My first thought about the new Google+ Events was that no matter how slick and cool it is, this is one feature that could be hurt by the “my friends aren’t here” factor. I’m on record for advocating that the fact that my Facebook friends aren’t on Google+ is a good thing. But it’s pretty hard to make a case for setting up a party that nobody can come to.
But of course Google’s promo video for the new feature pushes exactly that use case. It shows us hip 20-something urbanites using Google+ Events to plan a day carousing on a yacht in the bay. Tough to do if you’re not only not hip or 20-something, but if most of those friends are still on Facebook, not Google+. (Or if you don’t have a friend with a yacht!)
Will Google+ Events Be About Virtual Events?
But now I think that after the initial kerfuffle about Event spamming (Robert Scoble, Wil Wheaton) dies down, we’ll see a different use-case for Google+ Events than for Facebook Events: Google+ Events will be the go-to organizer for virtual events.
Most of us who are active users of Google+ recognize that its true unique selling proposition for users is its ability to connect you to people you never would have known who share your interests. Then it enhances those connections with cool connectivity features like Hangouts. Of course, most of those new relationships are “virtual,” in that they are mostly with people not in your local area.
So rather than being used to get people together for Uncle Fred’s retirement party or a downtown art fair, as most Facebook users do on Facebook Events, I predict that Plussers will concentrate on using Google+ Events to plan and promote virtual gatherings. Of course, the fact that Hangouts and Hangouts On Air (HOA) can be pre-scheduled through Google+ Events certainly encourages that as a use case.
Examples of Google+ Virtual Events
Already we are seeing creative uses of Google+ Events for virtual gatherings. For example, the Google+ Star Parties of Fraser Cain (HOA broadcasts of amateur astronomers showing off what they are viewing that night) are being promoted via Events.
Or how about an invitation to the rollout of a new product?
(By the way, I highly recommend you sign up for an alpha invite to Sparkstir. It’s the most exciting advance in “edutainment,” connecting those who want to learn with those who want to teach, I’ve ever seen.)
Oh, and did I mention that Google+ Events show up in Google search? My regular readers know this is the real reason I am such an advocate of using Google+. Why on earth would any business or marketer ignore such an easy opportunity to build their presence in search?
What creative uses of Google+ Events to organize virtual events have you seen so far? What other uses for Events do you foresee?