So my girlfriend and I are heading to Japan shortly. I was going to use the trip as an opportunity to go “all-in” on Google’s nascent social network — that is, post all photos, videos, and check-ins to my Google+ account.
Entrusting Google with anything has been a tricky proposition. I resisted Android for the longest time because of the requirement to give Google control over my personal information. I eventually gave in, promising myself to be anti-social with all ensuing products from the company. But Google makes this extremely difficult with Google+.
On my phone Google+ promises convenience, with an instant upload feature that will post some or all of my recent photos and videos every time I launch the app. On my desktop web browser Google+ is downright harassment, every bit as intrusive as the stupid paper clip from Microsoft Office. Logged in to any Google service? No problem, we’ll give you a big-ass notification button no matter where you are. Don’t have any friends on Google+? Hey, nobody else does, either — but we’ll still help ourselves to your address book and present your contacts as existing users, then when you add them we’ll use that as an excuse to get them to sign up.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no issues with the community on Google+ — one of the reasons I started using it was to follow leet Android hackers like Adam Outler. The problem is Google, always in your face, never letting you forget even for a moment that Google+ exists.
If you ask me Google is trying to force every single website on the Internet into maintaining its own Google+ community. Either that or Reader will eventually rise from the dead as some tarted-up G+ product. Ars Technica and another ex-Googler seem to be with me on this.
For now, finding a replacement for Google Reader is no big deal. But trusting Google to do anything more than pimp G+ going forward is going to be difficult.
And embracing G+? Not gonna happen.