Google+ grows on me like a fungus. Like a scaly patch of ringworm, I can’t stop itching it. I don’t really know why. I think in part I’m scratching to peel away layers, to dig beneath the rashy skin and find the potential buried beneath — because, at this point, I’m growing convinced that some real potential is there.
And now, Google+ (or Google-Plus or G+ or GP or GooPloo or Guh-Pluh or whatever it is we’ll eventually call it) is here, once more stepping into the arena as the master of order, as the scion of sanity, clean and white and elegant as an Apple store. I am here to say: Lo, I am underwhelmed.
Apple’s iPad is a marvelous device for writers. I didn’t honestly know if it would be when I got mine. Writing is so often driven by a tactile feel: the clack-chack-zing of a typewriter translates to the PC keyboard, and here comes the iPad, which is really just a rectangle of glass. Do you really want to write a novel on a window pane? Could be, rabbit, could be.
On the other hand, when I turn to Twitter and I say, “Hello, excellent humans of Twitter, please bequeath unto me the essential ingredients to chili,” I get a flood of great answers. What did I learn? Well, I learned that chili recipes are as individual as the people who make it.
Except — except! — some of those poor confused people who don’t “get” Twitter continue to use it wantonly. They use it day in and day out. It’s like watching a monkey play with a handgun — it makes everybody in the room very uncomfortable, and everybody is swaying their heads this way and that whenever the barrel wavers.
Your mileage may vary on all this. I’m not speaking as an authority, and I’m very likely behind the curve on all this. But I do think we’re in danger of supporting formats (Kindle, for example) that offer us very minimal control in not just how we consume the products, but how we manage those products.