Does Google+ solve a problem I don't have?

I recently joined Google+.  Why?  Everybody says it's supposed to compete with Facebook, but I like Facebook.  Why grind out another profile, track another feed, curate another presence?  And how do we know Google+ won't disappear like Google Buzz and Google Wave did, like cigarette butts flicked out of car windows on the information superhighway?

  • I use a lot of Google products (gmail, calendar, docs, blogger, etc).  Plus might actually allow me to share/social-ize some of the things I do in those services.
  • I have an Android phone; see bulletpoint above.
  • I generally like Google's user interfaces.
  • Google doesn't rearrange the furniture as often as Facebook, and they never do it with the purpose of catching my privacy settings off-guard like Facebook does.
  • Google clearly means it this time.  Buzz and Wave got a lot of hype, but they felt isolated from the rest of Google.  This time, all of Google's UIs are being revamped to be consistent with each other and to be integrated into Google+.
  • Facebook is successfully becoming what AOL tried to be:  a self-contained, closed system, a substitute for the broader Internet.  That's not good.  I already feel like I'm fighting Facebook, and as this trend continues, it's going to get worse.
  • Google is actually going to rename my beloved Blogger to make it part of Plus.  If I didn't get on board, I'd just feel resentful about it.
  • I now have to decide where to share things.  Which service should I put this status/photo/link in?  One, or several?
  • I have to build this network from the ground up, and a lot of the people I enjoy interacting with aren't on it yet.
  • This is unfortunately not one of Google's better UIs.  In my limited time with it so far, I'm finding it pretty counterintuitive.  They're trying to reduce clutter by hiding navigation tips, but for a first-time user of a novel service, that's a problem.
So, I'm on the plus bus.  We'll see where it goes.


  1. Another pro: google+ allows you to write longer posts before it cuts you off.

    Editor's note: fellow Cleveland blogger Dave Cunix ( sent me the following commeng via email.

  2. Dave says:

    I had an entirely different comment to post here. Actually, I posted it several times. It wouldn't take. There was some issue with my gmail account. In the end, I had to reset my password.
    So this is Google, the better, smarter, less screwed up of the systems - yet it failed to keep my gmail account functioning. We entrust a major portion of our social and personal lives to very fragile, flawed systems and personal lives to very fragile, flawed systems and hope that what little privacy we have left isn't compromised. And now we are about to add another. Yes, G+ will probably be a time drain. I have this vision of a guy holding six cell phones. Each can only access one network. He has friends and business associates on all of the networks. In the end he may be too busy checking the news to create it.

    Until invited (NOT A HINT), I will continue to trudge along on FB. I still have to glance at the LinkedIn updates, Twitter, and Wait, the phone is ringing...

  3. Dave refers to the age-old problem of people letting process (networks, technology, etc) get in the way of product (social interactions). Technology gives quite a few people a socially acceptable excuse to not engage with human beings or with their real work.

    I try to see all the technology as a bonus without relying on it. My body tells me when I have a real need to communicate with people or get some work done.