Writing with Google: Blogger vs Plus

Photo 2012-05-08 3 21 46 PM

Just this past week I have seen accounts of at least three bloggers and writers that have chosen to post their journals with Google Plus rather than with Blogger or other systems like WordPress and Tumblr.

The first one to have really adopted the platform is our very own [friend of the DadCast](http://2fatdads.com/topics/dadcast): [André Nantel](http://twitter.com/nantel) who was recently vacationing in the Caribbean paradise of St-Marten when he ran into some problems with a leaky kayak on a casual afternoon paddle. Luckily nothing terrible happened, but his accounts of the event where posted on [Google Plus](https://plus.google.com/u/0/112435942355572461782/posts/fXbxntuD6Ko) and are actually very interesting to read. The most interesting thing is that André did not choose to post about it on his on site [Digital Apoptosis](http://digitalapoptosis.com), his photo blog, or even through series of long-winded tweets. In fact over the past year, André has even been posting his photography on Google Plus forsaking both Flickr and his own site (except for the real awesome stuff). Among all of my Google Circles, he has been the most prolific, even beating out our very own [Burg](http://twitter.com/burg42). Not only does he post regularly but he also posts some really good stuff.

The other person is TWiT regular, [Mike Elgan](https://plus.google.com/113117251731252114390/about), a technology writer (PC World, Mac World, Cult of Mac…) has pretty much given up Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and a whole bunch of other stuff in order to concentrate solely on posting to Google Plus. He actually has a very interesting workflow on how he pulls it all together which is explained on [G+ Goto Gal](http://www.gplusgotogal/ggoto-gal-interviewing-mike-elgan).

So what Ben, André and Mike have all done is quite interesting in many regards. André is in over 12,000 circles and Mike’s reach exceeds 1.1 million, they both benefit from some serious eyeballs on their content and without the hassle of having to load analytics tools or making sure they have adequate server caching or plug-ins installed to meet that demand. Their site admin tasks are practically non-existent, reduce merely to viewing all the +1 that they receive. So when you look at it that way, why not?

However the downside is also pretty big. It all depends on how much you trust Google with all of your stuff and how much you trust them with your privacy. What are the chances that your private family circle items get reshared as public or spread like wildfire throughout your extended circles. Sure you can practice the old “_if it’s that private, why is it even online_” but if you subscribe to that train of thought you don’t really trust Google either so that debate is moot.

Some will argue the point of content lock-in or the ability to get your stuff out if you have a sudden change of heart or Google decides to pull the plug on yet another one of its social experiments. Anyone remember Buzz or even Wave? And then there is the army of us who believe that all of our content should always be stored safely in text format in at least 9 various locations: home, work, USB, dropbox, webserver, iCloud, Slydrive, Google Drive, Carbonite. And this is where it gets pretty complicated, Google’s track record for keeping your stuff backed up has actually been pretty good and let’s not forget about their whole [Data Liberation project](http://www.dataliberation.org/) which actually makes it pretty easy to take your ball and go home. It won’t erase the echoes of your content, but it will allow you to keep what is rightfully yours and set up shop elsewhere.

>Users should be able to control the data they store in any of Google’s products. Our team’s goal is to make it easier to move data in and out.

So the biggest issue that most folks have had is just how much they are willing to hold Google to the whole “_Do No Evil_” thing. Personally, I can live with some Google stuff and will even accept ads on those channels too but when it comes to my writing on technology, my photography, my podcasting, and even the other stuff I put on [JohnnyLeCanuck.com](http://johnnylecanuck.com), I take great pride in my ability to run my own server and host my own site on my own domain. It’s part of my Geek Cred and more important to me is that it’s still fun to do. So as much as I admire these three crazy ones, 2FatDads isn’t going anywhere and we will probably continue to be in only 6 folks circles. BTW you can always +1 us over [here](https://plus.google.com/u/0/100996000044378574013/posts).

Oops I almost forgot about the title: So what does this mean for Blogger? I guess I’ll have to let our very own [@Schultzter](http://schultzter.ca) answer this one.

2 comments

  1. A lot of Google services work really well on their own and are enhanced by their integration with other Google services. I see no reason why Google Plus would push Blogger any closer to the chopping block than it would push say, Gmail. Clearly though the overlap with Buzz and Orkut meant something had to give. And I think a more interesting question would be how much longer Orkut survives before it’s members are automatically folded into G+!!!

  2. If you look at the way these guys are using Google plus, there is a real risk of product canabalisation, where new Google Account users will be satisfied with the Plus offering enough that it won’t even occur to them to use Blogger. There will always be dedicated Google Apps users like yourself, but I believe these numbers are much smaller than your average GMail user who can be swayed over to plus much easier.