Since Google+ was unveiled three weeks ago, people have been asking two questions: "How do I get an invite?" and "What on earth is Google+?"
Many of us have decided that we prefer Google to Facebook at this time (possibly because Google doesn't have a movie out there about its creation that makes its founder look like an emotionally distant jackass), so the idea of the company launching a Facebook killer has some immediate appeal. Still, it's strange to see people excited over something that they have no idea how to use. This might be best called the "Apple" effect: excitement created through elitism and scarcity.
Google+ might work as a slightly better way to share information and get recommendations among friends; after all, quite a few people are using Google for e-mail, maps, wasting time on YouTube and generally looking up everything, so it doesn't seem like a stretch to integrate one-click links/videos/whatever into the general Google experience.
However, the last thing I personally want is another thing to check. I already feel like my life is disappearing—a few minutes of checking Facebook, Twitter and e-mail at a time.
While Google+ might be easier or better than Facebook, the service will have to find a way to actually drive the stake into the heart of Mark Zuckerberg's creation before it makes it into my regular cycle of services I use to avoid real life.
The week on The Range
We noted that President Barack Obama outbid Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl when it came to really cutting the deficit; noted that an Arizona state senator pointed a loaded gun at the chest of an Arizona Republic reporter; took a look at the redistricting process in Arizona; braved the heat of the Arizona wildfires; told you how to meet the Green candidates for mayor; caught the buzz from a profile of Colorado marijuana critic William Breathes; and watched Page One: Inside the New York Times at the Loft Cinema.
We suggested you check out the Ben Folds show at the Rialto this Saturday, July 16; watched the trailer for the Sarah Palin hagiography The Undefeated; talked about comic books with the gang from Heroes and Villains; celebrated the saguaro harvest; and watched a massive dust storm roll into Phoenix.
We visited the DaKine Hawaiian Shave Ice food truck; mourned the closing of the Flankenstein's food truck; wondered if we could have a food-truck festival in Tucson; noted that Tako Burger will be opening on South Sixth Avenue; salivated over a magic chocolate machine; and drank the Cheerwine at Mother Hubbard's Café.
We suggested you visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum during one of its Saturday Summer Evenings; celebrated the history of the space shuttle; brought you a roundup of the latest bicycling news; previewed the fall TV season; wondered how much longer Jersey Shore could continue; were delighted to learn our afternoon soaps would continue online after being canceled by ABC; shared artwork from Tohono Chul Park's Monsoon show; took another look at Mars; urged you to adopt a dog from the Humane Society; and hitched our wagon to My Little Pony.
Comment of the week
"That's called assault. What an idiot!"
—Tucsonweekly.com commenter Carson Koz Noel apparently has the strange, somewhat anti-Arizonan idea that pointing loaded guns at people is a bad idea ("State Sen. Lori Klein Demonstrates Gun Safety—By Pointing Loaded Pistol at Reporter's Chest," The Range, July 11).
Best of WWW
One charming thing about Tucson is that there are a number of unique and thriving subcultures out there—people with a common interest that they can celebrate together. This week, we look at two wildly different interests: rats and mysteries.
Katie Cunningham interviews Brandi Saxton, a woman with so much passion for her pet rats that she started a magazine to share information with other rat-lovers. Meanwhile, over at La Fuente, Celia Ampel watched a group of Sherlock Holmes aficionados work together to solve a mystery. Plus: Some of them have themed hats. Everything is better with a hat!
Also, speaking of interests: We have our second volume of comic-book updates from Heroes and Villains.