How I Use(d) Google+

With yesterday’s news that Google+ is shutting down next August, I found myself looking again at my exported archive from the network. This time I was less interested in the format (which has changed since January – you can export as JSON instead of HTML if you choose, and it includes media now), and more interested in what I had posted there over the years.

Early on I used Google+ a lot like Twitter: short statuses and link sharing, most of them short enough they could have been cross-posts.

After that early period I still mostly posted short items, but not as short. More like Facebook, really. I checked a few and found some tailored cross-posts, where I’d cram something into 140 characters for Twitter, then restore the missing words and abbreviations for Google+.

I tried using it as a blog. I did a few longer text posts and some photos, and a handful of galleries: A partial solar eclipse, Endeavour’s stop on the way to the museum. I contributed to a shared photo gallery from SDCC, and I’d share the occasional post from someone I followed.

Somewhere in there I’d figured out what felt like Google+ instead of what felt like Twitter or Facebook.

But most of my friends went back to Facebook, and the few people and sites I was still following on Google+ were also available elsewhere. So I stopped visiting, and I stopped posting.

From around 2015 on, it’s mostly auto-posts from my blog and the occasional picture that Google Photos’ auto-stylize feature actually made look interesting.

Ironically, I got my first +1 in ages on yesterday’s here’s-where-you-can-find-me post!

Update: Google has moved up the sunset from August to April 2019.

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