I am sure that Google+ is the next coming of, well, at least Facebook.
Should I get an invitation, I will definitely invite Sen. Harry Reid, Dick Cheney, Col. Ghaddafi, and Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers) to my Solving the World's Problems Circle.
However, I am still feeling a touch skeptical about Google's claim that demand for an invitation to the network is so "insane" that it has had to close it off to newcomers.
You see, fine economists believe that when demand is vast, this vastness is immediately reflected in the market. And what greater market is there than eBay?
So I sauntered over there to see what vast, inflated prices were being demanded by those who had been lucky enough to have been graced with a Google+ invitation.
Just a cursory look at the prices suggest that the insanity of the demand might have received some excellent and swift Freudian therapy. For it is perfectly possible to gain access to this incredible, extraordinary, new, new thing for a mere 99 cents. (I'm assuming everything on eBay is genuine. Generous, perhaps)
Indeed, as I write one seller, wilco_eba from the Netherlands, is offering his or her invitation for less than the price of a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle. This is not the only seller who is offering access to Google+ for this meager figure. (Wilco_eba is even offering "free shipping".)
The highest price I can find on eBay is the curious $17.97, which goes to suggest that perhaps the world isn't yet tearing down doors and out its own hair in order to gain access to, um, the Hangout facility.
Perhaps, in time, being one of Google+'s in-crowd will be more precious than, say, tickets to Lady Gaga or, um, Jethro Tull.
But, for now, it's best to be cautious about claims of insane desire, lest that insanity turn out to be just slightly manufactured. Rather like most of your online friends.