Farewell Google+ – but still we’re here and get to find our orientation.
What was/is good and makes The Plus so precious to us???
You found the words and summed it up so well Eli Fennell very appreciated 🙂
Originally shared by Eli Fennell
Well, this is awkward. Just a few days ago I was retiring this Collection, and here I am Posting in it again. At the time, I didn’t know that if I retired this Collection, its exact lifespan would be 10-months from the time I stopped Posting.
In case you haven’t heard… but, who am I kidding, of course you’ve heard… Google+ will be shutting down in 10-months time. After that, all my Collections on here will be forcibly retired, if not taken out behind the shack and shot.
I won’t say this isn’t even more emotionally impactful than I thought it would be. I can’t say part of me isn’t furious, but I also knew going in that a network aimed to kill Facebook would have a hard time. At one time, I thought they’d drag the social bit along forever just for the obvious benefits of the integration across services, but eventually they bifurcated the two, and I can’t say I blamed them. Once that happened, I knew it’d likely be sink or swim for us, and we’d likely tread along years past when most companies would have abandoned us.
I’m more sad than angry. It’s an End of an Era kind of thing, and the end to my favorite social network. I’ve enjoyed the evolution. I’ve bemoaned the loss of features at times, but I always went with things as best I could.
Man, have I had some amazing memories here. Only on Google+ could I have ever been a frequent guest of TV News Shows by „Hangchors“ like Sarah Hill and Melissa Carlson (and shout out to the epic DeAno Jackson!). Only on Google+ could I have witnessed William Shatner sniping at George Takei for insisting on getting his husband’s permission and a certain number of followers to add Google+ to his list of networks, or interacted in Post Comments with Jeri Ryan (who used to love this place). Only on Google+ could I see Hulk Hogan (no longer active here) get help with his profile (which got wrongly flagged for impersonation) in a Hangout with social media experts like Mark Traphagen (who became an incredible friend of mine, I should add). Only on Google+ could I attend a Live Concert by Daria Musk, who was discovered here once so many years ago when a cancelled concert drove her to do a Live Hangout that spread on this network like wildfire.
Only on Google+ could I find common ground with Mike Elgan and Guy Kawasaki over our shared love of this place, beyond our pre-Google+ disagreements over Apple products. Only on Google+ did I ever get an acknowledgement from the head of a social network, first Vic Gundotra and then Dave Besbris. Only on Google+ could I become a niche but noted Memer, (yes, my Downfall Memes period was… something). Only on Google+ could I find an instant, intelligent audience for my longform content, which earned it a status as being essentially my Personal Blog until this sad day.
Only on Google+ could I have earned a reputation for Online Marketing Savvy, which netted me a few jobs and a fair income for a time, though I had already moved beyond that. And only on Google+ could I have gained tens, and even hundreds of thousands of Followers, even if admittedly the overwhelming majority of these were never really my Followers but just people who clicked a Follow button during Sign Up and never came back. And only on Google+ would my audiences and connections be so international, as to span East, West, North, and South of the Globe, with Google Translate to help us engage across borders.
Only on Google+ could I have made so many meaningful connections with people I have never met in person, so many I won’t even begin to try to name them all. Only on Google+, did I find countless Topical Collections of such richness and depth that they transcended the usual social media boundaries.
Though we have 10-months yet, I know many of you will not wait that long, and so I thought to write this Missive now. There will be more to come, I assure you.
And lest I leave all things pie eyed and glorious, I should add that it was not all joy and friendship. Some friendships ended, some very badly. Many interactions were not always pleasant. Feelings were hurt. Profiles were Blocked. People formed into private cliques, speaking cruelly of one another where only like voices could hear. There was trolling. There was flaming. There was Spam… oh, ye gods the Spam! There were times and days, when there was so much ugliness, especially during the heat of politics seasons, that I felt like walking away, and a few times I stepped back a bit.
Still in all, I could not regret this period in the least. I learned so much about so many of you, and so much more about myself, and although I am not now and never will be Sanctified, I nonetheless feel that I have grown over this time in so many ways, I barely recognize myself for who I was anymore.
I cannot conceive of how often and intensely I will feel the absence of this place in my day when it is gone, especially because I have rarely been drawn personally to the Big Social Networks. This occupied an interesting Goldilocks Zone: a network by a Big Tech company, but with more of a startup feel, especially in those early Glory Days when everything was new and fresh and everyone was just getting to know everyone else and no one was defending turf or had developed a hatred born of familiarity for each other yet.
I will likely miss this place for the rest of my life, though I may think of it less as the years go by. It’s strange, isn’t it? How a place, even a virtual place, can become something that just fits as part of your life so much, you never really knew how much you would long for it when it was gone?
Farewell, Google+! I will be here until the doors close and they turn the lights off, but for those of you who aren’t, I say: We were Merry Met, now may we Merry Part, mayhap to Merry Meet again some day on Greener Pastures.