I went down to the Googleplex at the end last week to talk to Steve Grove, who is driving the buildout of Google+ as the director of partnerships. He’s working on getting media companies and other organizations doing important work on that platform, which is what I aim to do with the Reinvent America project.
Grove was really excited by all that’s happening around the new Google+ platform and encouraged by how much Google is prioritizing its development. What I particularly liked about his analysis was that he kept talking about this being “the early days,” with so much more that can happen ahead of us.
This is significant coming from Grove, who was the head of YouTube’s news and politics work in the last presidential cycle, from around 2005 to 2008, when I was also enmeshed in that same space of figuring out how to use the YouTube platform for important things, like influencing politics. (I was the director of the New Politics Institute during that period, and in fact, gave a talk at the Youtube campus where Grove introduced me. You can see the video of all that on my site here.)
Grove saw the embryonic Youtube and could see what it could become. And he now sees the embryonic G+ platform, with its interactive video hangouts, and he sees very similar promise – as do I.
I was still mulling last week’s meeting with Grove when I came across this article that takes on the old conventional wisdom that downplays the significance of Google+ in general and the interactive group video hangouts in particular. That old conventional wisdom is so wrong, and this article points out one of the reasons why:
The G+ Hangouts are a platform that provides something that we haven’t been able to experience up until now: Up to 10 people connected via video from their disparate locations in the real world. This is big because most of what human beings do is through face-to-face communication. We are only relative newbies in expressing ourselves effectively through keyboards or through our thumbs on mobile smartphones.
And because hangouts are an open platform, then innovative people can go nuts building remarkable projects off it. That article talked up what’s to come, Grove hinted at what’s to come, and my new project is gearing up to come too. More soon.