Did you know that Google+ is shutting down? I hadn’t, and frankly, I don’t care, because I had stopped thinking about Google+ a long time ago. But Gideon Rosenblatt, who was an early adopter of Google+ cares deeply, and he wrote his synthesis of what went wrong with Google+. It is worth reading, as it is frank and very revelatory. Apathy, mismanagement, and a lack of clear vision perhaps would be my core causes — however, for me, the heavy-handed way I was forced into Google+ is what turned me off the service.
….changes in management resulted in numerous twists and turns in Google+ strategy that, much like the layers of an archeological dig, are still visible today in the user interface. All this turmoil simply leaked the life out of the network. Employees with a strong vision and passion for the service eventually left and over time, many of its biggest user advocates simply dropped away. Over the last three years, there have been virtually no new features added to the network and it is badly overrun by spam that should be easily controllable by a company with the technology chops of Google. The service, in short, was abandoned: first by management and eventually by the community.
Rosenblatt argues that Google+ was a “shared ideas network” (which it was) that the media didn’t quite get. Having been on the other side of the table at the time, I would argue Rosenblatt doesn’t realize that none of Google’s leaders were able to every articulate the “shared ideas network” concept. I hit my head against the wall of Google gobblygook so often that I tuned out Google+. The one upside of Google+ was that I ended up subscribing to Gideon’s blog and his Twitter. (From the archives: Google and affliction of me-too-ism.)