I loved public Hangouts, and ended up throwing a few hIRLs because of them. My friends Matt, Bret, and Doug are all locals I effectively got to know through G+, and Hangouts specifically. I never got a job through it, but I certainly made some partnerships with it.
I joined a great community - Off grid Living, and eventually became a moderator there. That led to a moderation job with Artificial Intelligence community. Both communities were venues for some fascinating conversations that have shifted my long-term plans to some extent.
Just in time, @apm ! :) In the past few days, I scrolled through my profile, deleting every post (outside of two collections) I ever created. I could have waited some more weeks, but I wanted that content to be gone on my terms, not theirs - also, I wanted to check if there's anything that still needed to be rescued.
Doing this was an actually taxing process - one can imagine that there were both good and bad times during the 7.5 years I spent on Google+ - but I'm now happy that I had a final look at all of it instead of just waiting for someone at Google's HQ to flip a switch.
In hindsight, it is clear that most of my activity was mostly unsuccessful in all the "standard metrics" of a social platform: When I joined, I was just a little to late to still be considered for most early adopter's circles. When I started posting anyway, I tried getting my small hometown aboard by posting about it while using hashtags and location shares. When communities became a thing, I created one for my region. When collections were added, I created several to talk about niche interests of mine. When I had nothing else to do on the platform, I participated in photography themes and projects, even writing an app to challenge myself and others to new photo subjects. Most of this led to nothing, or only a small number of interactions.
For the last three years, the majority of my activity happened in two private communities that I mustn't really talk about due to some NDA - but it's safe to say that that turned out to be a big waste of time as well...
Not all of it was for nothing, though. I got to know a handful of interesting people, my photography is a lot better now than it was eight years ago - and I recognized that "being social" with random people without having a good topic to talk about just isn't my thing. :D
Google+ was where I met all my online tech friends, many of them are now connected with me on Twitter.
Not only that, I met a bunch of Malaysians who were into tech just like me. We created a community on G+, and now a bunch of us keep in touch in a Telegram group.
The best thing about G+ was how there were so many people who shared my enthusiasm for technology which led to some of my posts going viral and generating lots of engagement. Two of my favourites that I remember are these.
This post may not have aged well, but I still firmly believe that the Apple Watch looks bad. At the time many people agreed, or at least just thought my comic was funny. It got 348 comments, 1416 +1's and 252 reshares.
One of my favourite smartphones of all time, the Nexus 5. I wrote a one year review for it which generated 268 comments, 2238 +1's and 112 reshares.
Google+ was dead long before Google announced it would be killed off. But back in the day, that was the golden age. Best social network there was at the time.
The real life friendships that came out of the G+ Photowalks, Lovely people I would never have met otherwise.