My friend Chris MacAskill invited me over here to Cake to start a panel discussion about this hot subject! Now that Google+ is officially going as extinct as the dodo bird, it seems like a perfect time to have a discussion about it. I'll invite a few of my Google+ friends that want to participate in the panel.
I thought it'd be fun to get started and talk about all the positive, awesome aspects of Google+, especially in the early days. And speaking of early days, look at that screenshot I dug up. It's funny that back in 2011 that the #1 most followed person on Google+ was Mark Zuckerberg. I bet the Google team was scratching their heads wondering why their #1 competitor was #1 on their own network!
It's also interesting to look at the growth of the network from the beginning of 2011 to the end of 2013. And these were all real people, as opposed to some networks today like Instagram where one can easily buy hundreds of thousands of followers/likes/comments from bots. All these new people flowing in allowed people that had never been "discovered," say a photographer in Australia, to suddenly have a sizeable audience. This was very exciting for so many creatives around the world.
But it really wasn't about the followers, it was about the simple fact that Google+ was a SHEER DELIGHT to use. It touched a nerve that Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter could not. Now that it is gone (well, it was basically mostly gone 4+ years ago), we are reminded how other social networks are FAR from being a "delight" to use. They all have their problems. Hey, sure Google+ had a few issues in the beginning, but the team was so nimble and quick to make fixes and add new features. I think all the early adopters really felt like we all were building a sharing platform together that creatives have been longing for.
I met so many awesome people and was truly inspired. I think it fueled a very creative period for a bunch of us. Personally, I think the entire creative cycle ends with sharing the creation with the world. It was absolutely the best place to share creations, get feedback, and inspire people. Even better, I personally got to be real-life friends with amazing people from all around the world. It was really tangible when we had public photo walks. I remember one that Thomas Hawk and I did in San Francisco where about 500 people showed up. Awesome pandemonium! These events reminded us all that we're all in this creative game together
So, what are your thoughts on what made that early period of Google+ so exciting?