Thanks to a well-developed plugin that’s been getting some rave reviews, many top bloggers have been installing the Google+ commenting system on their WordPress powered blogs. The roster includes online heavy-hitters, such as Anna Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe, Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner, and more recently, Ileane Smith of Basic Blog Tips.
As more bloggers try out the new system, many have questioned the merits of making the switch and whether it’s really worth the cost. The points that are being brought up are good ones. But, in the midst of the debate over whether not G+ commenting on a WordPress blog is a good idea, many people are missing the big picture and that’s the key that puts this whole issue into perspective.
Just Who is On Google+?
I once saw a question on Quora that went something like: What is one thing that everyone has, but no one uses? One person shot back: A Google+ account!
All statistics aside, if you are not part of the G+ circles for probloggers, Internet marketers, webmasters and the like, you may not realize that there has been a very active community of people on G+ ever since Google threw open the doors to the platform.
What’s the attraction? Mostly, it’s that Google+ is built for discussion and the seamless exchange of information across mediums in a way that isn’t happening on other platforms. Even though there are other networks out there that can technically do this, G+ nails the functionality. The platform has a certain utilitarian feel. There’s little distraction. It’s all about the social exchange of information.
You have to understand that for the people in these spaces, in particular, they have massive G+ community to draw on. This is where the discussion is already happening, and in a way that is more vibrant, more real-time than the exchange that happens on their blogs. It’s a free-flowing, unmoderated dialogue- the essence of the social web.
Blogs by comparison are static, and though you may think that a new blog post on a current trending topic is “fresh content,”in the social web, it’s like day old muffins. So what do you do when you are trying to build vibrant community that’s increasingly relying on the real-time, “organic” exchange of information, but your home-base is a more static blog (especially if you don’t post everyday)?
Aside from the obvious SEO benefits, this move melds the two platforms, and to a certain extent, ushers in a new era for the social web. For those whose online business model revolves around an engaged audience, bringing G+ comments on to their blogs is primarily about tapping into the energy of that active, integrated community, and that is more important than all the current drawbacks.
This is an extremely important point that underscores the actual debate over whether or not G+ commenting is a good thing. This is the new, New Media, and it’s where the web is heading. Anyone who will be doing content creation online needs to be aware of this trend, because it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Should You Jump on the Bandwagon With G+ Commenting on Your Blog?
So given all this should you be making the switch? Whether or not it’s appropriate for you really depends on the kind of audience you are building. Obviously, if few of your connections are actively on Google+, then you’d do better with the regular commenting systems and the CommentLuv plugin. But, if you are involved in any active G+ communities, then going with Google will be a plus (no pun intended) especially over the long-run. With the plugin mentioned above, you can actually host both the standard commenting system and G+ comments simultaneously.
That plugin offers many other really cool features. Make sure you check out Chris Lang’s G+ tutorial video for more details.
In closing, success online today means building a real, engaged following. I know you’ve been hearing this ad nauseum. But the power of the tribe is where it’s at, and in the future it will only factor more heavily in how people find and exchange information online. So, if it applies to you, you really don’t want to miss this boat.