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Google+ Down, Or Out? Reader Debate Heats Up

Whether Google+ is dead (or even down for the count) sparks passionate opinions from readers.

10 Essential Google+ Tips
Slideshow: 10 Essential Google+ Tips
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I recently wrote a story exploring whether interest in and usage of Google+ was waning to the point that the platform would have trouble competing with the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter over the long haul.

Some people who responded to the story here and by email accused me of flame-baiting (because of the "Is Google+ Down For The Count?" headline) or being too quick to judge, since Google+ only recently was made widely available to the public.

As for the former, a "Google+ Is Dead" headline would have been flame-baiting. "Is Google+ Down For The Count?" is more along the lines of provocative, in my opinion.

In terms of the latter, yes, Google+ is new and has only recently moved from invitation-only to wide public beta, but I don't think Google has the luxury of spinning Google+ out in such a meandering way--not when it is dragging its feet on key components such as business profiles, and not if Google wants to engage users already well-entrenched and -invested in Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

[Social media is a powerful tool to connect with customers, but it can create big problems for your company if it's not done right. Learn more at 10 Social Networking Don'ts.]

The "beta" model has worked for Google in the past, but mostly in situations where an alternative--or at least a good alternative--was not available. Case in point: When Gmail came along, its huge storage capacity and awesome search features looked great compared with the likes of, say, Hotmail. That's not the case with social networks. There are plenty of them out there, including a few gorillas that are well over 600 pounds at this point. I also think that the "beta" label has totally lost its original meaning. If a product or service is available, people will use it and assume a certain level of "done-ness." I think where Google has gone a bit off the tracks is in making an undercooked version of Google+ available in the first place.

For the record, I'm not writing Google+ off--literally or figuratively. I'm just asking the questions and seeking the insight of the people and organizations that actually do have the fate of Google+ in their hands in terms of whether they do--or don't--make use of the platform.

It's at times like these that writers say things like, "Only time will tell if Google+ can capture and keep critical mass." I'm just not sure if that kind of time is on Google's side.

Am I off-base? Wait, don't answer that, but do tell me whether and how you are using Google+. Please comment below, or write me at debra.donstonmiller@gmail.com.

Attend Enterprise 2.0 Santa Clara, Nov. 14-17, 2011, and learn how to drive business value with collaboration, with an emphasis on how real customers are using social software to enable more productive workforces and to be more responsive and engaged with customers and business partners. Register today and save 30% off conference passes, or get a free expo pass with priority code CPHCES02. Find out more and register.

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Tommy
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Tommy,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/19/2011 | 11:30:53 AM
re: Google+ Down, Or Out? Reader Debate Heats Up
I think it was intentional that G+ was not one of the sharing services listed. Obviously, there is a bias against Google+ or a fear for some reason that Google+ will succeed. But to get to the heart of the question, Google + is not dead and will not die. Google+ is just different, VERY different, and will never attract the majority of Facebook users and I think that many of us on Google+ will keep our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media accounts just to keep in touch with all of the people who will not make the switch. But Google+ will succeed and will continue to attract a certain element of the population. Google+ is different because most of the people who come to Google+ come to learn, to share thoughts and ideas, to grow intellectually. and yes maybe to try and make the world a better place. They do not come to gossip or talk about what a miserable morning they are having or how their boyfriend is a jerk. That's what Facebook is for (mostly) and thatG«÷s okay because I donG«÷t need that information nor do I want my Google+ stream flooded by it.
MPAVEY0
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MPAVEY0,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/14/2011 | 8:37:13 AM
re: Google+ Down, Or Out? Reader Debate Heats Up
I thought it was interesting that, of over 300 sharing services available for this article, Google+ is not there at all!
GIGABOB
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GIGABOB,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/14/2011 | 12:52:38 AM
re: Google+ Down, Or Out? Reader Debate Heats Up
Frankly I disagree on your stance of Flame baiting - Your "Is Google+ down.." is the tech equivalent of the muckraking "Is Rick Perry being charged in an affair with his secretary?"

Google does not have a significant social media presence so their ability to develop and deliver an incremental product to a business already earning over $2.5B per quarter gives them the luxury to develop and execute to an extended roadmap.

Each organization has a vision and architectural strengths and weaknesses. Google has a robust business model and a huge mail and phone service that should ideally be integrated with their social media prodicts. Clearly they are not moving at the pace of a Facebook - but whose stock would you rather have?
emedinae
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emedinae,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 8:43:06 PM
re: Google+ Down, Or Out? Reader Debate Heats Up
Google, back to basics pls
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