Google Plus Is Shutting Down - Time For Steemit To Shine!

in steemit •  5 months ago

group_hands_touching.jpg

Google+ is shutting down and the timing might just be perfect for Steemit. As many users are aware the latest hardfork of the Steem blockchain (HF20), implemented several changes on Steemit and its associated decentralised applications (dapps).

A lot of the changes were back end changes which will go largely unnoticed by most users. However there were some frontend changes, with some being scheduled to happen in the coming months.

One of these changes is the ability to create Steem communities. In my mind this is going to be the largest change of Steemit since its inception in April 2016.

The Power Of Groups

Social networking groups have existed long before the days of the internet. To a person born after the age of global digital connectivity it might seem quaint that people used to physically meet in order to share a group interest.

Of course that still happens today, however it seems the meet up acts as an adjunct for the online community rather than its main focus.

Regardless of how technologically advanced we become, the human race will always need social groups. Why? Simply because we are a social animal. Whilst on some visceral level we may like to celebrate our individuality. The truth of the matter is, we engender a feeling of belonging by joining with others who share the same interests as ourselves.

Hyperconnectivity

The internet allowed us to form super hyper-connected groups, which led to the rise of the fringe groups. These were made up of people who shared an interest that was so rare, that forming a group would have been impossible without the internet. For instance men who like to dress in full length female rubber suits, or those who believe the earth is flat. Without internet groups, these people would just be individual, unconnected floating islands.

What's The Point?

Steemit has become part of this hyperconnected community web, however our little corner of the web needs some tidying up.

For example, at the moment if you are interested in cryptocurrency, homesteading, and bears. You can of course simply follow accounts that are also into those subjects and they will appear on your feed.

The problem is of course, that you want to follow other people that are outside of those interests. Or maybe one person you follow does a great article about bears, but then the rest of their content is totally unrelated.

Before long your feed simply reflects who you follow, rather than what you're truly interested in. With communities, you simply follow the interest and therefore are shielded from any content that is not relevant to your chosen subject.

Who Cares About Google+?

In 2015 someone called Eric Enge did a marketing audit of Google+. He found the “active profiles” on Google+ amount to 111 million users. Out of those 6.7 million users have 50 or more posts ever, and 3.5 million have 50 or more posts in the last 30 days.

Of course Enge's research did not, and could not extend to the millions of people who like me, are part of various Google+ communities and can be classified as read only.

The fact is Google is shutting down Plus because to them it is a huge failure. They have billions of users and only a tiny percent of them use Google+ services. It is easy to see the rationale behind freeing up valuable resources for a more used and more profitable part of the business.

However this still leaves millions of people who do value the service. Those people are going to be left without the communities they have grown to love and been a part of for a long time.

So even though millions of users represents a drop in the ocean for Google. However if even only a small percentage of those people migrate onto Steemit, it will be a huge thing for the site and will raise its profile far higher than it is today. So these people are worth going after, we just have to wait until the communities feature is active.

Where Are They Going?

So it is clear that even though we talk of the Google+ community as one entity, it is made up of many different sub groups, which in turn are made of individuals. This means that they will not act as one and all choose to migrate to the same platform. However all groups are moderated by a person or group of people. It is they who will be migrating all the content, thus the followers will, well, follow.

This morning I saw a post on G+ that inspired this article. The post was asking the members of one of the sci-fi groups that I'm a part of, where they felt they should go after next August when Google+ shuts down.

The group has just over 1400 members and the group moderator asked the question in the form of a poll, which you can see below.

I was just about to suggest that the mod add Steemit to the poll, when I read a reply to the post that stopped me dead in my tracks.

Pluspora is just a diaspora node, and diaspora does not currently support groups/communities.

This highlights the importance of a group feature, and of course reminded me that Steemit doesn't support communities yet, so I thought I'd sit tight.

G+_survey.PNG

At the end of the day more and more Google+ group moderators are going to have to face up to the very real fact that they need to migrate their communities to another platform.

It is up to us to make sure that once the Steemit communities feature is ready, we let as many of these mods know as possible.

Stylistically Steemit is very similar to Google+ so as far as UI (user interface) is concerned, I think the average Google user will be happy with our site.

So come on Steem devs, I know you're working hard behind the scenes, however I think you should use Google+ closing down as a natural deadline. Let's get it up and rolling before the August 2019 shutdown date so that we can hoover up some of those lovely G+ communities!

ARE YOU A GOOGLE+ USER? WHAT GROUPS ARE YOU A PART OF? WHAT FEATURES THAT YOU LIKE ON THERE, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ON STEEMIT? OR PERHAPS YOU ARE A GROUP MEMBER ON A SIMILAR SITE? AS EVER, LET ME KNOW BELOW!

Source:
Google+ 2015 Statistics - Forbes Business

Title image: Perry Grone on Unsplash

Cryptogee


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I haven't been on Google Plus in a long while. I actually joined because I was running a blog back then and I needed the audience. After a while, I just stopped going there.

I believe that steemit can gain a lot from the shut down of Google Plus if we act fast. I hope the steem developers are paying attention.

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Yeah it's funny, because I don't use it that much but I will miss it. I often use it to browse what's going on in the world of A.I. and emerging tech, which in turn inspires me for my own content.

Hopefully Steem communities will be ready before March, because that's when I see the larger migration starting.

Cg

I used google plus just once. But I just didn’t understand it. Keeping up with other mainstream social media is easier.

Posted using Partiko iOS

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I was too, but then I persisted. I like it because I just follow some groups that interest me, science, sci-fi, A.I. It then throws relevant content my way.

Cg

A lot of the changes were back end changes which will go largely unnoticed by most users.

The HF20 changes will definitely not go unnoticed by new users; a newcomer barely has enough RC for a handful of comments per day (see for example my recent post on this). Luckily I have received a generous delegation from @welcomewagon @dreemsteem, so I can comment a reasonable amount. If you're hoping for mass adoption from Google+ users to the current Steem, I wouldn't hold my breath.

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Oh right, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I though equilibrium had been reached. This is not good in general. Though I don't think this will affect the kind of G+ user such as myself and many others. Who are not interested in commenting, more just accessing the content.

It is worrying though, and I hope it's sorted soon!

Cg

I think this place would suit G+ers quite well. I used it quite a lot back in the past. It's the fact that you can reach a wide audience not necessarily in your circle of friends that would be a big sell. You are right though. Communities would be handy to be in place

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Yeah hopefully we can bring them here, I think they'd like it.

Cg

AH, Great predictions.
I hope that things would be great for steemit!

I really hope even a quarter of a million users migrate to one of our platforms. It will indeed be huge

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Absolutely huge, any kind of migration from a platform like Google will be a bonus.

Cg

I read somewhere that the people who made Google+ haven’t even used it in years. I can’t imagine this is going to have much of an effect on anyone.

Posted using Partiko iOS

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As I said, it won't make that much difference to Google, however there are at least 6 million people who do use it. Therefore getting even 5% of those users to come to Steemit would make a difference to us.

Just totting up the members in the G+ groups I follow, it is just under 20,000 and I'm just one person.

Anyways, we shall see!

Cg

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Wow. I had no idea that many people still used Google+.

Posted using Partiko iOS

I am a Google+ user and most of the time I'll read since over the years i've customised my feed to content I would want to see. i hardly comment because the site isn't really about engagement and ill share my blogs on my profile or in specific groups.

I followed groups on digital marketing, locations like cape town where I live, I follow anime and comic groups as well as meme groups and some sport groups like Arsenal. The content has always been top quality and easy to curate.

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Hey fellow Gooner! :-)

Yes this is exactly how I use it. I think I've made less than a dozen comments in the years since joining, however I've read many articles and followed plenty of story links.

There will be others like us, looking for that nice, clean and simple service. Hopefully Steemit can fulfil their needs.

Cg

@cryptogee,

This is a very interesting development ... and the first I've heard of it. And, it fits in rather nicely with a project I'm working on.

Personally, I'm not interested in the "communities" idea. Some of the most interesting relationships I've developed on Steemit have been "outside of my areas of interest." You, for example. Plus, I have a way of developing an interest in just about everything.

My interest is in meeting smart people doing something brilliantly (including "thinking") ... I don't much care what that something is. It's the smartness and excellence I'm after. But, I'm well aware that not all people share my proclivities.

Good for you for spotting this and understanding its consequences. I hope somebody "up there" is listening. Cryptogee, make sure you mention this at SteemFest ... a lot.

Quill

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I know what you mean about finding interests outside of communities, however I think it is still how a lot of people like to connect. Plus it's nice for a content creator to watch a community grow.

Can't wait to hear more about your project, and yes I will be mentioning the demise of G+ as much as I can at Steemfest.

Cg

Communities are great. But I love the collections even more. My followers can follow the collections they are interested in. This allows me to have multiple interests and create multiple feeds for my followers to choose from.

The best part is that it could be created here on steem simply by a front end update. The blog tab for a user on steemit could list all the tags used by the user. And by selecting a tag you would get all posts with this tag for the user. Everything else would get filtered out. It would be identical to collections in G+

And the feed on steemit could get updated to display new posts using a combination of "user"+"tag". You would follow a set of tags from a user. Or "user" if you want to get all new posts from this user into your feed (like it is today)

Can't believe how empty the #googleplus tag is right now. Dozens of people blogging on how important it would be to get STEEM on more exchanges. Hardly anyone paying any attention to the biggest of opportunities for STEEM to gain traction. Steemit INC seems to be sleeping where they should be on this one one big time. Resteeming all #googleplus post a.t.m. but I really feel I should help in a technical way. If there are any plans for migration tools, I would love to help with these.

The Google Takeout files of group owners contain member info, but only pointing to G+ URLs. Don't know if there is a way to match Google OAUTH to G+ URLs, but if there is, we might set up an important service for mods and a linking service for members maybe.

Let me know if building something could be a fit here.

One HF20 feature that bite us right now, I think is the changes in the account creation. I have a few smaller communities that are low traffic but of some ecconomical value to me. I would love to be able to delegate some SP to my community members so they'dd be able to use a feature that I would dream would work something like this.

  1. I go to Google Takeout and fetch my community data
  2. I upload the community data to steemit and announce on G+ that I did so.
    3)I pay plus somehow pre delegate SP for account creation .
  3. A community member goes to a community specific steemit page, authenticated with her Google account and instantly gets a new account that is immediately part of the community. Using my delegated SP instead of Steemit Inc delegated SP.

Hope something like that both makes sense, and in one form or the other would be viable.

I never used this service on Google, so I am not a good candidate to migrate here to the community feature not yet released.

Ehh... A lot of the people from Google+ that would love to come here had already left during the beta, when they started to implement "features" that were anti-privacy. Certainly we need communities here, but we also need lists. It's kinda embarrassing that we don't even have lists. What year is this?

They will likely move onto other, larger sites, before we get communities.

But we most certainly need such features, and they will bring a lot more people, including some abandoned by other sites.