Consenting to be Held a Digital Hostage by Google+
Every day, after I wake up and autopilot through my morning ritual, I take a seat at my office desk, fire up my Google Chrome web browser and check my Gmail in an effort to keep all the various strands of my business and personal communications in motion.
One of the emails I receive is from an old friend back in my hometown. He’s embedded a YouTube video of a rock band he sings in and the show they played last night.
While the video plays, I double check my Google Calendar, just to be certain I haven’t forgotten any important meetings.
My wife is watching television in the other room. I hear a breaking news update and turn towards the flat-screen. The anchor is detailing a situation unfolding in the Middle East, and using Google Earth to display imagery of the geography.
At that point, my Android phone rings simultaneously with my home phone - someone is calling my Google Voice number. I answer the phone.
One of my business associates is on the line reviewing the details of a company we need to make a presentation to later in the day. While we’re speaking, I Google the name of the company to find their corporate website and garner a piece of missing information. I also click the Google News tab, narrowing the search to the last week, just to make sure there are no new developments which would necessitate a change in our proposal strategy.
I switch over to Google Docs to modify a draft of our outline for today’s meeting. The document is shared with everyone on our team - they all get access to the edited version in real time.
Before I leave the house, I check in on my Google Adsense account to see if my websites have been making any money. I follow up with a quick visit to Google Analytics, to quickly monitor fluctuation in my website traffic. I’m pleasantly surprised by the number of unique visitors delivered to me via my Google Places listing.
I hop in the car, utilizing Google Maps navigation on my Droid phone for turn-by-turn directions to my destination.
After the successful meeting, I get back in the car and stream a playlist of my favorite songs from Google Music through my car stereo system.
I get back home and check my Gmail. It’s finally there, my invitation to the Google+ field test. I log into the new social network. Robust, game-changing features. Depth of thought inherent in the development. Clean, attractive, intuitive and user-friendly interface.
All of the early adopters are aflutter within Google+ - networking, testing, learning, conversing and buzzing with a palpable digital excitement I haven’t felt for years.
Multi-media status updates. Video Hangouts. Circle organizing. Spark optimizing. Scobleizer muting. Listen to the phrases they have me saying.
I visit my Gmail. Google+ is there. I visit the Google search engine. Google+ is there. I visit Google Docs. Google+ is there. Even as I type this. Google+ is there. Up in the right hand corner - my photo, my name, a drop down menu and a share box. If I happen to look in the upper left corner, instead - Google+ is there, too. Single-click access.
Google has finally activated their master plan to complete the circle and tie all the loose ends of my digital life together into a next-generation social network which promises to streamline communication and productivity in my life…and it’s entirely evident that they are only getting started.
In this moment, I can honestly admit that - for the first time ever - I’m ridiculously thrilled to be held digital hostage by a single multinational corporation.
How can one company have so much power?