Guy Kawasaki’s New Book, What the Plus!: “Google+ is to Facebook and Twitter what Macintosh is to Windows”

What the Plus“From my perspective, Google+ is to Facebook and Twitter what Macintosh is to Windows: Better, but fewer people use it, and the pundits prophesy that it will fail. As a lover of great products, this rankles my soul.

I hate when people don’t use the best tool. Sometimes people don’t know that a better tool exists. Sometimes they know it exists but not that it’s better. Sometimes they try the better tool, but the tool doesn’t stick for them.

The year 1987 was the last time I wrote a book about a product (The Macintosh Way). After using Google+ for a few months, I felt the need to write another product-oriented book. This book explains “what the plus” makes Google+ as special as Macintosh.”

— Guy Kawasaki

Spent some time yesterday going through Guy Kawasaki’s excellent new book “What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us.” This book is probably the most comprehensive book I’ve seen so far on Google+. It’s chock full of really great advice on the various best practices that users should consider as they navigate the site. It’s written in an easy to comprehend and familiar way that I think will be especially helpful for newcommers.

The book is 137 pages long and is full of great screenshots that show examples of how Guy and other successful users have navigated and understood the site. It’s pretty cheap as an eBook at only $2.99. It covers not just the technical “how to” material around posting, photography, hangouts, circles, etc., but it also covers a lot of the etiquette on how the community uses Google+ and helpful tips to make your experience on Google+ as fulfilling as it can be.

Most of you know Guy of course as the the former Chief Apple Evangelist. From this perspective I thought it was interesting in the book that he made the comparison above that Google+ is the Mac.

I feel the same way as Guy does. It’s hard to describe why Google+ feels like a better product to me. I know Facebook is improving more these days than ever before and trying to get better and better, but for me it’s so many of the little things (like the little things that make me like my Mac more than the PC). For example, on Facebook I have to press option-return to get a new paragraph (grrrrr… that just bums me out every time I have to do that) it’s a wonky workaround to have to use in order to do something that you want.

Google+ flows better, feels better, etc. Google+ is by no means complete, but I find it an easier place to have a conversation than Twitter where I seem to be running around trying to load new pages to get what anyone is talking about when they @thomashawk me a lot of the time.

Anyways, check it out. It’s a great read and an especially great thing for you to send to someone who isn’t on Google+ but who you know would be someone who would love it once they make the switch. Sometimes making a switch is hard. I was a PC user for years before I finally broke down in August of 2006 and bought a Mac. It was one of the best things I ever did. I needed a push though. This book may be just the sort of guidebook that you could give to a friend of yours who needs that push as well.

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9 Comments

  1. Rob-L says:

    “I hate when people don’t use the best tool.” – KAWASAKI

    That’s OK, I hate it when people are foolish enough to believe that the best tool for them is the best tool for everyone.

  2. Completely agree! For example, Page on Google+ is better than Facebook Page. IMHO.

  3. Rob-L: There comes a point where “the best tool” is obvious. Would you not cringe if someone was using candles to light their home?

  4. “The Best Tool” is subjective, opinionated and varies greatly.

    A graphic designer would claim that MAC is the best tool.
    Another would state that an ergonomic chair is the best tool.
    And yet another would say that their whiteboard is their best tool.

    Google Plus has definitely come a long way, but it is not my preferred ‘tool’ to keeping in touch with friends. G+ has replaced Twitter and some of my RSS feeds, surely.

    G+ is simply a ‘different tool’. One, if used properly, can yield a great number of interesting articles, opinions, values, views, perspectives, etc.

  5. Jermaine Walker says:

    I think that a word like ‘best’ is one of opinion, and shouldn’t require the preface, “In my opinion,” to be understood as such. Best, by definition, is a qualitative statement, measuring attributes, attributing value to given attributes, creating a standard using those values, and then ordering items by their ability to meet said personal or agreed-upon standard.

    So, obviously, unless we agree on the standard, we are not going to agree with the conclusion. But that is hardly the point, in my experience. While one might be able to provide support for such a claim (and certainly this is the point of writing a book!), you can’t provide definitive proof that anything is the best.

    I see his statement as entirely appropriate given this line of reasoning, and I look forward to reading his always-insightful thoughts on the subject.

    As an aside, I am a graphic designer, and I have used a PC quite happily for the past 5 years without a hint of longing. So, I certainly know there are arguments to be made for both platforms, even from a graphic design perspective. Having recently purchased an iMac for the purpose of audio recording, I find it sits idly most of the time, even when I am working on design projects.

  6. Jason Borg says:

    Google plus seems like it is best for photographers, but that is probably just because they are the ones who have maximized it’s capabilities. I think if other genres of information grabbed on google plus could provide everything that facebook (friend networking), twitter (news updating), and much more (like hangouts as a great skype replacement). I hope google plus keeps growing, and that my friends I care to keep up with come and play on google plus.

  7. Greg Sharpe says:

    For me Facebook is for family and friends, and their likes, dislikes and activity, which I monitor and occasionally chime in. G+ is all about me and what I like and how I like it. Simple fun, informative and very useful. I did a test and put up a Facebook fan page for my photography work, and started with G+ around the same time. It was like night and day in terms of fast and furious attraction to what I was doing, and saying. I instantly fell in lust with G+.

  8. georg says:

    Facebook just launched a new fullscreen view, which is much better than on G+ and equal to Flickr. So Google, please launch this feature soon. We are asking already so long for it …