I recently looked through my Google+ account and suspect I wasn’t alone in finding that most of the people in most of my circles are listed as having “no posts yet”.

Like many people, I eagerly opened my Google+ account as soon as I got one of its so-called “exclusive” pre-launch invitations, then set off in search of friends and acquaintances to fill my circles.

Now, like many I also suspect, I’m wondering what it’s all about.

As Google+ is reportedly getting close to 100 million users, I’m wondering about the subtle distinction between “users” and “active users”. One group being the number of people that have, like me and my circles, signed up. The other being the number that find it useful.

I suspect those numbers are not the same, and wonder too whether Google’s commitment to openness will allow them to publish both sets of data.

How many of their users are actually using it? Half of them? A third? Maybe? At tops?

I forget who Tweeted, brilliantly, that at last they’d worked out that they needed three Google+ circles: one called Twitter for very public posts, another called Facebook to stay in touch with friends and a third circle called Linkedin to keep up with work mates. There’s much truth in that.

I’m not against using Google+. I just haven’t found reason enough to use it over the mainstream networks. I suspect I would be more likely to if HootSuitebuilt it into their dashboard, making it easy to post to different networks at the same time.

That got me thinking that maybe Google+ should just re-work its circles to become feeds to those other social networks and beyond.

Of course that would effectively mean accepting that instead of offering more than the dominant social networks it would just be competing with aggregators, like HootSuite. Some might see that as admitting failure, again (remember Buzz and Wave). Over time though, you never know.

Back to Google+, if you open a circle in which nobody has posted anything the helpful screen message says: “it’s lonely here without people to share with”. They should know.