As I write this, I am mulling over my Google+ home page. Is it called a “home page?” To be honest, I’m not sure.
Despite my initial attempts to submerge myself into this new social network, today I find myself forgetting all about it. Google+ is not something I think to check, not a place I think to post. I’ve not been a valuable part of any conversation there; so far I’ve shared links to my blog posts or other people’s articles about Google+. Until now, the social media nerd in me has felt ashamed to care so little about the new, fun, Google toy. But no more. I am hereby absolving myself of Google+ Guilt.
I don’t like Google+.
There. I said it. I may have just broken some fundamental social media maxim by blaspheming Google and the latest thing to be “not Facebook.”
Hangouts aren’t enough to hook me.
Once upon a time, I claimed that Google+’s Hangout was its most promising feature. I don’t dispute that now. Personally, though, I’m not a fan of the interface. I hate that the video chat screen bounces from person to person based on who’s talking the loudest. Sure, that’s probably a feature that can be turned off, but I’ve never stayed in a Hangout long enough to figure out how to do that. Give me a tinychat video conference any day.
Where does my communication live?
Let’s say someone shares a post with me. Maybe I’m even the only person the post is shared with. And then let’s say I want to refer to that post later. Where does it live? And where do all the other posts shared with me live? I might just be spoiled by my Facebook Wall where I can find all comments people have left for me. I like knowing where to go, though. Yes: Google+ notifications get sent to my Gmail inbox. I could technically save every notification I receive, but I’m not going to. In fact, I turned off my Google+ email notifications because they were driving me crazy. So, out of Facebook habit I go to my Google+ profile, but I only find my own posts. Next, I could go to my various friends’ profiles and see what they’ve posted, but I could scroll forever before I find the post I’m looking for. Sigh. And now I’m over it.
Google+ isn’t giving me anything new.
I have 100 people in my various Google+ Circles, 66 in one that I call “#heweb.” No question, at least 95% of all content shared with me on Google+ comes from people in my #heweb circle. These are folks who love to play with a shiny, new social thing as much as I do (or in this case, more than I do). They have invaluable knowledge to share, but I am connected to many–maybe all–of these people on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Who are all of these people?
Daily, that little red square next to my name in the black bar at the top of my Gmail window tells me that new people have added me to a Circle in Google+. It is rare that these are people I’ve ever heard of. Nothing is forcing me to look at any of the content these strangers are sharing with me. For some reason, though, I’m bothered. Are these droves of people hoping to eventually sell me something? (Maybe if I looked at their posts, I’d know.)
All of this is not to say that I’ll be closing my Google+ account any time soon. I’m still curious to see where it will end up. Most likely, though, I’ll be learning about updates and new features through my friends’ blog posts or online articles. Sure, it’s part of my job to research what’s new, but I don’t have to love every single social medium.