Yesterday, I got an email inviting me to join Google+. Today, I'm (still) debating whether or not to join.
Realistically, the decision to sign up or not should be simple: I either do or I don't. But the choice carries more weight than that, at least to me. I'd like to think of myself as being very purposed and methodical when it comes to my social networks. I don't have a billion friends on Facebook. Likewise, I don't follow a billion people on Twitter. All my social networking accounts are on lockdown -- if you want to hang with me, you need to get my permission first. I prefer it this way for two reasons: a) I like the fine-grain control it affords me and b) I don't necessarily want Joe Blow to randomly start poking and/or following me. More to the point, however, is I don't want to become a social networking whore.
Facebook and Twitter are the services I use the most. I rejoined Foursquare a couple weeks back to check it out again, but since then I've only used it a couple times1. To lesser extents, I'm also on LinkedIn, Instagram and Yelp2. That's six social networks; adding Google+ would be number seven. I don't want to spread myself out that thin. I already feel somewhat overwhelmed as it is trying to integrate Foursquare into my daily routine. Do I really want to spend time figuring out how to assimilate Google+? There's only so much time in a day and I have more important things to do.
Another strike against signing up to Google+ is the social part. As of this writing, I have 132 friends on Facebook. I'd describe myself as a fairly heavy user3. Facebook fits my needs, as I'm sure it does my friends as well. Google+ -- or any social network, for that matter -- is only as good as the people who are in it. Social networks should grow organically. What differentiating factor(s) does Google+ offer to me and my friends that Facebook doesn't? What makes it better? The geek in me is certainly curious to test it out, but I don't want to all by my lonesome over there. And I'm not in the recruiting mood either.
So, what to do? Well, I know I haven't anything to lose by signing up, but if I do and don't use it, it'll feel like a waste. I want my social networks to have value: Facebook has value to me. Twitter has value to me. I don't know what value4 Google+ has.
At least I'll have one more app to add to my Social folder in iOS.
1. Partly because I'm not a huge fan of their iPhone app.
2. Yelp does social, but I use it more for reviews.
3. Sans FarmVille and all the other shitty "apps".
4. Assuming I can get in first.