The inorganic app

It occurs to me, as I look at my Google+ stream for the first time in two months, the reason I never use it: it never had a chance to grow on me.

It’s beautifully implemented. It fills in niches that other platforms miss. It’s not an imitation of Facebook or Twitter (though it is obviously a reaction to those things).

No, the problem is that it is inorganic. It revealed itself to the world fully formed.

Contrast with Facebook and Twitter. These apps started small, and in fact, neither of them knew what they were or what their real appeal was. It took them years to discover it, in small steps, organically.

During that time, they grew on me as they, well, grew. Their use cases, their addictive qualities, were emergent.

Google+, on the other hand, made all its decisions made before we ever saw it. As such, it emerged nearly perfect, while being perfect for no one.

G+ does social networking like Annie Lennox does blues: a perfectly executed imitation of soul. She is extraordinary is many ways, and so is G+.

But. Imagine if you could see the brain scans of people when they first try G+, and then go back in time and do the same for Facebook and Twitter. You and I know people who lost their shit when they got turned on to those latter sites. Know anyone that had that reaction to the former?

G+ is correct, in the way that Salt Lake City planning is correct.

But, to my eye, G+ reveals no influence of its users — like the de facto footpaths that emerge on campuses and in parks. G+ is plastic where the early Twitter and Facebook were clay.

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