Workshop Mailbag: Google+

In our efforts to get more feedback from everyone – we’re clearly not the definitive experts – we’re opening up our mailbag to you.

This will be a weekly feature this summer so if you have questions you want answered head over to the contact form and give us the isssssuuuue. If we don’t cover it on the podcasts, we’ll get to it here.

Each week you’ll get a reader issue covered by one of our Workshop gang – this week it’s Ken Drab from Rick the Stick.

Question: Bearman of Beartoons asked “Notice that Ken and Byron have uploaded a large portion of their archives to Google+. Whether it is Google+ or Facebook, what are the positives and negatives of doing that? Ex. Does it hurt traffic to your site or on the plus side does it engage people who you might never have on your site”.

Ken Drab drinking with Scott Kurtz

Scott Kurtz (top right) does not endorse this photo, goon or website.

Ken says:

We spoke about this on one of our recent podcasts but as Google Plus (G+) becomes more popular and we’re finding new uses for it, I’d like to open the conversation up to others who may have their own views.

But first, more from me. 😉

I totally dig G+. It’s not Facebook (FB) and it’s not Twitter. In fact, I think between G+ and Twitter, I have no use for FB anymore. And rather than hate on FB, I’m just going to drop them from my end of the conversation – hopefully you’re cool with that because I’d like to keep it positive.

Getting back to Twitter, I like the fact that I can tweet a random thought and bounce. Or stick around and see what comics people are uploading. But in the end, I got Twitter wrong. I felt like adding too many people would be distracting. That I would look desperate if I followed more people than followed me. It took G+ to make me realize how dopey that mentality was. But in my defense, sharing on G+ is infinitely easier. And you get a better idea of who everyone is – especially if you can look at their art and their posts.

Additionally, I look at 100 times more stuff through G+ than I do on Twitter or FB (sorry last mention). And I am in awe of a lot of art that is posted. I’m more likely to click through when I see something cool – which reminds me of something Seth Godin said.

“A quick look at your own buying behavior should tell you that you don’t often buy from sketchy-looking sites, ads and media that are often pitched at you”.

Okay, we’re not talking about websites or marketing exactly. Or are we?

My point is that when I am attracted to something, I dig in. With G+, I can easily avoid what I’m not interested in. If an artist has some of their artwork up, I can get a quick sense of their style and I instantly become a fan. I feel like I’m more likely to visit their site and I’m more attentive to their posts. I’m building a connection with them – even if I’m not interacting directly with them. I think there is a huge amount of value in that as a creator – especially with building an audience, or networking or discovering new things. With your website you’re not getting in front of people more than maybe once a day – with twitter, your sharing text and in our medium that’s not our specialty.

With G+, it’s a whole new ballgame. I’m checking in there many times per day. The biggest benefit is that sharing is visual, it’s intuitive and it’s easy. Plus (no pun intended), I think it’s much easier to get feedback on G+ than it is anywhere else. Sure a retweet is nice, but with most people their feed is so littered with people posting that the odds of you catching them is becoming harder and harder (and that is definitely a danger with G+’s stream). But there’s a huge difference and ease about a +1 or share in G+. I’ll say it again – sharing on G+ is visual and easy. I can quickly scan through my stream and stop at anything that I’m attracted to – or posts by people I’m interested in. Sure there’s options to only see certain circle’s streams only, but to me that loses some of the magic – like you’re partly closing the blinds on a beautiful panoramic view. You don’t have to stop and look at everything, just the things you’re attracted to. Meanwhile you’re introduced to this huge spectrum of imagery.

So I’ve posted my comics there in the hopes of attracting people to my art, my style and my site. I believe it’s the best option of the social networks now, and moving forward.

If my wife ever divorces me, I may propose to G+. Are there any state’s that’s legal in?

If you’d like to find me over at G+ or on twitter I’ll be happy to circle or follow you back.

So there – I’ve said my piece. What do you think about G+? What do you see as the benefits or drawbacks? Will you be putting your comic there?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Workshop Mailbag and tagged , , , , , .


  1. After asking the question and really delving in, I am a convert as well. I recently blogged about what I liked and didn’t like.

    In a week and a half, I had more people circle me than I had like me on my facebook page in 1/2 years. And people are more engaged than FB. I can post something on FB and get no response because many are already following me via RSS so come directly to my site. On G+, I am exposed to a whole new group.

    However given that so many webcartoonists and artists are using it, I wish the photo feature was a little more user friendly. I would like to click on add photo and then be able to choose from my post whether to add it from my hard drive, add it from my G+/Picasa albums or link an image on my website (or photosharing site)

  2. I found you on Twitter and moved you into my circle on G+.
    I agree with all of what you said. I have been using Twitter exclusively, but I do feel a more personal link to an artist/comic/musician can be made via G+
    I’m looking forward to learning more about my favorite artists and seeing all facets of their work and having them be able to interact with me more openly as well.

  3. I need more convincing me thinks. I recently joined you all in G+, but I’m not seeing any difference between G+ and twitter as a social networking medium. Yes, the advantages to G+ are I can post images and blog away w/o restriction to the 140 char. limit (which some people might frown upon due to my gift for gab), but already being established on twitter makes this feel redundant. With twitter, I can post images, blurb my inanities away with all the same people I seem to have found in G+. I can see using G+ when I have something more intricate to say and show, but then again, I could just post that on my onsite blog for people to see.

    Maybe I’m missing the boat through the fog here, but the beacon of light is not shining through my noggin on this one!

    • Scott, here is the greatest difference I see. Too many times I come into a conversation between a few people on twitter and I can’t follow it or I feel like I am out of the loop.

      The mere threading of posts and comments on G+ has given it value to me.

  4. I’m with Jynksie on G+…maybe it’s just because I’m technologically deficient, but I just don’t get it. Granted, I don’t get FB either, and the most common response to G+ I’ve heard is “It’s Facebook, but my mom’s not on it!”

    Maybe a video feature running through key favorite features and how a webcomic creator can use them to their best advantage might be useful?

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