Tag Archives: social media

Everything is Stupid: A Rant from the Edge of Pathos

I’m currently stuck in that place between hating everyone and thinking I’m too brilliant to be in gen-pop.

There are no sharp objects on my desk today. This is good.

middle-fingerI’d be all Hulk-smashing the shit out of everything if only I could give enough of a fuck to do so. It’s that double-edged sword of anger and apathy that comes only from a really righteous chemical imbalance. Oh, PMS. A monthly license to hug all that is dark and vengeful within me.

Fortunately, I use my PMS evils for good — I blog. Sometimes. Rage is a lot more fun if you pepper it with humour, then share it with the world so others can commiserate and rail against the stupidness.

I’m trying to stay off social media, like Twitter, because I keep reading normal people saying normal things and then I want to punch the desk and shout YOU ARE A STUPIDHEAD. WHY ARE YOU ALLOWED TO BREATHE?

Then I start wondering things like if there was some little ethical justification or litmus test where we could employ eugenics without incurring the wrath of the United Nations. Like, say, sterilize only people who are completely asshattedly-moronic but who have every opportunity to educate themselves and learn sciencey, facty thingies.

Then I remember that it’s hard to be immune to stupid people and even stupid people could wind up in charge of a eugenics program and start sterilizing people willy-nilly, and so I give up on this little Utopian stupid-free fantasy of mine.

Still, one could argue that the skyrocketing population of  7 billion humans on Earth might suggest that maybe, just maybe, a little indiscriminate stupidity-suppression could improve the planetary futures. Less stupid people, more oxygen, better climate control? Sounds good to me. I know I don’t need them adding more carbon dioxide to the mix with their ignorant antics.

1154794_origTake stupid people who don’t believe in Climate Change, who insist on things like “coal rolling” to make this ignorant fucking point scream loudly, they make my head explode. Everything I think is wrong with the planet, people like them are causing it. They’re a carte blanche raison d’etre when it comes to unpopular ideas like eugenics and sterilization.

Or maybe we could just sterilize all the annoying entitled people. You know, the kinds who snap “Don’t you know who I am?” — especially when they’re just another asshat with a healthy following on social media. Or other entitled folk who feel there’s nothing wrong with embezzling, theft, and all those other groovy crimes.

Then there’s racist assholes. We don’t need them, either.

I’m just tired of all the jerks in the world. And the stupid people. And the stupidity with which jerks are explained away by stupid people who don’t have the guts to end it.

photo 1
For instance, Ray Rice, who plays football for the Baltimore Ravens. In a supposedly “mutual” attack in May, the big, hulking football star was found on tape dragging his unconscious wife out of an elevator. The NFL thought this horrible thing was so horrible they decided to make him miss a whole horrible two games as punishment.

But what galled me today was hearing that his arrival on the gridiron at training camp resulted in fans cheering loudly. And I’m also annoyed the team has yet to delete a tweet from May 23rd in which they state the wife “regrets” her role in the “incident.” Because, yeah, getting hit is so inconsiderate. Being dragged across a hall, that’s just rude. How dare she?

At least some of the fans called out the organization for their ridiculous victim-blaming. Way to rock the public relations game, Ravens.photo 2

Or, hey, maybe it’s just all my feministing raging hormones that are stupid, and this kind of assoholic behaviour is the norm. Maybe I need to suck it up and accept that we live in a world of narcissistic asshatted entitlement, and that’s just the way it rolls.

But no.

Lucky for us all, I’m Irish-Canadian and too stubborn to think those stupidheaded assholes are in the right or deserving of tolerance. In my world, it’s not okay to be entitled, violent, ignorant, stupid, rude, bullying, or mean.

Those behaviours will never be okay.

And if it’s only once a month that it unleashes a Hulk-Smashy-Ragey thing in me so I scream and rail at the gods about the Stupidheads Wrecking Everything, then so be it. Once a month I will rail and curse the cosmos and demand better.

Anger — it’s a good thing. If it causes just one person to recognize their ignorant, stupid ways, and it helps them be a little less of a dick, then it’s all worth it. I’m more than willing to Hulk-Smash my way to a better, kinder world, one stupidhead at a time. Are you?

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I Hate The Way That You Twitter

STEFF NOTE: I think we all do some of the following to some extent. It’s stuff we can all cut back on, but doing any of these points to excess is irritating to many folk, like me.

I thought the timing was right for me to have my say about All Things Twitter.

In the interest as someone who’s NOT trying to sell you social media systems, who doesn’t want to fix your blog, who doesn’t give a shit about your search engine optimizing, and who’s on Twitter solely for the reason it was invented — to microblog and interact — I’ve got some ranting to get off my chest here.

Now, if you’re new to Twitter, you might foolishly think there are rules. And if you’re some old guard on Twitter, you might foolishly think there are rules. Yer wrong. There are no rules on Twitter. And that’s why it’s fucking awesome, but you can still do it badly.

I know, anything I write here really doesn’t matter, because this is all about how I like my Twitter. But that’s cool. And I should warn you, I actually *am* PMSing and have chosen to embrace it. You’ve been warned.

1) Starfuckery.

I’ll reply to celebrities occasionally because they’re “part of the conversation” once you get past the “famous” bit, but I don’t do it on a daily basis and I don’t actually delude myself into thinking they’re likely to read it or respond. I’m generally aware I’m throwing 140 characters in the wind and maybe 12 people will read it.

But to indulge in this often? What are you, in grade 10? Come on. Talk to real people. They may actually reply. People who engage in chronic starfuckery are people I’m assuming are trying desperately to raise their Klout scores, and you don’t want me going there.

2) Circlejerking.

When you mention a specific group of people all the time, people who are of benefit to you business-wise but aren’t pumping out great Twitter content, then you’re wasting my time and everyone else who follows you. Instead of “chatting” to 9 specific people in your group, remember that you have 500 or 2,000 or however many OTHER followers you’ve specifically not mentioned by name.

Twitter is about content, not you getting a reach-around and a smile, so if you continue down this path of exalting a few users over everyone else, you may do so at the cost of having an audience who no longer are invested in you.

3) Noise.

No, you don’t need to thank people for retweeting your stuff. If people can’t assume you’re grateful for spreading the word on your tweets, then they’re stupid.

Of course we want to be heard. Of course we want to be retweeted. Of course we want our content to grow legs and cover a wide territory. When I’m retweeted, I notice, and I’m happy about it. But it happens 10, 15, 20, or more times a day. If I start thanking all these people, then I’m increasing my tweet count considerably, and with absolutely NO VALUE in its content. Then I start hating Twitter because it feels like a job.

Hearing me THANK people isn’t why people follow me. I’m not a fucking Walmart Greeter. If you want gratitude lessons from me via retweets, you got the wrong guru, man. Stop with the endless thank-yous. No one really gives a shit except the 12 people who think Miss Manners invented Twitter.

4) Music & Lyrics & Check-ins.

Who died and made you DJ of the Year? I don’t really care what you’re listening to on Spotify or what you’re watching on YouTube. I certainly don’t want to see you channeling your inner-13-year-old and typing line after line of broken-hearted lyrics. We get it. You like music. And you got dumped. Wow. Aren’t you special?

Every now and then, tweet it, but don’t default your third-party apps to broadcast every track you play. It’s noise, and most of us don’t want it. These reasons are also why I don’t give a shit that you’ve “checked in” to a coffee shop or a drug store. You don’t need to push those notifications to Twitter, so don’t be surprised by those of us who think you’re a douche when you do it constantly.

5) Event Tweeting.

If you’re out for dinner with people, and you tweet the location, and you mention everyone by Twitter names, and it’s NOT a public event, NOR an invitation to have the event crashed, then shut the hell up. Just grab the KY Jelly and get on with your little circlejerk then.

Again, you’re excluding EVERYONE in your following except those who are there. It makes you look like an exclusionist douchebag, or else some happy little tag-a-long who’s just thrilled they Made The List. Either way, I’m betting the majority of your public thinks it’s douchey. Again.

And if you do happen to see event tweets, no, it’s NOT an invitation to you, so don’t go crashing events without at least asking. (I hear you can do actual replies and ask permissions on Twitter. Wow, who knew?)

6) The Sanctimony.

Don’t assume everyone follows every aspect of Twitter as religiously as you. I’ve accidentally retweeted things that have come back to bite me, and never even knew I’d retweeted it, because the UI on Twitter’s apps makes it far too easy to kneejerk retweet or unfollow/block people. Don’t presume you’re always in the right, or that people knew when they fucked up. Get the chip off your shoulder and just relax. Ask people if they meant X in Y way, rather than getting on your high-horse and getting bent outta shape about it.

7) Grammar.

Not everyone’s got the writing thing down pat, and I get that. I don’t mind some spelling mistakes or missing grammar, but can you stop turning it into an Olympic sport? This isn’t TEXTING. It’s communicating. It’s out there for the public. It’s on record.

It’s in the Google now, bitches, so maybe demonstrating your communicative powers in succinct tweets like “I c wut u mean” is a little inappropriate. Strive higher. If I see people at least attempting to make sentences, I’m a lot less judgy, and I know I’m not alone.

8) iAwesome Tweeting.

Oh, look at you, you got “#FollowFriday“ed. Aren’t you special? Wow. THANKS for retweeting that, you douche, but I’m already following you. Or I fucking well was before you started retweeting other people name-dropping you. Then I decided to embrace UNFOLLOW Friday and ditch your smug self-congratulatory ass. What is this, high school?

9) The HumbleBrag or PityParty.

This is the crowd that belongs in a narcissism support group. Yes, the Twitter is all about you. Yes, we’re all here to support you and quell your little ego panics. Yes, yes, yes. No, no, no! I think everyone does this to some extent, but some take it to new heights. Get over yourself. Or at least don’t constantly tweet it.

10) The ReTweeter & OldNewsers.

Don’t be surprised that I don’t follow you when I see 90% of your stream is made up of retweets. I can find other people’s content too. I can also read the news. So, when you’re THAT GUY who logs in Monday morning, ‘cos you’re some marketer or weekend warrior, and you just start arbitrarily sharing news links without realizing everyone’s been talking about that celebrity’s death for 2 days already, you’re a waste of tweet space. News has a 6-hour shelf-life on Twitter, so don’t bother if it’s a day old. Seriously.

________________

I’m sure there are far more infractions that get under my skin, but here’s a good place to end it.

I mean, god, this doesn’t even touch on the misinformation, retweeting broken links, not checking the article you’re about to tweet, and so forth, but there’s only so much a girl can do.

What’d I miss? What pisses you off? Why do you agree/disagree with?

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My Content Isn’t Changing, So…

I’m moving. I’m PMSing. And my threshold is low. So, I wrote this.

Tell ya, the “strong personality” thing gets to be a drag on Twitter when the passive-aggressive types get all offended by some thing I’ve said. Then they start a series of little digs on things I’ve said, little cuts. This has happened several times now.

Look. My moniker is SmuttySteff, my Twitter bio has said forever that I’m often offensive, and my blog’s called Cunting Linguist. You know what I’m not about? Rainbows and unicorns, sunshine and puppies. I expect people to get offended, and to be adult about it and just walk away.

I’m not here to please everyone, and I’ve never pretended that I want to make the world happy, either. I know I’m an acquired taste, and I typically don’t apologize for it. I’m snarky and full of zest.

This made me laugh. RIP, Arnold.

Life’s all about finding people who accept us for who we are. I have zero intention of changing myself to meet the approval of people who are already expressing disapproval with me.

Like doing that makes any fucking sense at all? That’s like going out with someone who wants you to change your hair, and your clothes, and your job. No, man. We don’t do that.

Don’t like me? Go. I’m fine with that. Just don’t think I care enough to hear why, most of the time.* I won’t change myself anyhow, so don’t tell me what you don’t like. This is social media, not friendship. We go where we get something out of it. If we’re not getting something out of it, we leave. Pretty simple. Oddly, I get a lot of people who still seem to like what I say. That’s groovy.

But, inevitably, I supposedly say something SO offensive it has to be called out by this “type” of person. The issue doesn’t matter, because it’s just more of the irreverent approach I take to talking about everything. Just because it’s suddenly a topic close to someone’s heart doesn’t mean I’m suddenly More Bad. They’re just taking it personally. Big difference. I’m being consistent, so I don’t see the problem.

These passive-aggressive nitpicky types eventually unfollow, but there’s always some kind of huff about it. Again it’s happened, but this time I just decided to not take the passive-aggressive shit and blocked them. So far, they’ve called me “insane” and “mean.”

Oh-kay.

Nowhere in the Internetz For Dummiez guide does it say any of us needs to put up with the others’ shit. Don’t like someone’s content? Don’t get all petty and argumentative. Just unfollow and walk away. When I had 400 followers, I was a lot more tolerant of things said. With a few thousand now, though, I hear more crap and my threshold’s far lower.

You seriously think I need to sit there and listen when someone’s getting all passive-aggressive on me because they’re not digging my content?

How low of self-esteem is it that you think I have, there, person? I don’t think so.

We’re not in grade school. Behaving like children is unnecessary.

Despite the name-calling that’s ensued after I blocked this person, I’ll still be employing block in the future as a proactive deal. Because I’m an insane mean bitch and that’s just how I roll.

Life’s too short to willingly listen to people who cut me down. Go find another doormat.

*I know there are a lot of reasons I get unfollowed, and most don’t have to do with me being evil, but rather that I’m ranty, or tweet about irrelevant things, or I’m not a marketer, or… etc. It’s all good. Go where thy tweety heart is fondest. I get it.

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Kicking Klout When They’re Down

Of late, several friends have shared stories that are rallying against Klout.

I’ve bitched about the website/metrics system since its launch, despite my supposedly “having” some Klout and receiving several “rewards” for said AWESOMENESS. Ha-ha, I have KLOUT, bitch!

But it’s all bullshit.

It really is.

Klout doesn’t know fuck all about what people really think about you, why they dig you, or really how you impact them.

It’s awesome that there’s a real backlash going on against them right now. Salon has their “Klout’s Bad for Your Soul” piece and several bloggers have shit-kicked them as well. Here’s Scalzi’s piece. Or this.

I loathe the metrics thing because it makes social media about the end result, not the process. There was “Twitter Grader” before Klout, and it was every bit as high-school.

These days, I see certain soc-med punditry subscribing to tools that relay their mention count for the week, all that crap, and I can’t help but think who the hell’s at the wheel? If you don’t KNOW you’re engaging people, then you’re doing it wrong. And these are people who should know just by reading their replies if they’re hitting home with their audience or not. I sure as hell do, and I’m not even doing this professionally.

That’s not even touching the validity of all this Klout melodrama, either.

I, apparently, am an incredible influencer on Reading, Pennsylvania.

If it weren’t for Monopoly, I wouldn’t even know about Reading, Pennsylvania. As it happens, I now know they have a railroad. But that’s about it. Maybe they mean about reading BOOKS, but despite about 50 mentions of this discrepancy to the @Klout Twitter account, the data tracking has never changed.

So, there’s inaccuracy, there’s stereotyping, there’s sweeping generalization, there’s oversimplification of data — hmm, what else does Klout have that every metrics system can do without? Does it need more? Well, let’s see here.

What Klout’s got is a big brand. They’ve marketed it well. They showed up in boardrooms and said, “Hey. We know you know fuck all about how this “social media” shit really goes down. No, no, you don’t need to learn The Twitter or The Facebook. Let us help! Here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna dumb the data down, then spoonfeed it to you. We’re calling it “Klout.” Like that? Oh, I know you do. CATCHY, huh?”

This is a classic instance of telling someone that something is important because they say it’s important. “Why? Because I said so.”

They’ve even got Business Week writing about whether Klout’s recent change in metrics was hazardous to one’s hiring chances.

All you have to do to know I have some kind of “Klout” is to look at my account. I talk about mundane things, I swear a lot, and I have 4 followers for every one person I follow, and I’m on about 500 lists. Now, either I’m doing something right, or I’m quite convincing at spam. It doesn’t take a lot to put two and two together.

Sure, Klout’s a bit more complicated than that, but what I’m saying is — you don’t NEED Klout to figure out who might have something to say.

And does Klout tell you about the time I simply reported on Twitter that I bought some homeless guy a fast food sandwich on the way to work, and three people told me at the end of the day that they also bought homeless people food that day, all because I mentioned doing it, and they thought it felt great, and would start doing it regularly?

Now that’s the kind of clout I’m proud to have. That means something to me. It means people respond to the simplest of gestures, even online.

Instead, these yahoos like the Klout folk are measuring what’s tantamount to masturbation.

The system can be, and is, gamed by those who constantly “retweet” their replies to people. You know, someone says “@smuttysteff So how was your day?” and instead of replying to them, the Alternate Universe Complete Asshole Steff would reply publicly like this: “Well, except for that bad coffee, it was great! RT @RandomTweeter @smuttysteff So how was your day?”

Why is that a wanker move? Because you raise the number of times your name is mentioned. Kinda like a twofer dealio on data-stacking. Oh, look, says Klout — @smuttysteff just got TWO mentions! Wow! And, by replying to the person indirectly, you’re increasing the odds of yet another follow-up reply from them, thus again increasing your mention count.

But that’s why I try to keep it a little more genuine most of the time, with direct @replies to the person in question. I don’t need to falsely stack my mentions, because I don’t give a fuck what the metrics have to say.

It’s like everyone’s saying: High school is back, and it sucks more than ever. Thanks, Klout!

Social media’s gonna be a whole lot less fun if these fuckwits have their way.

Like it’s not often already a world of asshats saying what they think other people want to hear, of ass-kissing and back-slapping, of circle-jerks and compliment-orgies.

Uh-huh. Amping THAT up sounds like a good time to me.

Seriously. Stop believing in these stupid tools. Stop looking for validation. Stop worrying about the numbers.

Like the old adage goes — say what you mean, and mean what you say. That’s how you get real clout. That’s how you get relevant.

You can game your Klout score, but you can’t fake relevance. Good luck trying.

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Online/Offline: This is Your Friendship on Social Media

Bluntly, I have the birthday kinda-blues. There’s nothing like a birthday to make you rethink relationships and other aspects of life. I’ve subconsciously nixed birthday celebrations and now I can’t stop thinking about stuff.

It’s a good/bad thing, the birthday reflections. I like the goals and plans I’ve set of late. I’m optimistic of where things are going. But I’m not particularly wowed by the relationships in my life right now. Let’s just say it’s been a long year, and I’ve had a lot of time to think.

A month ago, there was a big social media suicide, when Trey Pennington, with 100,000+ followers, killed himself during a messy divorce, and it gave me a lot of pause for thought.*

When famous people commit suicide, the thinking usually is that it’s caused by pressures, no outlet for expression, mental illness, substance abuse, right?

When someone “popular” on social media killed himself, the reaction was, “But he was so popular! And likeable! He had an outlet!”

It’s funny, you know, how we kid ourselves about how much this online shit matters. It’s why I laugh at bloggers who aren’t professional and who obsess about traffic, or Twitter people who care about their numbers, and so forth.

There’s this delusion that the more followers you have, the more of a voice you have, or that you can be so much more yourself.

The opposite is actually true.

Be careful of what you wish for. When people start actually reading your stuff, merely venting gets complicated.

I feel I’m less able to express myself on this blog now. I feel like I have to “watch” what I say. Do I, though? Feels like it. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I WANT to express myself less.

It’s a constant battle to remind myself that there’s never been a better time to be myself — because if you don’t like me for being myself, then who the fuck are you to me? Not much, and rightly so. This is me.

Then the irony is, I’m not being myself anyhow. This shit’s edited. Twitter is soundbites. Facebook is selective. Google is me just tryin’.

That’s not ME. That’s a part of me I’m willing to share. But the more of me I’ve shared, the less I feel there is — sometimes. I’m not faking shit, but I’m not releasing the floodgates of truth either.

Welcome to the digital paradox.

You can be “yourself” to a bigger audience than ever before, but how true is it?

You can’t say a fucking thing anymore without realizing a) someone actually heard it and b) half of them are gonna misunderstand it. I don’t care what your grasp on articulation and clarity is, you cannot control how your message is received.

And that’s, again, another paradox. We want to be heard — we just don’t want to be nagged about it. But if you don’t comment or speak to our expressions, then we feel ignored and invisible.

It’s Catch-22, social media style.

We’re reaching that point where the simplest solution is to say nothing.

Say nothing. Somehow I don’t think that would’ve been a good Cameron Crowe movie. “Say Nothing.”

Ahh. Sigh.

So, this year I’m left with an approaching birthday in which I’m really questioning the authenticity of a lot of relationships in my life. Now and then we have those times in our lives that really test our measure of friends. I’m realizing I’ve had that year. What it’s taught me is, well, a lot and I’ve been silent on too much.

And, the irony is, I have “oodles” of people in my life, supposedly. And yet. It’s been a long year.

The simple truth is, emails and texts aren’t enough. Words aren’t enough. Actions are what counts.

And therein lies the trouble of being in a digital society. Having a sentiment “liked” on Facebook doesn’t measure up much, in the scheme of things. A shout-out on Twitter means shit.

I’m pretty sure there’ll be a new cliche in a decade or two: “No one ever said “I wish I could’ve had more Twitter followers” on their deathbed.”

So, having been of this billowing state of mind for a few weeks, I’ve been really taking stock of my life and trying to solve the things that are important to me.

Writing, it’s important to me. I’ve avoided this topic but it’s been eating at me, so it’s best to put it out there, because otherwise I avoid writing in its entirety. Well, that’s not been helpful.

Other things that are important? Cycling, freedom, little things. I’ve been working on whittling my domestic life, getting my back on track, starting a new work sched, and slowly building an exercise routine. I even have plans for meeting people through non-social media events, ‘cos I’m so tired “networking”.

So, life balance. Real people. Honest moments. Personal accomplishments. Those are priorities.

But I wonder how many people feel like I do — more stifled on speech than ever before? To overshare or not to overshare, that is the question. Someone gimme a Magic 8-Ball, I need me some prognosticatin’. I’m not sure what the answer is.

It’s not an earth-shattering revelation that there’s a lack of tangibility in online relationships. It’s just disappointing when one realizes that, even locally, it’s more in platitudes than in practice. It feels like my words or thoughts go out there into space but do little for me. It’s a vacuum, creatively. Or is it?

But, when communicating starts feeling like work, then what can you expect? Staying “on top” of online relationships feels as much a chore as checking my voicemail or email. And where do you draw the lines? Who’s “online” and who’s not?

In the Facebook age, it’s an interesting dilemma. One I’m sure will grow murkier and more complicated in the future. We’re an ADD digital society who thinks and comments more than we act, and it shows.

Whether it’s throwing a “twibbon” on one’s avatar to show political or protesting sympathies, or just doing online commentary, there’s a lot less meaning behind our online lives than the social media marketers want you to think. Being one of a number online kinda means shit, and it’s a good fact to wake up to.

Getting followers and likes ain’t gonna translate much in your soul, and if it does, you might be doing things wrong.

After a year of injuries and other things that, for a while, made social media a more attractive way of engaging for me, it’s safe to say it ain’t so attractive now.

I don’t have a conclusion. Online/offline socializing is a Pandora’s Box that’s officially opened, and staying that way. There’ll be no simple solutions. Yet.

*No, I’m not suicidal. It’s all good. I might need a stiff drink, though.

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Why I’ve Drunk the Google+ Kool-aid… And Love It (for Writers)

I’m a writer.

I like an audience.

I also tend to use more than 20 words at a time, like on Twitter, or 75 words on Facebook. While I’ll always love the challenge of having a brilliant and funny 140-character-or-less tweet, the unfiltered-length possibilities on Google+ make it possible for me to write my Unabomber manifesto for the world at the large without burying it on some obscure “notes” page on my Facebook account, while giving me a larger audience than I enjoy on this lowly blog.

So, there’s that.

And I can edit after the fact, which is fantastic for a neurotic type-A personality like me who wants to cry at support groups every time my iPhone leads me to fuck up and upload a typo. And there’s bold AND italics? Oh, editor porn! Editor porn!

It’s a slippery-slope thing, the after-the-fact post-editing, but it’s LONG overdue in social media, where every word we say can cripple us professionally or personally.

If Google’s smart, they’ll have a built-in system that allows for proper tracking of edits once comments have appeared on a posting. I think, in the interest of truth and transparency, a “track-changes” feature might keep people on the ethical straight and narrow with edits. As it stands, it DOES say the post was edited and at what time, but not the extent to which edits have been done.

Google+ Has Borrowed From Those Before Them

Now, this is early in the game. Yet people are commenting, “Oh, I would’ve expected Google to roll out something much more dynamic, given their global reach,” etc, but I question if these folks really realize the scope of what Google has unleashed.

If you think of Google+ as being the framework upon which The Goog is developing a social structure that spreads throughout the whole web, they’ve created a fabulous start. No one has the ability to catch up with Facebook’s infrastructure — but Google can.

Right now, Google+ offers you “hangouts,” which takes the Chatroulette web-cam socializing idea and runs with it. They have “sharing,” and privacy controls that are far simpler to adjust than Facebook (and more transparency about the lack of existing privacy).

The continuous refreshing feed and ease of sharing replicates the Tumblr-reader/blogger experience.

The +1 bookmarking makes for a DIGG or StumbleUpon replacement and there’s a page on your profile where it saves them. It’s called the +1 Page, but it doesn’t save all the things you’ve “liked” in your main in-Google+ feed (where you +1 instead of “liking” as you would on Facebook), it only tracks external webpages that have a +1 button. (You can change a setting in G+ settings so that Google assigns a +1 button on ALL non-Google pages, and that way it can truly be your new bookmarking service. I’ve been hesitant to go there, but I use Google for all my searches anyhow, and resistance seems futile.)

That Google owns Youtube, which is rolling out the COSMIC PANDA experiment as I type (for which you need to use the Google Chrome browser, I understand), makes for better video interfacing in-feed than Facebook offers, plus excessively-fun and easy animated-GIF posting.

The following options on Google+ are like on Twitter — it’s public and anyone’s game for you to follow without approval, unless they block you, but it’s easier to find people, and there’s a built-in, far more interesting and informative profile that makes the follow/unfollow option much more simpler.

They have ingenius “social circles,” and a smart user will create additional streams beyond the few basic ones that come pre-set by G+ — like I’ve added “local connections” who are people I don’t consider acquaintances but know through the local scene, “extended family” is obvious, “soc med influencers” keeps the Chris Brogans at bay, “news and info” will be news organizations or persons affiliated with them, which I hope are allowed onto Google+ sooner than later, because I think it’d be fantastic for that sort of content. I have “people I like” and “Journalists & Writers” and other stuff relevant to my life. People are grouped in multiple circles if they’re more relevant to me.

I foresee Google allowing a more toggle-able feed, where I don’t have to have all or just one, but can default to 2–3-4 preferred feeds that most affect my content-consuming time.

Built for Engaging

G+ will be, for me, a more powerful way of getting my writing out in the world, and a way to have a much better engaging with my audience, because I never really log in here and write comments, but I do love engaging on topics, and I’m more likely to do so on G+, since I’ve found myself having more ideological discussions there in a week than I have on Facebook or Twitter in a month, and at a far greater length and focus.

For now, Google+ is telling marketers to stay away until the end of the year. I think business won’t really get how to use it, and many will be awkward and shitty at content-generation like they are on Twitter, but one can get away with sucking more at Twitter than you could on G+. With more rope to hang themselves, I’m nearly confident most marketers will succeed handily at self-asphyxiation on Google-plus.

So, It’s More Private Than Facebook?

[insert laughter here] Urm, definitely not.

Privacy? Are there better privacy protections? Arguably, no. This, however, is more transparent, and I think we’re all used to Google knowing everything about us anyhow.

If you want privacy, get off the internet. Really. The two do not compute. It’s like putting alfalfa in cheesecake. What the fuck are you thinking?

Are there issues? Yeah. If you don’t want something private inadvertently shared, you can’t just not include X circles of people, you also have to disable sharing on it. But, wait! You can disable sharing! And disable comments! Yay.

The reality is, Google+ just ensures you’ll be a thoroughly data-mined person in the Google universe, but who’s kidding who? You already are. Facebook has ya, your credit card company’s got a real sweet dossier on you. Fuck, every charity in the country knows when you’re a giver. Worrying about your information being out there, that’s just silly. It already IS.

The only privacy you’ve got is to not say anything you don’t want repeated. Shut up or suck it up, basically.

Google Takes Over The World, Story At 11

This feels very much like a social tool that’s truly social. If Google starts expanding it — and, remember, this company owns Blogger and has stopped developing it — the dynamic nature of their “socialness” will be nearly infinite. Google is among the only companies in the world with the wherewithal to beat Facebook, and mark my words — and many others — this might just be the tool that does it.

Yeah, I’m sticking around. Wanna follow me on Google+? Go for it.

In the meantime, it’s not all sunshine and roses. This damning article says the privacy concerns could blow up big. Other sticking points I’ve found are below.

But, hey, I’ve been on the web for years. My privacy got screwed years ago. Welcome to my party, people.

Shit They Gotta Fix

Comments are bothersome: You can’t collapse comments. I’m liable to unfollow all the “popular” people until this is fixed. For the moment, you can read the post and the comments, then click the greyscale “+” top right of any post and “mute” the post. This will not only hide it in your feed, but it’ll end any notifications associated with the post.

Invasive feed-refreshing rate: The continuously auto-refreshing feed does so while one is writing a post or comment, which doesn’t hurt anything, but can be jarring to the thinking process, and it’s clumsy. I’d like it to be possible to pause the feed.

Indiscriminate re-sharing: When one has shared things with a limited audience, it’s possible for their limited audience to then re-share to the general public, and, if so, the original poster’s name is on it. Great to have attribution, but it’s an invasion of privacy. Instead, G+ should build in a restrictor of some kind. In the mean time, you can disable sharing on each post.

Photo-sharing: When uploading photos, it creates a whole album, and one can share someone else’s complete album. If you ever geotag your stuff, whether it’s shot at home or you have kids, it’s unwise to allow these geotagged photos to be reshared, so, I would advise remembering to disable sharing on every posted photo album. UNFORTUNATELY, this cannot yet be done with the mobile app.

Circle-editing: You can’t edit a circle of friends and just move someone to a new circle, so you really have to be on the ball about it. Instead, you have to add them to a new circle before deleting them from the one you’ve decided they don’t fix, otherwise you have to re-ad them to circles in entirety, which is just irritating.

Ego-boosting fail: When I see great content and re-share it, I now get nothing out of the re-share when someone re-shares it off me. Instead, the person who originally posted it gets all the credit. I’d like to see “By way of Steffani Cameron, and Originally Posted by This Genius Guy” or something. Otherwise, you’re encouraging people to find the original source, upload it, and try to steal credit. Everyone wants their name in the game, Google. Savvy up there.

Buggy, bitches: The notifications, adding people, the numbers in circles, none of it is working completely right yet, but that’s to be expected with a new product that is achieving unprecedented influx of new power users in less than a week. This will smooth out, I’m sure.

Plain Stupid Things: That they request you to list “other names” like “maiden names” and stuff is absolutely moronic. Sure, it’s nice as a be-found-by-old-friends feature, but it’s also an identity-thief’s wet dream. Think twice before you’re so needy for antiquated social connections that you give scam-artists an open door to your identity, people.

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