Google Plus Miscellanea

I remember when I first encountered Facebook a few years ago. Though I had friends who just loved it, and I joined up and created a profile, the social-networking site has always rubbed me the wrong way. These days it is something of a necessary evil. I keep track of relatives and friends at the site, and I have Google+ set up to link to my blog posts on my “Wall”. I rarely comment or originate content on Facebook.

One problem with Facebook is that it is all too easy to accumulate too many “friends” there. I imagine everyone has had the experience of being fooled by Facebook. Facebook’s software robots assume that anyone who is a “friend” of one of your friends ought to be your “friend too. A bad assumption indeed. I had to ruthlessly prune my “friends” list in order to avoid being inundated by posts from people I don’t know.

Then there are the fire-hose Facebook posters. These are people who spend hours letting their friends know the most trivial and mundane details of their lives. Too Much Information! Stuff like, “I just ate some chocolate! Mmm mm!” or “I finally got to Level 9 on [some on-line computer game]!”

Then along came Google+, which remedies some of the annoying failings of Facebook. Google+ allows the user to create “Circles”, groups of other users the posts of which can be viewed separately. Have a friend who posts many times a day? Create a circle for such posters called, say, “Verbose”. I have one circle for members of my family, another for people I don’t know but whose posts I like to read, and another for people I like to check on just occasionally.

Another advantage of Google+ is that there is no size limit on the posts.

I’ve enjoyed my experiences with Google+, but there has been some controversy lately due to Google’s hit-and-miss application of an ill-conceived policy. They don’t like people to use aliases or pseudonyms. I’m sure there are good commercial reasons for this but Google really needs to reconsider. Personally I have no use for an alias, but people who work for government agencies or paranoid corporations would like the freedom to post anonymously, with good reason. Women also have some reason for concern, as they tend to be subject to stalking and harassment by nameless idiots. Here’s one ZDNet columnist’s take on the issue:

Violet Blue’s ZDNet piece

An aside: I just loved this metaphoric tripartite figure of speech in the above article:

Getting verified on Twitter wasn’t easy, but it was kittens, pop-tarts and rainbows compared to this.

The inclusion of a lower-cased product brand-name as the middle metaphor gives a certain “zing” to the sentence, I thought.

Here are several interesting things I’ve found recently in my Google+ feed:

This was posted by one of the folks I follow and I recommend that you take a look; it’s a very well-done video story:

My comment on the piece at Google+:

Wonderful film w/o dialog! This is true visual story-telling. It’s interesting that it takes about two dozen people collaborating to produce such a film, as compared to the one writer it takes to generate a prose tale which can conjure up similar mental images in the reader’s mind.

Here’s a “flash mob” rendition of Ravel’s Bolero, a video of the Copenhagen Philharmonic gradually coming together at a train station:

An object lesson in how cell phones have changed our culture.

I’m an amateur photographer, and I’m well aware of my limitations. I’m thoroughly humbled by the images produced by French photographer Philippe Sainte-Laudy. He has the master’s touch. I became aware of him on Google+ and immediately put him in my “Follow” circle. You can see Philippe’s images at his homepage, and
he has made available a PDF e-book there:

Philippe Sainte-Laudy’s Page

The page is in French; just scroll down until you see a box with “Telechargement fischier.zip | 48 mb.” written in it. Push that and a download of an “E-book” will be initiated, a PDF file containing examples of Philippe’s wonderful photography. I know — when you see the word “Telechargement” it will make you wonder if there might be a charge for the e-book. Don’t worry, it’s free, and well worth having. Here are three examples of photos from that book:

I welcome any comments readers might have on the two competing social networking platforms.

Larry

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1 Comment

Filed under General and Local, Photos

One response to “Google Plus Miscellanea

  1. Joan

    FACEBOOK

    A couple of years ago, I was almost was forced to join Facebook in order to see a friend’s grandkid pictures. Then I thought, “ What the heck! If she does not care enough to e-mail her photos, then I can live without them just fine.”

    At that time I wrote the following Facebook poem. Here is a reprise, comfortably ensconced in my usual spot under the radar in ‘comments’. The place where the marginally timid dwell.

    I originally swiped a great cartoon from the Google image files to go with, but I don’t own the copyright. It featured a lady behind a lectern, probably at a reunion. Her words”: “Hi there! Remember me? We were momentarily in each others vicinity a decade ago.”

    A FACE IN THE CROWD

    My face will never grace this book
    (All viewers should be grateful)
    To some, I think it might appear
    That I am being hateful.

    But listen to this story
    Bout a person just like me
    Who was sucked into the process
    And I think that you’ll agree.

    He got friended by a relative.
    (At least that’s what he thought.)
    He joined right up and soon he found
    That he was truly caught.

    It seems there is a caveat
    Which many do not know.
    In order to join Facebook
    And of course to make it grow

    You allow Face information
    That you usually wouldn’t
    And it soon becomes more obvious
    In future, that you shouldn’t.

    Face will pirate your address book
    For new names which they can send
    Then these people get an e-mail
    That you want them as friend.

    How embarrassing, especially since
    They’re some you barely knew.
    Or much worse a former intimate
    Whose last words were ‘We’re through’

    So I aim to pass on Facebook.
    If you really are my friend
    You can e-mail me or snail-mail
    Or just phone me in the end.

    That way I can be sure you were
    Not spawned from database.
    My opinion now of Facebook
    Is it’s actually two faced.

    GOOGLE PLUS

    What is it that Groucho said? “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member.”? Wise words. Now, my son graciously offered me a Google invite, but I’m thinking he might not want to belong to something that had his mom as a member.

    From what I gather, ‘circles’ are supposed to be great stuff on Google Plus. When we were younger we used to joke about holding our 50th high school reunion in a phone booth. As time goes by, I find that my circles of friends, after being subdivided according to ‘religious’ and ‘not’ or ‘right wing’ and ‘not’ are pretty small. Can two people comprise a circle? Maybe by holding hands, but that sounds so, uh, religious. So, circle of friends, circle of life, whatever. I am not, at this point tempted to join Google Plus. After reading the horror story by Violetblue about having to put real names up, I’m even more convinced. (Lest you scoff, even the comments attending Blue’s mad at Google Plus article were replete with sophomoric name-calling. Until there is a Spam catcher for hot heads, I will not willingly put my full name anywhere. Even though the 10 year reign of terror by Dennis Markuze
    http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/08/crank-who-targeted-science-writers-lured-into-threatening-police.ars
    may (hopefully) be over, I am not comfortable with this.

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