So I am on Plus.
I’ve been living in a cave, my own domestic cave complete with carpools, schools, basketball, dance, sore knees and cooking godawful dinners and maybe an occasional book or two. I heard about the Plus in passing, just a few days before it got launched to this special trial audience. It was a Google product. How could I not be excited?!
Before I launch into anything, I’ll be clear about my loyalties (or the lack thereof) towards anything gadgety-tech-little-things-that-make-your life-just-a-bit-more-exciting-at-least-for-a-day :-)
I am a hard-core consumer and I will have no qualms in calling a very excited highly rated product a compete flop if it does not work for me. Period. No, oh, my cousin works there or my best friend loves this aspect of it and or the whole world is using it excuses. I’ll try it however. I am not biased about anything and if I see it new and shiny on the shelf, I’ll pick it up and play with it for a bit. Sometimes depending on the tool’s versatility, and it’s ability to keep my ADD brain occupied, the bit could be defined from a week to forever.
Ive tried the Buzz, balked at it within 4 days. I tried Zune, and it didn’t give me anything more than the iPod I already was familiar with. I tried Pidgin for grouping all chats and found the interface extremely boring. I tried Twitter till it just became noisy and was a complete time/brain drain. So much of information couldn’t really be good for anyone. Love my iPhone (all the 3 versions of it) and I tested the Android out, but not planning on converting anytime soon. The Gimp is pretty cool, but am happy with Adobe’s Lightroom for now. I hated Orkut for the creepy factor, and I didn’t like Yahoo mail for its spam, but I like the emoticons. Cutesy little critters they make. I love the Nook color compared to the Kindle, and I own both, including an iPad! Go Figure.
I can go on, but you get my point.
So Chitra was kind enough to send me an invite and I stayed up late into the night (1 am precise, and it’s been AGES since I’ve seen that on my clock!) fiddling around with settings, and very obviously like the rest of the hundreds already on it by comparing it with good ol frenemy Facebook.
Simply said, this was a Kadambam, an Aviyal, a Potpourri and a Melange, a neat, tasty mash of all good things in one mixing bowl.
The circles* in Plus are really like Lists on facebook, if you were organized from the beginning, that is. Most of us hve managed to successfully mangle and create a melee of relations where your ex-bosses to parents to nieces are all in one big pot. At least that;s what mine’s turned out to be. To sort through each and create a separate list was just going to take so much time, and time that most don’t have. Not for a social network at least I’d imagine.
However, coming back to Plus, there are some neat, clever ways that the pros have been showing us the ‘insiders,’ but essentially it’s a group that you create to share your feed. I like the fact that being in a circle is mutually exclusive like on Twitter, takes a ton of pressure off of reciprocation, but because of that fact alone, privacy is an issue if one isn’t careful with their settings. I don’t get the Block concept in its entirety yet. Blocking someone cleans our feed than removing our updates in their feed. And, they can be unblocked anytime. Though I’d imagine it will take some effort to get out of the concept of an FB block or a Twitter block.
I won’t go into the further little things that make or not Plus for now.
By the time this post sees the light of the day (I started the draft on July 5th!), there’d be enough and more news articles, columns, blog posts flooding the media with tips and the whole pros and cons on what is wrong and the right and who will be the crowned the king of all social networks and then there’s the love-to-hate-privacy war. So I’ll let that be and focus on what I am enjoying for now. The last word being very important as it forms the whole premise of this post.
What I look forward to when I open my gmail in the morning along with my cup of coffee:
1. Which new personality (and am not talking A listers) I’ll come into a circle with?
I cannot, cannot begin to explain how the first few days have been. The mad adrenaline rush of being circled by folks so far out, geographically, by profession, by their hobbies and how much they have accomplished has made me very humbled. There is so much talent, love and knowledge out there in the recesses of the world and the internet is connecting us all in better ways than we can ever fathom. It’s and exciting, humbling and a very fascinating adventure. Esepcially more so if they are photographers.
In just one week, I’ve gazed in admiration at some of the finest clicks of snow leopards, the birds of the amazon, the rivers, the sunset in Iceland, to the castles of Japan and so much more, that now the modest (yet quite long) list of places to visit before I die, is alarmingly super long and humongous to the extent that I am now okay with accepting a vicarious life is a perfect replacement there is.
Can you tell am excited, that line above was ONE long sentence, and I am okay with it! :)
2. What will I hear and/or read today?
Yes, they are people, who eat, sleep and pay bills like you and me, but the various groups I’ve had the fortune of listening in do have interesting points and views and opinions and their modes of expression that sets each apart. It’s intriguing to listen in on what drives each, to have the conversation all stacked together, to the thoughts triggered within and relating to what others are saying. Sure, it’s a bit of lurking, but we all have our ears perked and listening in august company. That’s pretty much networking in its most basic sense. To find interesting or “helpful” folks so one may grow or benefit from that association.
However, not to be a complete fanboy to the new toy in town, there is room to grow, to make it accessible and bring warmth to the ones who are floundering or hiding behind lethargy on the whole lock stock and barrel move from Facebook to Plus. It will take a while, and for many it may not happen, and for most the two will co-exist, just because of the investment with respect to time and effort that has been placed in Facebook.
There’s so much more that I’d love to write on (can you tell am actually just writing and haven’t edited so far, and that’s why it’s turning into a monstrous piece?) but I’ll stop with saying, Plus is a new good thing we all could use, with the more depressing and laissez faire that’s been happening around us. It’s new, exciting and just for the sake of science and technology, I believe everyone should play around with it.
Not everything or everyone is an easy sell, but when the product is worthy, a sampling seems fair.
*Circle = The kinkiness associated with using this particular noun as a verb is beyond the scope of this post, but I assure you, it will be addressed. ..and before you let your jaw open wide, I know you are thinking it, the difference being am saying it and you are not. ;)