‘Don’t be evil.’
The infamous Google slogan has long informed the company’s journey towards internet dominance and now — in an effort to create a more comprehensive ‘Google environment’ — its newest attempt at social networking. With a plethora of products, ranging from Youtube to Picassa to Docs and everything in between, Google has tried to keep customers’ privacy concerns in mind. And privacy is the very reason why many are touting the new Google+ as ‘the Facebook killer’: the perception that Google is a trustworthy home for personal information, while Facebook’s policies have, to put it lightly, caused some consternation.
If you think this is one social network too many, don’t condemn the project just yet. Conversely, if you’re among those clamoring for an invite to be apart of the ‘beta elite,’ don’t be so quick to deactivate that Facebook profile. As a lawyer, your time is valuable (and billable!), so be sure to thoroughly research this latest sharing platform before you invest in circles and sparks and huddles and all that jazz.
Below we’ve assembled a roundup of opinions from the blogosphere and ‘blawgosphere,’ all offering their initial take on the Google+ frenzy.
“The most important aspect of deciding whether to use social media or not is the “why”. Why are you using it? What do you want to accomplish? To me the answer is pretty simple: get more clients. I’ll go one step further: get more of the work you want to do! Social media can help you do this if done correctly, and it’s not rocket science. You can do it yourself. It takes a lot of reading and research. Follow other lawyers in your practice area and see how they do it. It’s also a question of time. How much time do you want to dedicate to this?”
“Now that I have a Google+ profile, my Google+ profile appears first and my business website is second, followed by my LinkedIn profile. Once I saw where my Google+ profile ranked, I was intrigued by the social networking platform but not sold. The profile rank is significant enough that every lawyer/law student should maintain a professional profile on Google+ so they can be found in search results.”
“There is also a focus on presenting a superior experience with regards to privacy. Google+ aims to be the opposite of Facebook and Twitter’s global broadcast and will offer a more refined version of sharing. The Circles feature separates your content by the groups you create. Whereas with Facebook and Twitter all connections and content are equal, here your content will be targeted and then filtered to the appropriate audience.”
“In the spirit of my “Lawyers on Twitter” list from oh so long ago, I’ve decided in these early G+ days to put together a list of lawyers and law professionals on Google+. I intend to include lawyers, legal scholars, legal marketers, law professors, trained attorneys working in other fields, and other legal professionals.”
“Google says it is planning to introduce Google+ for businesses before the year is out, allowing brands to create profiles on the site without using workarounds. The company has asked businesses to hold off on creating consumer profiles for now, and will start doing tests with “non-user entities” soon, which will be available for any entity that is not an individual.”
“Running a social network is all about responsible stewardship of users’ personal information. Facebook is a young, fast moving company that has proved itself to be cavalier in its movements, lacking in respect for user data privacy, and accident prone. Google on the other hand, is a far more mature company that is, I would argue, seen as more trustworthy than Facebook. For the most part, Google has lived up to its “Don’t Be Evil” slogan. Which company would you rather have as the steward of your personally identifiable information?”
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