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Less-Is-More Blog by Pierre Khawand

Google+, the end of Twitter, and the rise of Facebook

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 @ 04:00 AM

Guest blog article written by Steve Loosley, Tech Blogger

Given that social media's history spans less than a decade, it's a fool's errand to predict what social media will look like in 10 years, let alone in 10 days. Bear with me as I play the fool. 

What does the future hold for Google+, Twitter, and Facebook? 

In the short term, expect Google+ and Facebook to match each other feature for feature. 

Google Plus recently unveiled games. You'll still have to use Facebook to play FarmVille or CityVille, but at G+ you can play Angry Birds or Zynga Poker. 

Soon, Google will begin offering business accounts similar to Facebook's. Currently, only individuals can configure G+ profiles. In the near future, businesses and brands will have Google+ accounts and profiles. 

Google+ will soon enjoy tighter integration with other Google products, from Search to Gmail. The Google interface will provide a seamless experience as users move between Gmail, G+, Calendar, and so forth.

Expect the notification bar to be extended to all products. You will receive notifications for Gmail, G+ events, calendar actions, and shared Google Docs. Also, expect that you will be able to interact with your notification stream without changing tabs. 

Finally, look for Google to "socialize" all of its products, including docs and email. Email is dead. We will increasingly share and interact dynamically, especially within our work communities. Google Apps users will use G+ to share information within their workgroups, not Gmail. (More about this in our next post.) 

Facebook recently updated its privacy settings to match Google's. You can bet that Facebook is working night-and-day with Microsoft's Skype to offer integrated, multi-user video collaboration like G+ Hangouts. 

Expect Facebook to implement a more selective, circle-like way to share information. "Circles" are a must for Facebook, since it's the one feature that sharply differentiates Google+ from Facebook

Facebook will respond to Google's tight integration by offering all of Google's services, including Search and Gmail. That's right: Facebook will enter search. Look for Facebook to introduce a more robust email interface and to offer more and more Google-like services and apps

Facebook's mobile client will also be extended to match Google's unified experience, especially on the Mac iOS platform. Your iPhone's email, calendar, and notes apps will all be synced with your Facebook account. 

Lastly, Facebook will further postpone its IPO until its feature set, including search, is on par with Google's. 

Twitter will continue to enjoy a loyal following, but by any metric — user-base, active users, tweets, or time — Twitter will remain a niche player with a limited, if not shrinking, user base.

Twitter will differentiate its product from Facebook and G+ by focusing on what it does best, namely, offering organic, real-time current-event reporting, commentary, and discussion. 

Lastly, Twitter's revenues will wane. It's new "promoted tweets" business model is inherently flawed — Who, for example, searches for "Ford" on Twitter when shopping for a new car? Look for an IPO within the next 24 months, but don't expect the offering price to match it's recent $US 8 billion valuation. 

What does all of this mean? Will one site win?

Nope. The odds are zero that one social media site will win. Social media sites are communities, and different sites attract different cultures. One site cannot be all things to all people. 

As simple as G+ is to the predominantly male, techie, early adopters, G+ is anything but simple for most users. The "circle" metaphor is confusing. Techies like messing and tinkering with stuff. Non-techies want to use stuff. For most, there is no reason to leave Facebook and learn another service.

Arguably, Google+ will continue to enjoy strong acceptance with the tech crowd, and longer term, G+ will find growth among Google Apps users. G+ will revolutionize how Google Apps users share information within corporate environments. And, G+ will also gain traction in education, where circles and hangouts can bring educators and students together virtually. 

Facebook, however, will remain king. It's dead simple to use. You can teach your parents how to use Facebook in one or two sessions. More importantly, with its 650 million users — 300 times that of Google+ — if you want to share with your friends, most likely your friends are on Facebook

Summing up, Google+ will make Facebook stronger and more robust. Facebook will match Google across all of its products, including circles, email, and search — Yes, Facebook will assuredly enter the search business! Twitter, a strong niche player, will disappoint its investors. 

What do you think? What does the future hold for social media? 

It's your turn. Go ahead, call me a fool! What do you think?

If you would like an invitation to join G+, please leave a comment below, note your interest, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you receive an invitation email as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

Google+ Project Website 

Accomplishing More With Social Media Webinar Series: 9/19, 9/26 (12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Time)

LinkedIn for Sales Professionals! Webinar: 8/5 and 10/14 (9:30 am to 11:00 am Pacific Time) 

Topics: twitter, Google+, social media, Technology

Google+ Facebook, and Twitter: which is best?

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 @ 04:00 AM

Guest blog article written by Steve Loosley, Tech Blogger

In a recent post about Google+, one person astutely wondered, 

How are people feeling about Facebook vs. Google+? I have both but am not completely sure Google+ is better. 

This is a great question! 

Is Google+ better than Facebook? Twitter? 

Let's begin by asking, What is the difference between Google+, Facebook, and Twitter? 

Google+ has the potential to replace most, if not all, of the services that you currently use to share information. 

Rather than send email, use G+ to share your thoughts with only one person. Rather than post to a blog, use G+ and make your thoughts public. Rather than tweet, use G+ to share your 140 characters with everyone.

Use Google + to share indiscriminately with a large circle of "friends," and you’re back to Facebook.

Share discriminately with a select circle of associates, rather than send a bulk-email, use a listserv, or configure an invitation service. Share with yourself, rather than opening a journal. Share photos with your family, rather than uploading to a third-party photo-sharing service.

Google+ is highly configurable and potentially replaces a wide range of services — email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, invites, listserv, and photo-sharing. As one well-known blogger explains, “You simply say what you have to say, then decide who you’re going to say it to.”

But, does this mean that Google+ is better than Facebook and Twitter?  

Absolutely not! No. 

If I want to share information with my sister and her family, then I better go to Facebook. They don't use G+. If I want to view my daughter's pictures from her summer internship, I know that I better coax her to share a Facebook link. All of her friends are on Facebook.

If I want to track a current event in real-time, such as the recent events in London, then I better turn to Twitter. If I want to share something with my dad, I better use email. 

In general, I better choose the communication tool — G+, Facebook, Twitter, email, blog, and so forth — that best suits my audience and purpose. 

What do you think? Which social-media site best suits your needs? Why? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

If you would like an invitation to join G+, please leave a comment below, note your interest, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you receive an invitation email as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

Google+ Project Website 

Accomplishing More With Social Media Webinar Series: 9/19, 9/26 (12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Time)

LinkedIn for Sales Professionals! Webinar: 8/5 and 10/14 (9:30 am to 11:00 am Pacific Time) 

Topics: twitter, Google+, social media, Technology

5 Ways to watch over your brand and quickly address issues! Learn from Delicious.com

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Thu, May 06, 2010 @ 04:37 PM

Last week I posted a blog entry titled: "Question & Answer: Can I import my browser bookmarks into Delicious? Can I make a Delicious bookmark private?". The blog entry answered these questions which were recently raised during one of my presentations in the South Bay.
The above blog entry was also posted on Twitter with a link to the original blog article. Soon after it was posted on Twitter, I got the following answer:

Delicious Social Media

Which was posted by the Delicious.com team, an active member of the Twitter community as you see below:

Delicious Twitter Team

Obviously, the Delicious.com team in this case didn't realize that my post was actually answering this question and therefore they proceeded with answering it. But that is not the point here. The point is that they are diligently watching out for their brand and addressing issues immediately as they come up.

Are you watching over your brand and your users like the Delicious.com team?

If not, here are 5 ways to get you started:

  • Use Twitter.com search to keep any eye on what is being said about your brand
  • Create a dedicated column in Tweetdeck to make this easy
  • Setup Google Alerts for your brand name and related keywords
  • Setup an RSS feed to relevant LinkedIn Answers topics that relate to your brand
  • Join relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups and discussions

What did I miss? How else are you watching for your brand in Social Media and the blogosphere? What else might you  recommend?

Additional Resources

Recording of the 5 Social Media Tools by Jenny Blake lunch & learn webinar at the "Accomplishing more with less" group on Facebook

Topics: twitter, social media, business results

Tip-Of-The-Month: The "new new" inbox--Get ready for the opportunities & challenges

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 @ 10:02 AM

social mediaA few days ago, I posted an article about the Old terminology, new terminology: "People connecting with other people." A related topic that I have been thinking about is the "old" inbox and the "new" inbox. However the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there is even a newer inbox: The Social Media Inbox. What do these inboxes mean and what are the implications of the advent of the Social Media Inbox? Keep on reading!

The old inbox

I still remember the days when the inbox meant internal e-mail only. I was in Southern California at a technology company with about 100 employees at the time and everyone had access to Microsoft Outlook and used it for internal e-mail and for scheduling internal meetings. The external world was not "visible" to internal employees. There was no Internet, if you can imagine. Only a few people had access to MCI and a few others to Compuserve. These privileged people were able to connect to the external world but still had to go through hoops to do it.

The new inbox

Then came the Internet and suddenly the "new" inbox was born. The new inbox is connected to the whole world. This brought amazing opportunities and also an unprecedented e-mail overload. Every person ended up with a handful of e-mail inboxes ranging from work, to personal, to "throw-away" ones just to keep unwanted messages out of the way. Soon after came the invasion of the mobile devices and e-mail on the go. Consolidating messages into one e-mail application and/or synchronizing between multiple applications and devices became necessities and many of us have done some degree of consolidation and synchronization along the way.

And now meet the "new new" inbox: The Social Media Inbox

Then Web 2.0 snuck upon us! Now we are all part of the creation process and part of the conversation. Like never before, we the people can share information, participate in conversations, and build our own social networks. We are in direct contact with the people who once were invisible. Suddenly we are no longer just in our e-mail inbox(es). We are now as often or even more often in our new and expanded inboxes: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, YouTube channels, del.icio.us bookmarks, StumbleUpon articles, and you name it, which all together I am calling the Social Media Inbox.

This inbox is emerging as a powerful force and even the most authoritative search engines are re-inventing their search approach to include the Social Media Inbox.

So what does it all mean? What are opportunities and the challenges?

The Social Media Inbox brings some unique opportunities and some rather unique challenges as well. On the opportunities side:

  • We are connected with 100's of millions of people and are able to have real time conversations with them
  • We are learning what they are like and how they think (market research)
  • We are discussing our brand and the value that we bring to the table (marketing)
  • We are influencing their buying decisions (sales)
  • We are exchanging ideas and building on each other's ideas (innovation)
  • And the list continues!

On the challenges side:

  • We are faced with more information overload than ever before
  • We are constantly interrupting our core activities to keep up with what is going on in the world
  • We are not necessary leveraging this new inbox to the extent that we could
  • And the list continues!

What does your Social Media Inbox (SMI) look like and how are you managing it?

If you haven't yet expanded your definition of the "inbox" and explored the Social Media world, this is the time to do so. Some exciting opportunities are awaiting you. If you have, this is the time to reflect further on the opportunities and challenges and how they can be managed to help us be more effective in the workplace and beyond.

As we continue to explore this topic and explore best practices to manage the SMI, we need your help! Please share your thoughts below or fill out this short Social Media Inbox survey (5 to 10 minutes) and we will share the survey results with you.

Take the Social Media Inbox survey and become part of the conversation!

Topics: twitter, tip-of-the-month, social media, email management

How to avoid being overwhelmed and consumed by social media?

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Tue, Nov 03, 2009 @ 10:24 AM

social mediaIn the past, it used to be e-mail and meetings that consumed everyone's time, and now it is e-mail, meetings, and social media, and not necessarily in this order. For years, in our workshops, we talked about the e-mail overload, and taught ways to overcome the e-mail overload, and now we are broadening the scope to include social media.

So how do you reduce the social media overload?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Be Strategic: Don't just be there, but be there with a clear purpose.
  • Follow the relevant people: Those that add value and not just chatter. 
  • Stay on brand: One of Jason Alba's advice that I keep re-iterating. 
  • Reuse: Create high value content and reuse it in all platforms, you know they now all link to each other, so you can more easily leverage your content in multiple platforms. 
  • Time yourself: Don't just be there indefinitely, make it 5, 15, or 40 minutes (again with a clear purpose) 
  • Don't treat it like a homework (especially twitter): You don't have to keep up with what happened when you were gone. What happened before is mostly old news by now. 
  • Remember that the time you spend on it needs to be proportional to the number of people you have in your network (otherwise, it is better investing time to growing your network).

Say "yes" to social media, "but" keep it well under control following the time management tips described above!

Topics: twitter, time management tips, time on social media, email management

When we don’t know what to do, e-mail comes to the rescue! A curse is disguise!

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Tue, Oct 27, 2009 @ 06:35 AM

If we are unsure what to do, or hesitant to take on the next important and challenging task, consciously or subconsciously, what do we end up slipping into?

email management

Into our e-mail inbox!

E-mail is "great" (or not so great) that way! It gives us this immediate satisfaction of getting something done and feeling good.  Does it sound like an addition? It is. And like any addition, the feeling good doesn't last too long, and we seek more of it to bring back that feeling, but what happens is that we get increasingly and chronically "e-mail fatigued."

So what can we do about it?

  • How about becoming more purposeful and more intentional, and instead of resorting to e-mail (or Twitter-which is e-mail on steroid one might say), resorting to a few minutes of stopping and strategic thinking to really identify something meaningful to do. 
  • How about we take on the challenging task first instead of e-mail first. Let e-mail be the reward (if it can be called a reward) instead of being the pre-requisite. When we take on the challenging task first, we learn and develop. We also prompt the issues and bring ourselves to face the issues. As a result we feel more accomplished and we contribute more significantly to our team and organization! 
  • How about we disconnect for a bit (from e-mail, and even the web if applicable) and just focus on moving forward this important and strategic program or initiative. Adam. S. Christensen (our guest speaker, at the Gen X in Action webinar recently--recording available) said "I get the best work done when I am disconnected". Try it out and see for yourself!

Whatever it is for you (E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, or whatever else)  what are you going to do about it? Put it on the side for a bit, maybe even "disconnect", and get engaged into something more purposeful!

Topics: twitter, time management tips, time on social media, email management