Book Review: Guy Kawasaki’s What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us

Reviewed by Special K, ETMG Writer and Blogger

What the Plus! Google + for the Rest of Us

Guy Kawasaki’s new book is gaining traction and getting attention.

Guy Kawasaki, former Chief Evangelist at Apple, recently wrote and self-published a book, What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us. It’s basic enough to function as a primer for users who are just getting started, yet advanced enough to help seasoned individuals and businesses use Google+ more effectively. One thing is clear, though – Kawasaki is a major Google+ fan.

In addition to the array of technical advice on navigating Google+, savvy marketers will be intrigued by Kawasaki’s insights on Google’s Social Search and the social media landscape.

Optimizing Social Search

Kawasaki calls Google’s recently launched Social Search feature ―through which Google search results now include information from your Google+ connections― a paradigm shift because who you know (on Google+) can now influence what you know (via Google Search). This is great news for marketers, he says. “Post stuff about a topic, and you’ll probably be included when your friends search for the topic,” he says.

In the image below, you can see my results for doing a search on the topic of “social search.” The first line of results shows that there are 120 different posts on this topic by my Google+ connections.

Google Social Search example

With Google’s new Social Search feature, the first line of results shows relevant posts by Google+ connections.

Google+ and the Social Media Landscape

Kawasaki claims Google+ is superior to Facebook and Twitter, even though it hasn’t caught on as fast. “Google+ is to Facebook and Twitter what Macintosh is to Windows,” he writes. “Better, but fewer people use it, and the pundits prophesy that it will fail.”

Kawasaki, however, predicts that Google+ “will not only tip, but it will exceed Facebook and Twitter.”

His reasoning:
– Google+ has more sophisticated features
– Google has a good track record
– Google is dead serious about this business
– Google has infinite money and talent
– Google owns “the river” (i.e. it is the dominant web search tool)
– Google owns the playing field (i.e. Gmail, Chrome, phones and tablets)

Most importantly, “Google brings indomitable power to Google+ ―roughly equal, I’d say to Apple having Steve Jobs as a CEO,” Kawasaki writes. Google+, he adds, is also the best place to pursue your passions with people you don’t already know. “Ask yourself if you want to enhance and expand the number of people who share your passions,” he writes. “If the answer is no, stick with Twitter and Facebook until Google+ reaches critical mass.”

When I picked up Kawasaki’s book, I already agreed that Google+ ―which recently hit 100 million users― was a superior product (see earlier blog post, A Few of My Favorite Things About Google+). Yet I had let my own account languish as I waited for Google+ to reach critical mass (see previous post, Google+ Here and Now).

Since reading Kawasaki’s book, I have revisited my account, and using some of Kawasaki’s strategies and tactics, I have revamped my idea of what Google+ might best be suited for, and I retooled my circles to find more people who share my passions. Some of my more obscure interests have much smaller circles, but I’ve built up an excellent circle of people interested in high tech MarCom. Overall, Kawasaki’s book earns a spot on this marketer’s shelf.

Further Reading:

What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us
Google+ crosses 100 million active users in March 2012 according to Larry Page

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