Friday, September 7, 2012

Google Plus

I love Google. In fact, I use it constantly. I have an Android phone, I use Blogger for...blogging, Gmail for all my email needs, Picasa for organizing and editing my photos, Maps for navigating me around, search for everything, AdSense for making money from my blogs and videos, YouTube for showing my students videos and for uploading my own, Analytics for keeping track of visits to my blogs, Talk for instant messaging and phone calls. Chrome for internet browsing, Reader for checking my blog subscriptions, Drive for lessons plans, budgets and general documents, News for keeping up with what is happening around the world and, especially, in the United States, Latitude for tracking where I go (and letting Jackie know where I am), Music for keeping my music on the cloud and Calendar for scheduling. However, there is one Google product I am having a hard time getting into: Google Plus.

Now, do not get me wrong, I think Google Plus is great. It just is difficult to get in the habit of using it. The problem as I see it is that I can get all the social networking I need from other sources without Plus. There is just no use for it.

Facebook keeps me informed about my friends' lives. Twitter updates me on instant news and comedic reactions to daily events. Tumblr, where it is very simple to build up a decent number of followers by simply posting, continues to be a great source for photos, internet memes and basically interesting people. Pinterest has a ton of great recipes and some good photography. Instagram is simple to use and make an impact with your own photos. Blogging satisfies any long form ideas I need to express.

Where does Google Plus fit in?

It contains a little of each of those categories. The difference is the user base is not great. I do not know the exact numbers, but it seems only a handful of people I know are on Plus and use it with any regularity. I wish that were different. Plus has a ton of advantages over most social networking sites. (For instance, Events. I use that feature of Google Plus to schedule dates with my girlfriend, a fellow Plus user. It is simple to use and is simultaneously beautiful, especially compared to the boring Facebook events) It does most everything well, or even better, than the other sites. The difference is feedback. When I post on Google Plus it feels like I am yelling in a forest without anyone around.

Honestly, it is easy to get reactions from people on Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. Twitter is a little harder, but I do end up talking to people on there. Google Plus has been different though. I generally interact with Jackie and then a small handful of people, and even then it is rarely with those people.

I am sure if I dedicated myself to posting and commenting on Google Plus, it would become easier to interact with people, but it is so easy to interact on the other sites, why even waste the time? If there were a mass exodus from Facebook to Plus, I would welcome it. Hell, I have encouraged it. But at this time it truly seems that will not happen. Most people are fine with their social networks.

I fear the worst for Google Plus. It will die off eventually before it even got started.
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