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We are digital nomads.

Once in a while new digital empires are being born and populated by millions of people. A new place is being created, bright and shiny, not many people know about it but they are the ones reporting about their adventures.

At first, it’s idyllic and very intimate, the geeks and early adopters nodding at each other in silence and filled with pride. Soon, the tourists arrive, with their fanny packs and cameras, pushing as geeks aside. Happy hours everywhere, cheap jewelry and scams galore. All the early adopters are longing for a new place, a new home. It’s too loud here, too shrill, too trivial and dishonest.

Empires come and go. Every other year a new promised land is being discovered, the place to be. At one point, we believed IBM would rule the world. Microsoft, that’s not even that long ago. Do you remember Second Life, the place where every brand had to have a residence? Suddenly, we need to reside in Twitter, build LinkedIn groups and until a few days ago, Facebook was the new Mecca and Medina in one place. The valuations of some of these companies start at 0, go up to gazillions, just to be sold for a penny and an avatar.

Is there a life cycle of Internet empires? They grow like an Amazonian forest, just to die slowly after the first harvest.

It’s a wonderful feeling to own the first island in Second Life, meet your college friends on Facebook, exchange ideas with complete strangers on Twitter. It doesn’t last that long because soon there will be dumb updates, trolls, scams, mobbing, annoyances all around – in short, typical life starts to happen. At first, brands are elated about their Twitter or Facebook presence, until – well, once the consultants armed with Powerpoint decks show up, promising millions in return for hiring some interns to tweet and update their Facebook status. Some companies come up with wild formulas to calculate the worth of a Twitter follower and a Facebook friend. The sad outcome: Any trick and sad tactic is being deployed to get a “Like” or a “RT”.

The initial, beautiful experience turns into loud downtown chaos. More and more people show up with weird names and avatars, create fake celebrity accounts, try to scam people at social games. There are more games, more fan pages, more brand pages. And, suddenly, the party is over. Time to move on.

Google+ launched a few days ago, many people are trying out. I joined in the beginning and loved it. Such a beautiful place, so many new things to discover, a new vacation home for all of us. Not many tourists here yet, a few fakes, no annoying brands. Yet. The geeks and early adopters are testing and prodding. Everything is so clean, so uncluttered. No worthless ads, no spam. Nothing. Will Twitter die? Will Facebook lose time spent on their platform, a first sign the demise is near?

Will Google be able to keep the noise out, the annoying mediocrity that tends to kill Internet Empires? I don’t know.

One thing is for sure: All of us have found a new vacation home. Time will tell if we transform it into our main residence. Or, one day, drop the key in the mailbox and abandon the house to move on.

We are digital nomads.

Brands should learn from Google+ not to build their main residencies on platforms they don’t own. Pushing people to any Facebook or Twitter platform was always a stupid idea. Google+ should make you rethink this strategy again.