Tag Archives: provenance

Google+: Because one size doesn’t fit all

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the last thing we need is yet another social networking diversion. Sheesh — Facebook has more than 750 million users, isn’t that enough already?

Actually, despite Facebook’s seemingly unassailable head start Google’s newest social foray, Google+, is worth considering.

It comes from the ‘Plex, of course, so that suggests it might be worth a look … but there’s more to Google+ than just its provenance. Check out this little slideshow first, and then we’ll be right back.

Even without an overarching commentary, you should get the general idea: we all have different groupings of friends, and don’t necessarily want to share the same information with more than one subgroup.

It is currently possible to segment your Facebook friends into different groups, and share your stuff with only designated groups — but it’s neither easy nor convenient. Google+ comes with that functionality built-in, in the form of what Google calls circles.

That’s the first and most important concept contained within Google+. We’ll discuss others in due course.

Google+ is currently available only by invitation. Head here to get yourself on the invite list.

Timeless Social Media Insights

One of the more interesting stories of the week comes courtesy of the Harvard Business Review, which reveals that many of today’s oh-so-awesome social media insights actually track their provenance back to a 1966 study on word of mouth by Ernest Dichter, who HBR describes as “the father of motivation research”.

Some key insights gleaned by HBR from that nearly fifty-year-old study:

A major Dichter finding, very relevant today, was the identification of four motivations for a person to communicate about brands:

The first (about 33% of the cases) is because of product-involvement. The experience is so novel and pleasurable that it must be shared.

The second (about 24%) is self-involvement. Sharing knowledge or opinions is a way to gain attention, show connoisseurship, feel like a pioneer, have inside information, seek confirmation of a person’s own judgment, or assert superiority.

The third (around 20%) is other-involvement. The speaker wants to reach out and help to express neighborliness, caring, and friendship.

The fourth (around 20%) is message-involvement. The message is so humorous or informative that it deserves sharing.

We can’t say we’re surprised that these insights were coined so long ago — human nature doesn’t change all that much. If we made the effort, we daresay we’d find similar threads woven through essays by classical Greek and Roman philosophers as well.

Plus ça change …