Usual Suspects - Kevin Spacey

Google+ is most definitely for the nerds. As I’ve written before that’s not a bad thing — “There are no Moms in sight, yo!”. If you love tech, then you’re already a member of the new social network, busy building out your circles and kibitzing with the likes of Guy Kawasaki, Darren Rose, Leo Laporte, and maybe even Ashton Kutcher. I’m not convinced G+ will hit mainstream adoption. Sure, it’s growing fast, but a new toy always gains quick fans from the curious technorati. When it comes to Google Plus, I’m still searching for the truth.

Case in point, Paul Tassi at Forbes (increasingly one of my favorite places to take in the tech scene with a dollop or two less testosterone) has written it off, penning an eulogy. “Google Plus is a failure no matter what the numbers may say,” he writes. “It’s a vast and empty wasteland, full of people who signed up but never actually stuck around to figure out how things worked in this new part of town.”

Then, just posted today on Search Engine Journal, an article suggests G+ is seeing mainstream adoption: “Some have written off Google’s success as a temporary side-effect of the Google brand, but recent HitWise data shows that Plus is already heading into the “early adopters” stage.”

Color me skeptical. The Canadian in me will predictably come down in the middle. I think G+ will succeed as a niche social network. Just like I think MySpace will do OK as a music entertainment niche social network. None of these will kill Facebook. But there is a need for people to congregate with others who have shared interests. FB is about families and friends, and the stream can be a wildly random affair, for better or worse. Go to G+, on the other hand, and I can guarantee (at least on my stream) 99% tech talk – that last 1% is pretty much all animated GIFs. Ditto for MySpace, but for music.

An aside: when did spamming become “content curation?” This new cottage industry essentially means if you use the title of “curator” you can fill up social networks with never-ending links every 60 seconds.

Because Stark Insider covers a multitude of topics — wine, west coast living, tech and travel — I’m always looking for diverse online conversations. On G+ good luck finding any discussion around the latest theater opening, or SF stage, or travel recommendations. Wine? There’s a bit, but it’s fleeting. You’re better off hitting up Twitter or the blogosphere. In a word, again: niche. That’s not a bad thing, advertisers prefer highly targeted audiences, so that bodes well for Google.

Meanwhile, it’s a bit of a shell game trying to figure out where the truth lies.

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear