Google+ is failing. Fast.

Today I decided to re-activate my Facebook account. Why? Because Google+ is getting boring…

I use Twitter all the time to follow interesting people from multiple industries and interests. One of the big mistakes that I think Google has made, is that they haven’t added any business accounts, or News that isn’t tech related. One of the things I enjoy reading is professional websites and bloggers offering up fast tips, up to date news, and a personalized perspective on world events. I’m sure it’s on there, but how do you find it? At least Twitter offers up ‘suggested users’ to follow. Continue reading “Google+ is failing. Fast.”

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Does the Internet Fail at keeping us up to date on world events? Information overload?

Jian Ghomeshi hosting a live taping of his rad...
Image via Wikipedia

I was listening to an excellent CBC Radio program called Q with Jian Ghomeshi while driving in my car. They were debating the argument that Twitter is considered by some to be a news agency, and whether it was a better way at getting unbiased views on world events.

There was quite a difference of opinion as to whether getting tweets amounted to learning more about the world or if real News organizations were just using Twitter to get their stories out to people faster, and we weren’t really getting anyone other than mainstream media reporting anything of value. At the same time it was said that Twitter and Facebook are part of a social revolution and that it allows people to express themselves in ways they have never been able to. This is especially true for oppressive regimes where censorship and control of free speech have kept people fearful to speak up. But is this considered ‘real’ news? Are they two different things?

I struggle with all the streams of information I try to manage, and to find alternative prospectives on the world. It can be quite overwhelming.

I use Twitter as a fast and dirty way of keeping up on breaking news and follow interesting people. For breaking news I rely on the same sources as I’ve always done. CBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, etc…I try to add local media outlets but most of them are not on Twitter, or their reporters aren’t tweeting at a rate that makes me feel like I’m getting my news faster than hearing it from friends and relatives. I sort my Twitter stream into lists to try and manage what I am sorting through. Lists like News, Tech, Friends, Aggregators(for Digg & Reddit), and everyone-else.

I signed up for Google+ in hopes that it would be a place where all my friends, family, bloggers I follow, news agencies, and techies, would combine into a social and sharing hub. It hasn’t been that great so far. I post all my blog posts on there, and wait and wait for people I know to start using it. But alas, they are all still in Facebook. Sucks for me, as I just closed my account and really don’t trust the direction Facebook is going with controlling my information and data and who they might be sharing it with(advertisers and secret government agencies. Spooky). Google+ is the anti-social social network. Right now I see loads of content by Photographers and Tech Bloggers. News? Not so much.

I use Google Reader heavily to keep up to date on RSS feeds, and have recently started trying Feedly to make Google Reader a more magazine styled experience. I love Google Reader, but it seems slow to get me up to date stories. For instance, I have subscribed to my Twitter feed and see my tweets hours after I posted them. Why such a delay?

It is all too much…Do I really get any better perspective on the world than my dad who reads the local paper every morning, and watches the evening news? I essentially just get it faster(most of the time). I’m swamped with thousands of articles, headlines, and somewhat useless tweets to get to the same end. Is this quicker, or am I just far more in-efficient?

It might be time to claw back on all the people, blogs and RSS feeds and come up with a better way to streamline my online information.

Like Jian Ghomeshi said in the show today, everyone wants Twitter to become the best way to get our news. Fast, and to the point. But it somehow fails. Can an online service like Twitter, Google+ or Facebook be both a way to catch up on world events and be a way to have a social experience with people online?

A massive increase in Google+ sign-ups! Time to delete my Facebook account?

Dead End
Image by Moosealope via Flickr

Today I read that Google+ has had a 1269% increase in growth of it’s users in the last week! They have also now got 50 million users. Those are big numbers!

This is exciting for me, as I contemplating closing my Facebook account before their new changes come into effect. Facebook is garnering much attention for their ability to track your every move online. Here is what I came across today from a tech blogger, Dan Winer from Scripting.com… Continue reading “A massive increase in Google+ sign-ups! Time to delete my Facebook account?”

How do you set up your Google+ Circles? Here’s mine so far.

***Edit** – I’ve now added 2 more Circles to the mix…

  1. Private Msgs – This circle came from a post on how to keep track of private message and their histories. When I message someone on G+(share a post with only the person you wish to talk with), I also share it with this Circle. There is no one in this empty circle, but sorting by selecting it now shows all the private messages I’ve had. Kind of like an e-mail inbox. Nice tip!
  2. Celebreties – I did split my Stalking circle as people I find interesting online, and celebrities. Why? Celebrities don’t usually add much content that I will use in my life. How much can Paris Hilton or Snoop Dogg offer me for advice?

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Circle_Me_Google_Plus_Logo
Image by The Daring Librarian via Flickr

Google+ is still in it’s infancy. Any time a new online service is launched to the public, there is a learning curve for new users. The best way to overcome confusion is to share ‘best practices‘ with everyone. I’m not saying my way is the best way, however when it comes to Google+ Circles, I have set up a small amount of Circles that make sense and work for me.

If anyone is confused with Google+ Circles, here is what I do to keep people straight, keep my stream from becoming unmanageable, and not share unwanted snippets of my boring life with everyone out there…

My circles right now Continue reading “How do you set up your Google+ Circles? Here’s mine so far.”

Tom Anderson on the Google+ and Facebook War

Today Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed some of their upcoming changes that will be launched in the next little while. There has been quite a lot of discussion on Google+ today about how big of a change is coming up.

Remember MySpace? Nah, me either. But it used to be the biggest site out there…One of the people that ran Myspace was Tom Anderson. All kidding aside, Tom Anderson has a great perspective on how to run a social network. He’s now a user on Google+, and gave some commentary on the wars going on between Google and Facebook, and how the changes are going to end up benefiting Google in the end. Here is his commentary for you…

Why Facebook’s New Vision is Good for Google+

I sat back in awe watching Zuckerberg at F8 today. Facebook has done it again — they are always reinventing themselves, always pushing toward the future. They’re so good at incorporating other ideas at the right time (http://on.mash.to/rkpYna) and leaving out ideas, when the’re too early.

Many people have messaged me on G+ saying that the new Facebook looks like MySpace of 2008. Customizing profiles with modules, music, video, news. There’s some truth to that. But MySpace (even under my leadership) was a rudimentary and often poor implementation of those ideas. It’s also true that people may have not been ready for MySpace back then. (Not to mention that web standards and bandwidth may have not been ready.)

The thinking behind Facebook and MySpace have always shared some basic tenets, if not from the outset, at least by late 2004:

1) Everyone will be online. Some old folks will learn. The young will swim in it.
2) Everything gets better online when you can socialize around it / talk about it.
3) People want a “place” on the web, to be found, to communicate, and represent themselves.

These are some of the basic reasons these sites are so popular. Facebook gradually got better than MySpace at realizing all these basic ideas. The one they were never that good at was “representing” the individual. That will probably change with this new launch. There’s a chance Facebook could execute poorly and things won’t work as well as they hoped, but that’s not likely. Facebook generally gets things right over time.

So if Facebook keeps getting better & better, and keeps delivering on the basic promise of “social networking,” how is that good for Google+? It’s good because with the changes announced today, Facebook becomes quite different. I wouldn’t say that today’s Google+ is too much like today’s Facebook. But I will say, that to succeed in the long run, it’ll have to be different. And it just got easier to be “different.”

Here is the link to read the rest of the post. Oh, and while you’re there, sign up for Google+!
via Google.

Facebook update may be the boost Google+ needed

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Today Facebook made a load of changes and re-vamped their site. There has been quite an uproar from users all over the Interwebitubes all day, with a distinct focus on people getting fed up and looking at other options in social media. The big winner of the day has got to be Google+…

I’m not much for anecdotal evidence, but my little circle of friends(all 2 of them)started signing up this evening. I’ve had more conversations with people on Google+ tonight than the entire time I’ve been signed up! Now I don’t feel like such a loner. 😉 Convinced? haha.

One of the big stories out today from Mashable is that Facebook is making huge changes to their site towards a larger, yet undetermined goal, to become your entire online experience. Here is a small blurb from one of today’s articles.

Facebook is driven by a single, unique goal. Its priority isn’t to gain more users (it already has 750 million of those), nor does it feel compelled to find stupid ways to increase pageviews. Its primary goal right now isn’t to increase revenue, either — that will come later.

No, Facebook’s goal is to become the social layer that supports, powers and connects every single piece of the web, no matter who or what it is or where it lives. On Thursday at its f8 conference in San Francisco, the world’s largest social network will take a giant leap toward accomplishing that goal.

via Prepare Yourselves: Facebook To Be Profoundly Changed.

I honestly hope that Facebook changes so much that they ruin the reason that users came in the first place. To connect with friends they know…

Having used Google+ for a couple of months now, I have to say that it is a refreshing change from the crappy ads and secretive privacy changes we’ve had to endure on Facebook.

I’ve mentioned before that Google+ seems to get social circles and that you only want to share certain things with certain people. Facebook tries to do the opposite and have you share everything with everyone unless you take the time to block people, or create lists. Not as intuitive in my opinion.

Anyway, whether it was planned or not, Google+ is now open as of today for everybody to sign up! Head over there and start sharing! I know I will being publicly posting all my blog posts there for people to read. Head on over and check out my profile…gplus.to/pakos

Today’s post about Facebook stealing your Contacts Data is ‘partially true’.

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

I usually hate messages on Facebook that sound so alarmist, and today’s post at least 10 of my friends and family put up sounded much like the rest of them, like a bunch of BS. So I started digging around and found a great explanation over at Gawker.com. Here is an excerpt from the post. I recommend that if you use Facebook, that you read up on it.

Facebook users are freaking out over the fact that the numbers of all their cellphone contacts are showing up on Facebook. What’s going on? Is Mark Zuckerberg planning the world’s largest phon-a-thon?

A scary message is being passed around Facebook, warning that you and all your buddies’ cell phone numbers are visible to the world. It goes something like this:

“OMG this is for real everyone!!!! Warning to ALL …ALL THE PHONE NUMBERS IN YOUR PHONE are now on Facebook! No joke – go to the top right of the screen, click on Account, then click on Edit Friends, go left on the screen and click Contacts. All phone numbers are published!! Please re-post this on your Status, so you r friends can remove their numbers and thus prevent abuse if they do not want them published.”

via What’s Facebook Doing With All the Numbers in My Cell Phone?.

Then Gizmodo gave a step by step instruction on how to stop Facebook syncing your personal contacts to their greedy little servers. Here is a part of the article.

Facebook loves doing unexpected things with your data. Now it’s culling numbers from your phone and adding them to its online database to “help you” find contacts. Don’t trust Facebook with your mom’s number? Here’s how to fix it.

If you’re syncing, Facebook’s iPhone app will pull the numbers in your phone’s contact file and upload them to Facebook. While it notes that these numbers are only visible to you, Facebook has a way of, let’s say, shifting its policies.

via Here’s How To Remove Your Contacts’ Phone Numbers From Facebook’s Clutches.

So, thank you friends on Facebook for getting my attention about this data mining, though you can turn off your caps-lock!