*A #Curation post for the "Google+ ghost town" stories and debates.* (I'll be adding more curated items in the comments)

Really wish this were a non-issue, but the tough questions need to be asked as to what missing (and unique) ingredient(s) could/should be to put G+ over the top.

The shared post below has some fairly decently curated round-up of voices in itself despite the linkbait-y title.

Good discussion over here on +Gideon Rosenblatt's thread: plus.google.com/u/0/105103058358743760661/posts/cbkefpMctAp

and with my friend +Alexander Becker over here: plus.google.com/u/0/100500197140377336562/posts/3X2FpEGXEsZ

which itself was kicked off by +Mark Traphagen's post here: plus.google.com/u/0/107022061436866576067/posts/6BtRaMMt37c

which was also discussed smartly over here on +Jeff Jockisch's thread: plus.google.com/u/0/100382758901355515850/posts/4kS9acgAZF1

The original ComScore article that was then made as incendiary as possible by the WSJ: blog.comscore.com/2011/12/state_of_the_us_social_networking.html

Mike Elgan rightly pointed out the problem with the "3 minutes per month per user stat" due to the unknowns in the "active vs. passive users" statistics
-> plus.google.com/u/0/113117251731252114390/posts/BxwQTbHLcC5

but the bottom line to me is, the numbers still don't look great any way you slice it. TechCrunch just wrote a piece on why this may be, digesting it now -> Why Google+ Doesn’t Care If You Never Come Back techcrunch.com/2012/02/28/no-more-no-more-no-more-no-more/

In creating this post, I am reminded about a few of the ways that G+ would turn off potential mainstream users:

1) It was way too hard for me to collect these curated items, and I am only talking about the G+ threads. If the point of an Interest Graph network (which Google should have come out and say that G+ was right from the beginning) is to quickly and easily find those debating the same topic/s as you, and by topic I mean down to the very-Longtail detail level, then why is it hard for me to even find the discussion on the Reshares of +Mark Traphagen's post?

That's basic stuff that should work 10x better. I don't need black-box algorithmic (or rigged) "Follow Suggestions", I need the basics to work well/right. Examples of prior art in that regard abound on Reddit, Tumblr, etc. etc.

2) Speaking of basic stuff, if one mainstream user comes by this post and sees those ugly long G+ URLs, they might subconsciously turn around right then. It is a massive "geeky geeky" flag. This has been a thorn from the beginning (strange, G+ can pretty-print YouTube links just fine...), and I really expected it to be fixed by now.

3) Speaking of "fixed by now", yes, the G+ team has made a lot of improvements over the past 8 months, but frankly, many of the most elemental ones (like the SIMPLE reshared post permalink) took way too long.

Assume that a majority of U.S. Social Media users have already peaked over here at least once. And you only get to make a first impression once as they say. Many of us really like G+ as an alternative haven for various forum-like uses, and we were largely the early adopters, so we're rooting for it. But that's a unique position vs. everybody else.

#gplus #lesigh
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