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I've been asking the non-tech people in my life if they've heard of Google+ and the overwhelming response has been "No. Is that a new search tool?"

By no means am I jumping on the "Google+ is a ghost town" bandwagon. I like G+, but it is clear that it is still FAR from mainstream or a household name the way Facebook and Twitter are.
Thomas Vander Wal's profile photoJohn Tropea's profile photoLuis Suarez's profile photoAlan Lepofsky's profile photo
Hi +Alan Lepofsky , and is that such a bad thing? If anything, that is the main reason why I heart Google Plus, that it hasn't been bastardised by mainstream and you can still have good deep conversations on topics that otherwise you may not have had a chance to. At least, those related to tech and business. We all know where we can have the others, don't you think? ;-))

I guess what I am trying to say with all of this is that each social networking tool is what you make out of it, right? Nothing to do with the tool or the features, but more how you put them to use to fit your needs. Right now, coming back from a long hiatus due to several things happening on the side, I'm finding it refreshing coming back to G+ and find out that it's just as cool as when I went dormant for a little while :) hehe
I do miss not having my non-tech friends over here until I realize I much prefer that in some ways. G+ for me is like a cross between RSS and a social network. I can get most of my Tech News fix from here and often see it posted here way before it makes it over to Google News or any online news' tech pages. But to truly keep the lights on here (so to speak) I know eventually we need to attract others and become more mainstream. But until then I will enjoy G+ noise free.
Noise free is good. Hence my "bring back the silos" speech ;-)
Hummm, I may have missed this after the long hiatus I just went through, but what are G+'s recent numbers with regards to adoption? Last time I remember was over 100 million end-users, but what's the % of them active? Anyone knows? I can imagine with that user base it's probably doing very well. Wasn't LinkedIn having about 150 million end users ... in how many years? ;) hehe
I don't know what the overall numbers are and am not interested, as they'll just be marketing stats anyway.

My initial post was simply an observation that a VERY SMALL % of people in my non-work life have ever even heard about Google+. I didn't say it was a bad thing.

Similarly companies I speak with are concerned about their Twitter presence and Facebook Fan page, but have never once asked about having a Google+ Brand page. I imagine that will change over time.
Keep in mind when Facebook was the same size few mainstream people knew of it (late 2007 after was open to public for a year).
What you say is true +Alan Lepofsky even on my's an equally great tool, but has not yet had impact into the mainstream...and I mean mega-mainstream as in a household name. +Thomas Vander Wal do you ever think it will be popular as twt/fb...all these tools are equally's hard to build a community, but even harder to steal a community...why would my family and personal friends need both facebook and G+...G+ would need to offer some niche aspect, and not sure if hangouts is enough (but they should certainly promote this edgy feature). Now that facebook does the public subscribe thing (which is very awkward) not sure the uniqueness of G+.

IF G+ and FB both were released at the same time then that's a different story, but right now people are comfortable in FB...I could see my family and friends moving if it happened as an exodus

G+ has everything going for it to gain people being tied to the whole google ecosystem...this is just a hard game...perhaps they need to concentrate on a disrupting use case first eg. business pages
+Alan Lepofsky +Thomas Vander Wal +John Tropea Great points and insights, folks! I, for once, keep longing for a social networking space where I don't have to justify how I use it for this or that other purpose. To me, what matters is context and how that context fits in with the kind of social interactions I would want to go for. If I want deep technical / business related interactions this is where I will be heading. If I would want immediacy, connectedness while on the road and a global pulse of the world Twitter would be for me and if I would want private interactions I just switch off and talk to people F2F. FB is no longer there in the equation, I am afraid, and in 2 years I haven't been there I haven't missed it a single time. Nor most of the folks I hang out with for private interactions. So that context seems to define nicely how they all keep having a space with a particular use case :)
+Luis Suarez, I've not asked you nor anyone to justify how/why you use Google+. I made a simple observation about my life. I know we're all different. For example, you don't use Facebook, yet I use it several times a day to interact with friends and family all around the world and a few of the key businesses in my life (my gym, local restaurant, etc.)
+John Tropea I don't see a majority of people I know switching. Most of my friends still don't use Gmail and don't know what Google Apps are. I assume 99% of them don't know Google owns YouTube.

Again, I'll reiterate... I like Google+. I don't think Google+ is trying to compete with Facebook. I think Google+ is the first visual representation of the new DNA of Google. Maybe it goes something like this:
Google 1.0 was a new company that change the way we search for content on the internet and it became a household name.
Google 2.0 developed a set of consumer services like email, apps, maps, YouTube, etc.
Google 2.5 started to take those services into the Enterprise and Education markets
Google 3.0 built a revenue model to layer onto #2 via advertising. The majority of non-techies probably have no idea that this is their core business
Google 4.0 is about building a new "social DNA" across all Google properties and across the web.
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