Google+: Good stuff if you can get it

A somewhat closed Beta will certainly generate buzz, but it can also put off a few potential users

Google+ is awesome. Or -- at least -- I'm assuming it is. Although I've had an invitation to join Google's social networking experiment for several days, every time I attempt to check out the service I'm told "We've temporarily exceeded our capacity. Please try again soon."

A somewhat closed Beta will certainly generate buzz, but it can also put off a few potential users. Not everyone will be willing to click the same link several times a day in hopes that they can soon be a part of Google's inner circle.

Apparently I'm not alone in my failed attempts to join Google+.

Several commenters on a CNET story about Google+ reported trouble getting into the service. That may be because the service's popularity led to a new user shutdown earlier in the week.

Google+ Project Lead Vic Gundotra announced on the website late Wednesday that the "invite mechanism" was shut down due to "insane demand."

The search giant isn't specifying what kind of numbers merit the title "insane." It did tell The Inquirer in a statement: "We are not sharing exact numbers on the size of the trial or who we invited. There will be enough testers involved to provide comprehensive, real-world data about how people use the product."

Google has also been hard at work eliminating invite workarounds, including one that was reported earlier in the week by my PCWorld colleague Daniel Ionescu, that allow users to sneak their way into the service. (His doesn't work anymore, either.)

Those lucky enough to get into the service seem to be singing its praises.

Another colleague, Mark Sullivan, wrote nine reasons why people should switch from Facebook to Google+. Preston Gralla of Computerworld also endorses Google+ over Facebook after putting the new service through its paces.

Jeff Bunch, a digital strategist from the Portland, Oregon area, says "[It's a] great product after so many failures for Google with social." He says the user interface (at this point) is designed "mostly for techies" or power users instead of the average internet user.

Have you had any luck trying to getting into Google+? Have any thoughts on the service? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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Paul Suarez

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