Facebook though because Farmville and becoming the World Fair Champion or whatever the highest level is just seems like a gross waste of time. And services like FourSquare—I mean really, do I need to know that someone is entering the CIA headquarters building or at the local Dunkin Donuts? I do, however, believe that tweeting is part of my job as an HR technology thought leader—within reason.
My personal jury is out whether Google+ may also become a communication vehicle I want to or should use. On the one hand, I like the notion of Circles. I can create a circle of my family, my girlfriends, HR technology people, HR people, quilters, funny people, time wasters, etc. And no one can figure out if I view them as a time waster or someone of value. I also like Profiles. I think if you are a recruiter, you have to understand Google+ and Profiles. We all could learn about building out our profiles because it would be so much easier for a recruiter to find YOU for your next job, than you having to do that work yourself! And there’s more. Here’s a cool post describing how recruiters are using Google+: TOTALLY geeking out over Google+. Written by a recruiter whose dream is that everyone will build a profile (the more detail the better), and that reading her post will lead you to another site on just how to pimp up your profile. While there, you will also hear perhaps the best all-time commercial ever made.
One of my roles in my job life is to help organizations develop and take early advantage of emerging technologies. I did this in the eighties, when I did early market research for Microsoft Opus, the code name for its first foray into what was then called word processing and today is called Microsoft Word. I did this as a futurist back in the early nineties when major corporations were looking at “groupware”—the kinds of collaborative technologies that we’re finally seeing becoming main stream today. And I’ve done it for years now, helping HR technology vendors build out their value proposition for everything from self service to business intelligence and analytics and helping major corporations build their business case for same technologies.
Right now, my personal jury is not seeing the value of Google+ and I think it is definitely not there yet for corporations. It’s a time sink instead of a time saver for me. My personal network, news feeds and the folks I follow on Twitter give me better information than I’m getting on Google+ right now. Despite getting some coaching, I’ve not been able to figure out how to post from Twitter into Google+ and I don’t have time to both tweet and Google+. And, what the hey, there’s no cool word for doing Google+ like there is for using Twitter—we can’t call the posters “googlers” because most everyone in the world is a googler when searching for something. Do we call them GPlusers? What? So the value proposition just isn’t there yet for me. But, I do like finding out about a new local IPA! Please be my fellow Googler+ and help me change my mind.