So I saw an article online today explaining why Google+ was "Kicking Facebook's Ass"
I couldn't help but comment on the article, which I felt overstated the case for Google+ somewhat. If you're into this sort of stuff, here was my reply:
Brilliant propaganda! I admire your optimism.
Google+ is the best example of a 'false positive' that you could hope to find! As you rightly point out in your article people are flocking to Google+ because they don't have a choice. Google is making you sign up for Google+ in order to get the most out of its other services (YouTube, Documents, Analytics etc). That doesn't create a community though!
Simply throwing 20 people in a room doesn't make a party... and simply adding (what will become if it isn't already) millions of people onto a social networking site - doesn't make it a social networking site.
The key element is the 'social'. Doubtless Google has more potential reach than Facebook or any other site, but it has a shocking track record when creating community is concerned. The original batch of YouTubers who called themselves "the YouTube community" have mostly left YouTube now as it was clear to see that Google were far more interested in making ad revenue off corporate accounts rather than foster their own community... this has opened the door for LiveVideo, DailyMotion, Vimeo, Vloggerheads and many more to provide the community element that these people wanted. Google's other ill-fated ventures into 'community' would be Google Wave and Google Buzz - both retired (despite both have frenzied launches with people clambering to get their hands on invites).
A wise man once said "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" I guess I'd like to say that Google has proven through its own chequered past that you can lead a vast quantity of people to a website, but you can't make them interact.
Take care - Dave