Google + and Network Fatigue

So I was invited to Google + and I checked it out a little. The first thing I did was go through my regular commentators and add all of you to circles. I assume you were notified, G+ did not make it clear. Then, I was lucky enough to be included on a list started by RK Charron called Authors+ on Google+, which was widely linked. It led a lot of people to include me in circles that otherwise might not have done so.

Here’s a screenshot. Click to enbiggen.

But to be blunt, Google + is leaving me cold. Other than some interesting people sorting features, it looks like a Facebook clone. And it is a comfortable bet that Facebook is working even now for their own answers to that sorting feature, which is called Circles. There are also video hangouts, which don’t appeal to me. I have never used the webcam that is built into my laptop. There’s a chat feature, which resembles the chat feature in Facebook, which I have also only rarely used, and then, I only used it with family.

One much-touted aspect of G+ is the circle system. It’s sort of like following on Twitter via Twitter follow lists. You can add anyone to a circle, even a world-famous celebrity. No friending. Which was a problem that Facebook already solved via its Facebook pages. Initially, G+ presented me with a list of about 400 people that it would think I was interested in, based on what Google already knew about me. It was very accurate. It now has a list of about 180 people, mostly science fiction and fantasy authors and publishing folk. One problem with using a product in beta testing: this feature mostly disappeared for the past three days. Must have been a glitch.

Really, though–I wish Google had invented something new. I really liked Google Wave, but the problem was that no one I knew was on it, and Google couldn’t seem to handle the traffic it did have. I’ve never been nuts about the Facebook system, and I’m more of a Twitter user than a Facebook user. G+ seems to be aimed rather squarely at Facebook. I don’t see this pulling me away from Twitter. I can send a tweet via my text messaging feature on my cellphone, and you really can’t get much easier than that.

But it’s more than that. I have social networking fatigue. Here is a list of all the places that people think I should be on:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Goodreads
  • eHarlequin
  • Romance Divas
  • Amazon
  • RWA Yahoo Groups
  • Various other Yahoo  groups
  • My website
  • And now Google+

I can’t do it. I’m spread too thin. So I’ll continue to use all the automated tools I can. Facebook sucks in both my tweets and my blog posts. Goodreads sucks in my blog posts, as does Amazon. The Feedburner feature that tweets my blog posts seems to be broken, but I’ll get it fixed. Whenever Google + opens up its API and tools are developed for it, I’ll pull my blog posts into there as well. And I’ll answer comments wherever they turn up.

But other than manually reposting select posts to eHarlequin, I’ll concentrate my efforts on my site and this blog. It’s still the top result when I search for my name, after all. I’ll find a tool that will allow me to use text messages or emails to send posts, so posting is as easy as tweeting.

And I’ll stop spreading myself so thin.

12 Thoughts to “Google + and Network Fatigue”

  1. Interesting post and I completely agree with you! I actually get annoyed by how much of my time is taken up with social networking, but there’s simply no better way to reach readers. I’m secretly hoping that Google+ won’t take off just so I won’t feel the need to join it, lol!

    Twitter: @CazzySmith

  2. Tia Nevitt

    In my case, my writing time is so limited, and all these networks just bite off ten minutes here, five there, and by the time I get through the list, an hour is gone. Which is about 75% of the time I have to write every night.

    I meant to issue a general invitation to people who want invitations. Leave a comment or use my contact form if you do!

  3. Social media fatigue – I hear you!

    But we should go do some real person socializing at Starbucks 🙂

    1. Tia Nevitt

      Yes! We should!

  4. I’m on social networking overload. I appreciate it and I know it does some good, but I have to draw the line somewhere. As it is, I’ve decided to scale back on all but my blog, Twitter, and FB.

    I concentrate most on my blog because that’s where my traffic lies. Since the blog feeds automatically to FB, Twitter and Amazon, I still have some reach without actually taking more time to do it.

    But life comes first, then writing, then social networking.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      That’s a good priority structure. I still have decent traffic here, which surprises me because I’ve been posting so infrequently lately. I appreciate it, and I’m going to nurture it more.

  5. You can do what I do: use Google+ for my writing. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 9 PM EST, Jason Sanford hosts a writing hangout using the hangout feature on + (video chat, basically, but you can use the regular chat if you don’t want to talk or do video). We talk for about 15 minutes about writing and what not, and then we write for a straight hour, come back, talk, and sometimes do it all over again. I’ve been enormously productive despite being super busy around these parts.

    I can understand being fatigued, but the way I solve that is consolidating my social networks (i.e., connecting them together). My blog, Twitter, and Facebook accounts are all connected together. Anything that shows up on my Twitter ends up on Facebook, and anything from the blog ends up on both. Eventually, you’ll be able to consolidate them all into Google+, after which I’ll probably stick with + as my primary “hangout.”

    I’m also treating + differently than other networks…


    1. Tia Nevitt

      I’ll look for you guys on Monday or Wednesday and try the writing hangout. And I’ll go ahead and do it by video. I’ve been meaning to try hangouts anyway. And I can get a good thousand words in on an hour of writing time.

      I mostly have everything hooked up to work automagically, but there are a few broken pieces I need to troubleshoot. For example, Feedburner is not tweeting my posts like it should. So I manually tweet them, and the tweet flows down to Facebook.

  6. I’ve definitely got social networking fatigue. My husband the web developer and all-around geek loves Google+ and sent me an invitation. I accepted, but I haven’t invested any time in it. I figure I’m going to wait and see if it becomes a big enough deal that Harlequin offers author trainings on how to use it. 🙂 If so, I’ll figure it out then.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      Sounds like a good plan!

  7. Deborah Blake

    That’s pretty much my plan too. I’ve accepted your invite, and those from other folks I know (and a few authors I didn’t). But so far, I’m not doing anything active.

    Oy. One more thing. Oy.

  8. Boy, am I with you. When all of the talk about Google+ started, my first response was “Really? Something else? Are you kidding me?” I got an invite to G+, but I really haven’t even taken the time to look at it yet. Because, yanno, I do actually want to write sometime too… 🙂

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