Google+: initial thoughts, reactions, and a rant.

Thoughts and Opinions
Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I’ve been on Google+ now for a week and have some opinions about it.  I will refrain from posting anything about Google+ on Facebook and Twitter anymore because I kind of feel like there is lukewarm reception to it. However, I do have some opinions and since this is my little corner of the intertubes I thought I’d post them here in case anyone was interested in my opinion.

So far I really like it. I am liking it a billion times more than Facebook. I am not sure if I like it better than Twitter yet.

I will come clean and say that I hate Facebook. I hate it with a fiery passion and I’ve hated it for a very long time. I hate it’s CEO. He is everything I can’t stand in a human being and when I look at his picture I, seriously, want to punch him in the nose. But that’s kind of beside the point. I really have always very much disliked the lack of privacy on Facebook. And Facebook’s attitude is something like, “Privacy doesn’t exist. Deal with it.” I have always disliked that when you post something on Facebook everyone on your friends’ list sees it. Maybe I don’t want my Christian friends seeing my posts about Zen Buddhism, you know? Maybe I don’t want my conservative friends seeing my liberal rants. Maybe I just don’t feel like fighting that battle. Because of this I tend to censor myself on Facebook. And, I don’t know. Maybe that’s o.k. But it’s also kind of boring. I like to let it all hang out sometimes. I like to speak my mind. But I also don’t want to offend other people. So there’s always been that weird dichotomy over there.

There is also this weird “worlds colliding” feature of the Facebook social experiment that has always made me VERY uncomfortable. I don’t know why. But I’ve just never liked it at all. I like having my professional life separate from my personal life.  Call my crazy. I have set the privacy levels so that certain people can’t see my wall, but that isn’t ideal at all. First of all, it excludes people. I don’t like excluding people. Also there are times when I do want those that I’ve excluded to see what I post but there is no easy way to allow them to.

I’ve stayed on Facebook, and will continue to stay on Facebook, because my friends are there. My friends are what make it tolerable and I would really miss them if I jumped ship. (most of)The people on Facebook are awesome. Facebook as a company and social networking site sucks.

So now Google+ has come along and guess what? They address these issues! And it is awesome. It is a breath of fresh air for me. Seriously. I saw the initial video where they introduced the “circles” feature and I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders. This is what I’ve wanted from Facebook all along. For awhile I thought FB was going to do this because there is the ability to sort your friends into lists. But the process is so clunky and useless and unusable.

Circles are awesome. Very easy to use. Friends can belong to more than one circle, which is nice. For example, I have a “knitting” circle and a “library world” circle and a few of my friends belong to both as they are both knitters and librarians. I have a “friends” circle where I can post  personal stuff that the rest of the world could care less about.  I can post photos and updates about my knitting projects to my knitting circle and none of my other circles will see the updates.  I can also filter my stream so that I see only the circles I choose which makes the reading experience so much better. I don’t feel like I have to censor myself anymore because I get to choose who reads what updates. AND I get to choose what I read at any given time.

The one complaint that I have with circles is that I wish people would use them more effectively. I have quite a few connections on Google+ now and most of them are people I don’t know. I got hooked into the children’s literature world  which I’m very exicted about as a children’s librarian. It will be a good way to keep up with stuff going on in that industry. However, it is a very tight-knit online community and they are very freindly with each other (kind of like the online knitting community is). Some of my connections post personal things to all of their circles, thinking that everyone that follows them would be interested. However these personal posts really need be relegated to thier “friends” circle to keep from cluttering up the streams of those who are more interested in professional development.

This is a long post. And I kind of have more to say about it. I think I’ll cut it short for now and continue this on another day. There is lots more to say!

it’s the little things

Books, Music, Art, Movies

O.K. I’ll admit it. I struggle with depression sometimes. I’m sure this isn’t a huge revelation to anyone who knows me or has read my blog for any length of time. But sometimes I just have to admit to myself that I’m depressed. And sometimes this depression can lead me down some very dark roads. And it really sucks, as those of you who go through it know.

Yesterday was one of those days. I couldn’t seem to pull myself the fuck out of it. it was like falling into a pit of oozing mud and I just slid further and further in and the more I tried to get out the further in the hole I got. Oh god, and then there is that inner critic. Do you have that “inner critic?” I think we all do. Well, mine is a heartless, cruel, bastard.

Anyway, So I woke up still feeling a bit like crap. I meditated and that helped immensely. I exercised. That helped too. Then I went through my morning internet ritual of checking e-mail, twitter, facebook. Someone posted a video of Earth Wind and Fire‘s September on twitter and I can’t even begin to tell you how happy it made me feel. The sun was coming up and it was going to be a beautiful day and here was this song that took me straight back to the happiness of my childhood in the Seventies. It was wonderful. It was like a gift from the universe. And how awesome that these little gifts are delivered by other beings (human or animal, or even just things in nature) in this universe?

It just makes me realize how connected we all are. We can help each other in ways we don’t even realize. I love that. this person on Twitter that has no idea I exist made me very happy today. I hope that I can do the same thing for someone who needs it someday.

Thanks Dianne

Life

blog of distinctionMy friend, Dianne from both Dianne’s Dishes and Daffodil Lane gave me a blog of distinction award! It totally made my day. So, I need to pass the honor on to three other blogs. This is very hard because I am a very picky blog reader. I don’t subscribe to a lot of blogs so the ones I do subscribe to are ones that I really, really enjoy reading. So I think, instead, I will talk about some of my oldest blogging friends.

Well, first of all, Dianne. Since she awarded me with this I can’t choose her but I have to just say that her blogs are both awesome. and worth the read. Dianne’s Dishes makes me hungry all the time and her recipes are fantastic. I met her through her other blog Daffodil Lane. I have that tale chronicled here if you would like to read all about it. I stumbled on Daffodil Lane one night in the Summer of 2004 (almost 4 years ago!!) and was disturbed by the conservative trolls that were swarming the comments section. I made a decision to post my own comment in response to them. And we have been blogging friends ever since. I agree with her when she says we are kindred spirits. Indeed, we are.

Okay, on to my three.

I have known Amanda from the blog Etc. for about as long as Dianne. I can’t remember who started reading who first. I think I was searching for knitting librarian blogs and found hers. Her blog has been an inspiration ever since. I want to be Amanda when I grow up :). (well, except she is, like, 10 years younger than me). She is a luminary in the library field and it is such and honor to know her virtually. She is a fantastic writer and I always enjoy it when I see that she has posted. At Etc she writes about all kinds of things (kind of like my blog is here). At Blogwithoutalibrary she posts about library related web 2.0 technology. Both of them worth the read.

Lolly started blogging around the same time I did. Lollyknitting Around took the knitting word by storm and now girlfriend is writing articles for Interweave Knits ! I am so proud of her :). Her blog started as a knitting blog but has evolved over the years to include her other interests, travel, photography, green living (and lots more). Lolly is also an knitter/librarian, which explains our connection. She is also a fantastic writer. Every one of her blog posts are well thought-out and engaging. I believe I found Lolly via either Ei Knit or Pixiestikz (two bloggers that I MISS). We kind of clicked when we found out we were librarians and we have been friends ever since.

And now for something completely different… Frank! I think he is my only male reader after my brother stopped reading (are you still reading big bro?) and I hope I’m not boring him with all of my crafty talk. I think I found Frank’s blog back in 2004 when we were on the “Bush Sucks” webring. Or I may have been sent there by Etherealgirl (anther blogger I miss!). Nevertheless, his adventures in Philly have kept me reading for about 3 years (maybe even longer). I think the first blog post I read sent me to a video of someone driving through Paris really fast. It was really cool…He has lots of great finds like that, and interesting adventures. Go read his blog, if you don’t already. Definite must read.

So there you go! Thanks for the great blogs, guys. Feel free to pass it along or not. It’s up to you.

I like the idea of sharing my blog reads with you. I may just make this a regular thing.