In academic terms a G+ would be an awful score – like “below F” (Fail). How you can be less successful than failure is undetermined which is why our grading system happily ends before this notional G+ rating. When I was young we did school examinations at age 16 called O-Levels. (I achieved 7 for the record which was not a ground breaking number by any means). The grading system ran from A to C as passes, D & E were considered redeemable failures. “UN” was a resolute FAIL. This last grade was perceptibly worse than a G+. UN signified “ungraded,” a distinctly demeaning result for an examination. It basically indicated that the pupil had no knowledge of the subject worthy of an examination mark. I only got this in 2 subjects; the first was the ‘History of Music’ – which was surprising to the music teacher as in practical music, I had a Grade II in piano and Grade V in notation. These grades required knowledge of actual music and not history, a subject at which I was a virtual amnesiac. I have since been playing instruments (the guitar mainly) for 28 years now but still would be likely to score an UNgraded mark in a Music History exam.
My other epic failure was in Chemistry, despite the valiant efforts of a relatively good teacher in the subject at the time. I now understand chemistry very well (I freelance for a genetic scientist so I have to know a fair bit!) so in contrast to the music history I could definitely get a decent pass in that chemistry exam now.
Back in the day when I did not however, G+ as a grade would have definitely looked better on my report card than UN. I believe the letter F was not used at all as they did not want to label kids as “F”ailures. UNgraded is so much more dignified; like perhaps they just didn’t have time to mark the exam paper.
G+ these days denotes success on a vast scale. G+ (Google Plus) is now the fastest growing social network ever. With the growing attraction of little interference from advertising and a much simpler interface than Facebook, G+ certainly has my thumbs-up. I am sick of the intervention that is inherent to Facebook’s insidious advertising, permission giving and general popup-driven frenzy of activity that just makes my online life so much more complicated. I put up with it to stay in touch with a few people that’s about it. I am tired of having to go through Facebook settings and restore order, tired of telling Facebook I don’t want to play Farmville or the thousand other irritating games they offer. These games exist merely to get people to buy “coins” to allow them to progress in these games faster or have more resources when they play. The current Facebook model for me as a user is ironically an epic “F”ail.
Not that I use G+ a great deal either other than for promotional purposes. Having G+ “likes” on your page helps a lot in search I notice. Advertising on Facebook does have a wide reach however and from a marketing perspective, it is more useful than Yahoo/Bing when it comes to generating PPC actions. AdWords is still the only way to appear in Google via PPC.
So is Google the ‘Augmented G’ it purports to be? Its hard to tell because their advertising strategy for G+ is not yet mapped out so marketers like us have to wait and see if G+ is just another admin panel to maintain for advertising to add to AdWords, Yahoo/Bing and Facebook PPC. Campaign management already requires the monitoring of a number of admin panels that display information in different ways. Unless it is integrated into AdWords, adding a G+ PPC admin panel will add a 30% overhead to the campaigns already being run for an average client. Also getting clients to advertise in all of these places is already difficult to sell and will be too expensive for many; adding more expenditure is never a popular move unless you can guarantee results…G+ results are unfortunately not guaranteed yet so maybe that is why they are waiting to roll out their advertising model.Maybe they have a new advertising model in mind at Google? Who knows.
What is for sure is that Google will have to be careful because a G+ can easily turn into an F. Like an exam, the result depends on those who are marking your paper – in Google’s case it is us and just because they are good at one area of expertise, does not automatically make them good at others. Time will tell.