6 Ways Google+ is Like CB Radio

Social media is not without its antecedents.The technical platforms have changed considerably, but people network for the same reasons as always — to share information with others who have similar interests, connect with friends, seek expert advice and, for some, profit financially from those connections.I’ve been exploring Google+ for a number of weeks and its similarity to the Citizen’s Band (CB) radio craze of the 1970s is remarkable.Have I come up with further proof that the more things change the more they stay the same? Read on and let me know what you think.

Social media is not without its antecedents.

The technical platforms have changed considerably, but people network for the same reasons as always — to share information with others who have similar interests, connect with friends, seek expert advice and, for some, profit financially from those connections.

I’ve been exploring Google+ for a number of weeks and its similarity to the Citizen’s Band radio craze of the 1970s is remarkable.

Have I come up with further proof that the more things change the more they stay the same? Read on and let me know what you think.

1. Most conversations are about the technology. In the CB days, everyone talked about his or her rig. On Google+, the primary topic of conversation is, well, Google+.

2. CB radio has channels, Google+ has circles.

3. Hacking one’s CB radio rig with questionably or clearly illegal electronics and antennas was quite common. How many Chrome extensions exist, are being developed and are being requested for Google+?

4. On CB radio, everyone had a “handle,” despite the legal requirement to use a specific call sign that designated his or her true identity. Right now, there’s quite a kerfuffle on Google+ about Google’s methods of enforcing its terms of service related to identity.

5. Though it started out as a commercial communications tool, CB radio became a cult-like element of the culture of long-distance trucking. The early explorations of the demographics of Google+ indicate early adapters are far from a cross-section of those who participate in social networks.

6. Celebrities helped fuel the popularity of CB radio with movies such as Convoy and Smokey and the Bandit. Google is doing its best to get celebrity endorsement from entertainers, along with technology influencers.

There’s one big difference, though. At its peak, few CB radio users were concerned about new technologies coming around the bend that would marginalize the service. Except for the radio manufacturers, few cared that the conversations migrated to mobile phones aided by GPS navigation devices with real-time traffic reports. The users were only interested in a better way to get the information they needed and some companionship on the journey.

Well, mercy sakes, good buddy, we gonna back outta here. So keep the spambots off your servers and hackers off your databases. This here’s Green Spore on the Twitter side.

 

Neil Glassman is principal marketing strategist at WhizBangPowWow, where he delivers malarky-free social, digital and linear media solutions. Join his conversation on Twitter or on Google+ or email Neil to talk about marketing or linear amplifiers. And, yes, his CB radio handle was, “Green Spore.”