There is nothing I would care to rescue from my Google+ account. I think last time I logged in years ago. Still I followed the link in Gooogle’s “hurry up and download” email, but only to play one last time with the circles… and found out that they are only a metaphor now. This very special, very Andy Hertzfeld interface of dragging and dropping your contacts into actual circles is gone. And as my quick YouTube search “How to make Google+ circles” showed that they have been removed a long time ago.

At this moment Google+ users are getting their data back, Archive Team is doing what they can, but they can’t resurrect that user interface. Internet Archive is also of no help. The interface itself could only be seen if you were logged in, so crawlers could not get there. The demo page was captured, but won’t work now, because the JavaScript was too complex for a crawler to understand; which usually works better for such cases is also helpless, since it has to rely on resources the crawlers weren’t able to catch.

So what is left is a “learn more” video on the Google+ intro page captured on the 22nd of August 2011 and early tutorials on Youtube.

Last hours this situation made my brain loop in the following thoughts.

1. These videos are still better than noting. For example, there is literally nothing left of the interface for choosing your home address in a GeoCities neighborhood 1995-1999.

2. There is no Export function!
The sudden clearance I had during Jason Scott’s very important talk he gave in Stuttgart back in 2012.

You can get your data back, but it is not what you would want. You want more, reactions and interactions, or like me at the moment, I want the interface.

3. If only Webrecorder had existed at that time, I could have captured every drag and drop I made.

4. But I still haven’t developed a habit to go through everything I dare to see one more time with Webrecorder. And it turns many of my online articles into ruins. If I were smart, I would have to go through all the links in this article with Webrecorder, otherwise in a year, or a week, my links to the Youtube video and even to my own posts will turn into pumpkins.

5. When in 2013 we made Once Upon, I remember saying that one day, sooner than one would think, all the services we were remaking will vanish. Our versions of Facebook, Youtube, Google+, Pinterest will outlive the giants and will confuse future media archeologists big time. Well it is starting! (Hopefully Facebook will be next.)

On the bright side, you can still sign in to the 1997 version of Google+. Our circles are square, and drag and drop is rather select and submit, but it is working!

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