I’ve been playing around with Google+ for about a week now. I love it. Please take my opinion with a grain of salt, as I’m easily amused with new toys, and once thought Google Wave was going to replace email. To quote my friend, Meghan Freed, “I’m an parishioner at the church of the now”.
Back in the dark ages (prior to the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2004), I worked at a law firm that sent newsletters to its clients. The newsletters would include updates about the firm and developments in Connecticut law. These newsletters were sent via snail mail.
I know some firms do email blasts to their clients but who reads those? I don’t. The parish of the church of the now demands interaction with media. When link to a blog post on Facebook, friends comment on it. When I post something that people comment on or share – I know I’ve written something that is in someway relevant. Facebook is great for friends.
I’m not a fan of “friending” clients on Facebook for many reasons. Namely, I like to keep my personal life somewhat personal. I suspect that many lawyers feel the same way.
If I post a link on twitter – I broadcast it to the world but in terms of connection – Twitter is cold. People click on links with pictures and twitter is a bunch of short URLS. People can interact with it by retweeting or sending an @ message to me but it lacks the level of contact that Facebook provides.
If you are using LinkedIn, the soundtrack from “Top Gun” was probably in heavy rotation at your prom. LinkedIn is for the older demo. It’s slow, clunky, and hard to navigate. I dislike LinkedIn very much and hardly ever use it.
Enter Google+. At first glance it looks a lot like Facebook but if you look deeper it’s much more. With Google+ I can share this post with the world (ala twitter). Google+’s circle feature also allows me to target what I’m posting. For example on Google+ I have a circle for my “Red Sox Fan Friends” and I post things like “$^@* Lackey! ”. The only people who can read that message are in my Red Sox Fan Friend Circle. No one else can see it.
I could create a group for clients and send them relevant blog posts or updates about the firm. Exactly the kind of content that my Red Sox fan friends could care less about.
The best part is that creating “circles” is very simple. It’s a drag and drop process.
The sparks feature is also really cool. It allows Google to deliver relevant articles to you. For example, I have a spark on “Connecticut Law” and when I click on it – I see news articles on Connecticut law. It helps me stay current and share relevant content with people who may want to read it.
When you put it all together, I think that Google+ is going to change the way that lawyers interact with each other and the public online.