A Brief History of Google’s Social Networking Flops

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For last week’s Technologizer column over at, I took a look at Google+, the promising new “project” that consists of several loosely-knit services that add up to a plausible Facebook alternative.

At the moment, it’s a sort of Fantasyland where almost everybody is a tech geek, and nearly all the talk is about Google+. And there’s no guarantee it’s going to go anywhere once real people are allowed to flood in. But the fact that people are taking it seriously rather than squawking and mocking is a bit of a breakthrough.

After all, Google’s social networking track record to date is rife with stuff that failed to live up to its potential, caused needless angst for its users, or never quite took off at all. Consider the evidence…

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