As an extension of some earlier improvements that keep Gmail contacts automatically up to date using Google+, Gmail will suggest your Google+ connections as recipients when you are composing a new email.
The default is anyone on Google+ can email you now. Here’s how to change it. I timed it. It took 31 seconds, because I am really slow. It is much easier than the YouTube integration with Google+, which was actually a bit of a mess. (Though honestly, I’ve been noticing the comments on YouTube improving, for reasons Mike Elgan predicted.)
What … Google seem maddeningly unaware of is that nobody can ever be forced into having a party. That in fact, the forcing is what makes a party impossible. If a host made you promise to go to his party before you could pass comment on a TV show in your own home, if he co-opted your local mail service to send you constant invitations from people you’ve never heard of, if he boasted about how many other people were going because he’d forced them to RSVP — well, would all that make you more or less likely to attend his shindig?
That is a fair analysis if you aren’t already in Google’s house, eating all of its email service dip, drinking heavily from the video uploading bar, asking for directions to that bar from the host’s mapping system and probably storing some of your luggage in its cloud closet, for free. Oh yeah, it’s a search company too. If this Google+ strategy is bothering you, a lot, chances are you have been at the party for some time.
When we get to the level of government surveillance, even corporate surveillance, the accidental capturing of human tragedy, copyright issues and many more legitimate concerns over which Google is compelled to be good corporate citizens, the digital ink spilled matters a lot.
And honestly, we can hate on Google+ if we want. We can make fun of Google for trying everything it can to weave its social strategy across all Google platforms. We can even act like Google is doing something to us, but it’s useful to remember that the company is not. We are users and Google is leveraging our copious usage in certain places to create a more ubiquitous set of uses in other places. The company has that right.
The question should not be, “Why won’t Google stop?” The question is, “Why not stop Googling?” if it really bothers you.