I’ve belonged to most of the major social media things, but only because other folks have badgered me into it. When Friendster was the things, I was nagged until I made a Friendster account. I think it still exists. Maybe. But I do not care. I was also wheedled into joining Myspace, which quickly was revealed as a fairly icky sewer. I did make some interesting friends and was offered one of the more unusual things in my life: a chance to wrestle in a vat of pudding (which I declined, despite being given my choice of flavors). When Facebook made the scene, I was cajoled into putting my face in that book. Now that Google + is starting up, I have been inundated with admonishments to join. Since joining these movements is always easier than relentlessly explaining to folks why I am not drinking their Kool Aid, I joined up to Google+.
Google+ seems to be rather like Facebook, only it uses circles to organize people. In some ways, it makes me feel like I am playing a video game and grouping units. I have been tempted to call my circles things like “Archers”, “Melee Fighters”, “Wizards”, “Cannon Fodder”, and “Space Marines” to really get into the feel of the thing.
When I started using it, I had expected that Google would have everything ready to go for me: all my photos, all my friends, and so on. After all, surely Google knows every damn thing about me that can be known via the internet. I had hoped that it would use this power to make things easy for me. You know, a big “+” button I could push and have the magic of Google just stock the Google+ for me. But, no such luck. It looks like I’ll have to do a lot of the work myself (although there are ways to siphon Facebook).
I did devote a few seconds, as an experiment, to try to care about Google+. I sort of did, then sort of stopped. After all, it is yet another social network site in an ever increasing list of sites. Maybe it will be able to live alongside Facebook, as great white sharks and killer whales dwell in the same ocean. Or maybe it will be a Highlander sort of thing: there can only be one social network mega-time waster. If recent history is a guide, if Google+ goes face to face with Facebook, then it seems that there can only be one champion. One of them will be the next Friendster and one will be the next (or current) Facebook. If Google+ wins, I’ll just use it like I do Facebook: I’ll log in every few days so people do not think I am dead. I’ll post some photos of my trips to Maine and look at running photos posted by friends. I’ll presumably throw in some witty remarks, just because that is expected of me. If Facebook wins, I’ll do the same thing.
Despite my cruel indifference, this is a big fight. If Facebook wins, it stays an outrageously overvalued company. If Google+ wins, Facebook deflates and Google inflates with the digital air it will have sucked from the balloon shell of Facebook. Or maybe, as some say, the true enemy of Google+ is Twitter. Or maybe it is Mechagodzilla. In any case, a new competitor will emerge soon enough, perhaps one based on an glue coated ferret metaphor.