I am now a citizen of Plus, and therefore your humble servant.
I have been admitted into your rare realm of Circles, Huddles, Streams, Sparks, and Hangouts.
It truly is a metaphorical place, a wondrous world of social baubles designed to mesmerize me into a state of pure trust, such that I’ll share my inner most secrets with you.
You want this to be my internet home, the place I hang my hat online. And for that you’ve manufactured a glorious array of trinkets and toys such that I’ll never be lonely ever, ever again.
And you’ll let me stay here free.
The only thing I have to give you in exchange is my soul. And that you’ll resell again and again to whomever is willing to toss a few pennies your way.
Yes, I am your humble servant. I will do as you bid. I will obediently fill out my Plus profile. Post pictures. Share videos.
And I promise to publish my hopes, desires, dreams, and sorrows to this blank, white wall that you’ve provided me.
After all, I’ve already let you harvest most other details of my life.
Why not complete the picture, and let you know me best?
All of my Gmail is already in your good hands.
Also reams of Google Documents I’ve worked on with clients, family and friends.
You’ve tracked almost everything I’ve done on the web for the last 6 years.
(I know you have. I examined it all at google.com/history.)
But that’s all really clinical stuff.
It only has so-much value with the advertisers, government spooks, and market analysts.
All the really juicy stuff has been going to Facebook. All that sublime personal drivel that’s oozing with passion and dreams and desires.
Now that’s the fodder that fetches top dollar on the market.
And you want a piece of it. Heck, let’s be realistic. You want all of it.
But Facebook is everybody’s homeboy these days.
So you built Plus.
I have to say, this abode is quite opulent.
It’s the perfect cocktail of other social media sites. Two parts Facebook, one part Twitter, a dash of MySpace and a splash of your own Buzz, just for credibility’s sake.
But I don’t want to make like it’s a giant rip-off. You’ve put a bit of original thought into it.
Like Circles. Hands down, you’ve created the best and easiest-to-use way for us to control who sees our stuff.
Basically, we can create Circles to define our social spheres, then sort our contacts into them like clean laundry into a dresser.
(I won’t tell you who I put in my underwear drawer.)
Then we just assign the stuff we share on Plus to certain Circles. And only the contacts in those Circles can see it.
Of course, by default, the Spirit of Google is invisibly present in all of our Circles. But what’s the point for you anyway if you’re not?
The best part, though – the Crown Jewel of Plus, you might say – is the Hangout.
What a stroke of genius that was. Be sure to give whoever thought of it an extra scoop of free ice cream in the Google Campus cafeteria.
Simply put, the Hangout is the easiest way to do group video chat, bar none.
Any of us can just start up a Hangout on Plus, then other people can pop in and out as they please. (Circles, of course, are how we control admission.)
The quality is top-notch, and using Hangout is easier than eating popcorn at a movie.
It’s so good in fact, I don’t know that I’ll ever want to put up with the BO of my friends ever again.
Of course, you’ve sunk Plus’ hooks into the other Google services we’ve already poured parts of our lives into.
When we sign up, Plus instantly sucks all the photos out of Picasa.
Syphoning videos over from YouTube is a no brainer.
And IMing with your Google Chat bros is baked right in, too.
Kudos to you, Google. Plus promises to be the new island of the lotus-eaters.
So keep the hors d’oeuvres coming. Those tasty doggie treats you’re dispensing in Plus are too good to turn down.
In return, I’ll leave the details of my life at your disposal, to harvest, thresh, grind and bake into a crusty loaf of bread perfect for selling at the Google Market.
Originally published in the Yukon News on Friday, July 22, 2011.