Yesterday, I shared a rather large (close to 300 people!) circle of folks who are smart, savvy, and full of engagement. I also realized I spent waaaaaaay too much time on G+ yesterday, to the detriment of being otherwise productive.
This morning, I went through all my various circles, curating them into this much smaller circle of "Top Engagers." This is the circle I (will) go to first when I log in here. I'm sure it'll quickly grow well beyond 60. There are all kinds of people here, from writers to scientists to gamers to Android enthusiasts to techies to geeks (I think there's a difference, but not sure where the line is) to just general "fun people to engage with."
So if you want—or need—to narrow your focus a bit, and perhaps slow down that steady stream—or flood—of G+ goodness, you could do worse than start with these people.
You may not use Google #Reader, but millions do. Google's decision to pull the plug on #Reader was, in my view—and in that of many others—short-sighted, rather than farsighted. For example, my daily routine: Email (I get maybe half a dozen overnight, so that takes about 3 minutes, tops); Reader, where I have as many as a hundred articles to peruse; Google+, if I have time. And I was one of the earliest G+ evangelists, too! THAT'S HOW IMPORTANT GOOGLE READER IS TO ME!
RESHARE: Just to be clear: I'm not advocating "boycott Apple." I think that's a pretty useless gesture. I will, however, castigate Apple for their misguided policies and practices. "Do unto others . . . "
Reshared text: Please +1 and Share if you want Apple to stop using patents to stifle innovation.
Reshared text: Menagerie of Steampunk Animals - Cheetah, Giraffe, Scorpion, Fox, and Many More Odd Ones - brilliance at work here!
Arguably the most extraordinary branch grown out of the Steampunk culture is its influence on visual art. By combining Victorian-style aesthetics with Steampunk themes, emerging artists have extended the life of Steampunk by giving it an artistic movement. This artistic movement provides for the Steampunk culture yet another extension into society, further expanding its influence.
Like all talented artists, Steampunk artists combine their own natural style with that of Steampunk elements (steam-powered automatons, Victorian settings, gears and springs, brass and steel, etc). Oftentimes artists unknowingly create Steampunk-esque works. This accidental association arguably points to the attractive nature of the Steampunk idea - an alternative history sans the integrated circuit, a continuation of Victorian style and manner, etc. Steampunk as a culture promotes a "Do-It-Yourself" (DIY) attitude, encouraging its members to create its own idea of modernity.
Steampunk despises the monotonous and repetitive nature of modern technology; it elegantly coaxes its members into creating the uncreated.
Happy 38th Anniversary to my wonderful wife, +Janet Hall. Pretty sure I have no clue how (or, sometimes, why) you've managed to put up with me for so long, but some questions are better left unasked. :)
To celebrate, how do you feel about going to Hawai'i in six months? We could bring the kids, too! (And the grandkids!)
RESHARE: I'd been wondering why, when I'm using my new MacBook Air, the fan suddenly kicks in. (First, I was surprised it even had a fan—apparently I didn't pay close enough attention to the teardown pics from Instructibles.)
As Kevin says, it's probably Flash kicking in (and as one commenter on Kevin's thread pointed out (and I'm paraphrasing here), recursion is a bitch is a bitch is a bitch...
<insert horizontal rule here> (Google team: Please?) It occurs to me that most of the people in my circles don't belong to the cult of Mac (that's said tongue-in-cheek, everyone). So, I would like to set up a Mac (or Apple) circle. If you'd like to be included, let me know via +1 or comment.
Reshared text: Golden rule on the Air: when the fan comes on, kill the Flash processes in your browsers
RESHARE: If you fancy yourself a writer, you should add Chuck to your writing circle(s). Fair warning, he is occasionally NSFW, but don't let that deter you. The man has a lot of wisdom to share.
I rather enjoyed his post today, and the answers it generated (so go read the comments for a few surprises!). And feel free to add yours here. The two books I added? The DaVinci Code and Fahrenheit 451.
Reshared text: Today's writing-related discussion question: what's a book you read that everyone else loved, but you couldn't stand? Hell, maybe you couldn't even get through it.
RESHARE: Just started using GMail's new Preview Pane (available via Settings > Labs), and liking it a lot! Thanks to +Sarah Price (Google) for sharing Michael's post.
Reshared text: Now that our preview pane lab is launched, I'd like to share a few hints that we came up with during the last few months. As you will notice when you turn it on, the lab not only enables a preview pane mode (which you can toggle on with the button on the top right of your thread list), but it also activates a mode that we call "fixed pane", where the document wide scroll bar is replaced with scroll bars in the individual elements. This has many advantages, but it might take a while to get used to, especially if you have many labels and gadgets in the left navigation. So to ease the process, why not try:
1) Reducing the size of your gadgets: Put your chat roster on "Tiny" and, if you have any, collapse other gadgets that you don't often use.
2) Organizing your labels: Hide those that you rarely use, or put them on "Show if unread". You can also use the nested labels feature to group together labels.
3) Choosing between the horizontal or the vertical split: Depending on the size of your screen, it might be better to split the view horizontally or vertically. You can choose which way you prefer by using the drop down next to the toggle button.
4) Adjusting the size of the panes: The border between the two panes is a slider than you can adjust by dragging it with the mouse. The last size that you selected is saved for both the horizontal and the vertical split.
As always, we are happy to hear about your experiences.
Google+ seem like a ghost town to you? Well, it isn't. Want proof? Here's a pretty eclectic group of exactly 200 people who will keep your stream flowing. Not only that, if you engage with them, they'll engage right back with you!
NetVibes Won't Replace Google Reader: No Sharing to Google+
So I've been checking out NetVibes the past couple days, as a possible Google Reader replacement. This morning, while perusing the feed, I found a couple items I wanted to share. Alas...there doesn't appear to be any sharing capability, let alone a G+ button.
Edit: Found the share button...to FB, Twitter, or email. That ain't gonna work.
Where I live, weather is pretty changeable—we'll go from 80s this weekend to low 50s on Monday—so I appreciate a great weather app. 1Weather is head and shoulders above any others in terms of attractive appearance, as well as functionality and ease-of-use. I mean, when the icon for the 7-day forecast is a crystal ball, you know you have a winner!
WHOA! New G+ feature: Shift-Enter posts your comment!
I asked for this about my second day in Google+ (via Feedback). If you use the Discussions feature in Google Docs, you know that you can post a comment via shift-Enter (or shift-Return). It's so much easier than having to click the "Post" or "Comment" or "Publish" button (depending on platform). I just discovered it in G+ when I replied to a comment in an earlier post, and unconsciously hit shift-Return. To my surprise (and joy), the comment posted!
Hey, +Google I really don't like the new +1 button. At least make the "+1" text boldface. Better yet, revert to the old one. You don't even have to apologize! cc: +Natalie Villalobos (G+ Community Manager)
Heading off to Scotland & England in the (very, very early) morning. I expect Internet access to be pretty limited, so things will probably be pretty dark from this corner. However, when I get the chance, I'll at least try to share some photos of the Scotland tour and the England canal trip.
By the way, I'm sure many of you are aware of this, but for those who aren't, there is a collaborative Google Doc available for you to read that has all kinds of cool tips, tricks, and techniques for Google+. Check it out here:
Looking for information regarding the new MacBook Airs:
I have Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac on disk. It's the only disk I'd ever need to install on a MBA, so $79 for the Apple SuperDrive seems like overkill. Can I simply copy the disk to a USB drive and install it that way?
The Rugby World Cup opens today in New Zealand. Rugby + New Zealand = Drinking. (Well, Rugby + x = drinking, but that's beside the point.) To celebrate the RWC, I want to share this photo I took while in Aukland in February. Best chalkboard EVER!
Two more observations about the new layout (plus a follow-up):
First, the follow-up: +Vic Gundotra stated a short time ago that there are plans for all that whitespace I (and many others) objected to, and no, it's not for advertising. So, I've adopted a "wait and see" position on that.
First observation: That bar that lists "All, Circle 1, Circle 2, More (dropdown)" for your circles? EXTEND THAT SUCKER. List, oh, at least four or five circles. Or twelve!
Second observation: In any stream with active, engaged posters (most of mine, and, I hope, most of yours), it's almost impossible to read and respond with the speed at which too many streams flow. Someone—Google, or an extension developer—needs to figure out how to tame that beast. It's the worst when trying to comment (which is, after all, how most of us stay engaged, right?). Arghhh.
(Yes, I know streams are flowing quickly today in response to the G+ makeover, but this has been an issue from day 1, and is getting increasingly more frustrating.)
Pretty close to the sequence I follow, although I try my damnedest to not have liquids: those go in checked baggage, unless, of course, I'm not checking a bag. (When one visits grandchildren, one checks bags, especially if one is married to my wife.)
RESHARE: Via +Sherri Nissel. What's funny is that for the first few years of our marriage, my wife couldn't remember if our anniversary was the 21st or 22nd. (It's the 22nd, and I never forgot, or got confused!)
Reshared text: Here's what I love about Google+ in general and the Google+ Diet in particular:
Instead of saying, "I'm going to write a blog post now," or "I'm going to send an e-mail" or "I think I'll tweet something" you simply say what you have to say, then decide who you're going to say it to.
If you address it to "Public," it's a blog post.
If you address it to "Your Circles" it's a tweet.
If you address it to your "My Customers" Circle it's a business newsletter.
If you address it to a single person, it can be a letter to your mother.
Legally in the US, a prospective employer may not ask about marital status, whether you have children, your age (except to confirm that you are at least 18 or 21, depending on the duties of the position), or your medical history (except to know whether you are capable of performing the essential duties of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation).
I'm pretty sure someone who took this issue to Federal court would quickly put a stop to this intrusive practice. (Note: This applies to pre-employment only.)
Hey...all you people without profile pics? Do us a favor and put SOMETHING there. Please? I don't care if it's a dog, cat, rabbit, or even an anime character...just put something there so I can connect that image with you. That blue-gray default icon does you no justice.
RESHARE: Pretty much. To say I'm less than pleased with the new look would be a massive understatement. I don't WANT G+ to look like FB. And keep in mind: I'm not only a Google fanboy, I'm a Google apologist. Yeah, one of those guys. :p
First, I think the dual column layout for posts is the fugliest thing I've seen in ages. It makes ZERO sense, unless all posts are exactly the same length. Second, since I can change to a single column view, why the hell NOT make it as wide as the 2-column view? Then, guess what: I can see more posts at a time!
Sorry, Google, but I think you screwed the pooch big-time on this one.
Reshared text: I had this whole thing typed up when G+ crashed my browser... So grow up or #GTFO I'm not retyping it, just read the #GIF KayThxBye
Personally, I'm not a fan of tattoos. But I'm sure as hell a fan of not judging people based solely on body art (or piercings, for that matter). To me, this smacks of another case of judging someone based on their appearance (e.g., skin color), rather than what's beneath the surface.
Kudos to Gwen Knapp and Sports on Earth for pointing this out.
My wife prefers almost anything to Gmail, for the simple fact that it automatically quotes the entire message to which she's replying. While that "feature" doesn't bother me as much, I'd definitely turn it off it I had that option!
Reshared text: Tame your Google+ circle madness in 3 easy steps #googleplustips
After using Google+ for almost a year internally at Google and almost a week in the “real world”, this is the best way I’ve found to manage my circles.
Step 1: Face reality Come to grips with the fact that you will never read EVERYTHING on Google+. =)
Step 2: Make circles for SHARING Create circles of friends that you share with (e.g. Work, Family, Church). These are the circles you use to control access to the posts you write. People can be in multiple circles. For example, a coworker might also be in your photography club.
Step 3: Make a circle for READING Decide on a few people you really want to keep up with and add them to a separate *Inbox circle. This circle has a selection of people from Work, Family, and Church. Face it, not everyone at work or in your family is that interesting. If you can’t read everything, you might as well make sure the stuff you do read is interesting. =)
> When you share something, use your “sharing” circles. Did you take a trip with your family? Share the photos with your Family circle.
> When you’re reading your stream, click on your *Inbox circle on the left side of the stream. This will give you a more manageable amount of content than the Stream link, which for many people is already a fire hose of random stuff, most of which might not be that interesting. You may want to make a couple other circles for reading different topics. I have a separate *Inbox: Photographers circle where I read a few popular photo bloggers.
Of course, when you find yourself with some spare time and nothing to fill it with, you can flip back to the Stream tab (or even the Incoming tab!) and read to your heart's content. Most of the time though, I read my *Inbox first.
Note that my inbox circles start with * so that they sort to the top of the circles list on the left side of the stream. (Except for the default circles like “Acquaintances” - I just renamed those so they don’t automatically sort to the top).
Other than the easily-remedied-but-still-asinine reverse-scrolling default in OS X 10.7 Lion, the only complaint I have about the update is that even after removing FaceTime from my Dock, it reappears every time I reboot. Is there a workaround?
• First of all, doesn't "47" make a lot more sense than "XLVII"? You know it does! Let's get rid of the stupid Roman numerals. ("But Steve! In three years we'll have Super Bowl L!" Yeah? well, seven years ago, it was Super Bowl XL. So we've regressed. That's not the American way.)
• It's the freaking SUPER BOWL for crying out loud: we don't need two weeks to hype something that's been hyped every week, somewhere, for the past 50 weeks. How about just one week from Conference Championships to the Big Game? Please?
• Here are some reasons for why we only need one week: ○ How many times do you want to be reminded that Jim and John Harbaugh are the first coaching brothers to face each other in the Super Bowl? ○ How many times do you want to see "Harbaugh Bowl" or "Harbaugh Bowl II" (or 2)? ○ How many times can we be reminded that the Super Bowl will be only the 10th NFL start for 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick? ○ How many different slants can there be on the Ray Lewis story (and the aftermath of the last Super Bowl he played in)? ○ How many different takes can there be on the Alex Smith angle? ○ What are the chances you'll read something completely new and different about either team next week, that you won't see this week? (Pro tip: between 0 and 0.000001 percent.) (And if you do, then you're spending way too much time on the Super Bowl, and neglecting more important things in your life.)
• CBS has scheduled a four-hour pregame show, from 2–6pm EST, on Super Bowl Sunday. If they cover anything new in those four hours, I'll be shocked beyond words (although I promise I won't be watching for four hours—unlike a lot of fans, I have a life beyond the NFL!). Furthermore, if that show were a week from now instead of in two weeks, it would still have the same info!
• Finally, a few words on the non-football "entertainment." Beyoncé? Really? The number of huge football fans who are also huge Beyoncé fans isn't enough to fill the Super Dome (site of Super Bowl 47, in case you're wondering). But worse, before the game, we get to listen to someone butcher our National Anthem. Just once, I'd love to see the US Marine Corps Band play the John Philip Sousa arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner." (It would take just about as long as a military flyover does at an outdoor stadium, just in case you haven't been to a high school football game recently.)