What an awesome comment thread this is! It contains just about everything that is good at G+. It's filled with positive energy, enthusiasm, and polite discourse. People are meeting new people to tell their own unique stories, and to collaborate and help each other. There is a sense of community and even of being a better citizen of the world!
As +Gary S Hart
and +Jaana Nyström
(and others) correctly point out, this is not an "us vs. them" situation. G+ has come into its own. My "gripe" (if you can call it that) is the fact that Google is not telling this wonderful story! As I mentioned above, if you are a new user and go to G+'s site, you will not see this story at all. Instead you will see the same old: connect with your "friends" and "family." (hmmm, this could be a post unto itself).
And if there were ever a model for G+ "evangelism," I would include +Jaana Nyström
with her description of the FB village and the G+ galaxy -- both working side by side fulfilling different needs (shout out to +M Sinclair Stevens
with the FB hometown and G+ bustling city meme, +Eli Fennell
's "pioneer community"+Paul Stickland
whose life has literally changed entirely because of G+. (I agree with +jane mizrahi
, this is the subject for a fantastic post if I've ever seen one). There are other stories just like his, +Ted Ewen
, +Mike Shaw
are just two examples.+Johan Horak
, I'm not saying that G+ users should try to "convince" anyone to use it. I'm saying that Google itself needs to work on the way it is promoting G+ because it is failing to take advantage of what has developed here. To +Gary S Hart
's point that his IRL friends and family "are not looking to expand their social horizons " or "looking for the marketing values Google offers," that is exactly my point about the genius of Steve Jobs. As +Anja Wright
put is so well: "Once you "get it" Google+ is something you wanted before you knew you wanted it
Google has both the money and the means to show people why they want
a forum like G+ even before they knew they wanted it
. This is a two-step process: 1) educate people about what G+ is and is not (and that requires Google to face the fact that it is simply not about
"connecting with friends and family"), and 2) showing people its benefits (e.g., expanding your knowledge, your contacts, your business, etc. etc. etc.). The second step involves highlighting G+ success stories instead of celebrities (Twitter has probably cornered that market anyway).
The point is that Google is listening when it comes to suggestions about technological "fixes", UI, etc. But I think it is not listening or taking full advantage of the potential gold mine that it has here. In other words, G+ is a diamond (perhaps still in the rough) but Google is still promoting it as costume jewelry (an exaggeration, but you get my point).