An Appendix & The Rapid Rise of G+

It’s the end of my first week back after a bit of a shock a few weeks ago when I found late one Sunday night that all was not as it should have been with my appendix.

Whilst it was fairly dramatic at the time, what with morphine, paramedics, ambulances, late night hospital visits for my family etc, it was taken out the next day and that was that.

We had the op Monday afternoon at about 4pm, I came around briefly that night but then promptly passed out again until about 4am the next morning, at which point I jumped out of bed, pulled the tubes out of my nose and wandered down the hospital ward with my drip, much to the bemusement of the sisters that were on hand. Despite clearly not knowing where I was, what with more drugs in my system than Hunter S Thomson on a stag weekend and having had nil by mouth for 36 hours, I still managed to argue my case with the nurse for wanting a shower, who eventually caved. Fortunately for all concerned, I didn’t collapse in the shower and, moreover, felt instantly better as a result of washing away the leavings of a brief stay in a hospital bed.

From that point it has all been fairly plain sailing – I particularly enjoyed listening to The Orb and The Chemical Brothers whilst clearly still feeling much of the effects of the general anaesthetic, which was humorous, even at the time. Then I was kicked out of hospital, presumably because I was bouncing off the walls by that point, later that morning – and the only subsequent hangover has been my heightened ability to fall asleep given minimal prompting for the subsequent three weeks. Still, every cloud…

So, I’m now back and have had a full week at work, albeit in the office throughout and with no travel.

In the intervening three weeks G+ seems to have set out its stall and looks like it has the potential to really shake up the status quo within Social Media – which itself is something of a constant of course. What appeals most to me about the service, based on what time I have had to play with it to date, is that it seems to take the best of services such as Instagram (one touch photo upload), Twitter (follow rather than befriend), Delicious (the sparks social bookmarking tool), Skype (hangouts for multiple video calls) and of course the design and layout owes much to Facebook. This feels both considered and appropriate – and what’s more, the fact that G+ links are denoted ‘do follow’ rather than the typical ‘no follow’ links of social networks (although some, like Digg, started out with the former and switched to the latter, presumably to avoid the service being used for SEO spam), coupled with the obvious association to the benefits of ranking in Google’s search results, is likely to incentivise users such as myself to frequent the service more than they otherwise would.

There are already some great third party services – I’ve used Gplus.to to create a ‘vanity url’ (which is really a redirect) to be used in email footers etc and Export.ly allows users to import additional fans and followers from Facebook and Twitter.

What is most interesting is that unlike many other services – including GoogleWave – there is a genuine and palpable excitement about the potential of G+, which might well move the social media sector in an entirely new direction.

If nothing else, one thing is clear, social media and search are becoming ever closer and, if one agrees with the general premise that PR skills are the ideal basis for any external communication, then our integrated PR, Search and Social Media approach looks to be a good bet for the future.

Here’s my Google+ profile.

UPDATE: Please see a post on the Punch site about the rapid rise of G+.

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