What are you “supposed to do” on Google+?

This week, I mostly stayed home and worked, and while doing so I also spent a lot of time on Google +. I’m starting to really like it. I don’t think it’s the “Next Big Thing” or it’s better than Twitter or Facebook, but right now it is my favourite social networking platform to connect with people.

Since G+ is still new, at first we saw a lot of people(including me) tying to figure it out. A lot of the posts were about G+ functions. At one point, it was almost like a competition as to who can be the G+ “Guru” first.

But eventually we figured it out, and last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed many people really starting to post a lot of stuff there.

I know some people who posts A LOT of curated contents- like funny videos, amazing photos, blog posts and news articles. That’s great, I actually enjoy many of them, but I saw some people questioning lack of personality. I also saw someone asking what to post on G+.

Just what are we supposed to do on Google +???

I shot a quick video. Have a look.

Some days..

Have you ever done Myers-Briggs Personality Test?
According to the test, I am a type ENFJ, meaning I tend to have following qualities – (E)Extrovert, (N)Intuition (F)Feeling (J) Judging.

But as my friend Jamie once told me, I’m an Introverted Extrovert. I like to go out and meet people and be social, but at the same time, some days I hate people.

Past few weeks I have been feeling introverted. I was frustrated and disappointed with few of my friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.
I was watching the film Norwegian Wood, (Hoping to do a blog post on this book as it’s one of the most important books in my life), and there is a scene where Midori asks Toru, the protagonist;

Midori: You enjoy solitude? Travelling alone, eating alone, sitting by yourself in lecture halls…
Toru: Nobody likes being alone that much. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, that’s all. It just leads to disappointment.

.. I couldn’t agree more.

Some days, I get tired of meeting other people’s needs (great post by Chris Brogan on this topic here).
Some days, I feel like nobody cares about my needs.
Nobody cares about your success and happiness. All they care about is their own.
That’s why, you need to be strong, you need to believe in yourself and work hard to make yourself happy.

But then again, some days I feel so fortunate to have many great friends and opportunities.
Last night and this morning were couple of those days.
I’m grateful for these days. They are like a little treasure, like a beautiful sea glass in sand.

On Getting Engaged

We have uploaded the video few weeks ago, but the YouTube show my friend Russel and I are doing has turned 1!
Thank you so much for your support.

I think Russel and I met at Spring 2010 Twestival. I called on his Twitter profile pic being too scary and then we totally hit it off.
I still remember the time I had dinner with him at Bard and Banker about starting a video show. Originally my idea was to have a show called “Today on my Timeline” – how cheesy is that?!

Since then, Russel came up with the name Getting Engaged, and we shot our first episode in my old house’s backyard deck. Unlike Russel, who has background in radio, I had never done a video show before. I was nervous, and the first episode was filmed with a pitcher of Margarita I made….and the rest is history.

We had been engaged on Facebook for few months…until I decided to take it down as so many people believed we were a couple and many friends advised me that it’s not helping on me finding a date.(True story)

I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I say we are so blessed with everybody’s support. The opening of the show was created by our Twitter friend Jon Strocel, whom I just happen to meet in Vancouver once for Chris Guillebeau‘s AONC book signing. Since then we got “engaged” and he created the opening for us. Thank you Jon.

We have had many awesome guests and I look forward to having many more. In fact we have a few guests lined up for next few months.
We also have something new in the works as well….can’t wait to show you all!

Here is our latest episode, official opening of Season 2, and we got back to the basics here.

Thank you for watching and thank you, to my Social Media husband Russel for putting up with me.

My thoughts on Foursquare

If you are not aware of Foursquare, it’s a social networking website where you can “check in” at various locations(shops, restaurants, banks, and any other businesses)using your mobile devices. It’s been around since 2009, and according to Wikipedia, it has 10 million users worldwide.

Despide all the concerns for danger (“Why would you want to tell people where you are? They can stalk you!” “People will know you are NOT at home- they can rob you”), I continue to use it as a fun game. It’s fun because the person who frequents the venue the most will be crowned as a “mayor”. I currently hold 15 mayorships at various restaurants, bars and shops, and aiming to “oust” and become a new mayor at other vanues as well. I just find it fun to play this game and interact with my friends using this app. Yes, you can stalk someone if you want to, but I don’t have time for it, and I do not check in at Every. Single. Place. I go and broadcast it on Twitter and Facebook to bore my friends. I have control over what information I choose to share, and it all comes down to your common sense.

Recently, I had really interesting conversations with my friends. I don’t want to reveal who they are, so I will call the first friend Mike. He was telling me how “influencial” I had become – and to call myself that really makes me break into cold sweats – because I am not that kind of person…it’s kind of funny because Victoria is small, and in the Social Media bubble, it gets even smaller. Mike said, “When you check into certain places, people pay attention”. I was like “Really? No they don’t.” But he is right – I do get comments through Foursquare app on my Blackberry, or on Twitter.  I found this quite interesting. So I could (even though I would never do this) tweet, “I’m not going to Jonny’s anymore because their food is terrible!” and some people might actually believe that. Then again, I assume these sort of manipulation happen daily at review sites like Yelp.

As a personal rule, I try not to tweet anything negative about a venue, unless they really deserve it. If something didn’t taste as good as I’d hoped for, I don’t feel the need to share it, because I believe that is a matter of personal taste.

Foursquare plays interesting role in the consumers’ behaviour. Even though I am not particularly crazy about a venue, I can check in there, just to become a mayor. And if all these people decide to tweet their checkins? Great promo for the business. In other words, businesses don’t have to be particularly great at what they do (customer service, food or drink), all they need to do, is to create the buzz/provide incentive to become a mayor. This worries me a little.

Mike told me he had stopped checking in at one restaurant, because although he loved the food there, he did not like the way restaurant markets itself on Social Media. So he does not want to give any props to this restaurant any more. This was new to me. However, I think I can understand what he means. For me, I don’t like to warn a venue before I head over there. I don’t want to let them know that I’m stopping by. It’s partly privacy thing, and partly because I don’t want the businesses to be “too prepared” for me. Does that make sense? Also who do I think I am? Am I so important the venue better be prepared?

My other friend, whom I will call James, told me that his Social Media savvy regulars stopped tweeting about his restaurant because that would attract too many people. As a business, this is exactly opposite of what you want. He said that Social Media/Foursquare/Twitter is a double edged sword, and I think he is absolutely right. As a mass, consumers now literally have the power to control the reputation of a business on their fingertips. You can manipulate the reputation of a business you do not like, or become their evangelist. Sounds very Spider-Man to me…”With great power….”

Is this a good thing? What do you think?