Google+ is kind of cool. It's similar to Facebook, but in some respects it's easier to use. For example, it's slightly easier to upload photos. Google+ also has other features such as multi-person video chatting and automatic linking to other Google services (Blogger, Picasa, YouTube, etc.).
There's just one thing missing: my friends. You know how this usually ends. If you have a cool toy, but no one will play with you, you eventually lose interest in that toy.
Where are my friends? I sent out a barrage of invites, but only some have accepted. When I go to Google+, I'm lucky to see more than 3 or 4 new posts each day from my existing circle people, and it's usually something along the lines of "It's boring here without my friends."
Here are some interesting numbers.
I put around 80 people in my Google+ circles. Around 10 were already on Google+. Around 10 specifically asked me to invite them. I sent another 20 invites to people who already had gmail accounts. I sent the remaining 40 invites to people who do not have a gmail account.
Practically all of the 20 gmail invitees have accepted the invite, while I'm still waiting for the first of the non-gmail invitees to accept.
Yes, you read that right. MY NON-GMAIL FRIENDS ARE NOT JOINING GOOGLE+.
When I asked, one person said the joining process is confusing. Others said that you need a gmail account. It turns out that YOU DO NOT NEED A GMAIL ACCOUNT TO JOIN. Perhaps that was true a week or so ago, but not today. You do need a Google account, but you can access it through your favorite email account.
I just conducted a test, and here's how to do it.
Let's say you're someone who doesn't have a Google account. You receive an invite to join someone on Google+. You click on the "Join Google+" button from within the email. This takes you to the "Google+ Project" home page. You see this "Sign In" button (so far so good):
This takes you to a Google Account Sign In page:
Okay, since you don't have a Google Account, click on the "Create an account now" link. Type in your current email (not gmail) into the following box and fill out other info:
You go to your other email site and read the confirmation email. And click on the link within the email to activate the account. This will take you to a site that says "Google account" and claims that your Google Account is activated. Okay, this is the first point of confusion. We were trying to sign up for Google+, but we seem to have hit a dead end. So, you go back to your Google+ Invite email, and just like above, you click on "Join Google+".
This time you may come across a "verify your account" page. What the ...?
I'm not sure if you will have to go through this step. It may just be me trying to create a "test" account, and they're suspicious. Since I already verified by email, I'm confused. I'll bite the bullet and have them send me a "voice call." (This is already more confusing than I remember when signing up for Facebook.)
Okay, once you're verified, you'll come across the "Join" page:
I'd like to hear your experiences and thoughts on Google+. Feel free to add your comments below. If you're in Google+, what do you think of it? If you haven't signed up, yet, feel free to express why. And don't forget to +1 this blog post (button below).