Ray Krock, the founder of McDonalds said, “The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.” New media, especially the infant Google Plus, can help causes, like the one I am privileged to work for, raise awareness and rally support for diverse social issues by being visibly inspiring without tiring and creating a thriving social media environment with a variety of options to participate. Here’s why I am sold on Google Plus for causes even though at the present time business accounts are under development. I thoroughly expect when they are released that the business accounts will be as good as personal accounts, if not better.
1. Circles. Being able to easily create and customize private names for Circles, place people in them, and then target messages to these specific groups are steps forward for personal and business imaging. Applicable messages can be sent to and received, for example, by clients/customers/supporters, legislative representatives, family, local community figures, or work colleagues. In addition, a message can be sent to a person’s email address if they don’t have a social account (we all have relatives that refuse to join social media, don’t we), assuring inclusivity.
2. Spark. The Spark feature that allows people to search for subjects reflecting their self-motivated interests and then easily share them with their Circles is seemingly the next generation of search. So when someone has an interest in my cause they can search for a spark on the information right through their Google Plus account.
3. +1 and Google Search. The +1 feature allows a public testimony for information as it goes viral and the groundbreaking feature is that +1’s can be linked to a tab on one’s Google Plus account and are visible by one’s connections in the massive Google search system. After using Google Plus for several weeks, I was amazed at another feature. Anything shared by someone in one’s circle is matched with Google Search results. So if someone in my circle Google searches for “child abuse” they will see my name under any website I have publically shared in Google Plus just like they can see my +1’s. Wow!
4. Hangouts. Google Plus’ Hangout feature provides free video conferencing for up to 10 people to collaborate and potentially do community organizing to help change the world. 10 really is a nice working number. I’m looking forward to the day when we can get partners and stakeholders into Hangouts focused on preventing child abuse and neglect.
Alan Stokes, New Media Coordinator
Prevent Child Abuse Michigan (Michigan Children’s Trust Fund)