write any more about Google Plus here, even though invitations seem to be open now. Fortunately, I don't have to, because I've collected some interesting reflections from others over the past few days:
Peter Kaminski (via David Weinberger):
The purpose of Google+ is to keep you within the Google web (as opposed to having you outside anybody’s web, or in someone else’s web). Where “web” used to mean the spidered collection of documents and files available via HTTP, but has grown to mean your Digital Life.
Google’s business is to mediate as much of your Digital Life as it can — similar to the way Microsoft’s business in the old days was to mediate as much of your Digital Office as it could (back in the day when Digital Life and Digital Office were nearly equivalent). The monetization model is completely different, of course; but the more of your Digital Life Google can mediate, the more they can monetize, and the more sticky the whole suite is. Google wants to be as ubiquitous as Microsoft used to feel.
I chatted to George Siemens about this and he concluded he didn't have friends, just colleagues (or colleagues who are also friends). I'm in a similar position, or at least my online self is. I do have some friends (some of whom are not imaginary), but they tend not to be the sort of people who'll be in Google+. And there are plenty of people I work with who I would also count as friends (such as George). And then there are people who I've never even met who I think of as friends (Jim Groom and Alan Levine for example). But friends is a very laden term, so do I want to recreate the Facebook definition, or reclaim it for 'special' people?
And if you're struggling:
The Google+ Help Manual (or how 120 + people wrote a book at the same time)