Google sold it as a new Social Media setup. And the circles idea was really really good. And I had hoped that Google would actually do things right for once instead of falling flat on its billion dollar face, as they did with Buzz. And as they did with Lively. And Wave. Lather rinse repeat.
But it is NOT a social media center to compete with Facebook. That is not Google's aim at all. Google wants to become the world's only database for... reputation. They want to be able to sell people the knowledge that if a person says they are X, that they are X. They want to be able to tell advertisers that you make Y amount of money, own a home in Z, and are looking for a new BMW, just like Facebook does. But unlike facebook, they will allow any swinging d*** anywhere in the country to verify you are who you say you are, just by checking with them (and presumably paying a small fee).
Now what the f*** does this have to do with Social interaction? I don't need Google to verify a person's identity -- I already know who is who. I don't need google removing everyone's fandom name -- 80% of you I ONLY KNOW via your nethandles and fandom pseudonyms. So by throwing all my friends out and making it not a social network, what possible use do I have for the thing?
They said they would start allowing some screen names, so I stuck around. But they just canned a friend for having "a silly name" one time too many, especially after stating they would stop doing it. If my admission to the cool club of Google Plus depends on some teenager in California snickering at the name or not, then f*** them and f*** Google. I don't have any objection giving my RL name to Google to create the account. But there's no way they can prove I'm telling the truth to begin with. So what's the harm in allowing us to have different nicknames for the different circles?
Google, you have now done something I thought only one company in the world could accomplish -- you've pulled a Linden. I would say congrats, but it's truly not something to be proud of. And it's very difficult to recapture the old excitement and good will of the folks after they are gone. Once gone, they are gone, and they'll be very descriptive to everyone else on the web about how quickly you went from internet darling to Darth Vader so everyone they know can stay as far away from you as possible.
Linden -- (verb); netglish. From the Internet group called Second Life. To take an unbeatable winner of a product and manage it so badly that it fails.