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Not this Wave again

Another Facebook copy? Google+ adds up to Google fail

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The browser bar explosion you see here is the latest in Google social networking— dubbed Google+. Wait a second. Google does social networking? Google

Here we go again, Google.

Old enough to remember the embarrassment that was Google Wave? Then you'll want to sit down for this one. And hopefully you won't blame us for sympathizing with the unenthused side of the Google+ equation.

Google+ — not to be confused with the Google +1 button (although someone really ought to fire Google's chief naming officer) — is the Silicon Valley Goliath's latest attempt at failure. Seeking "to make sharing online more like sharing in real life," Google+ plunges its loser-tinged tentacles yet again into the social side of the web.

We have ample reason for pulling the negative Nancy card, mind you. We clearly recall Google's last ill-advised raid on this territory. It was called Google Wave. May it rest in peace.

But if Google Wave's watery demise was any indication, we're not going to get our swim trunks in a sandy bunch over Google+ just yet. While it's true that Google's search engine chops have reshaped the way we use the Internet, Google has only been successful at fostering an acutely individual — but never communal — cyberspace.

Sure, with Google+, you can put your friends into Circles (Facebook Lists, anyone?). You can announce where you and your friends are currently stationed with Hangouts (oh hello there, Facebook Places!). You can post your videos on Instant Upload (my, what big similarities you have, Facebook Video!) or add hyperlinked interests to your information via Sparks (have we seen you before, Facebook Profile?). You can even catch your friends in real-time on Huddle (Facebook Messaging who?).

Wait a second. If Facebook hadn't already done it, we might see Google+ as earth-shatteringly innovative. But how many times do we have to tell Google to leave the social networking to the experts — and that it is not the expert?

We'll tell you one thing, Google. When you fail at this social networking thing again — and odds are that you will — we're not going to be here to pick up the pieces of yet another fruitless foray into making your gigantic brand more personable. We have Facebook to dry our tears.

Right now, none of this even matters anyway. You can't have Google+. Not only is it currently in private beta, but even you're lucky enough to score an invitation, you can't get in. Google+ stopped honoring invitations due to "insane demand."

And that's all Google is saying about that.

Do you have high hopes for Google+, or have you gone numb to Google's repeated attempts at social networking? Add it all up in the comments.

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