I just got Google + the other day, for all the hype I am currently a bit disappointed. One issue of course is that I still know practically know one on it, which should change as they open their doors and I invest the time to find people again. And some things do seem buggy (the notifications sometimes don’t clear when I expect them to, I get an error when I try to import contacts from Yahoo (which is how I was trying to get around Facebook preventing Google from importing friends), and a few other things), but hopefully those will get fixed soon. But the thing I’m more worried about is that it seems that Google might be getting too big to keep their services integrated.
Google+ introduces a “Sparks” feature, which gives you news articles for topics you are interested in that you can share with your “Circles”. So far though, its ability to find good articles seems pretty weak at best. I’d much rather get my news from Google News (which you can also configure to find stories on topics that interest you, only it tends to do a much better job) and RSS feeds I’ve subscribed to in Google Reader. But since those are both Google services, I should be able to share them as well, right? Not quite.
Google Reader does indeed have a share option, but apparently it only shares with Buzz (which surprisingly is still around, despite the fact Google+ should be making it redundant). You can also “Like” it (not to be confused with Facebook’s “Like”), but I have no idea what that does. I can’t find any way to share it via Google+, though its perfectly possible I’m missing something. Google News is even more awkward. You can “+1” a story there, though apparently “+ 1” and Google+ are not currently integrated, despite their names. And stranger still, there is an option to send the story to either Facebook or Twitter, but not Google+.
There are other things which are not integrated yet seem like they should be. Google Docs (think sharing docs with members of your circles), Google Groups, and Google Calendar. Maybe I’m making too much of this, after all, this is software that is still in its infancy and Google appears to have been caught by just as much surprise by the media hype as the media were on its offering (after all, that’s why they had to stop accepting invites). But I do worry that Google has now gotten to the size where its different products each for their own fiefdoms which cannot integrate easily (there are other offerings they have which seem to compete with each other, such as Android and Chrome OS). I guess time will tell…