An Evangelist Makes the Case for Google+

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overcoming the Google+ gender gap (the user base is heavily skewed toward males) from Lynette Young, the curator of the Women of Google+ page. Take the time to read and implement a few of Kawasaki’s tips, and you’re guaranteed to get more out of Google+, both personally and professionally.

But that still leaves the big question unanswered. Is Google+ so enchanting that it will woo hundreds of millions of people away from Facebook? I’m not convinced that it is. For all its amazing features, the service is missing a few of the fuzzier elements that, at least to me, would inspire true devotion. The main one is what I’ll call warmth. Google+ just doesn’t feel like a place where I want to hang out. Like most of Google’s products, it’s got a Spartan, utilitarian atmosphere, embodied in everything from its cryptic toolbar icons to its stark white background to its dominant typeface—the industrial-feeling Arial/Helvetica. One person’s profile feels pretty much like every other’s, except for the thumbnail images. Maybe the whole thing just reminds me too much of Gmail—which is an extremely useful tool, but one I want to spend as little time as possible using.

All this may sound really touchy-feely—but that’s exactly my point. Facebook feels more like a personal scrapbook, especially after the recent introduction of Timeline, whereas Google+ feels more like an infinite comment stream. Which one sounds more inviting to you?

Alas, if you’re interested in social media mainly as a tool for promoting your own content, company, ideas, or products (as I confess I am), you can’t worry too much about which social network feels more homey. You have to grok Google+, just as you have to understand Twitter and Facebook. Which is why Kawasaki’s book will be so helpful to many people. Go check it out—then circle back (pun intended) with your own comments, either here or on Xconomy’s Google+ page.

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Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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