It doesn’t look like Google+ has particularly caught on, any more than Google Buzz did. Maybe Google should stop trying to come up with alternate versions of Internet applications that already exist.
Mind you, that also goes for Microsoft trying to promote their search engine as a competitor for Google. I mean, you’re free to develop your own search engine (it’s not like Microsoft didn’t have search engines before Google existed), but why promote it so heavily and ridiculously?
I don’t recall there being any promotion for Google when it first came out. If there was, I wasn’t exposed to it. The first time I remember hearing about it was in library school, when one of my professors said she thought it was the best search engine available. And what about Facebook? Did it ever have an advertising campaign? It kind of seems like the secret of success in online applications is to rely on word of mouth, but I’m sure that’s not always the case. I can say that I, as someone who has accounts on many of these sites but never purposely clicks on the ads (which means that, from a business standpoint, they have no reason to listen to me), prefer to see more integration and less competition. I realize that the Internet isn’t some kind of socialist utopia, but it just seems more effective when its users cooperate.
Speaking of ineffective promotion, the scenario that Douglas describes here seems all too common nowadays. I see stuff like that all the time in the Oz community, with people insisting that the book they got self-published will be made into a movie. Considering that no Oz film since the 1939 MGM movie has been particularly successful, I’m SURE they’ll want to give a lucrative contract to a total unknown who wrote an Oz book! These people want to put the Red Wagon before the Sawhorse, and have the multimedia empire first and the actual work afterwards. Sure, that would be nice, but is it practical? Maybe you should get a few people to read your book first, and THEN worry about whether or not it can lead to a phenomenon.