10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

Summary: Google Plus continues to surprise. Here is the result of one astonishing ad hoc experiment.


There has been plenty of to-ing and fro-ing around whether Google Plus is right for enterprise. Some colleagues are fearful that Google will move too quickly, others that it is moving too slowly. Whatever your position there is no denying that G+ is growing like topsy. And enterprising developers are finding ways to leverage it for their own purposes.

Over the weekend I suggested to Loic LeMeur, CEO Seesmic that it might be an idea to find out if anyone in the Salesforce.com community might be interested in hearing about early releases of Seesmic via G+. My thinking was that if Seesmic could get enough interest then it might serve as a way to gather a group of early stage solution testers. That's in essence what Google is inviting G Plussers to do and with good effect.

LeMeur sent out a suitably worded message and hey presto, within two hours he had more than 60 positive responses - see the graphic:

Bear in mind the time. 7.33am my time is 10.33pm PDT and 6.33am BST, 9.34am my time, past midnight in the Valley. There are a number of conclusions that can be tentatively drawn from this:

  1. People reading G+ messages at those times are likely to be the ones most invested in its success. These are the early, early adopters today but could be an army of people in time to come.
  2. The 'response' rate assuming all Loic's 20,000 G+ 'followers' had responded is 0.3%. As a response rate, my 0.3% number is likely to be wildly inaccurate on the conservative side. Regardless, I'd suggest that's far from shabby when compared to bulk mailing or other antiquated forms of 'advertising.'
  3. It is a fair bet that all respondents are what advertisers term 'pre-qualified.'
  4. Individuals like LeMeur can benefit from the force multiplier effect they built up in the past through their assiduous use of blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other large scale social tools. They are in essence both benefiting and delivering value on what has gone before though in the shape of the latest shiny new thing.
  5. Despite Google likely thinking mostly in terms of its advertising led business model, enterprising individuals and savvy developer organisations will also be able to bathe in the G+ glow. Right now it looks like the individual rather than the brand that will see the earliest benefit.
  6. Individuals are benefiting in this way because they're not advertising per se but inviting those who follow them into a conversation that taps into their needs. Google is not going to be able to stop this activity because it is not advertising in the conventional sense or the way their model is constructed.
  7. It is conceivable that Google could develop some sort of charging mechanism for this type of activity but it would not make a lot of sense and would likely draw resentment. So the likelihood is that those able to leverage in this way will have a free route to market.
  8. Brands will be left scratching their heads wondering if they can replicate the same thing. They can but it will be one hell of a job. The last person I saw do that successfully was Robert Scoble when he was working for Microsoft and which he has since gone on to repeat at Rackspace.
  9. LeMeur has proven that with a highly targeted and invested 'follower' group, you can achieve good results at almost zero cost.
  10. Not everyone can be a LeMeur or Scoble but there are enough in any industry for them to become the ambassadors of the future - whether for what they are doing or what they represent. That's pretty darned powerful.

Anything fundamental I've missed?

Endnote: by the time I'd typed this into my machine - LeMeur had another clutch of positive respondents. Would someone let me know when he reaches 100?

Update: Seesmic flew past 100 a few hours later

Topics: Software Development, Apps, Google, Social Enterprise

Dennis Howlett

About Dennis Howlett

Dennis Howlett is a 40 year veteran in enterprise IT, working with companies large and small across many industries. He endeavors to inform buyers in a no-nonsense manner and spares no vendor that comes under his microscope.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Good story Dennis.

    Dietrich T. Schmitz, *~* Your Linux Advocate
  • So, yes, social media works

    When a full API is available for Google+, the ability to integrate with established social media platforms, like twitter, will improve google plus usability.
    Your Non Advocate
  • RE: 10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

    Google has mostly ICT geeks in it and people they have invited.
    Not really a serious view on the real world.
    • I just read that myself. 79% of Google+ users are men

      and mostly men in the technology sector.

      Kind of creepy if you think about it.
      William Pharaoh
      • RE: 10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

        @William Pharaoh Check out: http://www.womenofgplus.com/

        At this point, Google+ has relatively few airheads of either gender. I expect the gender ratio to move closer to parity as the word gets out.
      • RE: 10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

        @William Pharaoh - LOL - ouch not nice!
      • RE: 10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

        @William Pharaoh
        Not me ;-) But, interesting subject. How to better target women? Question of features, look&feel or advertising?
    • Meh

      @IE9 Yes, the fawning adulation of Google+ is from those that are predisposed to fawning adulation. The behavior of a Closed ecosystems (Google+ and its self-invited following) and Open ecosystems (Facebook and its 3/4 of a billion users) may be vastly different.

      To project forward and make assumptions on what the open model will be based on the existing closed model is premature. What the author's analogy basically is is akin to handing out free chocolate ice cream, finding that everyone waiting in line likes chocolate ice cream.
      Your Non Advocate
      • RE: 10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people


        gmail was initially invitation only too... during the invitation only period, they can work out bugs and make improvements without a lot of hostile remarks, just constructive criticism from those that are actually interested.

        perhaps google should do more of its new products in that fashion (buzz anyone?)
      • RE: 10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

        @erik.soderquist Google has an early adopters program for its commercial services. This is nothing new. However, in the case of Google+, the artificial "invitation only" is not quite the same thing. How many hours did you wait for your "invitation"? In this case, the "invitation" led to viral advertising. The "invitations" have little to do with beta testing.
        Your Non Advocate
  • RE: 10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

    The first part of your 10th point is what hurts the entire argument. You're looking at engagement stats for a Loic or Scoble or some other social media circle-jerker, and then relating that to the real world. They're edge cases that can only be applied to the overall population in very limited ways. If there were 100 scobles out there, people would probably quit the service in frustration. Makes my skin crawl thinking about it, actually.
    • RE: 10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

      @n00bnation - each case will be different. Tech is only one case and we'll see different sizes of 'influencer' in different markets so I'm less concerned.
  • RE: 10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

    Paul Allen, founder of Ancestry.com, has been posting some really interesting stuff on Google+, including knowledgeable (as opposed to a SWAG) statistical information regarding the demographics of Google+<br><br><a href="https://plus.google.com/117388252776312694644/posts" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://plus.google.com/117388252776312694644/posts</a>
  • RE: 10 reasons why Google Plus is for enterprising people

    sorry, cannot do "+1" here (only old "like")...