Why I’ll Never Redirect my Personal Blog to Google Plus

45 Comments 07.11.11

A number of prominent web personalities have announced that they are going to redirect their personal blogs to their Google Plus pages – because they get so much more interaction with readers when they post there. I can understand that, but I’ll never do that with my blog. I have 3 times as many connections on Circles as I have RSS and email subscribers here (in 2 weeks, vs 5 or 6 years!) – but I’m not tempted in the slightest to give up what I have here. Perhaps it’s just about trade-offs and I’m not willing to give up the control I have over the way my personal site communicates with visitors.

I’ve got important things in the sidebar of my blog, for example. I like having my contact info, bio, links to information about my consulting practice and my media citations sitting right next to every article, no matter what readers came here to read. I don’t want to lose control over my own Information Architecture, no matter how under-developed it is, to Google’s vision of “posts in one tab and about page in another.” I want to put those things where I want, in the order I want and make them look however I want.

I’ve got some of my most useful posts on this blog pinned in the sidebar as well. Several of them are 3 or 4 years old. In the Plus world, those would be washed so far down the stream!

I like being able to choose what commenting system I use on my blog. I really like using Disqus because I can click on any commenter’s avatar and see what other Disqus-using blogs they comment on and how often. That’s a great way to get a quick picture of someone’s community of participation.

I like offering a search box, I use Lijit that searches my own personal blog archives and an extended network of sites I’ve identified (my tweets, my bookmarks, some of my favorite RSS subscriptions). I really doubt Google Plus will ever enable something like that.

Google Plus doesn’t have RSS feeds, or email subscription options. Both are important to me; I want to speak to my readers however they want to be spoken to. Some day, we’ll be able to write to and read from any platform in any other platform, just like we can call one phone network from inside another phone network now.

Rather than chasing people around from one platform to another, where they prefer to spend their time, I’m going to sit right here on a site I own and wait for the future to become interoperable with me!

WordPress plug-ins, the iPhone publishing app, the open source community, but more than anything my own control over how I present my self to the world – all those things are very important to me.

I do love Google Plus, though, and if you do too – here’s my profile there that you can add to a Circle so we can be Plusbuddies.


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  • http://cruisesurfingz.com roy | cruisesurfingz.com

    Exactly. I moved from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress so I could have more control. The people who are declaring the end of their personal blogging days can’t have been serious bloggers to begin with.

  • Anonymous

    Well-said. Google+ is just like a slightly “better” Twitter in that regard. What you should do is post a link to your blog post on Google+ and then users can discuss it on there.

  • Blogbloke

    Kinda makes a case for blogs over social networks in general. Love this statement:

    “Rather than chasing people around from one platform to another, where they prefer to spend their time, I’m going to sit right here on a site I own and wait for the future to become interoperable with me!”

    AGREED !!!

  • http://crossword.crozzword.com/ Димитър Цонев (Dimitar Tsonev)

    could you please cite some names, I saw them posting about that but didn’t saved the information.

    I think it’s a bad idea to move from your hub to an unstable and unsecure place. Now G+ is a hype, now it offers limited functionality and one of the things people can do is to interact with others, commenting each other’s posts. However this is a long term – the system will evolve and new features should come, distracting users – both the authors and commenters. Then what, they’ll move back to their blogs? Who will follow them?

  • http://twitter.com/hlkalin Helena Kalin 樂

    Yes, your own house is your own house.

  • Anonymous

    What you say makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, it’s much harder to build an audience outside the social. How would you feel if Google+ was embeddable, like Disqus, Vanilla forms or Facebook comments?

    Would that make you consider it as a way to boost engagement?

  • Anonymous

    What you say makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, it’s much harder to build an audience outside the social. How would you feel if Google+ was embeddable, like Disqus, Vanilla forms or Facebook comments?

    Would that make you consider it as a way to boost engagement?

  • Anonymous

    Steve Rubel was one of them.

  • http://hungryblues.net Ben

    When I saw those announcements re: redirecting personal domains to g+ I had the same reaction as you for many of the same reasons—though not as well articulated as here.

  • http://www.victusspiritus.com/ Mark Essel

    Utterly agreement with this post Marshall for all the reasons you list and more. I adore customizing JavaScript & CoffeeScript into posts.

    Actually I prefer commenting here instead of Google+. I suspect because it’s more personalized, this is Marshall’s house and you’ll probably read this comment. G+ bloggers may not be as responsive to waves of comments.

    What about threaded discussions? None on G+ comments. It’s just one big flood of disconnected one liners.

  • Guest

    There is something to be said about retaining the freedom to build your blog how you like it and want to manage it. I think you summed it up nicely.

  • Anonymous

    I posted a link to one of my blog posts on G+ and had a very rich discussion, but I prefer to have the original post on Blogger or Posterous (for now any way ;-) But I suppose some day I should be a big boy and host it myself…

  • Anonymous

    This was the post on G+ http://bitly.com/nzbx9D Which anyone interested in health information exchange will find the comment thread fascinating…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nuno-Andrade/535605750 Nuno Andrade

    I find it pretty amazing that people are so willing to move to Google+ after only a few weeks. I think it’s shortsighted. The fact that people are getting more engagement on G+ is most likely only because there are so few people on it. G+ is the new girl in school that is getting all the attention. Unfortunately, for her, that only lasts until the next new girl.

  • Eleonoraonline

    I am a very enthusiastic G+ adopter, but I side with you on this one.

    You would lose the sense of brand that you can build on your own blog. And brand is incredibly important for content production.

    We don’t know, at the moment, how long posts are going to be kept for. Facebook seems to have started “forgetting” posts older than four years.

    Sure, integrating your blog with G+ is an excellent way to reach these new, enthusiastic audiences. And maybe a way for comments on G+ to integrate with comments on outer blogging platforms is a good idea for future development.

    But altogether jumping ship, like Nuno said, is extremely short-sighted!

  • Brian Fields

    All good points, to say nothing of what happens when you run afoul of some perceived Policy Violation on Google’s part and they turn your account off.

  • http://jackyan.com Jack Yan

    I remain unconvinced. I received my invitation on the first day, and did nothing about it for days, till friends kept asking to be invited. So I signed up and did not find too much to be fussed about other than a very clean user interface, and a link to export all my Google data.

    In fact, I was rather more surprised to find 18 people pre-blocked for me—some friends, some strangers.

    I had never used Buzz, nor did I have a Buzz account; and I only had two contacts on Wave. So for Google to preempt who I’d like in my Blocked Circle was quite a trick. That makes Plus an antisocial network.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Yeah, me neither. I don’t get why someone would want to give up their control like that.

  • http://twitter.com/chrisjangelov chrisjangelov

    I think we are slowly turning the multitude of channels into a spam machine. I too use rss for blogs and in the last six months I’ve spent a lot of time checking links to blogposts I’ve allready read. There’s a tweet (thats copied to Facebook), Google Buzz, Post in my fb stream from their fb page that I’ve liked an more. Many times the headline is different and some times the blog post is doubled on the fb page. I think I’ll have to have an unfollow strategy when people are becomin to verbose. That’s a pity since I folow them in other channels because of the pieces of unique content in each channel.
    By the way, isn’t circles one of the core ideas in G+? If we publish blogs to all circles we will be spamming the system out of interest in a short time.
    There’s a choice between achievement and marketing in life :-)

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisSaad Chris Saad

    Marshall – As usual I love your work

  • BeccasBiz

    Touche’ and I love Google+ but it’s anything but “personal”…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrscottlockhart Scott Lockhart

    People said the same thing with Twitter… which makes even less sense on so many levels. It seems like just as much as people are jumping on different bandwagons hailing them as replacements for their blogs, blogs are still around. It seems like people are looking for one online social service to accomplish everything… this is one of those instances were people think they want it, but they really don’t.

  • http://twitter.com/webmage Leyla M

    Another reason – I have direct control of the information and content on my site. No ToS, no disputes on what licencing rights various social giants have on my photos, no fears of data sharing to snoopy agencies, or other potential traps that I’d have to deal with in Google+, except perhaps those of my web hoster (which is conveniently located in my country and not in the USA).

  • http://www.readalouddad.com Read Aloud Dad

    Great points! It is still early days for G+ and it is still a bit too overwhelming for me.

    Your blog is YOUR blog and – for certain – it is great to be captain of one’s ship.

    Read Aloud Dad

  • http://www.readalouddad.com Read Aloud Dad

    Great points! It is still early days for G+ and it is still a bit too overwhelming for me.

    Your blog is YOUR blog and – for certain – it is great to be captain of one’s ship.

    Read Aloud Dad

  • Kathy Mandelstein

    Wait there is no way to +1 this blog or share it automatically on Google+ ; – )

  • http://tdhurst.com tdhurst

    I want to own and control the content I produce. Period.

  • Guest

    Your blog is very interesting. You shuld be very interesting person… Especially it’s true because of this article. I will write my essay about it.

  • Autumn_lives

    I absolutly agree with you. It’s really true! ezoterica.

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    I don’t think that it has to be a choice of either/or. I use both and will continue to do so- they serve different purposes and are complementary.

  • Anonymous

    Naming the child especially when it is a baby boy can be very exciting and exhaustive as well. Baby boy names are numerous and one can witness a never ending name lists once peeped in to baby boy names book. To choose name for a baby boy can be as important as choosing a life partner itself. Naming a child is an art. Modest care has to be taken to analyse all the intricate details of the name chosen.

  • http://twitter.com/stacey_lester stacey_lester

    So, I also had the same reaction as you.
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  • http://twitter.com/stacey_lester stacey_lester

    I like to!
    ezoterica

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diana-Tockaya/100002327825007 Diana Tockaya

    I like to! pohudet

  • G0t0

    Google+ is just another social network, same as twitter or facebook. U may do whatever u wish, but Just imagine what happens if nobody will use any media Public speaking courses

  • http://twitter.com/sultanarefin sultanarefin

    Today in every website google plus votes is used.It is increasing their popularity day by day.If you want anything about google+ here I am showing a way to find google+ related blogs,article,forums etc.

    The best google+ search engine to search on google plus is http://www.pluserize.com

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  • http://www.wlzine.com/ that

    I have direct control of the information and content on my site. No ToS, no disputes on what licencing rights various social giants have on my photos, no fears of data sharing to snoopy agencies, or other potential traps that I’d have to deal with in Google+, except perhaps those of my web hoster (which is conveniently located in my country and not in the USA).

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  • http://www.empowernetwork.com/mconlinebizz Marielle Cyr

    I totally agree with you!!! I would never trade my blog for google+ maybe in addition but never at the expense of my blog!!
    AGREED INDEED!!!!

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