Google’s top-down approach doesn’t work when you’re trying to build a community
This is the second of a three-part series on Google Plus. Also see:
• Hey Google! Here’s why Google+ is still a ghost town
• Why Google Plus is more like a forum than a social network
Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.
Over the last few weeks I have been writing almost exclusively about Google Plus. The first article was a hopeful but disappointed look into the ghost town known as Google+. The second article was in response to those passionate G+ users who professed love for their online community home, Plus.
Well, in the words of my friend and colleague Ike Piggot:
“I really believe one of the issues with Google Plus is that it wasn’t ‘born organically.’ It was thrust upon us as an answer to a question no one was asking. It didn’t have a gestational period, and as such seems artificial. Like a little Android Baby, for lack of a better term.”
The virtual online community
Back in the 90s and early 2000s when online virtual communities were new to the web, three books defined the online community (and I recommend you read them all):
• The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier by Howard Rheingold
• Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities by Amy Jo Kim
• The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary by Eric S. Raymond
While the first two books are explicitly about community development online, the third is about the emergent nature of distributed, asynchronous, online community in its creation, growth, and maintenance of the Linux operating system. Continue reading