Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

30 days of Google+

I’ve posted about Google+ before, but now that I’ve been there a month, I’d like to give my overall judgement:

Meh.

In slightly more words: I’m really not that enamoured with it. Although I have 60 people in my circles, most of those are acquaintances picked up over the years from various things I’ve been involved in such as the Open Directory Project, Foursquare, Twitter or just from blogging in general. Very few of my actual friends, i.e. the ones I talk to regularly offline, are there.

And that’s because they’re all on Facebook.

So far only one of my friends has decided to move most of his social footprint to Google+ – pretty much everyone else cross-posts stuff from Facebook, Twitter or wherever – so really it serves me little benefit. And any brands that I follow or interact with on Facebook or Twitter aren’t on there yet, as Google doesn’t allow them. So there isn’t much to see there, and most of the people that are there are, to be frank, people I don’t really care much about.

I’m also uneasy about Google’s policy of closing accounts without a real name – it’s not something that affects me as I generally use my name openly, but several of my friends use pseudonyms to protect their identity or as part of gender re-assignment. Plus, when Google closes your account, you don’t just lose access to Google+, but also Gmail, any documents stored in Google Docs, Google Calendar and any other Google service linked to that account. And that’s something that Google need to sort out.

For Google+ to win me over, it needs to be able to attract more non-techy people, and give them a compelling reason to move away from Facebook. People like me have been on Facebook for over four years, amassed over 200 friends and have it linked in to all sorts of services and third-party applications. I’m not about to abandon that right now.

5 Comments

  1. I agree – despite my initial excitement, it’s waned for me now. I remember in the 1st days of FB it was populated within days but I’ve now been on Google+ for a month and it’s not filling etc. As you say, my circles are just some my friends on FB, and I can’t be bothered updating 2 things, so unless FB implodes I can’t see myself updating Google + first.

  2. Google+ is invite only beta at the moment. Facebook from what I remember didn’t have this stage when it went public.

  3. Think it’s now open to anyone with a Gmail account, Chris.

  4. I was invited by hotmail and have managed to invite all the world and his dog regardless of their email address. Google+ need to stop being so ‘anal’ with all their testing and just release it to the world. The end users will soon tell them how it needs to be improved while it’s actually running – you don’t wait until something’s perfect before releasing it – you evolve with the users.

  5. They released Buzz to the world and get into a world of trouble for it. The approach is understandable. A lot of people prefer to just sign up rather than wait for an invite or proactively try to get one.