If you work in an area that involves anything remotely digital, or even if you're just a regular law-abiding citizen of the 21st century (i.e. you know what the difference is between a browser & "the internet"), you most likely consume and share information with the use of Email, Blogs, Facebook & Twitter.
Add Tumblr or Yammer or any number of other online services for your slightly more hardcore digital citizen.
These are all great tools in their own right and they have significantly improved the way we communicate and proliferate information with friends, peers and even celebrities - yet, they are separate tools with their own separate niche, and yet another something "that you need to log into".
This is where Google+ comes in - and if you are one of the 25 million users that have already signed up (in the first 30 days of existence), you may have had an inkling of where the future is heading.
And this is not just about bagging Facebook - It's one of the things, yes, but G+ is so much more than just an alternative to Facebook.
In the 1 month that I have been on the service, I have already given up on Email and stopped engaging with friends on Facebook. Further, I'm spending considerably less time on Twitter, and not at all checking my RSS feeds (sorry Feedly!).
For the past few days, I have been trying to work out why this is the case.
Aside from G+ being the shiny new toy to play with, I thought it was something to do with the way I could have a Facebook-like experience with a Twitter-smart audience. I also began to cull some 300 of my FB contacts and I'm still trying to get that down to the Dunbar 150. I later realised, what I was effectively doing was creating a 'Circle' of what I perceived to be real-life friends. The 'Facebook' Circle, if you will.
At the same time, I find the notion of starting a post on G+ and figuring out who it should go to, only at the end of the message, quite natural and liberating. It just feels REAL.
Simply put, I believe what Google+ does, is allow us to be our true self in an online environment. It's just an idea that I'm trying to fully form in my head right now, but I should think that someone will one day put out a paper, outlining the science & psychology behind all of this.
Perhaps a little sooner than that, I suspect Google search will continue to evolve into a more social and real-time experience. And once this becomes the norm for the average user, it should start making a little more sense.
For now, though, please allow me to experiment, disrupt and have a bit of fun while doing so.
Find me on G+