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Quo Vadis Google+? What's Next for Google's Social Network?

The post originally here has now been updated and published on +Marketing Land. See
Frank Gainsford's profile photoEddie Austin's profile photoMark Traphagen's profile photoJadene Mayla's profile photo
As always +Mark Traphagen, your insight and the thoughtful perspective you bring to the table is brilliant. Well said sir!

And I have to remember to start using more Latin words again... It makes everything sound so much smarter! Lol
I have developed a strong preference for G+ over the past 6 months, but it is still largely ignored by many I interact with. I hope the de-emphasis as a social network does not change how people currently interact with each other on this platform.
That sure is a lot of food for thought +Mark Traphagen.  :D  Now that that unification exists though, would you say that it will remain in effect?  If the focus shifts toward non-social data acquisition, or even expands to encompass it, it seems to me that the struggle for the one true log-in will continue. 

And that means maintaining cross-platform (product ;) ) connectivity.  And maybe expanding it, if it is supposed to serve web-masters and developers.  However fragmented various sources appear on the surface, an underlying connection must be necessary to bring those disparate sources together.

Or will the data for each source be maintained discretely and applied only to that source?
+Mark Traphagen as you know from my sharing this elsewhere, I love it.

but I can resist the need to tell you that what you are doing here, after having a chance to get past the initial emotional response, was what I was after the other day.

LOL, you Googlers are frickin crazy when outsiders F with the Plus.

that's said, I also understand the concept of initial emotionl response getting the best of us. I'm full blooded Italian. we wrote that book.
+Iblis Bane my assertion in my post is tha thte unified nature and login will continue, but maybe not under the G+ banner.

+Vincent Messina I would never try to out-Italian you!
I don't know about yoy guys but the more I use google plus the less I engage with other social media networks, for the only reason that in numbers and for my business the rerurn in leads and actuall accounts is more than the double ! So I don't know about what other people say about google plus, but I am looking at my numbers that are putting facebook twitter and co in the shadow :-) 
Thanks, +Mark Traphagen, must have missed it in the brain scramble. Makes sense. Ah well...what's in a name... :D
+Iraklis Kalamenios Tell us more about your audience please. Geographical and local SEO important to you or is your net that much wider?
+Mark Traphagen is google killing yet another product? Thats still crystal ball gazing, unless Google shares the future roadmap. GE famously used to follow the Jack Welch principle that unless they are #1 or #2 in a market, they used to move out of the business. Is Google going GE way?
Hopefully Google+ doesn't lead to a "suggested post" and "sponsored ad" format that Facebook emphasizes. I find Google+ much more interactive and social for both personal and professional use. KISS! Keep It Social Stupid - don't bring traditional, interruptive advertising into an engaging, freeflowing space. 
As much as I like +Vic Gundotra he is not +Google+ and nor should he be. I remind myself "Welcome to the grand experiment... Change will happen". The Google Board does one thing very well.. they watch the #data and then make changes decisions based on that data. I agree with your overall assessment +Mark Traphagen
+Mark Traphagen great analysis that got me thinking. As of today would still recommended a brand starts a Google 'Plus' page and post regularly? 
+Nem Radenovic Agree, but just take a look at what Google, as a company, has been snapping up on the open market in the last 24 months!
Ray Hiltz
This is an incredibly thoughtful and rich post, +Mark Traphagen 
While at moments reassuring, at times it's disconcerting to think of the ramifications on branding (G+ specialists) and possible public perceptions that Google+ is a failure if Google does pull the "plus".

The talk of the rise of apps at the expense of web for transactions has been around for a couple years, now it seems with the dramatic increase of mobile, it's panning out.

Marketing has never been a Google strength but perhaps the failure of the Google+ brand is due less to lack of effective marketing and more to the point that "social" wasn't baked into the whole Google culture. G+ was the key that opened the data treasure chest. Now that it's open, do they still need the key?

Google+ sign in becomes Google sign in.
Is losing the "+", like losing the training wheels?

The irony is that Google+ will be "the social networking platform" making the Facebook comparison unavoidable. As you know, we've worked hard to defend G+'s uniqueness. 
That doesn't bother me as I still thank it's the best platform. But Google will have to be very careful how it manages the devolution (evolution).

I love your analogy: "turning off Google Reader was like removing a sock. Dismantling Google+ would be more like ripping out a person's nervous system." as someone in a comment thread was comparing the fate of Reader to G+.

Going to give this another read. A lot to digest.
Thank you, Mark for taking the time to share your views on this.
Here are a few comments on some of Mark's points:

1) I always took it for granted that Google+ was going to constantly evolve in response to market changes and usage patterns, even if Vic didn't resign. I'm actually a bit surprised there haven't been major changes over the past few months, as in the early Google+ days, but only minor tweaks. And I'm also surprised people are surprised Google+ has to change :-)

Given the current wave of irrationality and plain hate toward Google and most of what it does (e.g. Glass) from both the tech press and the public, I’m not sure a Google+ rebranding may be effective.

2) Although Facebook is getting the spotlight for its app spinoff strategy with Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger, let’s not forget Google already has a good assortment of specialized apps that are a good start. Have a look at this list of dozens of Google apps for Android:

A final thought. The in-depth, insightful, and frank discussions on Google+ and Vic’s resignation we had here over the past few days, in the comment sections of posts such as this one by Mark and many more, is yet another confirmation that Google+ has something unique.

I hope this unique engagement tools and opportunities -- a “social destination”, a stream, whatever -- will be preserved and enhanced as part of whatever Google+ evolves into.
To me one of the sad thing about all this is the way some people reacted to some of the earlier posts made by Mike Elgan.

I honestly believe some people are just too protective and defensive about Google+

I've never understood the I'm a Google Plusser so everything Facebook does is garbage mentality.

For what it is, a place where engagers can engage, network, build authority, etc. Google+ is great, but I can't help but agree that looking at the bigger picture it has been a bit of a flop.

When I say flop I don't mean how Google Plussers use it, but how the general public *see* it.

For me though, this is the main reason I like Google+, I don't want a great big success that everyone uses, I want my own little corner of the Internet which I can make bigger or keep small as I see fit.
+Mark Traphagen Well written and nicely thought out post. I agree that Data Acquisition has always been what the network is about when you get down to the root reasons for its existence. 
Unfortunately for this post but fortunately for my family life, I need to go off-line for a few hours now. I promise I will come back and respond to comments later. In the meantime thank you for all the very incisive comments
Not too long and did read, +Mark Traphagen. I appreciate your ability to experience the emotional reaction and then take it further into some good, old-fashioned logical (critical) thinking. I've had a bit of an eye on your process the last couple of days and that it culminated here is pretty remarkable.

I have a question, please. I was following along comfortably until almost at the end and it was part of your conclusion that lost me. I confess to not being able to wrap my brain around this:

" data miner for webmasters and app developers in relation to their users..." and incorporating Google Plus sign-in.

Help, please, teacher, you.
The debate about Plus has been great over the last few days. In the early days it was predicted that Google Plus was the new Google and that one day the plus would go and we would just say Google. That day is coming. 
I'd take a wild guess and suggest that it means one should make a direct comparison between how productive Google+ is for either you or your client's bottom line; however 
I'm sure there is a more flowery way of putting it.
Great analysis and thoughts there +Mark Traphagen!

The facts are:
1) Google is primarily a search business. It's bread and butter comes from it.
2) A social network is an inevitable component of that Search business.
3) Mobile is changing(or changed) the way we interact and do our purchases/services today.
4) Currently, there are no ads in G+

My speculation is
1) Google can't afford to abandon the social network platform which generates enormous user data/interaction as you mention.
2) G+ will indulge in ad placement/ local services integration/local reviews(which is already there).
3) Branding tools will be enhanced with targeted selling of G+ user information. Similar to "Paid Posts" and "distribution" in Facebook that everyone hates.
4) It has taken a long time for name recognition of G+ . Granted the association is not strong in general public but it makes sense to stick to existing name and spend more money on marketing than coming up with a new brand and new association and new UI which is very expensive with the same unknown result of that exercise.

These are natural progression of platform whose goal is revenue and user data.

Personally, as a user who uses the platform for my artistic expression, intelligent conversation and finding quality posts, these above intrusions that am speculating are hopefully less intrusive in using this platform for my purposes. 
+Mark Traphagen hard to disagree with your assessment but hopefully you are wrong.  Google, right now, needs to build confidence in using G+ and the branding of G+.  Changing the brand, without radically configuring the infrastructure would be cosmetic in nature, a gimmick.   If Google wants its enthusiasts to continue to run up the flag pole for it, and with it, it needs to make certain that the flag is not wavering.  You can't create believers if you take away reasons to believe.  Any retreat, without expressing a real-coherent path towards alternative routes of progress would be tantamount to piercing an ever-expanding balloon of future glow confidence, deflating our passionate breaths of progress.  Debranding G+ only generates G-.  Thanks for your vision and I think Google needs to immediately come forward and set the record straight if it wants to maintain momentum. it has achieved, especially over the past three years.
I know Mark Traphagen pretty well and I'm quite sure he is not stating in this post that engagement isn't important to Google. That's still needed to help identify who knows what and how much they know of it (authority). The identification of authority figures helps Google with targeting of data acquisition processes.
+Ronnie Bincer thanks and fully understand that he is making that point.  However, right now, people in the trenches fighting for Google+ and Hangouts, as you have been doing so nobly and successfully, need confidence of stability.  Not disagreeing with +Mark Traphagen whatsoever, just hoping he is wrong.
Thanks for a good article & points +Mark. Great discussion
+Stephen Sabludowsky why do any of us proponents of G+ "need confidence of stability", the reality in life and business is that change in inevitable and the fact that +Mark Traphagen is taking the time to intelligently assess and provide some thoughtful commentary on the situation is just smart on many levels.

The tough thing to do is look at this head on, say how it is and act... this avoids surprise and allows the community to adequately consider their options... We don't need a rah-rah campaign... or at least I don't think we do. :)

With that said, you are right +Stephen Sabludowsky, it will be good to hear from G+ regarding their thinking, vision and plans for this platform... That will settle any fears.
The fact that most of my friends don't use +Google+ appeals a lot to me. This platform allows its users to make new friends based on same interests, rather than having the spying nature of the horrid Facebook. Great article as always. 
Thanks for the info +Mark Traphagen  Hopefully G+ will continue and improve as time goes on.
A brilliant post.  +Mark Traphagen 

Google+ is a toxic brand to a lot more people to the outside than to regulars that use it, like the people posting on here that is.

I really think Google+ Profile posts, pages, communities would be better served under a Blogger brand. 

A separate app called "Google Comment" needs to be built that alerts you when someone has commented or replied to a comment of yours on a different site like or whatever site uses the comment engine. These comments and discussions should stream next to search results. Acquiring or using a model would be very useful. 

Photos needs to be siloed and really be looked at. I would love to have better control of how my photos are organised. Folders for Family, Friends, Public and sub folders for Year, Month and Event would be nice. I appreciate google algorithms but would like some control to my own album. 

Hangouts desktop needs to be fixed; having the ability to SMS from my mobile is better now but we need to have that ability on my chromebook, mac and work pc, an address book that shows my who is online and Google Voice functionality in countries outside the US.

Breaking up these apps and evolving them into indispensable services that people love to use is essential for Google right now.
I have a few moments online here, so I'll respond to a few comments, and will catch more later.

+Subhamoy Chakraborti I don't think Google is "killing a product" at all. Read my post and I think you'll see that. I'm proposing that they may realign it within the Googlesphere, and that the way they promote it may change.
Let's remember how much better Facebook is now because of G+, such as bigger pictures. 
I want Google+ to work on all levels for my business and partners however there is one huge issue for me. Someone mentioned that Google aren't the brightest bulb in the house when it comes to marketing themselves..

In Asia, the new booming economy that will contunue to grow rapidly, no bugger has heard of, or, more to the horrible thought, do they care about G+! The 16-30 bracket cling to FB in the vain hope that they understand G+. It scares the ** out of them. 

To put it bluntly, the person who overseas the marketing/branding for Google + in SE Asia and remotely thinks they understand that culture couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat. #googleplustips
+Nem Radenovic as for ads and promoted posts, Google+ is going a unique direction. Just last week they made +Post ads available to all brands with at least 1000 followers. These are paid promoted posts, but they aren't pushed into the Google+ stream. Instead they are pushed out into Google's ad network on websites across the web.

For more sign up for our Hangout show with the Google product head for +Post ads on May 1 at
+Gina Fiedel you asked for a deeper explanation of:

" data miner for webmasters and app developers in relation to their users..." and incorporating Google Plus sign-in. 

If a developer incorporates Google+ Sign In into their site or app, they are able to connect to information about any user who signs in using it. They can connect into the Google+ API (the outgoing data connection) and get data from the user's profile that can enable them to customize  the site or app experience.

For more see
+Rama Drama I'm not being hardcore in my assertion that Google may rebrand Google+ (or limit the use of the brand). Just a speculation. You may be right that they will launch a renewed effort to market it more effectively. Unfortunately, nothing I've seen of most of Google's self-marketing efforts gives me confidence that will succeed. Historically, Google has succeeded because users love what it does and spread the word. It's succeeded almost in spite of its own marketing.
Thanks +Mark Traphagen. Loved the Reader analogy. It seems that your 'thinking out loud' is far more sound than some of the heavily opinionated pieces by others that write tech articles. 
+Stephen Sabludowsky as an enthusiastic G+ user, I hope you're right. As a long term Google observer, unfortunately, I doubt that you are.

Google has shown a propensity (one might say the "courage" if one wanted to spin it positively) to cut products or brands that aren't performing without any sentimentality.

But then, if you read my post carefully, I'm NOT saying they are abandoning Google+ or its social network component. I'm just speculating that after three years of failing to get it accepted as a "household word" social network, it wouldn't surprise me if Google stopped pushing it. Stopping pushing it is not the same thing as killing it.

I should make clear that I in no way think that Google+ is a ghost town, and I don't think Google does either. Even though it may not be a "must use" network as Facebook has (sort of) been, there are more than enough people and brands actively using it to make its continuation worthwhile. 

I'm just saying that it may not be worth it to Google to continue to try to beat people into using Google+. One of the points I tried to make in my post is that Google is already getting more than enough benefit from what Google+ has done in Google that they don't need to keep beating that horse.
+Luis Martínez I hope my previous comments have made clear that I am not saying that Google will abandon Google+. 
+Martin English that's interesting to hear, as many of us have the impression that the largest number of Google+ signups are coming from the East. That may vary widely country to country, but when I look at my new followers, the majority seem to always be from the Middle East, India, and then points East. To what do you attribute that?
+Mark Traphagen first. This is why you're so beloved. Thank you. A seminal work in many regards, certainly on this time of transition.

I would like to you correct my broad generalization of this post as it pertains to a brand's use of the platform:

If anything, the focus on data mining makes use of Google+ even more important.

If Google is looking to take more and more information out of this platform and the information that runs through it, even indirectly, than that collection is NOT going to suddenly stop. Am I close here?

Thank you.
+Ryan Hanley I've been stewing over that as well. I think you're correct. The easiest way for a brand to build the trust that feeds the right data about it to Google lies in two key places: on its website, and here on G+. 
Yes, +Ryan Hanley that's what I'm thinking. The future of brand partnerships with Google may lie largely in data sharing enabled by things like Google Sign In.
I'm a newbie to #googleplus  but, as we all know, it has nothing to do with Facebook or Twitter. In my mind those two major platforms AND #googleplus  with its specific different audience ALL have a role to play. 

I don't know the stats, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't #googleplus  still growing? Maybe it's growing slower than expected... it's sort of understandable... there's so much going on in #socialnetworking  and with people developing their personal networks on a particular platform like Facebook it is normal that moving your community to another platform is very very difficult.

But... when the younger generation gets older and maybe more serious and moves into the business world where engaging worthwhile contacts is the name of the game... there's only one network to turn to to grow that kind of a network and you know which of the big three this is. The serious, business, engaging network can only grow larger... slowly... but larger. 

What guys like +Mark Traphagen +David Amerland +Ronnie Bincer +Yifat Cohen to mention just a few have done and are doing for this platform is not being done anywhere else. The tools on this platform are superb.

True, maybe people are moving to niche networks as +Mike Elgan pointed out and true #datamining   #advertising  and ultimately #money  are the name of the game of which Google has their share and needs to keep it growing... but it still needs a powerhouse flagship network and in that field there's nothing that even comes close to #googleplus  

Much else could be said, but in my mind this is the place to be and stay and I think it would be unfortunate if we were not able to continue to grow not just the platform but what has begun here: a cooperative frame of mind to move communication and sharing to a level that has never been attained before on internet.
To all who have commented here so far... thanx for your input. reading these comments has been enlightening. 

That being said I believe we need to consider the Google Humming Bird algorithm, along with its trust factor issues, and realise that Google plus has opened many doors within the DATA MINING sector and allowed Google to use things like Google Authorship and Google Publisher within their many different algorithms which make up the collective search experience.

The new Google Plus Post Adds are a game changer and will suddenly expose the world to what Google plus can do, as those who have been told that Google Plus is a GHOST TOWN are suddenly confronted with  these strange adds that open up into a discussion about an issue with links to expand the conversation is strange but very rewarding ways.

Us folk who have been using Google plus extensively are familiar with Google plus post, but those who have never used the platform will be shocked and speechless when suddenly confronted  with a Google plus post add that will appear to be some kind of magical way to reach your target audience. 

I am sure that +Mark Traphagen will have more to say about this once him and +Eric Enge of +Stone Temple Consulting have completed their experiments of Google plus post adds, so we will need a week or three for this new marketing tool to paint its magic and open people's eyes to the reality of Google plus.

another issue which Mark touched on is the growing tide of mobile applications that run on smart phones, which is also going to change how things work on every platform that uses the internet.

enjoy and keep informed...
We don't know what Google plans to do with branding. So, what can we, the users who value Google+, do to foster a positive image of whatever Google+ currently is or will evolve into?
Hm I don't even know what to think of this any more. My stream is full of interesting content, Yes I have added a few people :-)
On Twitter I did the same, added a bunch of people, but all I got was garbage (and spam). Not sure ive ever seen anything interesting on Facebook, except ... nahhh nothing i couldn't call my friends for or they would tell me next time we hang out.
For me, Google+ is a success, maybe not huge, but still a success. I get tons of good info here, new friends and my stream seems to get full faster each day. Ive even started to uncircle people for the same reason.

Yes there could be more activity in here, but then again, I dont want all these baby, workout and bakery pictures, thats why I left Facebook long time ago.

I dont think +Vic Gundotra  goodbye has much if anything to do with change in the G+ strategy, maybe him a Larry disagreed on something or maybe he just wants to move on and spend some time with his family. Im sure he worked more than 8-16 on average. If I had the same kind of money I would probably do the same at his age. Life is short. and Yes I know he's not that old but still.
Im sure he's kids would love to have their daddy home a lot more. I sure would.

The G+ youtube move was not cool, dont force people. EVER

Techcrunch got way to much attention on this topic, and all is just guessing.

So all in all, stay cool, relax and use G+ if you want :-)  If I offended anyone, sorry in advance.

Damn that was long.
+Shawn Manaher thank you for your response.  Again, I believe that +Mark Traphagen has written a terrific overview and my issue is not with his comments, at all.   Nor I am trying to do a rah-rah.   And, Mark, I think I totally understand what you are saying here--Google is not going to abandon or shut down G+, Google is getting what it wants out of it (data),  Google might not want to spend the resources promoting G+ and "beating a dead horse", changes might be facial rather than structural and if i missed any real important points, please let me know.    My main point is simply that hopefully Google understands that many of us have invested substantial time and money to teach and to promote G+ and Hangouts.   It has been an uphill struggle for many of us, but at least, speaking for myself, I have hope and confidence.  Making minor changes for branding purposes simply does not make much sense to me and if it looks like a defeat, it makes it harder for us to promote, not easier.  As long as it continues building the incredible products, I believe people will come, in droves.
Most of the benefits I reap from Google+ is traffic. I get visitors to my blog by the posts I share on Google+. This traffic is more when compared to to posts on Facebook or Twitter. Google+ has some exclusive options with which we can share our posts with out friends and also to communities/pages publicly. This is somewhat not available in Facebook (Not completely but partially).

In my view the real use of Google+ is to gain more exposure of yourself and your site/blog. But the real meaning of a "social network" doesn't completely imply to G+. I can hardly see people sharing their personal pics or videos, have some chat etc. Mostly I see sharing of links of websites (including myself, LOL) or any of their blog posts.

All I felt was that Google+ is a better SEO platform rather than a Social networking site.
Thanks for the continued comments everyone. I don't see anything else at this point that I feel I need to add to or respond to, but I'll keep monitoring the post for sure.

I do get that many of us get tremendous value, both in business and personal, from Google+. And I think Google gets that too, and that they will continue to let us build something great here.
Sorry, just barging in here with a comment.

I say wait and see. Vic Gundotra also said in a reply to a question about the TechCrunch rumors: "I don't believe in rumors. Only real shipping code."

That things will change is a given. But my hunch is that they will change for the better. In 3 years time Google created a social network on the level of LinkedIn and twitter. That is 200 million unique users on desktop, verifiable Comscore numbers.

Furthermore Google+ integrating with its ID feature all Google services makes it a tool which is very interesting for social intranets. Hangouts being a killer feature.  And yes this also contains data for advertising.

On top of that G+ integrates Adwords and semantic search, of course the heart and soul of Google.

Nothing new for the readers there. But all in all this is not feedreader, wave or buzz anymore. G+ is here to stay. Maybe there will be some type of rebranding, but I highly doubt it.

I just read this article on Larry Page and it makes clear that he thinks big and G+ is big. The social network part is only the beginning of the surface of what it is.

For me personally G+ is wonderful. On the business side I have just shortly started doing G+ specific projects. And I am writing proposals and giving presentations for mid sized companies on how they can use G+ foor internal and online marketingcommunication.

Every time someone says, huh Google+, but I thought it's dead, I just cite some stats and if they're smart they listen. If they throw up a lot of defensive stuff then I know they're not ready yet.  

But I can understand with Gundotra leaving and it not being clear why that that might lead to speculation. But let's just wait for the code to ship first :).
+Mark Traphagen I have long admired your business savvy and your points of view.
Your insights and opinions here are no exception.
This only solidifies my respect for someone who clearly sees life and business from a holistic perspective.  Thank you for posting this.
I loved reading every word of your post here. I plan on referring back often.....I agree with you completely (and in turn, +Mike Elgan), in that the micro-platforms are critical to deepening the reach for data-gathering and also building #community  with much stronger foundations than any one behemoth could do alone, even with Facebook at over a billion users. 
You really summed it up in a nutshell, what I've been saying since I opened up my own G+ channel, but could never say as succinctly and adequately as you do here: "So Google+ became the catalyst not only to finally unify Google, but to get a much larger amount of user accounts, while incentivizing users to log in to those accounts, thus providing user data that generates more ad revenue for Google."
My earliest observation was that Google arrived very late to the #social  game and as you say, it's nearly impossible to overcome the perception that it's a "ghost town" after 3 years of a good go at it.
I completely agree, especially given your examples here, that Google HAS done a great job of integrating some amazing tools, and in this regard (and more), it's been successful as just that, one platform as part of the Google advertising and data-gathering machine overall. And further, as you aptly put it, "Google is strategically moving from pushing Google+ the social engagement platform to promoting Google+ the one-stop data miner for webmasters and app developers in relation to their users."
This is really what Google is brilliant at doing, and it's exciting to see how this will unfold in the coming years.
As a #socialmedia  agency founder and marketer myself, I've experienced much of the same responses and questions from brands I work with over the past couple years (about G+).
it's heartening to know that when all is said and done, human behavior is consistent throughout our interaction with each other, and also with technology as it evolves. The intersection between human beings and technology: This is the realm I am fascinated with. Hopefully, we evolve in ways that bring us closer together across the channels, and across the miles, to create a world where our future generations will thrive, not merely survive.
#Sharing   #Google   #GooglePlus   #PlusOnly  
Thanks so much for that +Lynn Abate-Johnson. A beautiful reminder that we are on a human journey here, full of adventure and stories to tell back at the pub!
Thank you, +Mark Traphagen. Like many of us, my first response to hearing about Vic's leaving was that of anyone dealing with the prospect that they may have just sunk a huge amount of energy into a losing horse. Then, I started trying reconcile how statements from people I trust here about a continued future for G+ and a sudden departure from Vic. I think what you paint above here is a plausible explanation. And it's very well articulated. Many of us feel a strong sense of loyalty to this network, but that doesn't mean we have to put our heads into the sand and deny the possibility that real change may well be in the works here. 

Here's how I see it the 3 core components that have been developed here. 

1) Social Widgets/Apps: These include really cool functionality that is much better when it's social. Examples include Hangouts, Photos, Comments. These things are going to make more sense when freed from the G+ mothership and allowed to integrate with all of Google's properties. 

2) Identity and Social Graph: This is backend data that is now worth way more because of what Google+ has catalyzed. It's not just the identity, but the social graph as well and it will not only continue to make Google more and more money - not just for improving user intelligence and ad targeting, but as you point out, it's likely to be increasingly surfaced to commercial customers as incredibly valuable data for websites (Analytics, etc.)

3) Content Stream: This is the reason I believe that Google+ the social network will continue to exist, re-branded or not. The volume of content now streaming through this service is critically important to Google's ability to identify interesting content. Social sharing of links has a way higher volume and velocity than the links we now make in websites. To abdicate access to a stream like that would be hard to retrieve at this point. I don't think that anyone would trust them were they were to kill it now and try to resuscitate it again later. Trust is a huge aspect of getting people to invest in pouring content into a engine like this. 

This is how I reconcile the various bits of information we're seeing over this last week. Components 1 and 2 could very well slide back into a more generic Google brand (and probably need to), while 3 is going to make more sense as a continued G+ presence. 

Thanks again for articulating this, Mark. Well said. 
+Gideon Rosenblatt I'm so pleased you read this and commented. You are the very top of people whose opinion about business I most respect.

BTW, I'll be out in Seattle in early June for SMX Advanced. Maybe we could meet up again? I'm sure +Eric Enge would like to meet you as well (he'll be there too).
+Gideon Rosenblatt Gideon Rosenblatt interesting perspective indeed.  Totally agree with you statement "Trust is a huge aspect of getting people to invest in pouring content into a engine like this.", which is the point i have attempted to make above.  The question i have is how and why would Google free the social apps (hangouts, photos, comments). You said, “These things are going to make more sense when freed from the G+ mothership and allowed to integrate with all of Google's properties.”   Surely, they would make sense better integrated with all of the properties (which is what I thought was their overall goal), but, I guess, couldn't they and shouldn't they be integrated and promoted without harming the G+ brand?  Thanks again to you and to Mark for your perspectives.
+Stephen Sabludowsky great questions. I think it most likely that spinning off those things doesn't mean they wouldn't also still be accessible in the social stream. 

Hangouts is a great example of that. It's already been spun off as its own app on Android and iOS, yet is accessible from the G+ stream as well. I would think the same would be done with any Photos app.
Yes, +Stephen Sabludowsky, and when I shared this post of +Mark Traphagen's, I actually tweaked what I said, as follows: 

These include really cool functionality that is much better when it's social. Examples include Hangouts, Photos, Comments. These things are going to be even more valuable when freed from the G+ mothership and allowed to integrate with all of Google's properties. Even then though, one of the key places of integration will continue to be Google+. I use Comments on my WordPress site, for example, and it's great, but it wouldn't be nearly as interesting were it not for the fact that it connects to posts here, where a much higher volume of people are congregating.
Damn Magic 8 Ball stealing all my business.....
+Mark Traphagen first of all this was extremely interesting and I like how you structured the article. I read it twice. Personally, I think that the real problem with G+ is in the marketing. Almost without fail when I mention it to someone I get the "deer in the headlights" look. I think that maybe they will redevelop thier branding strategy now that they see how it is used and how much B2B activity takes place. Just my thoughts.
From a strictly personal (Jane Q Public) point of view, I will embrace G+ changes. I would encourage splitting out the awesome power of the photo editing here. I want to share those final results easily with Tumblr and Facebook. Why? Because Tumblr is a great platform for content display and Facebook is where I get the majority of my 'social' feedback. I don't like G+ users knocking Twitter. I head for their hashtags every time I want instant feedback on any developing event worldwide. G+ lacks that sense of urgency. Circles are cumbersome and posting Public here seems to result in crickets chirping. One great strength of G+ is as a platform/forum for help, especially for questions relating to other Google offerings. I value and admire the G+ helpers! While I follow some interesting people, who follow even more interesting people, I come here to read. I will even read product reviews, however I am not at all interested in G+ becoming a platform for business press releases. There is room for billions of stars in the online universe. I, for one, am content to never keep all my eggs in one basket.
Wow, more changes makes me wonder how to aim my marketing plan a year from now, when I graduate.
This was so freaking long that I pasted this post into Google translate and let it narrate it for me!
+Mark Traphagen, I believe in your basic points here, and I hope one universal Google+ will develop into many Google- (read: niches).

That said, I really don't care what the G+ developers see as their strategy today, as I can only see one valid point here: Will google be able to go back to it's roots and give the user what s/he search for in the field of social networking?

When one of the head managing editors (until 2003) of a writer network with 1500 paid writers and about 3 mill unique readers, we then used the different search engines from Northern Light to ... well you know what. One day one in our management team shared a link to a new search engine, in beta version. It was said to produce more relevant results, and that was basically the only thing we cared for. Ok, we made some jokes about the name, but nobody bothered with much more than to evaluate it's results.

When we found out that this search engine provided far better content related results, we gave the search link to our co-writers, and when they as well was convinced that the search results gave better content results, they again gave the link to their readers. Of course this was Google, so the question today is: is Google+ a plus, or a flop?

Google wiped out most of the "trick-SEO" work, and gave a platform for a more clean SEO standard, which again gave better results for the users.
Now Google must decide the standard for Google+, and the only way I can see the success of G+ being similar to the Google search success, is if they focus on the G+ users, and not on collecting data. If collecting data get a main focus, then G+ have already lost.

Google search focused on the concept "content is the king" - and I can't see that G+ (or fb, or other social platforms for that sake), is part of the future if they don't go down to similar basics.

For social network it's not only "content is the king", it's "the user is the god". Harvesting data is ok, but to harvest you have to cultivate.

The question is then if G+ want to cultivate with heavy fertilizers and chemical insecticides, or a more organic cultivation method?
Google is full of Engineers. Is this failure or a branding change or whatever else you want to call it; a definitive sign that Engineers are not really social people and that they can not manage it well?

Mind you, I am an Engineer myself.

Next question is should they be? Or should they do what they are good at i.e engineering and remain in the back room (or engine room if you will)?

One aspect which I am unable to understand is: "Now all Google+ spokespeople seem to speak off the same talking points sheet, and it's all about Google+ Sign In for webmasters and developers."

A very thought provoking article, I have spent the last hour or so thinking about this article and the comments thereof.

Thank you +Mark Traphagen.  But hopefully you would be kind enough to explain what you mean by the sentence I have quoted above - or may be the other questions I have raised?
Barely. There was talk last year of moving all its users into G+, but I don't know what became of that.
+Vivekananda L Baindoor Rao It's a bit difficult to answer your request since I don't think I understand what you don't understand about it ;-) But I'll try expanding on it and see if that helps, If not, ask me a specific question about it.

I go to many online marketing conferences every year. Many of these ask Google for someone to come speak about Google+. My experience has been that the speakers Google sends are given a prepared slide deck that contains what Google wants them to emphasize about Google+. More than once I've had the experience of seeing the exact same talk delivered by two different G+ reps at two different conferences.

Up until some time last year, those speeches used to focus on the social aspects of G+. They talked about how your business could build an engaged audience using Hangouts and strategic posting and Communities, etc.

But some time late last year there was a marked shift. As I said, the presentations hardly mentioned Google+'s social dimensions, but instead concentrated on the benefits of webmasters and developers joining their sites and apps to Google+ via Google+ Sign In.

Google+ Sign In allows webmasters and developers to have people log in to their properties using their G+ account, instead of having a separate login of their own. In return, the webmaster/developer gains access to profile and user behavior information that can enable a more customized experience or other things like targeted remarketing.

My point was that I now realize this may have been signalling what I've proposed in my essay above: that Google will begin to deemphasize Google+ as a social network (NOT abandon, just not push it in that direction anymore) and place their emphasis on what it has already accomplished for them: giving them deeper and more accurate access to use data and behavior.
The most reasoned and plausible post I've read through the last few days.
Thanks +Michael Warburton. I want to keep emphasizing that this is just my own speculation and "what iffing," but I think I can say with integrity that it's based on years of careful observation of and interaction with both Google and Google+.
+Mark Traphagen I understand. Thanks for a detailed response.

Google probably has to walk on a tight rope at times.

On one hand they want to make sure their revenue from advertisements does not go down - so they want to use 'Social Signals' to guide how they market their adwords business and on the other hand they want to avoid being subject of monopoly law suits.

They have to make sure that they are able to show (should the authorities ask for it) proof that the social signals they are getting from G+ are not given any special preference.

I guess this inevitably leads to giving mixed signals to people.

But what about the target audience to these different conferences?

If the audience mainly consists of Web Developers, it makes sense to talk about advantages to developers. 
If the audience had majority of marketers, it makes sense to talk about advantages to marketers.

And the message can therefore be very different when aimed at different audiences - but does this really indicate the direction they are taking? It may not.
What Should You Do With These Predictions?
The above post and comments raise a ton of questions and concerns... many are probably wondering, now what?!?
Developers – Get Coding – Seriously, who told you it was break time?

Marketers – Nothing changes… in fact, it is possible things are only going to get better…

Why nothing changes is because all the big data talk still means…

G+ has marketing value – There is a HUGE audience still on G+, tap into it.

G+ has SEO value for your brand i.e. personalized search

G+ has social value... You are reading this comment right? Engagement is alive and well.

G+ has paid promotion value using the entire Google Ad Network… not just within the platform.

G+ has hangouts… Ask the masters, +Ronnie Bincer +Mia Voss +Christine DeGraff +Chef Dennis Littley +Eric Enge +Ryan Hanley +Wade Harman +Jason T. Wiser +David Oldenburg  +Stephan Hovnanian and sooo many others if G+ hangouts have value and opportunity in the months and years to come? Yep.

Socialites – Google Plus has found a core group of fans, that for the most part are raving lunatics about it’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunity.  The force has not been disrupted, they continue to post their images, videos, good morning coffee posts, circles (wait for it...) That will not change any time soon… So, pour me a cup or a pint!
+Vivekananda L Baindoor Rao the conferences I attend are NOT aimed at webmasters or developers. They are all aimed at people and businesses who market through online content, SEO, and social media.

That to me makes the shifted emphasis I reported even more significant.
+Shawn Manaher - Thanks for the ping and may I just add another "Yes" to +Mark Traphagen's response and clink my large coffee mug. :)  I've been out of pocket the last few days and missed the majority of the hysteria so a big shout of thanks to  +Lynn Abate-Johnson who pointed me towards Mark's post and said "this is a fantastic synopsis"   Oh, and Happy Monday, party people, it's a brand new week!   
HI +Mia Voss! A lot of heavy lifting this past weekend. I'm ready to Party Rock with you into a brand new week!
+Mia Voss ah, I had in mind something a bit colder ;->  Guess I have to wait until this evening before anyone (other than me) is ready for that!
EXACTLY !  This weekend was a perfect example for me. I was privileged to get some quality  #GirlHIRL  time in LA with +Denise Wakeman and +Rebekah Radice - two people I most likely would have not connected with on such an authentic level had we not gotten our Google+ groove going!
+Shawn Manaher I agree with almost all of what you are saying - except your comment aimed at developers.  May be you are saying that in a light hearted way - but NO.
When you make developers do only coding and never let them out, you WILL end up  with lot more problems.
+Mark Traphagen interesting!  May be Google wants Marketers to give more value to developers - so they are reminding all the marketing bigwigs to spare a moment of thought for all the developers  who are locked up in dark rooms.
+Vivekananda L Baindoor Rao marketers would be very, very smart to be working in close cooperation with their developers these days, with opportunities like this to have access to user data that can better fuel their marketing efforts. 

Google may not be the best at working with some of the more surface aspects of marketing, but they sure know how to use data. And now via Google+ they are providing the opportunity for sites and apps to take direct advantage or that data. I agree that this is the future of deep marketing.
+Mark Traphagen , as I read it somewhere "It takes a genius to spot another!" 
Smart marketers would be able to spot smart developers and work with them, dumb marketers would only be able to handle developers who need to be locked up except during statutory breaks!
I think it was Seth Godin who said Only A players would hire A players - if you hire B players to hire more players they would go and hire C players.
this discussion has been so fantastic I added it to my profile's About tab so I can refer people back to it if anyone asks about the future of G+. Thanks +Mark Traphagen for such a fantastic discussion, one that I feel has been woven into the fabric of G+ now. 
+Vivekananda L Baindoor Rao take the link to this post and add it to either the Links section or in the "story" section of your profile. Don't want to turn things too far off course here so feel free to PM me with any questions.
+Mark Traphagen I think it is time I made the trip to Durham to grab lunch with you guys some time! G+ Raleigh/ Durham?
Thanks for the ping +Shawn Manaher, hangouts have made it possible to bring us closer than any social network could ever do with the face to face meeting.  Powerful and connected..

Let me know when you're coming to Raleigh, and I'll show up too :)
Considering that many of my accounts are just now jumping into Google+ after being tired of the shenanigans at Facebook - all will be fine. Now, if they can just fix the user interface and confusion over using this platform that is such a turn off for the newbies. Seriously. It is a clusterf*ck of non-intuitive movements to get from here to there....and then I have to get followers? My clients are tired of these platforms moving their cheese. Hopefully someone new will come in and make it so much better! Change it for the better I say!!
+Mark Traphagen thanks for this thoughtful, balanced post (well-curated too I might add), I largely agree on 1) and 2), and for 3) would however add: "At what cost?"...

So any "success", after repeatedly moving the goal posts no less, is certainly at best quite qualified. Because Google Accounts we already had in the Spring of 2011...

Ironically, I initially couldn't sign up to G+ with mine during the invites only first weeks because an invite email came on another Gmail account, and later couldn't add it to this account here.
P.S. re:"My first instinct was denial," - indeed, the 5 Stages of Grief are a heck of a thing, apply in almost all contexts.
+Mark Traphagen, maybe you are right about Google downplaying the social part of Google+, and instead are focusing more on the sign in feature for web masters, identity management, data harvesting etc.

In my view this way of seeing its users, as primarily a data source, is the real problem – if Googles goal is to connect with real people.

Just watch this video from last years Google I/O, how the Google representatives were unable to define Google+ from a user perspective, after being questioned by a developer.

Question from the developer:
(…) How do you want to see the Google+ identity, in the eyes of your users.? (…)

Google representative:
(…) What Google+ really is, it’s a way for Google to get to know our users (…)

Follow up comment from the developer:
(…) My question is not how Google sees Google+, but how you want the users to see it (…)
+Mark Traphagen yep: Denial -> Anger -> Bargaining -> Depression -> Acceptance -> ...Productivity... :)

The Bargaining will still continue for a little while, it always does...
+Shawn Manaher I want to know where my ping went under the category of raving lunatics, #LMTO ... Oh wait- all the #ravinglunatics  didn't need one because you KNOW we'd be reading our beloved +Mark Traphagen and respecting his tell it like it is - brutal honesty that we've all come to respect and admire. =D 
Excrellent post Mark. One thing to note is that Google+ has unified the Google ecosystem much better and this has been good for users - and data connection. 
Fantastic +Mark Traphagen !  Not only well written, but I agree with almost everything in it.  How often does that happen?!
No +Gina Fiedel that's a stock photo. but that is about the size of my feet, and I do have shoes very much like those!
+Mark Traphagen LOL I honestly thought I recognized your shoes....kind of odd since I've never seen any.
+Jadene Mayla
(1) think of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as the primary issue that will get your work noticed by any search engine.
(2) remember that SEO is the collective effort of your entire marketing team as well as the rest of your work force to ensure that your online content is found by your target audience, and that your target audience actually clicks on the call to action statements in your online content.
(3) Google plus adds great value to your SEO in line with Google's Humming bird algorithm, where trust and identification of digital identities is the primary driver of many SEOVI (Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicators)
(4) build your G+ network around this idea and you will be well on your way to getting better online exposure.

+Jan Rossi
It is not a case of moving your stuff, but rather adding a whole new wing to your social media networking efforts.

People should not be closing down their other social media  accounts, but using G+ to promote and improve the SEOVI (Search Engine Optimisation Value Indicators) that they already have in place.

By using your Google plus profile wisely and filling out the contributor section, and adding the Google Author and Google publisher tags to your existing online resources, or platforms where you contribute, you will be adding great value to what you already have.

using G+ and excluding your other social media efforts is very short sited and in my opinion rather a silly idea.

enjoy and thanx for adding value to this thread.
+Mark Traphagen-Thank you for an amazing post! I love your insights into Google Plus become a data miner. Because this was such a long post, I just have one question. I hope I did not miss this in the lengthy and healthy comment section. Why did Google Analytics restrict organic  results for users if they are looking to go into data mining? Is that something you addressed, and I missed? Or is this something that could become part of the premium part of the new Google? Just curious on your insights, because that happened in the last 6 months when Google executives started shifting their focus publicly.
+Andy Nathan I assume you're referring to the "not provided" keywords in Analytics? That is, that over the past year Google has been increasingly restricting the amount of keyword data they show us in analytics.

First off, that isn't really related to the issues here, at least not in any direct way. Google's official reason for the keyword data restrictions is "user privacy." The data that is cut off is from users who are searching while logged in to their Google account. By cutting the connection to those queries Google takes itself off the hook from any pressures from governments to provide that data on any individual user.

The amount of keywords provided in Analytics dropped even further starting late last year when Google decided to make all searches on its Chrome browser encrypted by default.

The "data mining" I speak of in my article is largely data separate from those issues. Also, for the most part, it is internal data for Google, not data shared with us. Via Google+ Sign In, as I said, site owners and app developers can get access to a limited amount of user information for logged in users, but that doesn't extend to details about their off-site search queries.
83 comments ago you said, "I don't see anything else at this point that I feel I need to add to or respond to, but I'll keep monitoring the post for sure." +Mark Traphagen yet you are still here. You are certifiable addicted! 

I finally had time to read this whole post and all the comments (whew!) here's my shiny Kopec:

1) That transition from Google places to Google local / Pages was painful. Brand Pages and Local are symbiotically connected now. Countless businesses are still sorting this out. And that "transition / restructure" continues to provide valuable job security for those of us helping our clients untie that Google knot. Businesses complaining about 3 profiles, 2 pages, one Youtube, one local, none working together the way Google "intended". This continues to be a terrible pain point for business owners. 
My point is, I dont see how they can rock this boat any more right now

+Ryan Hanley  and +Stephan Hovnanian  get it. With Brand Pages / local / and maps so tightly woven together now, I wholeheartedly agree that it's impossible that G+ could be dismantled and even have resources pulled and slow development.  

Is it possible that this de-emphasizing of G+ your are asserting +Mark Traphagen  might include less profile side promotion and more page side focus? 

2) Where else can folks like those of us on this thread go to have discussions to this extent. No other network inspires this depth of discussion, except maybe Reddit. As long as there are passionate users that refuse to let go of the network, it will still be offered, supported, and improved. 

And yes +Shawn Manaher HOAs are here to stay. There are "people" watching this closely. Trying to see how this market defines itself. Sponsors, app developers, marketing departments, and even syndicates are trying to understand how to value this channel.  

HOAs - here to stay. To infinity, and beyond! 

Just like others here have said, your Google Reader analogy is spot on and brilliant, Mark.
Just added this to the main post:

UPDATE 4/30/2014 +Alex Schleber alerted me to this post from The Verge: While I disagree with their sensationalis headline (I do not think this "sends Google+ into oblivion") the news that Google is testing a version of their Sign In button for websites that says just "Sign in with Google" instead of "Sign in with Google+" may indeed be some confirmation of my supposition that they will be moving away from having the G+ brand front and center.
+Jason T. Wiser some excellent points.

Not only is the mess of Places/Local/Brand Page/YouTube Channel etc. a reason why they can't just wipe their hands of the whole project, it's also yet another reason why I think they will slowly back away from having the G+ brand being the premier representative of the Google brand. It's another example of where their "launch then fix" culture in this case got G+ off to a terrible start in the business community.
Google+ keeps growing super fast for me and a lot of others. It has unlimited possibilities. I am using it it a lot differently from how I used it last week. The key to success is constant experimentation and innovation. While use of the site continues to expand so quickly there seems little chance to me that Google will dismantle it. We do each and everyone have to evangelize it and each other more though in order to ensure that though.
+Morten Myrstad I watched the Google I/O 'Fireside Chat' you mentioned. I think what the questioner wanted to know was more of a Marketing question and directing that at a developer is bit of a wrong question. The other reason is probably because Google never really wanted to promote G+ as a product. In that video the panel members keep saying that the G+ is a thing which integrates different things - Gmail, Docs etc etc - at least that is the impression I get after watching that video. The recent events are probably proof of that. Vic left and there is a broo-ha-ha about death of G+; but if Google never intended G+ to stand as a separate product, there is no question of G+ dying. It is a horizontal technology which encompasses multiple products from Google.
+Mark Traphagen
the real issue is that many people believe that they will need to abandon their current social media platforms and move across to G+  lock, stock and barrel.  Moving to a new neighborhood can be a very traumatic experience, as you need to create a whole new social circle from scratch, and your existing social partners will not be around to help you out.
+Mark Traphagen launch first then fix is fundamental to the entire Open Source culture. That is what Linux does. That is what Android does which is running on top of Linux. Google itself runs on their own version of Linux - so Linux is at the heart of everything that is Google. Consequently so is everything that Google does.
+Frank Gainsford I would never counsel anyone to abandon a channel unless they're convinced it isn't returning value for them.

But to your larger point, yes, Google+ has been a tough sell because its value is not on its face. It's not immediately intuitive where the value is.
+Mark Traphagen you said "Google+ has been a tough sell because its value is not on its face. It's not immediately intuitive where the value is." - that reminds me of the Jack and the Magic Beans story.  Google gives you magic beans - not really gold coins. You need to plant the magic beans and then you would see the magic happen!
Reflecting on your comment about G+ being a tough sell; +Mark Traphagen trying to get companies to start developing in/for Linux has been a tough sell - but if you look at lot of devices, you would see that they run Linux in the background.
The SatNav I have runs Linux, the TV in my living room (Panasonic - LCD) runs Linux...the list goes on and on. But just a few years ago for companies who developed electronic devices when I mentioned Linux they used to ask 'what is that?'.
I think technologies from Google has the same problem.
+Vivekananda L Baindoor Rao
planting the seeds is one issue, but you do need to apply some fertilizer, and then also some water, as well as remove the weeds that start to grow around your seeds.  the weeds normally come up first, and if you are not careful they can smother your creeping beans, and prevent them form being seen by your neighbors.    so there is plenty of gardening work to be done (basic SEO stuff) and you do need to brag about your bean plants  to your neighbors, and ensure that they tell others that your creaping beans are doing well.   When the flowers come along you also need to ensure that the bees pollinate the flowers so that there are many new seeds in the pods that you can give away to your friends so that they may also plant their own bean plants..

+Mark Traphagen I guess the 'average person' would remain an 'average' person until he/she can recognise the magic of the beans - or even take a punt.
As Simon Sinek says in his famous TED talk, one needs to do business with those who believe in what you believe in - and one just needs about 15% of take up to reach tipping point.
But I place part of the blame at Google's feet +Vivekananda L Baindoor Rao. This is what I meant when I said that they never understood how to market Google+ for businesses. All the early marketing was basically "Look, you can do all the same things here you can do on your FAcebook page!" So what? 

But maybe their problem was given their need to maintain the cloak over how search rankings work, they couldn't talk about the real value of G+ that we know.
Thanks +Mark Traphagen for the clarification! Was not sure if the not provided keywords could be related, but thought I would ask to see if they could be in some weird Google way.
+Mark Traphagen agreed automating ad selling is a different game. But I am not sure whether Google actually wanted to sell G+ as a product.

For example if you watch the video that +Morten Myrstad pointed to (which is a good year old May 2013) the questioner wanted to nail down the marketing message he wanted to take away - but the Google team talked about how interwoven the G+ is etc etc - so one could argue that Google never wanted to position G+ as a product. But the marketers outside of Google insisted that G+ is a product.

As an engineer myself, who has now interacted with lot of marketers (because of G+) I find that very often Marketers take each word that Google says and analyse it in their own way.

Whereas for Google; as a company filled with engineers, the marketing terms are a bit of 'foreign' language to them - the exact feeling that I have towards those terms.

In other words the meaning gets lost in the translation.

For example when I use a marketing term, to me it means something but to marketers it means something completely different - that has been my experience.

Probably one can say that 'Magic' happens when the two meet!
+Frank Gainsford Thanks for responding to my question.  I am a solopreneur, so I've got to do it all myself.  I hope that by utilizing Yoast SEO for all my blog posts, including keywords in the alt tags for all my images, and contributing both original content G+ and support to other users of G+ I will be putting my best foot forward. 
Sometimes this technology evolution (while exciting) is a little tough to keep ahead of.  :)
+Jadene Mayla
I am also a solopreneur and like you say this sure is tough staying abreast of all the changes.  

I think you also need to evaluate the new Google Plus Post Adds as these are going to be a very significant game changer for those who understand the power of G+ to get your work exposed to the world.

+Mark Traphagen and +Eric Enge of +Stone Temple Consulting  will be holding some HOA's on this in the next few weeks.

Mark has psted some links. but time is out, as I will be going away for a few days, to attend a funeral... will be back only Monday / teusday.

Great, I'll attend if I can find the time (grad school) and figure out how technically. Peace.
If anything, G+ might be more important to the company now than ever. If you take a listen to the recent FB dev conference it becomes clear that they are about to make a serious play to become a social layer in a way that would put Google in the middle seat on a long roadtrip.
Is there a link available to find it?
+Mark Traphagen My class this afternoon is switching up its structure, so depending on when I am up I may actually get to watch.  Thanks. :)
+Jadene Mayla even if you can't, by responding "Yes I'm going" on the event page, the show will be in the "past events" section of your G+ events tab, and you can go there to catch the video any time later.
I was able to listen to today's HOA. Strengthened in my resolve to put G+ first.
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