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Srsly? My Google+ Seminar Was a Joke, Apparently This One’s For Reals
A couple of days ago, I created a fun, fake joke post about how you could attend my seminar on how to become a Google+ expert. Most thought it was real (no idea why) and some were very upset and/or angry that I would offer a course for a social network that has been live for less than a month, has already been notified changes are coming and is only used by social media experts to talk about social media experts and Google+. Of course once they realized that it was a joke, everyone had a good laugh.
But apparently one person saw a gold rush and decided to actually offer a one-hour course so soon post launch — that person? Chris Brogan. Before I continue, let me say that while I have never met Chris, he does come across as genuine. I’d place him second in terms of being able to round up the sheeps – and unlike the person I’d put first, Chris appears to have built his following organically which is awesome. He’s also been one of the few people to be able to post paid affiliate links into his streams without huge backlash. My issue isn’t that he is offering this course, but rather that he should have waited at least six months for the network to balance itself.
Chris is offering a one-hour session for $50 on, “How To Learn Google+ for Business and Networking”. He plans to teach attendees the following:
- Profile tips and tricks.
- Organizing people in circles.
- Finding the good stuff.
- How to post engaging material.
- Keeping up with comments.
- Making the most of your time.
Funny enough some of his agenda items match mine – and the others on his list are very general. He is also going to offer a Q&A session for an hour after the learning takes place.
I currently follow Chris on Google+ and he’s done a great job of posting content that helps him maximize and build the farm. He posts silly posts, silly polls, photo posts, etc (he does post a lot of useful content as well) and with the size of his audience, these posts provide him with amazing stat padding (shares, +1s, comments) as well as to recruit new users. The casual user has no idea that there is more going on than just, “post a photo of yourself right this minute.” I am guessing he will teach attendees some of these tips during the course.
Why do I think it’s absurd to offer a paid course for Google+ at this point? Here are just a few reasons why:
- Google+ is not open to the public — you still need an invite to get in.
- Business pages for Google+ haven’t launched yet and we don’t even know how long before a regular, non-suggested business will be able to register
- So far the users are basically social media experts and agency people, normals aren’t even interested yet
- Once the normals arrive (if they do, I still question this), Google+ will be a very different place rendering Chris’ course even that much more off-base
- Everyone has said that major updates are coming to Google+
- Somehow Chris has logged over 250 hours on Google+ since it’s launch less than 22 days ago as of the time of his seminar ad posting
At the end of the day, this is America and Chris has a right to peddle his wares anyway he wants. Is he taking advantage of his farm? Sadly I do agree to some point (and I hate to say that). I think the attendees would be better suited donating the $50 to a relief organization. There’s plenty of time to become a Google+ expert once the system stabilizes.
Nothing in his agenda is anything the attendees won’t pick up just by using the service (without any extra effort!). I think his decision to jump so quickly will tarnish his reputation a bit but in this Internet world, that should only last a quick minute.
And trust me, Chris’ course is just the beginning — we will see plenty more people who want to get some of the Google+ gold.
Further Reading: Gini Dietrich at Spin Sucks covers the discussion very well – I suggest reading the nearly 250 comments as well.