The sign-up process was easy. I picked a domain name, slapped down a 10 spot (OK, I entered my credit card number and clicked on "buy now"), and voila, I now own a new Web site. Google dealt with eNom on the back end to make the purchase and register the site.
Once the registration was completed and eNom verified payment, I was given access to the Google Sites admin tools. I set myself up as the site admin, gave myself a new e-mail address, and set up one additional user account. Then it was time to begin customizing the start page. The start page is essentially something very similar to iGoogle. You can add as many elements as you wish to create the perfect place to gather tons of information. I loaded up this page with RSS feeds from a bazillion different music sites and blogs. After you get a header and footer in place, hit "publish" and you're all set. My "organization's" start page is now ready to go.
Well, now what? I called the friend (also a tech journalist) who contributes to my music blog and told him what I did. He was initially excited. I walked him through where to go, how to sign in, and how to begin using the tools. In the end, he didn't think it was as nifty as I did.
The start pages are one thing. This is where your friends, groups, or employees go to begin sharing. Creating your very own Web pages, however, is an entirely different matter. I glanced at all the Google tools for creating Web pages. They look similar to what I've used to create Web sites before. Nothing stood out as intimidating.
I didn't have time to actually create a new page that I am willing to share with the outside world yet. But rest assured, I'll work on it and share it eventually.
But for someone with literally no training in any sort of IT administration to get this far seems to indicate that Google has done a good job of simplifying the process.