Happy Birthday Google+
They say you're a ghost town, but for those of us that use the service, we know this isn't the case.
Here's the problem. People joined G+ thinking it would be "just like Facebook" when it's not. Facebook is where you connect with RL friend's and family. It's where you share jokes with college friends about.
When people joined G+ they tried finding all of these people, people that they didn't have the service yet. So they sat in empty feeds waiting for their friends to add them, or for some celebrities to entertain them.
That's not Google+Google+ Is An Identity Network
This service is built to be the backbone of other Google services, and, just like their ad network, it groups users based on similar tastes. And that's where this platform is amazing.
I called Google+ a "Digital Pub" way back when, and I think the name still fits. When you go in, you find a table full of people talking about something you love and you join in. I don't interact with anyone I know "IRL' on Google+, with the exception of two of my brother's who signed up because I bugged them to.
Instead, I get to have hangouts with people like +Russell Holly
where we got to laugh about how wonky video hangout chat was back in the day.
I get to trade jokes with +John Lieske
and then finally meet him in person and realize he's a pretty ok guy.
I get to interact with celebrities like +Jeri Ryan
and +Wil Wheaton
and not about their movies, but when they have questions about their phones, or them talking about the amazing animals they spotted in their back yard.
It's about trading jokes about hollywood blockbusters with people from the middle of nowhere Idaho and Google engineers in mountainview.
It's about connecting with people like the wonderful +Shinae Choi Robinson
and talking about food and awesome pictures. Or finding someone like +Rachel Elizabeth
who's as nerdy as you are about tech, and has a great taste in music to boot.
Google+ is a place to meet people who are interested in what you find interesting. It's a place to reach out and talk to people about things they post that you find coal, and to watch as they do the same. It's not somewhere to move physical connections into the digital realm, but one where you form the digital friendship first and then it moves into something offline.
Google+ is not Facebook, it will never be Facebook, and that's why I love it.
Happy Birthday +Google+