So, in the category of "as if there weren't enough going on"... the arrival of the Google+ beta.
I have basically holed up in a small room for the last 48 hours attempting to figure out what this thing can do and what it can't do. First thoughts: it is not Facebook and it is not trying to be. Second: it is not Twitter and it is not trying to be. Third: it is not Wave, but it suggests that Google learned a ton from the relatively esoteric things people who gave it a chance were actually doing with Wave.
In short: this really is something different. What does it do? I don't know. What does it mean? Too early to say. Is it going to fail as hard as Wave? Dunno.
In the early estimate, what I can say is that the 'circles' feature around which + is based around offers new options in the ongoing conversation about public and private in social networks. The outcome of this chapter in the evolution of that conversation might be the most important thing to watch -- and the most important thing in terms of thinking what social tech integration means to the structure of classes, courses, schools, and classrooms.
More later, I'm headed back to my hole.
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Location:Baltimore, United States