Death of GooglePlus Is Greatly Exaggerated
I agree with +Gideon Rosenblatt and +Mark Traphagen G+ is too valuable to abandon, but change is in the air. Mark made the most compelling argument I've heard.

It's valuable USE IT to fuel your marketing Mark explained at a conference. Anything, any tool, is worth what we bring to it. In the attached post Gideon explains why G+ is valuable to Google and I agree.

Mark hit the nail even more firmly on the head for me at the conference when he explained that the tool is powerful and not as flooded as others. Some look at the "not as flooded" and think that means using G+ is a nonstarter. I look at it the other way around.

I've analyzed more than 20 different business verticals and G+ consistently comes back as the LEAST "red ocean". Red oceans are places sharks feast on themselves. Red oceans abound these days. Red oceans are stupid.

Red oceans can't pay off. By the time you get to anything that even remotely looks like victory you've spent more than even a hollow victory is worth. Can't make money that way online. I'm interested in tools, communities and ideas (memes) that are underdeveloped not over developed.

G+ has a learning curve and yes that's a pain in the ass, but that learning curve is also what keeps this network BLUE. Here is the interesting rub. I see G+ as always being a blue ocean of opportunity even at scale.

Why? Because G+ is more than a "simple social network". G+ is a set of TOOLS that can always be used in some unique way. This is what Mark was touching on when he said, "USE IT and it will pay you back" instead of swimming in an ocean whose limited potential was long ago played out (i.e. Facebook).

Facebook is this network's opposite number. Where I see nothing but upside here on +Google+ I see nothing but downside on Facebook. Facebook is built to abuse marketers. G+ is built to help us. Facebook views marketers as "reformed spammers" who must be watched like the thieves we are.

I'm not a thief. I'm a hard working Internet marketer who loves what my friend and I do and am driven by an honest desire to share, learn and share some more. G+ is built to help with those ideas and it treats me as a sentient being who can BUILD THINGS with their tools instead of a spammer cloaked in the shadows.

Mark is right. On G+ we get a chance to build things TOGETHER with Google. On Facebook we re locked in cages and only allowed to walk in the yard for a few minutes a day.

I used to answer the question of how teams I've managed made more than $30M online by saying we did what Google told us to do and that was true then. Now the way to online success is to collaborate, innovate and create WITH Google.

I have 3,500 followers on G+ and together we've generated 1.5M views. Tell me another tool capable of that kind of reach and I will use it. Tell me another tool capable of this much flexible creativity and I will use it. Tell me another tool with this much blue ocean possibility and I will use it.

Personally I'm glad G+ remains so blue ocean. The longer the controversy the more valuable this tool is for those who like to fish and I LOVE to fish  :). M
Well, now that Hangouts no longer requires a Google+ profile and it's looking like Photos will fast follow suit (, I just want to highlight some thoughts I shared back in April, riffing off of some musings from +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. But then, I quickly moved past the denial and started trying reconcile how statements from people I trust here about a continued future for G+ and a sudden departure from Vic could both make sense. I think what Mark paints in this post is a very 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. 

First, let me say that none of us really know exactly what is happening right now, but here's how I see it the 3 core components that have been developed here on Google+. 

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 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. 

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 Mark points 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 material 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 share via websites. To abdicate access to a stream like this would be a big mistake at this point. Were Google to kill this stream now, after so many people had invested so much time and energy into building it, I think it would be near impossible to rekindle that trust again later. Trust is a huge aspect of getting people to invest in pouring content into a engine like this. This can't be underestimated. 

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. 

The original post from 4/27/14:
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