A month ago I was excited about Google+. It represented something new. Something shiny. Attractive. Google had finally created something that people outside of the tech industry could get on board with.
Today, just one month later, the once promising community has become useless to me. It’s just another proverbial flash in the pan on Google’s stove-top.
The only difference is that more than 25 million users have tried their hand at Google+. While impressive in their acceleration towards this scale – there’s little else to celebrate.
One month ago today I decided to bring my blog back from more than a two year hiatus. The reason I brought it back was quite clear — Google+ had created enough momentum that I couldn’t ignore it. My opinions began to form and I felt compelled enough to publish them for the purpose of initiating some discussions.
My posts then have been pretty direct. I started by sharing Tom Anderson’s words on Facebook’s inherent advantages in the social space. I then followed up by wondering aloud — How would Google+ be monetized? Then, as I forced myself to use Google+ more and more I realized that there were some serious issues.
After all that writing, thought, analysis and discussion, you’d think I’d check in on Google+ regularly, right?
I have to set a calendar item to remind me to check Google+ Notifications.
This is the monster that Google has created with Google+. It’s almost a perfect clone of Facebook. That alone is laughable considering Google has cried “foul” accusing Microsoft of stealing their search results. The only thing that Google+ hasn’t figured out that Facebook has nailed? Users. Community engagement. Branding. Games. Discussions. Hell, even noisy chatter.
The icing on the cake for me is that Google has gone out of their way not to integrate Google+ with their paying Apps for Domain customers. Rather, they have required those customers to go out and create separate accounts to continue using the Google+ service. So now, rather than getting instant notifications on updates, users have to juggle multiple logins or rely on the annoying amount of email notifications just to stay connected with Google+.
On top of all that the core community and experience in Google+ hasn’t changed at all. The Brogans, Pirillos and Scobles of the world still dominate Streams for all of their followers. Everything “social” about it has become old, stale and cumbersome.
With that in mind, the ball is squarely in Google’s court. What they do from here on out is up to them.