Google+ Psychology

Google+ Psychology

Reshared post from +martin shervington

Is Google+ making the web personal?
This is an brief article about G+ and psychology…

Have you noticed how much altruism or giving there is on Google+?
Every Google+ post is a potential "meme" (unit of thought or behavior that replicates itself).
The classic by Susan Blackmore, "The Meme Machine", proposes that meme theory explains altruism better than genetic theory.
Other things being equal, more people will observe altruistic behavior than selfish behavior, will like the altruistic person better than the selfish one, and will be more likely to adopt the behaviors of the altruistic person than the selfish one.

So, you guessed it, I find the psychology of a new platform very interesting.
When asked to sum it up for friends I say:

Google+ makes the web personal

It would seem we have access to more people than ever, with new ways of interacting.
In the future, even more than now, we know search engine results will be personalized to include more posts from your G+ circles.
But even the G+ platform gives access and the ability to interact – it feels we are truly connecting!

Here are just a few ideas that have been running through my brain…
Let me know what you think!

People buy people, so what about brands?

This is going to be very interesting for brands, as with profiles, people come first on G+.
I don't know about you, but I don't want enjoy interacting with a page or a profile without a face as much as a person.
I do enjoy the interactions with certain business but would rather they had some pics to make it more human.
So, if you are a part of a business, large or small, I am wondering if you will need a face to front it?
Could this, in time, increase corporate accountability as well?
Check out +Denis Labelle if you are getting started in this area. Quality suggestions and superb curation.


So, we have a fast flowing stream in front of us. How do you stand out from the crowd and grab people's attention?
We often take this forgranted and just 'post' but individuals and businesses may like to tease out some of the psychology as well.

This is the first consideration: Does the post engage attention for those people who will see it?
This will depend on who has circled you as well as who you then select to receive the post.
You may send just to a circle or, by mentioning people in the post for instance, you can push a notification toward them.

1. What is the title? does it grab attention? could it be written to engage people better?
2. Does the image reflect the title? Does it add any value? Is there anything else you could add to it?
Most importantly…
3. Is it for your benefit or *readers' benefit? Business need to look at doing things for other people – not just pushing ads into our streams.

The outcome of the engagement stage is: "have I given anyone a good reason to click anything…"
In other words – the more personal you make it the more likely it will encourage engagement.
In other words, you relate to them and they respond.

Check out +Jaana Nyström on this:


This, it would seem, is one of the absolute musts to having a positive experience on Google+
Without interaction people are simply 'throwing posts into the stream'.

With Google+ you have an interaction with someone when someone:

+1s the post
There is potential for starting a friendship through interactions, but +1s are a very light touch.
But even people that have a large number of circlers both to +1 comments that want you to know are appreciated.
Wonderful people like +Mike Shaw still take time to say "thanks" by +1ing comments

comments on a post
This is a great way for people to get to play!
You find likeminded people simply by seeing how your comments are received. I find humour to be an important element, as +Lee Smallwood +Rod Dunne and +Jack C Crawford have experienced!
This will be interesting for businesses as people need to play – it cannot be an automated.
Yet, so many people, like +ed milliband (UK politician) haven't yet learned that interaction is the key. This is not a passive site – post and run.
It is all about interaction.
In time, relating to politics, we could even have voting for relevant members of an interactive group. All we would need is someone to create a little plug in and…
Ok, maybe I am getting carried away 🙂

shares a post
This is social validation by the person sharing. When someone shares a post they are saying to their circles: "hey, check this meme out."
They may well put a few caveats in the comments before sending it on, but by clicking 'share' they are supporting that post's concept being spread further.
If the social risk is too high, people will not share. So, you need to make a judgement of whether something is suitable for YOUR audience.

People can do a mixture of all three.

Say my name, say my name… (Destiny's child playing in the distance…)

Outside of postings themselves, people often name someone by adding them, for example, into their text.
+Rahul Roy for instance asked to make sure he was included in any posts that may interest him.
This breaks through the noise and makes it more personal. This is an excellent way to let people know you appreciate what they do.
But if it is used carelessly, it will be a way to trash a blossoming relationship…

Then we have Hangouts

Hangouts can be very personal. People share their lives and their experiences in a format that is new and exciting.
I was included in a hangout for the #versus debate with +Jemima Khan and +Tony Curzon Price which was excellent.
This is personal contact with people who are influencers in the world at large.
Business can host hangouts but there will need to be a face to it.
I even jumped in on a hangout with Fox New's +Maria Quiban who was lovely, just to say hi.

So, could all this start a trend of making business personal again as well?
Chatting with +Matt Olsen and +Phillip Olsen , who have a new vitality business, I can see they are able to get input from anyone in the world.

What will be the future of self/business interactions?

We shall have to see how this evolves but…
Individuals, businesses and organizations can also do an*enormous amount of research* on all of your public postings. Much of what would be hidden in your Facebook profile is made public.
We can only hope businesses use this information whilst seeing me as a person*: engaging me, interacting with me and relating to me* as a person, not as a set of data.
It will be the users of the platform that will decide upon the memes within the culture – that includes posts as well as the informal code we are building around the nature of our interactions– what is "ok" and "not ok" to do/say/post etc.
Most of all, I'm really enjoying the ride and hope my non G+ers will soon join to experience it as well.

Many thanks to +Johan Horak +Linda Dee for all the positive interactions.
And for all the tips: +Rehan Ahmad (about circling) +Mark Traphagen (search results and so much more) and +Dolidh Young for a load of practical G+ user tips.

#futureofgoogle + #googleplus #psychology #googlepsychology #smallbusiness #smallbusinessmarketing #guardian #telegraph #thetimes   #artsciencebook  

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