Ever since FriendFeed was consumed by Facebook, online discussions have been dominated by Quora, Twitter and Facebook. Without getting into my opinions about those three services, let me say, I wasn’t motivated to have discussions using them. I really enjoyed the time I had with FriendFeed and the ease of contributing to a topic.
Google has been dabbling in social networking for quite some time and in my opinion, has been a bit out of focus. We’ve seen orkut, social bars, and of course Google Buzz, but we really haven’t seen a robust, solid solution. With Google+, I can say that Google is serious about making online discussions easily accessible. Google has made engagement with existing and new contacts about as easy as one could ask. I find myself more willing to talk about technology on Google+ than I ever did on Quora, Twitter and Facebook. That’s enough for me to consider Google+ as a success.
Is it perfect? I don’t think so. There are still a lot of issues to work out with the Circles implementation of managing information streams. The hangouts feature is somewhat unstable and prone to crash, while sparks is sort of just out there without a real underlining purpose. Google+ definitely has room to grow.