Google+ Basecamp Competitor?
I just got done reading the well written (and long!) post over on The Next Web about how Google+ may be a great alternative to, or competitor, for Basecamp. The article entitled “How Google+ could become an essential business tool” suggests:
Google offers a great option for a new or small business that doesn’t want to spring for a paid project management suite. You can get as creative as you want with how you put Google+ to use…
The rest of the post illustrates ways to use Google plus to assign tasks, share/spread files, etc. It is definitely a unique take on Google+ and it does accurately, provide a guide on just how to use it in the suggested capacity.
Even though it’s been months since the inital post and Google has released updates to their plus product, Google+ still does not offer a viable alternative to other paid project management tools – in particular basecamp.
Not only that, but Google apps has had, for sometime, project management type tools that integrate with Google docs, all of which are free. Having used them, as well as a host of other tools, including Google+ I think it’s a safe bet that Basecamp, and a few other notables really have the market cornered, and their free versions of products work great – or their paid versions save enough time to provide a huge ROI for the companies that use those tools.
Where Google COULD Excel
For some time there’s been talk about creating some kind of unified business dashboard for companies of all sizes. I think Google is UNIQUELY qualified to both build, and make successful – this kind of project. Facebook is a great platform for connecting people socially, but it leaves a lot of Internet activity out of the picture.
There’s the rest of the Internet – then there’s Facebook.
Google on the other hand – has a hand – in nearly every process on the net, is the undisputed master of search (in every category) for much of the world, and, with Google+, has a system for connecting people.
I think the time is right for this kind of central business tool.
Something that combines the administration of one’s marketing, with the ongoing day-to-day activities of assigning tasks to employees and personnel – in some kind of true project management application – all with integration in Google+ and Google’s other tools.
Not to mention this stream of internal business information would be perfect for contextual advertising – and I for one would welcome advertising in this capacity.
Say you were working on a project and someone asked a question like “what is the best email newsletter system?” A nicely placed Google ad, could help direct you and provide an ecosystem that helps business and furthers Google’s ever-expanding ad revenue.
One can dream…
For now, I don’t feel Google+ offers a real viable option for small business owners looking for a free way to manage their projects and internal communication. Stick with the free version of basecamp, or other free tools available on the web.