Initial Thoughts on Google +

Actual photo of Kristen Lamb on the inside.

When I first saw Google + pop up on the social media radar, I tried to ignore it. But, as an expert people tend to believe we know what we’re doing. I have tried to convince you guys that I make this up as I go, but alas I some of you sent me messages like this:

So, what do you think of Google +?

Um is… Crap. Is it too early to drink? a viable answer?

I was just kind of hoping they would stop inventing stuff for a week or two so I could get caught up. Can we ever keep up with it all? Social media is not immune to evolution. Some things work, others don’t. People behind the technology are always asking if there is a way to streamline. Can we make this better? More user-friendly? Can we make it easier for people to interact? To connect? To filter out all the white noise? I can’t blame them. It keeps the programmers off the streets, even if it gives us stress hives.

It seems that Google is taking on this challenge with launching Google +. So, as your Social Media Jedi Master, I am taking this bullet for the team. Thanks to one of my blog followers I scored an invitation to be part of the beta testing for the one social network to rule them all…Google +. So I will be pressing buttons and shouting expletives at my computer so you don’t have to.

It is too early to give a good opinion. I don’t quite understand how THIS will be different, wonderful and fantastical. Maybe it will be, but time will tell.

You guys might find this shocking, but I hate anything new. I am really an 58 year old Jewish woman from Long Island, New York at heart, and all this technology makes me seriously verklempt. The fact that I have written two best-selling technology books is proof God has a sense of humor.

I get set in my ways and, like a lot of people, I don’t care for change. And sometimes, especially when it comes to technology, I want to yell ENOUGH, ALREADY!  I feel like I am caught in a digital riptide and drowning in digital daiquiri mix. I have the schmeltz.

The Downside of New and Improved

It is wonderful that the social networking sites want to always be offering something new and shiny, but sometimes? I wish they would leave things alone. For instance, I LOVE Twitter and TweetDeck, yet it seems that every other day there is a new version that I need to install. Really? I just figured out the buttons on last week’s version, and now I need to install a NEWER version? A faster version? A version that allows me to tweet straight from my brain without having to type?

Facebook is no better. Oh we know you just finally figured out version 37, but version 38 WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!

I think that this was a big reason MySpace collapsed. Yes, I mention MySpace in WANA. Feel free to ignore all 5 of those pages.  Yet, MySpace is a lesson in how “new and improved” can go tragically wrong.

MySpace was a force to be reckoned with a few years ago, but MySpace wasn’t happy with prosperity. They had to new and improve and add more and more gizmos, ads, games, apps, gadgets and flashy thingies. Eventually, people had so much crap on their profile that the page loaded slower than Eeyore on Quaaludes. No one could open a profile without risking a computer crash….which defeated why MySpace was so popular. Originally, it was a simple way to connect, hang out and make friends. MySpace “new and improved” so much that you risked a seizure every time you tried to visit a profile.

MySpace also lost sight of what it did well and kept trying to copy Facebook. The irony of this approach was that people who liked MySpace generally didn’t like Facebook. So here MySpace was copying the very place many of us were trying to avoid. In the end, all this copying of Facebook was the source of the hemorrhage of people to Facebook. If MySpace was going to be Facebook, then um, why not just go hang out on Facebook?

A couple of months ago, Facebook decided to force everyone to change the layout of their profile.Oh, they made it seem like it was optional at first (kind of like the Nazi party). Every day when I logged in, Facebook would have a pop up message touting the “new look” and ask if I was ready to change. Every day I said no. I’d finally figured out where everything was.

Then, one day I logged in and … everything was moved. I know they are trying to be nice, but that’s kind of like surprising Helen Keller with an extreme home makeover while she’s away on vacation. The intention is noble, but the result is not pretty when Helen falls into a wine cellar she didn’t have when she left to visit relatives in Florida.

Not all of us work for Facebook. We have other things to do with our time than try to figure out yet another page layout. Leave it alone. Really.

Cell phones….yeah. Don’t get me started.

Are People Wanting to Move Again?

I know that Google + is promising new and wonderful things, but it kind of reminds me of when I was young and used to move every three months. Sure moving to a new place was fun and exciting when everything I owned could be packed in less than two hours…but now? When my crap would fill two moving vans? I am just not that motivated.

I think that maybe some of the younger generations that are new to social media will probably embrace Google + far quicker.  To put it bluntly, they have less crap to move.

Many people have been building Facebook pages for years. I have 4000 followers on Twitter. Do I really want to start anew? One of the reasons I kept hoping MySpace would pull its digital head out of its digital butt was because I had a lot of hours invested in that network. I didn’t want to start all….over….again.

I am hoping Google + has learned from these issues and can make transitioning easy.

Change Can Be Good

Okay so I have whined now for a few hundred words and you see what I mean about really being an 58 year old Jewish woman from Long Island, New York. I don’t like change. Again, this is why I am proof that God digs irony. Yet, in ways I think that this is an attribute that has made me better at teaching social media to writers.

Many social media people LOVE gadgets and gizmos and the newest way of doing anything shiny. They are lovely people, but a lot of them have the attention span of a ferret with a cocaine habit. Many of them just don’t get that we still have to write books, too.

Yes, we need change. Change can be great. I hated cell phones and e-mail when they first came out, and now I am tethered permanently to both. But, change for the sake of change is a waste of time and energy. I think it is wise for us to pan back and take a minute to think. See if we really need to change, why we need to change and when we need to change.

Google + is promising to make social media a better experience. I am thinking it might be a meta-program (I think that’s a word. If not, now it is). A meta-program to act as a hub to for all other social media sites. But, I had to give a DNA sample and 32 background references to create a profile so I haven’t started digging under the hood yet.

So, I am tying off to a safety line. I have my backpack full of Red Bull and Dr. Phil books. I’ll go whack it with a hammer and see if it screams then report back. Just because there is a hot new social networking fad is no reason to tear down the tents and set off for parts unknown. But, we also want to make sure we aren’t clinging to a sinking ship.

*cough* MySpace.

Google + might be the new evolution of social media. But it could be a giant brain cramp that we can avoid. I will keep you posted. So what do you guys think? Any of you using Google +? If you are, can you come find me? I’m the series of 0s and 1s wandering around crying. I have a balloon on my arm and am wearing an orange jumper. Are you guys tired of the “new and improved”? What’s your opinion? Are you excited? Do you need a Tums? Are you also an 58 year old Jewish woman from Long Island on the inside? Are you verklempt? We can compare bunions.

I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of July, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of June I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.

Last Week’s Winner of 5 page critique is Thomas Ross. Please send 1250 word Word document to kristen at kristen lamb dot org.

Mash-Up of Awesomeness

FUNNY Post by Lani Wendt Young Don’t You Dare Breathe on That Baby

The Rules of Social Media Optimization 

Self-Publish–Is It a Dirty Word?

Social Media–Protection from Facial Recognition Software

Failing Doesn’t Make You a Failure by Jen Rothman

60 Tips to Improve Your NF Writing (this is excellent for blogging, too)

Literary Agents: An Endangered Species? by the brilliant and talented Anne R. Allen

Can getting published make you happy? by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Will self-publishing hurt your chances of being traditionally published? by Agent Rachelle Gardner

What’s the difference between plot and story?

Why Understanding Conflict Will Make You a Better Writer by Bubblecow

In the meantime, I hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left over to write more great books! I am here to change your approach, not your personality.


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  1. I’ve been playing around with Google+ a little. I can definitely see its potential, and I like that it’s relatively distraction-free. I won’t be heartbroken if it doesn’t take off, but I do like Hangouts, and would love the chance to use that regularly.

  2. I tend to bury my head in the sand when new tech comes up- I still don’t text people know this and text me messages that I don’t have to respond to 🙂 Eventually I’m forced to learn something new- but I think I’ll wait until the brain to screen tech come into being- that sounds good- but wait how do you edit that? And how bad will my spelling be then?

  3. I am most DEFINITELY a 58 year old Jewish woman from Long Island, New York on the inside. I am most definitely verklempt. I hate, hate, HATE the fact that Facebook insists on changing every five minutes. And it’s definitely the reason I left MySpace. As you say, if they were going to copy Facebook, why not just go to Facebook?

    Google already has a social media thingy. And it sucks. Big time. Gonna take a lot of convincing to get this girl to Google +.

    1. Yes. I’m also a 58 year old Jewish woman from Long Island, and, unfortunately, I’m also (in real life) a 52 year old Catholic from MN. Sheesh!

      So, I’ve got the kvetching about the new stuff on the outside and all that SHAME about not knowing what the heck I’m doing on the inside.

      I’m tired. I’m excited too, but in a kind of really tired way. Thanks you Kristen for doing the schlepping.

  4. Good point about Myspace, used to love it. Then I got fed up with it for exactly the same reasons you mentioned. Swapped for Twitter which I love, and now I’m on FB, having said I’d never go on it. One week on, I love it, great connections and much support. So I ate my words. Hey, I’m happy to learn. Only fools…
    Good luck with Google+.
    Remember Google wave? I had an invitation early on, then kept getting invites because nobody was on it. Hopefully, they will have learned:)

  5. Google + may become a force to be reckoned with…once it gets past the “invite” phase and there are enough people on it.

    One of my favorite functions so far is the ability to place people in a “circle” and then broadcast to specific circles.

    I may want to broadcast my word count only to my writer friends who get why that means anything to me, rather than my business contacts, or family that still giggles when I talk about being a writer.

    And a person can be a member of more than one circle. So, maybe some of my writer friends WANT to see cute pictures of the kid, others, not so much. Those writers can also be in another circle that gets kid updates. And so forth.

    I can even send an update to two specific people independent of what circle they are in.

    The other big thing Google + has going for it, is GOOGLE. Google integration is nice. Pictures in Picasa slide right in to Google +. I use Gmail, so I am easily flagged (non-intrusively, I might add) when there is an update on + that I might want to see.

    I’m not obsessively updating in there just yet, but will be interested to see how it develops.

    1. I do agree with Amber about liking the “circles” – but I’m sure Facebook will catch wind of this soon and write some sort of code to compete with g+.

  6. Kristen, I laughed out loud when you said, “I was just kind of hoping they would stop inventing stuff for a week or two so I could get caught up.” I am sometimes thankful that some small segment of the new and shiny can be ignored until it goes away, just because keeping up can be so overwhelming.

    That said, i think Google+ is important for 2 reasons. 1. They’ve basically said it will eventually be considered in search engine results, so incorporating it (and doing so early) can only help people find your content. And 2. It is unlikely search engine spammers will go to the trouble of adding it to their sites, parking pages, etc., since what visitor would + it? So if it helps return better search results in the long run, we would all benefit by that. (Of course, then it means we all have compelling reasons to add it to our sites. Clever, aren’t they?)

  7. Ouchie! My brain is cramping! But not from Google+. From your sense of humor. It’s way too early for me out in California to be laughing so hard. My husband is seriously worried about me. He even dared venture into the “work space aka office upstairs” to make sure I hadn’t had an embolism or something. Thanks, Kristen! I’ll get you back one of these days…

    Oh, and did you hear the identity of the person with the most followers on Google+ so far? Mark Zuckerberg!!! Yes, the founder of Facebook has the most followers, or whatever they’re called, on Google+! Love it. Viva la internet! 😀

  8. Knowing Google, they do have some tricks up their sleeve. I do agree with the “moving” from one network to another, trying to establish yourself again. It’s not fun, trying to learn a new system. Hopefully they will have a way to import Twitter and Facebook accounts, and link the people you already know.

    1. The most hysterical of your posts yet: definitely ROFL beginning to end. As always awesome content–and being a gullible sort who is 2/3 thru WANA I was ready to see what i might have been missing on MySpace.
      Still working my way thru tweetdeck and okay with the basics of FB, but okay, I’ll check out G+. Not like there really is a choice re: keeping up.

      Thanks, Kristen!

  9. Does this mean I should finally remove my profile from the telegraph?

    1. ROFL. Right? You crack me up 😀

    2. Telegraph profiles?? Whoo-hoo! It’s about time!

      That’s just incredibly funny to me, thank you for that!

  10. I received an invite yesterday and just created my profile. It seems pretty user-friendly and I do like the idea of circles. A friend of mine suggested they should add some public circles you can add yourself too. Like, there could be a public MyWANA circle and people of common interest could find each other that way.

    We’ll see. I jumped on thinking if this is going to be THE new social media platform, it’s probably best to figure it out early. And if it never takes off, I still have all the others. If they could make it easy to transition friends from other network sites that would be magical.

  11. I have friends that jumped on this bandwagon already – but they don’t use Facebook or Twitter to their best potential, so it makes me wonder why.

    Thank you for being the front runner on this for so many of us, Kristen. Make sure you take flare guns – if you find you can’t get out, shoot up a flare and someone will come to your rescue.

    Cheers, dear!

  12. After reading this, I’m still not sure what Google plus is. Could you explain?

    1. Will be happy to once I figure it out. It’s google offering it’s own social networking and could be great or could be #epicfail. I will keep you posted :D.

  13. This post is hysterical. 🙂
    I love playing with new technology, so if I can find an invite, or effectively beg someone to invite me (*wink jennbooks at gmail dot com wink*), I’d love to clank around and “friend” others. If that’s even Google’s term. 🙂

  14. I’m with you, Kristen, I *hate* new technology–or rather, new versions of the same old stuff. And is it just me, or are all these “new improvements” not fully tested when they’re released? Because glitches always seem to follow. “New security measures,” my a$$, you just disabled my ability to copy and paste text from my web browser.

    Okay, deep breath. I’m glad someone else is playing around with Google +, because when it comes to new things, I usually hold out as long as I can. (Seriously, I only joined Twitter last month.)

  15. Thanks for the post, Kristen! I’m still trying to catch up too. I’m still trying to figure out –one: how to change over my twitter handle that includes my last name when I really want the middle name in there too and I don’t want to lose followers . . . (I know I should have already done this–you mentioned having the last name out there) and two–why I can’t follow anyone else now? Each time I click –I want to follow a new twitter, it says –no. I did some research and I think I need more followers but how do I get this? And how many do I need? Ugh!

    Thanks bunches for digging in the trenches for us on this Google +. I definitely want to keep current but it’s hard! Well, and get anything else done, you know. I check in to your blog regularly because I know you’ll keep us all up on the latest. Thanks again! And help . . .with the follow thing if you know what I should do. Great post! My twitter is: @MarianPS for Marian Pearson Stevens

    1. Hang out at #MyWANA and ask for help from your twibe. The entire point of #MyWANA is to make it easier for us to follow each other.

      1. Will do–thanks!

  16. Kristen, you are like buttah. I have heard people kvetch about the new Google+ So far it seems like mostly men inhabit it. Not sure what I think, so I look forward to reading your opinion. Miriam

  17. I guess I’m kind of glad at how honest you are about change and new technology. If you’d written a post going YES YES YES Google + is where it’s at! I don’t know what I would’ve done, but banging my head on my laptop would have been involved. Thanks for the update, if it does turn into something miraculous, let us know!

  18. A bit long, but both informative and entertaining. I love your way with words, Kristen. And, as always, I’m proud of my BFF.

  19. I tried Facebook, hated it, and have avoided it like the plague in spite of its nasty ubiquitousness and everyone’s insistence that if you’re a writer you’re doomed to obscurity without it. So I’m willing to give Google+ a go when they let me in. If it gets overcrowded or starts commiting the same sins as Facebook and Myspace, I’ll ditch it.

  20. OMG–Brilliant and talented?! Thanks for the shout-out. You’re one of my heroes, so it means a lot.

    And you’re so spot-on with the whole riff on “new and improved”. ROFL. “New” seldom means “improved” in the tech world.

    Tech innovation is often about young geeks competing with each other with no thought to the user–who is considered only a commodity (or perhaps prey.) And, because young humans so often do not listen to their 58-year-old aunties or learn from the past, I think FB will fade just the way MySpace did, and for the same reasons. (I think it’s already fading.)

    Google + will succeed if it not only appeals to the “new! shiny!!” geekocracy, but also works to hold onto its users with loyalty and an understanding of that old-fashioned phrase, “user-friendly.” (Remember when that was considered a good thing?)

    I’m really looking forward to your insights into the whole Google + thing.

  21. I think facebook has too many privacy problems and the fact that it doesn’t even really let you delete your profile very easily is a flashing red sign.

    Haven’t been able to score a Google+ invite yet (if anyone can toss me one, I’d be delighted), but I’ve heard good things about it. Mostly I’m excited about the opportunity to easily group people differently. The reason why I don’t want to use FB is because I don’t feel like sharing everything with everyone, but neither do I want to block my Wall from them. Google+ seems to handle this much better.

  22. Thank you for leaping in front of me to take that bullet! Extremely funny post which I will be re-tweeting. And sadly, so true. I am rather laid-back about leaping on new tech. Not afraid, mind you, just … casual. ;D I just found the drop down menu arrow on facebook that allows me to sort through which status updates I’d like to see. I can’t even say that I ‘found’ it. My 16 year old daughter (also a writer) had to show me that. I’ve been using the internet since 1993 – two years before she was born! But the fact of the matter is, I still put two spaces after every period unless I make a conscience… effort… not… to.

    I am confident that I will be able to do what I need to do when I need to do it though. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy watching everyone else be verschimmelt over Google +!

  23. I loved this post! I run screaming from new technology until someone drugs me and drags me back. I still have a cell phone that doesn’t access the internet and only makes phone calls and sends text messages via the number keys.

    Because I know social media is necessary, I try to pick the essentials (Twitter, Facebook, and a blog), and find ways to keep them fun. I’ll probably stake out my little piece of ground on Google+, but then wait to see where things go before I devote any serious time to it. I’ve heard a lot of people aren’t liking it at this point. And considering how long it took me just to figure out the basics of how to use Twitter and put together a Facebook page . . .

  24. Afterthought: My husband still texts with Morse code!

    • Melanie Killingsworth on July 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm
    • Reply

    At this point (due to laziness, only-slightly-misplaced paranoia, or my own inner 58 year old inner Italian woman), I mostly use Facebook for 3 things.

    1. Posting links to things I want people to see / I want peoples’ opinions on.
    2. Waving Hi to old friends
    3. Talking to my mom and aunt.

    It’s the 3rd that’s going to keep me there. Having spent plenty of time training them on how to use Facebook, and having weekly if not daily discussions, exchanges of pictures (some ‘look what I cooked,’ some ‘look what I bought,’ – more the former than the latter, as the Italian part in 58 year old Italian woman is true), and more, I just cannot start all over.

    Which means instead of moving neighborhoods, I’ll just invest in yet another house, and have to remember another password. Then again, in my new house, I can probably use naughty words. So there’s that.

  25. If they don’t have all the annoying games that Facebook does, and if it doesn’t automatically opt you in to all their new “privacy” features, I’ll probably try it out. I like the idea of the circles, and not putting everything out there for everyone.

  26. Google+? I hadn’t even heard of it yet. OMG, not another thing! I’m still trying to catch up in “pressing” my words, StumbleUpon-ing through Gravatars, GoogleRead-ing my Tweets, and RSS-feeding my Face(book)!

    One thing I’m very proud of learning, though: I no longer ingest food or beverage while reading your posts, cause “surprising Helen Keller with an extreme home makeover while she’s away on vacation” would have absolutely ruined my keyboard. 🙂

    1. That was the one that got me too, Kathy! That, and Damien’s comment…

  27. Argh. Hadn’t heard of this until now. I actually enjoy learning new shiny stuff but it’s such a time such and I do have to earn a living somehow! No one is paying me to do social networking.

  28. I have a google+ account but only because two of my twitter friends set up so we could share more photos and such….I look forward to more of your feedback because I honestly don’t plan to use g+ all that much. I’m on facebook and setting up another social media site seems daunting – especially when it’s so fresh and new and people haven’t rushed the field yet.

    I will say – technology is exhausting. Everyone has to one up the other. I just want to scream – STOP IT!

  29. Whew! I’m so happy to hear that the MySpace ship has sunk because I really wasn’t into setting up an account. This post couldn’t have come at a better time because I was going to recommend to others that they should set up a MySpace account on today’s post which is about “We Are Not Alone”. I edited it after seeing your post. (

    Thanks for the relief of knowing that I don’t have to jump on MySpace or the Google+ train at the moment. 🙂

  30. I love technology….THAT WORKS AND I ALREADY KNOW HOW TO USE. However, I went kicking and screaming from typing commands to using a mouse, and that worked out okay. HEY, YOU OVER THERE WITH NO WRINKLES. STOP LAUGHING AT ME. Yes, I was around computers when you had to type in a command to get things going, and use shortcuts instead of clicking things on the screen. Yes, that’s dino poop on my Converse All-Stars (Chucks to some of you). Anyway, I’m just glad we have Kristen to figure all this out and lead us to the promised land without wandering in the desert for 40 years.

    • malindalou on July 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm
    • Reply

    I couldn’t help but laugh at poor Helen Keller as she fell into her wine cellar. Not because it is funny but because it is too true!!

    As Grandma Mary said on yesterday, Google+ is only a game changer if you need it to be. If that is where your people are, that’s where you need to go. If it is not, then it isn’t worth getting all excited about. I joined Facebook after several of my friends who live out of state begged me to. MySpace is still somewhat of a popular hangout for teens and young twenty-somethings. Twitter has lots of entrepreneurs and writers. If the people I’m trying to reach out to were all on Google+, that’s where I’d go. Until then, I’m not going to stress about it.

  31. I’m still wrapping my head around Twitter. I have a Facebook personal page, an author page on FB, and I’m an admin on the FB pages for the two websites my bro and I own. I have a blog and I contribute once a week (well, I say I do anyway) to the two said websites. I also have an account on LinkedIn (which I still need to actually, you know, start up) and I post on various forums to promo my book.

    So, I think I’ll hold off on doing Google + until it’s absolutely “necessary.” I only switched to FB from Myspace when it became clear who the winner was (and when “I never get on here I think I’m going to delete this” kept showing up on my Myspace feed,) and I only got on Twitter when I noticed a bunch of people commenting on FB from there.

    I’m a late comer to the new trends…I like to hang around and see how things go before I dive in. That and I get frustrated with computer stuff easily and wind up bashing my head against the keyboard a lot, haha.

  32. Sounds like a pain to me but prepared to be proved wrong. Likening Facebook to the Nazis, nice one! I still long for those easy days of 2007 which was the pinnacle of Facebook’s Profile Page Aesthetic. But that’s just me.

  33. I have been hemming and hawing about Google + as well. I actually went on and tried to sign up but it didn’t take the first go around and I lost interest. So many things I need to do and haven’t though that this just joins the list. BTW, this was one of the funniest posts I have seen in a while. Thanks for sharing your 58 year old Jewish side.

  34. Thanks for volunteering to be our guinea pig! Just the thought of having to keep up with all this technology makes me schfitz.

    Also – as a 42-year old Jewish woman from Long Island, New York, on the inside AND the outside, seeing a blond girl from Texas (?) using Yiddish in her blog post makes me want to plotz.

    Ach, such nachas! 🙂

    1. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard “plotz” used so well in a sentence – thanks for the giggle, Danielle.

      But such a punim on that shiksa from Texas, don’t you think??

  35. Hahaha…this was hilarious. Thank you, thank you for making it OK to be one of those people who hate change. Or at least change without a reason. Definitely me. I laughed all the way through this post. I think I would be willing to move to Google+, but only after everyone else on the planet, and maybe the dog, had moved there first.
    No, really, I appreciate you being the “guinea pig”. I’m excited to hear what you think of it!

    • Tamara LeBlanc on July 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm
    • Reply

    You pinned the tail on Eeyore’s Quaalude dragging butt…yes, I too am really a jewish grandma from NY, only I’m closer to 90 than 58, I live in Brooklyn, wear slippers outdoors and steal the salt and pepper shakers from the pizzaria across the street. So basically, evolving technology, and white chin whiskers mean the same things to me, they both pop up when I least expect them, and are near impossible to ignore.
    Until this post I never heard of Google+ (I told you I was a jewish grandma) But now I’ll have to…well, Google it.
    Wait, is it an app, or do I Google it? Or is it both?
    Oy vey!! I’m so confused *,*
    But I know I can rely on you to give it to me striaght. Can’t wait to hear your take on Google+ once you’ve had more time to mull it over.
    Thank you for bringing this to my attention!
    Like Danielle Meitiv said up above, “Ach, such nachas!” Yes, you are an extreme joy:)
    Have a great evening!

  36. OMG. I laughed so hard reading this post because, when I first heard the term “Google+” my eyes shot out my ears. It wasn’t pretty.

    I’m just barely getting a grip on Facebook, where I was dragged kicking and screaming.

    I feel comfortable with Twitter, but if they ever create a version that allows us to tweet straight from our brains without typing, I’m gone, baby, gone! At least typing is some small filter between brains and tweets. lol

    I’m praying to the powers and faeries that be, Kristen, that you come back and say — We don’t need no Google+ — in total social-media-professional-speak, of course.

  37. Kristen,

    I’m so with you on this. I too have a 58 year old Jewish woman from Long Island, New York living in my head (a little disturbing for a California native). I am so verklempt I’m going to need at least three pints of Haagen-Dazs ice cream to calm me down. God, I hate change.

    That said, I’m so glad you’re taking the bullet for us and trying out Google+. I’m still struggling to put up a Facebook page – and now this!! Oy vey, save me. 🙂 To be honest, I’m hoping you report back that it’s a waste of time. But if not, I’ll rely on you to tell us all how to make the best use of annoyingly new social media.


  38. THIS!

    Can I leave a comment with just that one word? Well, I suppose I could, but I’ll go on to say – Yes, I too hate change for the sake of change and when I heard about Google+, my reaction was not pretty. Maybe something along the lines of “*&^%$, not *another* one!” 🙂

    *claps you on the shoulder* Yep, you go in there and tell me if/when I need to worry about it. Otherwise, I’ll just be over here in denial. *sits in corner and buries head into knees* “Lalalala, I’m not listening!”

  39. I do not want to think about yet another program/networking site/whatever, and I am an almost-58 (about to be 56) year old Jewish woman from New England on the inside and the outside.
    Also, Tweet-deck keeps chirping at me. I’m distracted enough without chirps.

    1. It is possible to shut of the notifications. Trust me, I had to do it for my own sanity as well.

  40. Loved this post.

    I like new tech, but, as others have said, only when it proves useful. I got a MySpace profile and a FB profile to test which was a better fit for me. Have maybe two “friends” on MySpace and a lot on FB. However, it’s Twitter I like best and use most often. Tried LinkedIn, but just couldn’t get into it.

    As for gadgets… I’m not an early adopter, but more because I can’t afford to be. I got the HTC Evo about as soon as it was available and the Nook as soon as I was sure it would work better for me than the Kindle (lots of research). Before my Nook I was one of those crazies reading books on my little Palm M250 screen and then my Palm Centro.

    At the same time, I do understand not wanting to change. When my computer crashed last year and I had to learn a new OS (XP to Windows 7, skipped Vista altogether!) and re-setup everything I’d just gotten where I liked it on the old one… I almost cried.

    Bright and shiny can be fun, but unless it’s really going to make things better in the long run it’s just another time suck.

  41. I hate learning new gizmos and gadgets and add-ons and what does this button do and oh my god why did that button delete everything? I don’t want new and improved either. Leave well enough alone. Please…

    • Kathleen on July 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm
    • Reply

    Oy. The thought of Google+ calls for a mocha coconut frappuccino, or at least a couple of margaritas.

  42. Finally! There is someone to take it in the shorts (so I don’t have to) on the technology front!

    I’ve been teaching computer classes since 1994 – thousands of students, hundreds of programs – and I have a confession to make right here in the comments section of Kristen Lamb’s blog:


    Part of why I married a network engineer was so that someone else would add my RAM, do my software updates and save my computers from the wall when the blue screen of death came on. Plus, nice guy, big blue eyes and all that.

    I love software. I love saving people time. But I am the last one to upgrade to anything because I’m just not that into you, Computer.

  43. Oh my goodness you are so funny. I too hate technology. Me and a writer friend had this cool idea for a blogfest a few weeks ago and we are both so anti-technology we have delayed it for a Halloween one. Watch this space to see if we can pull it off. That is so embarrassing considering all the blogfests out there 🙂

  44. Kristen – Love your take on this new technology – and I feel your pain. I’m right there with you. I’m a 59 year old who still loves the Hippie days (Peace. Love, Joy and Happiness). Funny how I ended up starting my own business as a Social Media Manager! And I work primarily with writers, being one myself.
    I too was feeling rather comfortable in my social world (except for the occasional cursing of another FB change)and wondering why, oh why, do I yet have to learn another social media venue???? But, as I knew when I joined this side of the force, there are going to be changes – and I usually, eventually embrace them. Looking forward to your take on the whole enchilada!! Love your blogs BTW!! Write on!

    • Texanne on July 7, 2011 at 12:17 am
    • Reply

    Google rules the earth. Look at this–the mention of Google+ as part of the search engine algorithm, and people rush to climb on. For some reason, trains to Auschwitz appear in my imagination–but they’re giving out balloons and cookies, so they don’t need guards with guns. People are happy to get on such a cute train. With all their friends.

    As for “circles” — why not use e-mail lists? If these are your intimates, do you have to put them into the social media blender? Could you not be bothered to communicate with them in some more complete, more–well, intimate, way? I’m not saying to send everyone a Mary Engelbreit card, but you can’t be bothered to e-mail? Oy.

    You are a hoot, Kristen, and I hold you in high regard. Whatever you decide about Google+ will be important to people. Me, I’m staying off that train, even if it means missing out on the balloons and cookies.

    1. Well, I wouln’t be going near it except this is why you guys buy my books. I do the un-fun stuff :P. Yeah, I have a WHOLE ‘NOTHER blog about that Auschwitz Train called Google. Signing up for an account was disturbing to say the least.

  45. Nope. Not into change. I guess I missed the FB switch. Maybe I should head over there and give it a whirl…if only I can remember how to log on!

    Thanks for your perspective on this. I look forward to seeing how it pans out.

  46. Even hearing about Google+ made my head explode…..jump in those trenches, Shaman.

  47. Sadly – I’m behind the times. I’m only 34 and I’ve whined something like, “ohhhh, what the hell is this? Really?” I work an insane schedule while maintaining a home and family and oh yeah, trying to find time to read, write, tweet & blog. I try to find time to make it to the ladies room once in awhile too!

    Every time I pick up the remote, or use the microwave, I am reminded how fast things change. I mean, do you remember when the first microwaves came out? They were the size of a VW!

    Another great post – I’ll try to catch up on the Google Thing!

  48. I have yet to get a Google Account, which prevents me from commenting on some blogs. And as for Google +? When the internet powers-that-be write me a contract in blood that they promise they will never invent anything else they want me to transition to, I will possibly consider bothering to embrace it. Until then, no way. Unless, of course, Kristen convinces me otherwise. Bweep, bweep!

    1. People who require Google accounts to comment on blogger annoy me. This coming from someone who used to champion the blogger platform. Of course, I’m a card carrying member of the Google-cult, and can’t wait to get into Google+.

  49. Um… This link might help you out Kristen-

    I’m 50, and I FORCE myself to adapt the new stuff early. I figure it’s like ripping off a bandaid- the faster I get the pain over with and let my pain air, the better. Then I’m not so lost when my teens try to actually say something to me. Seriously, have you ever tried to talk to one of those without getting the eyeroll in the first minute? It takes talent to earn their respect, and I guess my kids’ respect is my motivator.

    I’m sure you already know about the next web; but I hope it helps you out.

  50. I am a 58 year old eclectic from Hong Kong [but American — long story], but yes, yes, yes to all your questions.

    And, I love shiny new things, but oh, my brain. It hurts.

    I write poetry not novels so don’t worry about my name in a hat. I wanted to tell you that this is a brilliant post. I always enjoy your style but this is particularly well-written and hilarious. I’ll send readers your way just because.


  51. I overheard someone in a pub yesterday (yes, I actually left my house, the papers have been notified) saying that Google + was like a bad version of Facebook. Unfortunately, Facebook has rather cornered the market on being Facebook. I have my hands full with Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and my blog. I really don’t want (or need, I don’t think) to learn another platform. Part of me thinks we should always be flexible and open to change, but the other part of me is screaming “change for the sake of change is STOOPID!!”. I’m going with that part 🙂

  52. Thank you, Kristen!! Unzip your orange jumper and stay on your couch, woman, because I feel the same way. I can barely keep up with the stuff I’m doing now, and frankly, I don’t have a chained monkey in the closet to revise my book. I’m tired of new versions, new things to jump on to build a platform, and I’m tired of every item of food in my pantry. I’m also tired of HGTV’s House Hunter’s International, which can only indicate something is very wrong with me right now.

    Maybe I need a vacation?

    Keep us posted on this Google+ action!

  53. I am laughing so much at this. Hard to believe how much I learned while reading this too! I’ll let the early adopters work out some more bugs before I jump into the void. Thanks for banging your knee on all those hidden corners for us first. I wouldn’t be so curious about + if it wasn’t Google. They are so dominant right now. Hard to believe this whole venture will fail. Then again, even Coke messed with their formula once.

  54. It now occurs to me I should have saved my first comment until I had the link, but it has been one of those weeks. Link is here:


  55. Although I’m a geek and I love social networking, I’m not an early adopter. I’ll glad wait for the rush to die down to see what’s left standing. That said, I’m amused that skype, which I’ve been using for years, is now a hot topic because of its integration into facebook.

    I received an invitation to Google+ but am in no hurry to try it out. I am interested in hearing what the early adopters are saying, so I’ll take special interest in your updates.

  56. I’m all for change that makes sense. But if I adore it now, don’t mess with it. (Can you say, “New Coke”? Uh, no.)

    I do think it’s all changing so fast! The 20-somethings seem to be able to adapt more quickly because social media is their native language. I’m still working on conjugating tech verbs.

    Security issues also make a lot of us older folks (40+?) worry a little about jumping into new venues. We want to participate in conversations, but we don’t want the universe to know what we ate for breakfast, where we bank, and who our first boyfriend was. So it’s a challenge!

    But I’ve generally enjoyed Facebook & Twitter, so I guess I’m a convert. We’ll see about what the future brings!

    • Ingrid Schaffenburg on July 8, 2011 at 1:55 am
    • Reply

    Just before reading this I got a message in my inbox from a friends google account. And at this point I’m very annoyed. It won’t let me read the entirety of her post since I’m not a “member.” So why bother sending it to me!? Grrrrr. It’s like high school all over again. Waitin on the cool kids to invite you in. Give me a break.

  57. Thanks for being so funny. I needed a good laugh. And I completely agree with your feelings about all the new technology and all the constant changes. While we might need “some” of it, I really wish we could have just a little while to breath w/o having to learn something new.

  58. I’m very nearly 58 and, despite the fact that where I live we say, “MAZAL TOV on that lovely post,” I have to admit that I agree with you. And that’s after having worked as a computer programmer and a technical writer. Learning new technologies is not what I want to spend my leisure time doing.

  59. Hi, Kristen! This is the first time I’ve stumbled across your blog, but I already love it! I’ll be adding some linkage to your blog on mine soon. 🙂

    (In fact, I’ve been reading posts for the past hour. Oops! There went editing time.)

    I’ve been on Google+ for a few days and I’m hoping everything will remain clean and tidy, once it’s opened to the public. Up until this point, Google has had the advantage of sitting back and observing previous social networking models. Here’s to hoping they’ll use those lessons to differentiate themselves in the market.

  60. Hi Kristen,

    I’ve been here before, but I can’t remember if I ever left you a comment. I’m 67 and my mind is deteriorating. Hopefully, it’s slow.

    I have a website, a blog, on fifty Yahoo sites, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter plus on Facebook, I belong to numerous groups. I belong to RWA and a couple of RWA chapters. I’m beginning to hate all of this because I have a life, and with all the social media I hardly have time to write.

    As far as for joining Google+; someone better give me a damn good reason for joining, or I won’t even think of it.

    Thanks for a great post, Kristen. I’ve had this on my mind for a long time. I think social media should just stick simple. You kind of like K. I. S.S. lol

  61. Couldn’t stop laughing. I was annoyed when Facebook moved the buttons. It’s like, where’s everything? When Facebook changed things, my friend was next to me. She just logged on while I’ve been on the computer for a while.

    “Where’s everything?” she asked.

    Apparently, they changed the setup while I was logged on. The next time I logged on, I understood what she’s complaining about.

    In short, don’t change the setup. We are creatures of habit so we want things to be where they’re supposed to be.

    1. Haha, makes one wonder why they keep changing things if we’re indeed creatures of habit. Goes to show that small changes go a lot further than HUGE annoying changes. 😀

      1. Definitely. 🙂

  62. I have been curious about it since people started talking about it a LOT on twitter. I think they’ve reached their limit or something, but I could join once the channels open again… I’ll just say that I’m hopeful. 🙂 Thanks, Kristen. (And everyone who commented!)

    1. We’ll see. As far as I know, people would love whatever makes their lives easier. Of course, our definition of convenience also depends on our knowledge of the particular device.

  63. I was a frenzied, caffeine snorting ferret from the left coast until I found the delete key. Now it’s “Move over Eeyore you’re hogging the couch.” I’m off FB for good, part of my reason was their slick privacy invasion as they tried to use me as a marketing toy. My stats have value FB, offer me pay if you expect me to work for you.

    Google’s circles of likeness and potentially endless profiles sound like improvements all right — improvements of segmenting for advertisers, not for me. Twitter (@BFuniv) in small doses is enough for now. Perhaps you will open a door to Google+ that makes sense, but I’m touching no doorknobs in their place without sanitizing them first.

    My time seems better spent writing another novel.

  64. Looking forward to perhaps a follow up post to this one. I have it, but haven’t fooled around with it yet. There are just too many shiny things going on right now stealing my time! 🙂 I hope it’s intuitive and not too hard to figure out.

  65. g+ is changing society as we know it

  1. […] happened to be posted today, says that we can skip MySpace now. Read more about this update on her blog. I’d have to say I’m relieved that I don’t have to figure out this platform […]

  2. […] Initial Thoughts on Google + (via Kristen Lamb’s Blog) Posted on July 6, 2011 by Deb Sanders Actual photo of Kristen Lamb on the inside. When I first saw Google + pop up on the social media radar, I tried to ignore it. But, as an expert people tend to believe we know what we’re doing. I have tried to convince you guys that I make this up as I go, but alas I some of you sent me messages like this: So, what do you think of Google +? Um is… Crap. Is it too early to drink? a viable answer? I was just kind of hoping they would stop inventing … Read More […]

  3. […] she has a site worth investigating. If you do nothing else check out her article on the advent of Google+. It is a funny […]

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  5. […] Social Media Jedi Master, Kristen Lamb offers us her Initial Thoughts on Google +. […]

  6. […] Google + – Kristen Lamb shares her thoughts on the new Social Media outlet.(Right now, if you already have a Google Account you can sign up to get email updates (they were allowing immediate sign up but got flooded! Heh heh). I can only think of it as yet another place to have a profile and add to my humongous list. lol.) […]

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  10. […] when it comes to social media and building an author platform. Earlier in the summer, I offered my initial thoughts on Google + and introduced you to the Inner Kristen Lamb…who happens to be a 58 year old Jewish woman from […]

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