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Richard Ball has been at 2 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Plumber Milton Keynes1For local plumbers n Milton Keynes just call: 07575140269 - We can take care of all your plumbing problems quickly. We are trusted and reliable plumber that work in and around the Milton Keynes area and can be with you in no time. Our plumbers are also fully qualified and all are fully insured as well.Local Plumber in Milton Keynes - Bletchley Based Emergency Plumber2014-08-23 20:54:251  
Vivienne Gucwa (travelinglens)1,797,881This is the official page for this awesome event. Led by myself (Alan Shapiro and Sharon Strandskov were there in spirit :) ) The meeting up point is Columbus Circle at 1:00 pm.  We have a nice path planned that will include several really beautiful locations throughout Central Park including (but subject to change): The Mall (and Literary Walk), Bethesda Fountain, Bow Bridge, Shakespeare's Garden, Strawberry Fields and Belvedere Castle! We also have some fun ideas up our sleeves for everyone that will utilize this event page space (particularly the shared album). Bring your walking shoes and a smile. This walk is open to everyone with or without a camera. Even if you don't have a camera but just want to come and celebrate, feel free! This event is all about celebrating the awesomeness of G+ on its one year anniversary! :) --- #gplusanniversary #gplusanniversarynycThe Official NYC Google Plus One Year Anniversary Photowalk2012-06-30 13:00:0066  

Shared Circles including Richard Ball

Shared Circles are not available on Google+ anymore, but you can find them still here.

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 26

2015-06-18 17:24:02 (26 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

On this #beethursday  I have a very disturbing observation and information to share.

We live in eastern PA and other than a few Bumble bees and some Carpenter bees we have no bees this year. Zero. Zip. None.

Last year the lavender plants, the lilacs, the clover, the bee balm were all inundated with bees. This year the whole yard is silent from buzzing. And it is not just us. It is true for the neighbours, it is true for the yards and gardens at houses 6 miles away in a town.

I looked up a report online and it says that 60.6% of the bees in PA have been lost since 2014. Right here, in our area, it looks more like close to 100%!

We find this so deeply unsettling it is had to put into words. The birds are still singing and cawing, some butterflies and moths still come by, but one whole visual and aural part of the summer landscape is gone.

Most reshares: 4

posted image

2014-11-11 13:50:47 (21 comments, 4 reshares, 173 +1s)Open 

Sunrise over Sandy River valley

Day 5 of the #splittonefivedaychallenge  that I was nominated for by +Giselle Savoie. I was up early (gag!) to try and get shots of the sun rising behind Mt. Hood in Oregon but the clouds didn't cooperate as I would have liked. Nevertheless the sun streaming through the mist over the river valley made for some interesting shots.

Most plusones: 173

posted image

2014-11-11 13:50:47 (21 comments, 4 reshares, 173 +1s)Open 

Sunrise over Sandy River valley

Day 5 of the #splittonefivedaychallenge  that I was nominated for by +Giselle Savoie. I was up early (gag!) to try and get shots of the sun rising behind Mt. Hood in Oregon but the clouds didn't cooperate as I would have liked. Nevertheless the sun streaming through the mist over the river valley made for some interesting shots.

Latest 50 posts

posted image

2015-06-19 18:13:14 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

The Indecisive Moment

Veni, vidi, reliqui

The Indecisive Moment

Veni, vidi, reliqui___

2015-06-18 17:24:02 (26 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

On this #beethursday  I have a very disturbing observation and information to share.

We live in eastern PA and other than a few Bumble bees and some Carpenter bees we have no bees this year. Zero. Zip. None.

Last year the lavender plants, the lilacs, the clover, the bee balm were all inundated with bees. This year the whole yard is silent from buzzing. And it is not just us. It is true for the neighbours, it is true for the yards and gardens at houses 6 miles away in a town.

I looked up a report online and it says that 60.6% of the bees in PA have been lost since 2014. Right here, in our area, it looks more like close to 100%!

We find this so deeply unsettling it is had to put into words. The birds are still singing and cawing, some butterflies and moths still come by, but one whole visual and aural part of the summer landscape is gone.

On this #beethursday  I have a very disturbing observation and information to share.

We live in eastern PA and other than a few Bumble bees and some Carpenter bees we have no bees this year. Zero. Zip. None.

Last year the lavender plants, the lilacs, the clover, the bee balm were all inundated with bees. This year the whole yard is silent from buzzing. And it is not just us. It is true for the neighbours, it is true for the yards and gardens at houses 6 miles away in a town.

I looked up a report online and it says that 60.6% of the bees in PA have been lost since 2014. Right here, in our area, it looks more like close to 100%!

We find this so deeply unsettling it is had to put into words. The birds are still singing and cawing, some butterflies and moths still come by, but one whole visual and aural part of the summer landscape is gone.___

posted image

2015-06-17 14:49:58 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Happy Birthday +Lauri Novak !

Make sure your feeder stays full of wine :)

Happy Birthday +Lauri Novak !

Make sure your feeder stays full of wine :)___

posted image

2015-06-13 11:34:11 (22 comments, 0 reshares, 60 +1s)Open 

The Pine Grove

Sixteen years ago my wife decided that a piece of weedy hillside beside the driveway should be better than that. We had a number of White Pines planted and they have grown into a nice pine forest.


#ICM   #blur   #nophotoshop  

#unsharpsaturday with +Alex Lapidus  +Julianne Bockius  +Jetski +Patrice Christian +Nadia Cantou-Pewinski ( +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 )

The Pine Grove

Sixteen years ago my wife decided that a piece of weedy hillside beside the driveway should be better than that. We had a number of White Pines planted and they have grown into a nice pine forest.


#ICM   #blur   #nophotoshop  

#unsharpsaturday with +Alex Lapidus  +Julianne Bockius  +Jetski +Patrice Christian +Nadia Cantou-Pewinski ( +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 )___

posted image

2015-06-10 11:15:05 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

#wordlessonwednesday  

#wordlessonwednesday  ___

posted image

2015-06-07 13:42:45 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Go ahead, have a look, Pam is a talented artist and you may find the perfect thing at the perfect price.

First Time for Everything

I’ve never done a shameless self-promotion here … and I think I’ve only linked my SmugMug page once or twice here, if that.

Now … I’m actually going to ask a favor. I know most of you are photographers and have absolutely no need for prints from me. I get that. Maybe someone in your circles who doesn’t know me would like something. Please share!

Through the end of June, I have discounts:
Code GPrint20 = 20% off any purchase
Code GPrint30 = 30% off any purchase over $250

I would really like (need!) to upgrade my Adobe software to CS6. I don’t know how long they will keep selling it.

Thank you … thank you … thank you!!!___Go ahead, have a look, Pam is a talented artist and you may find the perfect thing at the perfect price.

posted image

2015-06-05 12:40:41 (14 comments, 1 reshares, 65 +1s)Open 

Tower of Power

#powerlinefriday  by +Natosha Davis (+Powerline Friday)

#multipleexposure   #nophotoshop  

Tower of Power

#powerlinefriday  by +Natosha Davis (+Powerline Friday)

#multipleexposure   #nophotoshop  ___

posted image

2015-06-02 13:08:44 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

If you like hand-made adornments have a look at my friend's new web site.

www.dani-a.com 

It's official! 
The site is fully operational and you are more than welcome to have a look. 
If you think it's worth telling others (who may be interested in hand made jewellery) then feel free to spread the word.
If you don't - no hard feelings :)
If you have comments, questions or request - you can contact me through the site or send me a PM here.
Thank you!!
P.S.
This is a small, one person operation and relies exclusively on the advertising known as the word of mouth___If you like hand-made adornments have a look at my friend's new web site.

2015-06-01 21:19:51 (17 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Chrome weirdnesses?

As of today my name (in the upper right of the Chrome window --- running on OSX) is no longer a link to my G+ home page.

If I try and send feedback the snapshot tool that is supposed to grab the current page gets a mostly empty page.

I tried logging out and back in but the problem remains. Anyone else see something similar?

Chrome weirdnesses?

As of today my name (in the upper right of the Chrome window --- running on OSX) is no longer a link to my G+ home page.

If I try and send feedback the snapshot tool that is supposed to grab the current page gets a mostly empty page.

I tried logging out and back in but the problem remains. Anyone else see something similar?___

posted image

2015-05-30 18:22:42 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

Transients

  #multipleexposure  

#unsharpsaturday with +Alex Lapidus  +Julianne Bockius  +Jetski Jones +Patrice Christian +Nadia Cantou-Pewinski ( +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 )

Transients

  #multipleexposure  

#unsharpsaturday with +Alex Lapidus  +Julianne Bockius  +Jetski Jones +Patrice Christian +Nadia Cantou-Pewinski ( +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 )___

posted image

2015-05-30 12:25:10 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Sometimes you gotta just wonder at Google's image classification system and how it matches stories with an image. How good a job will Google Photos be doing on our uploads ?? :)

Sometimes you gotta just wonder at Google's image classification system and how it matches stories with an image. How good a job will Google Photos be doing on our uploads ?? :)___

posted image

2015-05-29 11:44:44 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

Starry Starry Night


#ICM   #nophotoshop  

Starry Starry Night


#ICM   #nophotoshop  ___

posted image

2015-05-16 14:33:48 (9 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Mountain View, we have a problem

Dear Google, I’m your friend. Really I am. If I weren’t, I wouldn’t take time to tell you there’s a problem. I’m not rage quitting, that’s an easy way out and unworthy of what you’ve built. I’m going to try to make this place better and if not, I’ll find someone, who’ll help me build a better place. That’s not an idle threat, because you know there are smart people with drive out there. Complacency and lack of direction make incumbents vulnerable. 

so let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late (B. Dylan) 

TL;DR
GPlus needs to change and put humans in the middle instead of compartmentalizing us neatly. Suggestions for improvement are also provided. A user group advising and providing feedback would be a good start.  Stop here or proceed at your own peril.


What do you want tobe when you grow up?... more »

Mountain View, we have a problem

Dear Google, I’m your friend. Really I am. If I weren’t, I wouldn’t take time to tell you there’s a problem. I’m not rage quitting, that’s an easy way out and unworthy of what you’ve built. I’m going to try to make this place better and if not, I’ll find someone, who’ll help me build a better place. That’s not an idle threat, because you know there are smart people with drive out there. Complacency and lack of direction make incumbents vulnerable. 

so let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late (B. Dylan) 

TL;DR
GPlus needs to change and put humans in the middle instead of compartmentalizing us neatly. Suggestions for improvement are also provided. A user group advising and providing feedback would be a good start.  Stop here or proceed at your own peril.


What do you want to be when you grow up?

My friends at Google, we know you have the smartest people, you have the best data, you’re everywhere in tech. Here we are having this discussion on GPlus, an absolutely fantastic site full of potential, but often frustrating to myself and apparently others too. I think I am beginning to understand why.  You don’t know what you want to do with GPlus; you’ve got data instead of people at the heart of the design. 

Just one man’s opinion

Clearly, what I am writing is from a very limited perspective. I lack the data you have. I lack the specialization in this field you have. I am not objective. Thus, this is admittedly only my take on things and I won’t presume to be a speaker for everyone, but I will speak clearly and earnestly with you. I want you to succeed, but if you won’t change in ways that make the experience better here for me, I will go elsewhere, because eventually someone else will offer a better experience if you do nothing. 

No free lunch

This is our implicit bargain.  You been getting my content, tracking me, selling ads using what you know about me. In return, I have been able to use GPlus and other great tools from Google (Search, Drive, Docs, Hangout/Chat, Translate, Scholar, Android, Picnik in the GPlus Photos, etc…) I think we’ve both been more or less content with this deal. I am no longer content though with the experience on GPlus, because it could and should be more.  

What you’ve done well

You’ve given us some very easy to use and powerful features on GPlus. The Hangouts on Air, while something I seldom attend, has been a great way for me to sample some musicians. Events have been great for specific, directed purposes. Hangouts / Chats have been a mixed blessing , but the fact that you offer it as part of the package has been great. You’ve built in a translate function that makes some languages that I don’t speak halfway accessible to me. It lets me follow people with quality posts in different languages. I love the photo quality and tools. Auto awesome, Auto Enhance, the Picnik toolset and the generous space have made sharing photos here easy and fun. Circles are a very good feature that rapidly became my favorite tool for dealing with the stream to ensure I saw what I wanted from people I circled and posted to whom I wanted. Let’s not forget your two-step verification, which gives additional security on the account. Blocking and reporting spam features have been tools that so far, thankfully, I have rarely had to use, but I’m glad they’re there. You deserve special credit for never going down the “Farmville” or “Mafia War” or any of those other games of similar ilk route. That’s definitely a laudable decision to not do something. Sometimes not doing something is just as important as what you do. 

I’m probably forgetting things that have become so second nature that I just take them for granted. That’s a compliment to so many things that are done well here. 


”It depends” Category

Google, you’ve got a lot of things that are a mess. Sometimes they are helpful and sometimes they are mixed blessings at best. I mentioned Hangouts above. One of the people I have followed for a long time on GPlus, who has used hangouts a lot more than I ever have or probably will, told me the other night that her Hangout turned into Chatroulette. If people want Chatroulette they go there. If people want a reasonable discourse a GPlus Hangout ought to be a good alternative. 

Communities  Yes, I get the purpose. I understand why it is good to have private discussion groups or focused forums. Communities have proliferated so much though, that I hardly go to the ones I have anymore. Despite invites I now only add a community once in a blue moon, because I just don’t have time to get to them anymore. I also think they are divisive and detrimental to engagement on GPlus. Oh, some people in communities are passionate and engage frequently and meaningfully within a community, but their voices are sorely missing in the public stream. 

Collections  Again, something I understand. I’ll get around to setting up some. I know that when I post a picture of a spider, even some of my most loyal followers get a shock. Putting spider pictures in a collection could be a good idea to deal with this. They can follow me, but opt out / suppress the spider collection. At least in theory. If someone follows 1000 people will they realistically go to that granular level, esp. over time? After all use of collections will be ongoing and dynamic, so users would have to continually update which collections to turn on or off. I’m sure Google has thought it through. My gut feeling is that collections serve the following purposes: 

1. It’s a Google version of Pinterest (simplistic, but I’m running with that for now) 

2. Google likes to have things categorized. It fits neatly into your most powerful capability: search. You guys can even search scripts and DOMs accurately. If you get people to cleanly categorize pictures and maybe even label them for you, you have another goldmine to make yourselves indispensable with. How could you resist getting users to categorize for you? 

The danger is that it’s going to put keywords and items in the center instead of people. We’re not discovering and interacting with people, we’re searching for and discovering photos associated with keywords. If we don’t know what we don’t know, how will we find something new? Won’t this lead to a progressive encapsulation or a type of filter bubble for our user experience? 

Ok. The intentions behind Collections are good, but I’m keeping an eye on this.


The Bad and sometimes Downright Ugly

November 2013 was a low-water mark for Google Plus. I believe you made an immense mistake that severely damaged the ecosystem. I liken it to an asteroid impact on Earth leaving a distinctive mark in the fossil record. GPlus was for the most part a community of people, who wanted to be on the Plus and who interacted with each other positively (my experience). Then you forced the integration of GPlus and YouTube . I know you’ve heard the complaints before and this is history, but it still echoes here. The YouTube integration marked a time when I started losing people that I enjoyed on here. They either abandoned the place or went to almost exclusively private posts. It is my subjective impression that GPlus went from exuberant adolescent to wary young adult in that period. Let me tell you GPlus that I don’t want my identity on GPlus and my identity on YouTube merged. I want to have a public and a private persona: even if you may know everything I do, I don’t necessarily want every like or dislike to be for public consumption. You overstepped there and you let the barbarians overrun Camelot. They weren’t even interesting barbarians, a better description of the horde would be cretinous trolls.

Hashtags  Please get hashtags under control. I do understand that you need some. Take a look at my attached snapshot evidence hashtaghell. When a post has a title and maybe one or two lines of text and then is followed by two pages of hashtags things are out of control. Do you really think that’s a good idea? Is that really how you want us to reach out to each other? Do you want to take SEO and the “Plus My Post” game to these extremes? 

Circle share abuse  well, you fixed that radically didn’t you? Was there no better way than to completely eliminate it? At what point did you discuss this with your users? I don’t miss circle shares that much and don’t really care. I wasn’t in that game, although I did benefit from shares and apparently was shared some hundreds of times. What bothers me is the lack of discourse with your users. There were legitimate uses for it, but you killed the whole feature. 

What’s Hot fix that too. Yes, you want a “trending” feature, I get it. Curate it How many times will a particular user with only 5000 followers get hundreds or thousands of “+1s” , a handful of comments and never respond to any commenter? Zero engagement, nada, zilch, but every day turn up on “What’s Hot”. Sure, some of those shots are good, but they’re not outclassing everyone else every day. Is that on the level? Maybe it is. Maybe it is the culture and the region. I think you’re being gamed. I damned sure am sick of seeing that. Oh yeah, I can block, but you’re letting it happen. Blocking only pretends it’s not going on. It would be an ostrich tactic.  

Speaking of gaming “What’s Hot”, apparently a couple of hashtags about bees will get you on “What’s Hot and Recommended” even if you don’t have much to say or a very good photo, while other people’s work that I have seen barely gets noticed. That’s a riddle to me too. There are probably other examples, but I think I’ve made the point that something is fishy in Denmark. 

You want users to spend their energy on hashtags and SEO? That’s what you’re going to get. We’re not all in this for money or fame. I understand businesses competing for top page ranks. Let that happen in the Search Engine Wars. Level the playing field on GPlus for normal users. Rigged games turn people off. I don’t think competitive hashtagging is where the majority of users want to wind up. 


Frustration: it’s got to be better than this

Lacking any way to get meaningful statistics inside GPlus, I’ve had to do some reading and use outside tools. Google says there are about 300 million active GPlus users in a month. Stone Temple Consulting did a study of public posts and concluded the number was close to 110 million active users. That’s a lot, but only about 0.5% of Google users. Only 6.7 million have 50 posts or more EVER on GPlus. About 3.5 million have 50 posts in the last 30 days on GPlus. 

Let’s get down to my numbers, because they’re the only ones I can speak directly to. Thanks to 3rd party tools: +CircleCount  and +NOD3x , I have some information I can use.

2171 total public posts from 20110715 to 20150513
2012 posts in statistics 
20.4 +1s per post
0.78 reshares per post
8.2 comments per post

Current numbers based on last 50 posts
20 comments per post
2 reshares per post
55 +1s per post
16992 followers

77 total engages (reshares, comments, +1s)

0.0045 Engaged Spread => 0.45 % interaction based on number of followers
(Reshares + Comments + +1s) /  Followers

0.006 Engaged Depth => .6 %
(reshares*3 + comments*2 + +1s) /  Followers

I can’t say if these are good or bad, but I do feel like I rarely reach someone new in terms of engagement. Mostly, I think, I have a loyal group of regulars (I adore you), with whom I have interaction in comments on my posts or on their posts. If I get past 150 people in a week I’m doing great. That doesn’t seem very good to me considering that I supposedly have almost 17k followers. That’s roughly 0.9% interacting with me. Is that typical? It seems pretty low to me as a layperson, but I do enjoy the interactions with the people I have come to know. I’m happy with the quality so far, but a bit mystified at such a low level of interacting versus the apparent base (17k). 


An eloquent comment by a friend

But it wasn't just me who changed. Google+ changed too. The tone changed and some changes had a profound impact on personal interactions. I saw and still see, people pouring out their hearts and I wonder, do people even still see this? Have we, as in users of social media, become so jaded or is everything happening too fast? Has the neverending stream of information around us dulled our ability to see? (+Dirk Reul ) 


Making this place better

Sometimes you have to roll the hard six

I know that I’m opening myself up to be ripped into by lots of people, lectured by others and have still more shake their heads and say “bless his heart”. It’s ok. I don’t want to just criticize. I want changes and have ideas. I’m sure they don’t match everyone’s ideas, but unless people advance ideas on what’s wrong and what needs fixing, you, Google, are going to do what you think best in a vacuum. At least I’m not hearing about you reaching out to people like myself, so it appears to be a vacuum to me.
 

Action Plan

1. You need a user group that’s a real cross-section of your users. Ensure both women and men get to participate. Include power users (bloggers, musicians, artists, tech columnists, authors, etc.), but also regular users. Include people from different regions. Include people using different tools out of your offerings. 

2. give us a meaningful roadmap or vision for GPlus. What are you going to do to make this the best place for people to interact on the web?

3. Put in some “simple” fixes to small, but aggravating problems.

3.1 When a post is reshared and gets plusses, why not have the plusses also automatically added to the original post?

3.2 let people have better view to what happens with their posts. Who is interacting on it (limited number when you click on activity today)? If something takes off, who was the key user in that chain of events?  

3.3 if you won’t give us the tools to understand what is going on then open up the API to CircleCount, Node3x and others. Let them develop add-ons to make our experience better. Open it ALL up to them. 

3.4 Give me a way to check my circles. Who is still active? Who abandoned in 2013? Let me clean out my circles without a tedious search one by one. Sure, I would like people to come back, but if they’ve been gone a year or more, I’d like to see it and make space for people, who will interact with me.

3.5 Take hashtags out of the main post. Put them in another section, i.e. a post has a text section, it has an optional “labels” or “hashtag” section, it has a link/photo/video sharing option.

3.6 Curate “What’s Hot” better. Even better than that, get people on GPlus, who actually find good quality postings and put them in a recommended/curated listing. If you’re doing that today, it isn’t living up to my expectations.

3.7 Why don’t you want to be the place for people to come to discuss topics? Why shouldn’t GPlus, built by some of the brightest people of our era, running on and within one of the most capable global companies, be a place that attracts avante garde and intellectual interaction? You ought to want to make this the place to be on the internet. I’m not asking you to be a Facebook killer. Don’t be Facebook, Pinterest, MySpace or the Matrix. Bring bright minds together. Make it easy and rewarding to mix and mingle. You can dominate this space in a way no one else does.

3.8 If you can’t figure out how to make 3.7 happen then find your top contributors of original content (music, art, photos, blogs, regular posts) and make them an offer as a highlighted contributor. At least figure out something to make it rewarding for them instead of leaving them to be worn down by the parade of spammers and trolls. Make sure there is support for them to handle the engagement volume. Some of you remember Dede King? Someone like Dede would be great. Sure she polarized, but we need spice not oatmeal. 

3.9 The “Discover” feature is lame. Those aren’t people interacting with us. Maybe some are news sources, but I don’t need GPlus for that. Famous people, who don’t interact and don’t do their own comments are boring to me. The only one I’ve run across, who was good at that was Jerry Ryan. Fix it. Rotate people in. Use your own statistics to show people, who really interact and let the cream rise to the top. Use your curators to find quality content, not just names. 


4. Dr. Zaius, get your stinking algorithms off me 

Google, you mean well, but these algorithm changes are killing interactions. We users do notice when engagement drops off. It’s not a ghost town, but sometimes things drop off suddenly for a week or two, usually around new feature introductions. If it were just me then I would look for a reason in my posts or the quality of my work. I’ve had enough people tell me they notice something too, that I don’t think it’s me. It’s you Google. You surprise us and you’re not transparent.
What I think is wrong: you’re doing Big Data and assume like likes like. I’m sure there’s statistics for it. I’m sure it’s more comfortable that way, but some of the more interesting people aren’t like me. I also have Circle Management. I know who I want to see out of the people I already know. Why do you keep changing relevance algorithms and pulling us apart? I feel like the bread pudding in the expanding universe analogy where galaxies are raisins and growing further apart. 

I want control over what I see in my existing circles without your algorithms deciding to give me less of Jane Doe and more of John Smith. I also want to be able to discover people from something like the old “incoming stream”. Right now my main way to discover new people is from interaction with new people, who plus/comment on my posts or a GPlus friend’s posts. I grow slowly, organically and have richer interactions, but I don’t know what I’m missing out there. How can I get new stuff in my stream and avoid a “filter bubble” and slow, but sure stagnation? 


Wrapping Up

Google, I care about GPlus. You’ve let me meet wonderful people from all over the world, who I never would have met any other way. I’ve learned from others and I’ve grown in unexpected ways. It has been a great ride. I think you have more to offer, but I also think you’re complacent, distant from your users and lacking clearly communicated direction. You may have it all internally. I know you have extremely sharp, driven people and wouldn’t rule out anything you want to accomplish. You need to remember users though. GPlus may be a great layer on top of other services, but make it something people also continue enjoying to connect with other people. 

Thank you for the good years! I hope you have more to come, but don’t take it for granted. Others may do it better if you won’t put users back in the center. No one stays on top forever. As users we have to adapt to change. As a provider you need to change and adapt to opportunities and threats too. If you make this a place people love (net promoter scores anyone?) GPlus will master all the changes. 

We need very strong ears to hear ourselves judged frankly, and because there are few who can endure frank criticism without being stung by it, those who venture to criticize us perform a remarkable act of friendship, for to undertake to wound or offend a man for his own good is to have a healthy love for him. (Montaigne)

Thanks for listening. I came as a friend. 


Resources / Additional Reading

General GPlus Info
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google%2B

Users / Communities / Engagement / Ghost Town
https://www.stonetemple.com/real-numbers-for-the-activity-on-google-plus/ 
https://plus.google.com/u/0/104092656004159577193/posts/9261uXiuoeM 
http://marketingland.com/google-plus-small-still-not-dead-yet-125083 
http://www.simonowens.net/google-plus-is-not-a-ghost-town-the-massive-engagement-within-its-communities-platform 
http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/why-google-is-dying-and-nearly-dead/617715
http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/study-suggests-far-fewer-active-google-plus-users-than-google-claims/

Collections
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/google-plus-adds-collections-to-keep-things-tidy-move-towards-being-like-pinterest-10226039.html 

Is Google the Matrix?
https://plus.google.com/+MikeElgan/posts/DmCGAG1uveN 
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/blog/2013/jun/04/google-plus-the-matrix 

Search Engine Crawling
http://searchengineland.com/tested-googlebot-crawls-javascript-heres-learned-220157 

Filter Bubble
https://medium.com/backchannel/facebook-published-a-big-new-study-on-the-filter-bubble-here-s-what-it-says-ef31a292da95
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2015/05/06/science.aab1422.full?sid=887c35db-9eea-4707-a6fb-23a23210f1b3 
http://www.fastcompany.com/3046111/fast-feed/why-scientists-are-upset-over-the-facebook-filter-bubble-study 
http://digiday.com/platforms/wtf-filter-bubble-combat/

Tim Berners-Lee on an Open Web 
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/long-live-the-web/ 

One iteration of the raisin bread analogy (I believe I first heard it from Carl Sagan, but couldn’t find it)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/8807068/Universe-like-raisin-bread-says-Nobel-prize-winner.html ___

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2015-05-04 14:43:41 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

Visit +Alex Lapidus's page today and watch out for his signup post for this second presentation of his very popular Blurs and Unsharp Photography Mentorship!

Blurs and Unsharp Photography: Guided Play 2015

It's back!  I'm delighted to announce a new session of my mentorship, in partnership with the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers: a free eight week program on the art and weird science of unsharp photography.  The official signup post will arrive Monday, May 4, and the program will run from May 11 through July 9.

To me, blurs and unsharp photography have represented a new dimension of artistic freedom – a fresh and joyous way to play with light, color, form… and sometimes their absence.  My hope is to inspire some of you to find more of that joy in your own photography, and to offer some techniques, tips and tools to help, along with plenty of practice!

We’ll be covering a range of topics, including not just how to take certain kinds of images (and sometimes why), but also tools in post-processing and phone apps.  My goal is to be able to offer the program to you regardless of the tools you use to capture (or process) images – DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, point & shoot cameras, or Apple or Android smartphones ().  You’ll need to be familiar with the manual operation of any camera, and have time to take at least 100-200 photos per week (because practice with your hands will be key to some techniques; just knowing how won’t be enough).  You’ll also need to spend quality time in a (private) community supporting, enjoying, learning from and teaching your fellow participants!

Because we've had too much fun to stop, I've invited everyone who fully completed this program last year to sit in and assist with this round!  That means you'll have not only their support and encouragement, but a huge amount of accumulated experience with these topics.  I'm extremely grateful for their help, and to the other directors of the Mentorship Program: +Robin Griggs Wood and +Ron Clifford.


() There is at least one topic I may be unable to address if you’re using a point &shoot camera or smartphone alone (call it half of one of the eight weeks).  The ideal combination would be DSLR or mirrorless plus a phone, and if you use only a P&S it needs to be capable of full manual shooting (shutter speed, aperture and ISO).  Questions welcome anytime, and keep an eye out for the signup post on May 4!___Visit +Alex Lapidus's page today and watch out for his signup post for this second presentation of his very popular Blurs and Unsharp Photography Mentorship!

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2015-02-13 00:49:31 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

Is your camera is pretty much a black box to you? Never quite sure what you are going to get when you press the shutter? Then this course might be just the thing for you to do to take control of your camera.

It's Back!

We're delighted to be offering round 3 of one of our favorite programs (well, they're all our favorites, but you know what I mean)!  Camera Basics: Beyond Automatic is back, led by an all-star cast of experienced program mentors including +Heiko Mahr, +Linda Villers, +Lou McCorkle, +Darla Hueske, +Ellie Kennard, +Doug Welch, +Ugo Cei and special guest star +Eric Raeber, plus a wonderful group of alumni from our first two sessions.  Watch for the official signup post on Saturday with all the details!

Please note that signups will not be first come, first served; the post will remain open for several days, so please don't panic if you're not first on the list.  Be sure to follow this page for all the info, and please contact program directors +Robin Griggs Wood, +Ron Clifford and +Alex Lapidus if you might be interested in mentoring other photographers.___Is your camera is pretty much a black box to you? Never quite sure what you are going to get when you press the shutter? Then this course might be just the thing for you to do to take control of your camera.

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2014-11-22 17:47:32 (14 comments, 0 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

As cold as ice

It is that time of year, might as well get with the program 

As cold as ice

It is that time of year, might as well get with the program ___

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2014-11-21 15:23:21 (18 comments, 0 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

Spotted!?

I think she noticed I was there but maybe she didn't really mind :)

Duke Farms NJ

Spotted!?

I think she noticed I was there but maybe she didn't really mind :)

Duke Farms NJ___

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2014-11-21 12:41:08 (12 comments, 1 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

It's all about the frisbee

It has been awhile since Pax has been on #fidofriday  so here is a shot from a play day at a beach in Oregon

#FidoFriday (+Fido Friday) curated by +mel peifer, +Lisa Lisa, +Suhaib Ayaz, and +Wes Lum

It's all about the frisbee

It has been awhile since Pax has been on #fidofriday  so here is a shot from a play day at a beach in Oregon

#FidoFriday (+Fido Friday) curated by +mel peifer, +Lisa Lisa, +Suhaib Ayaz, and +Wes Lum___

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2014-11-19 16:54:20 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

#bagswednesday  +Bags Wednesday  curated by +André Behrmann   +Michael Behrmann +Magda Sz +Magdalena MadZ  and by +Nancy Battis Vita

#bagswednesday  +Bags Wednesday  curated by +André Behrmann   +Michael Behrmann +Magda Sz +Magdalena MadZ  and by +Nancy Battis Vita___

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2014-11-19 14:30:02 (9 comments, 0 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

#wordlessonwednesday  

#wordlessonwednesday  ___

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2014-11-18 21:14:58 (9 comments, 1 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

Dancing

Kaibab National Forest

Late one evening I looked over to our campfire and saw a fire sprite was enjoying a dance.


No smoke here +Ricardo Williams :)

Dancing

Kaibab National Forest

Late one evening I looked over to our campfire and saw a fire sprite was enjoying a dance.


No smoke here +Ricardo Williams :)___

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2014-11-17 23:17:00 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Rectilinear

San Antonio, 2014

Rectilinear

San Antonio, 2014___

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2014-11-16 16:23:07 (9 comments, 1 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

At the water's edge

At the water's edge___

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2014-11-15 15:47:40 (12 comments, 0 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

haHA! You can't trick me with that fermented anchovy juice into showing my butt today -- I'm in an alcohol-free zone! Take that clicky-clack boxy thing away and point it at some sea lions, they don't have any standards.



#SeagullButtSaturday #notatheme #SeagullButtShots 
#SeagullButts #SeagullButtsInDisguise (for other birds; a fine way to use up all those bird shots you took that are "not quite what you were shooting for" and currently languishing on your hard drive.)
#Gulluminati (what the group of non-curators have come to be know as)
#FunniestNonthemeOnGplus #Splatterday (Jasbir's invention, applicable for, ahem, some conditional shots … ;o7)
+Robin Griggs Wood +Ursula Klepper +Christin McLeod +Sassi Sassmannshausen +Lauri Novak +Richard Ball +Craig Szymanski +Melissa Beagle +Ellie Kennard +Cora Triton +Steve Savoie +Pam Wolfe +... more »

haHA! You can't trick me with that fermented anchovy juice into showing my butt today -- I'm in an alcohol-free zone! Take that clicky-clack boxy thing away and point it at some sea lions, they don't have any standards.



#SeagullButtSaturday #notatheme #SeagullButtShots 
#SeagullButts #SeagullButtsInDisguise (for other birds; a fine way to use up all those bird shots you took that are "not quite what you were shooting for" and currently languishing on your hard drive.)
#Gulluminati (what the group of non-curators have come to be know as)
#FunniestNonthemeOnGplus #Splatterday (Jasbir's invention, applicable for, ahem, some conditional shots … ;o7)
+Robin Griggs Wood +Ursula Klepper +Christin McLeod +Sassi Sassmannshausen +Lauri Novak +Richard Ball +Craig Szymanski +Melissa Beagle +Ellie Kennard +Cora Triton +Steve Savoie +Pam Wolfe 
+Jon Cassill +Tom McGowan +Annie Irving +Diana Boyd +Debby Moran +Alex Lapidus +Lou McCorkle +Rob Lopes +Kim Smith +Bette Kauffman +Liz C +Jacqueline Hodsdon
+Darion Jackman +Steven Kennard +Sharon Stone +Dawn Siadatan +Sumit Sen +Jasbir S. Randhawa +Gazzaroonii T. +John Wade +Dave Bell +Swee Oh +Leo Deegan +Nancy Battis Vita +Patrick Kelly +Marilyn Benham +Mari Luukkonen +Lora Lee Chapman +Giselle Savoie +Carin Bruce +David Q. Cohen +Gernot Glaeser +Maureen Roberson +Brian Grzelewski +cobalt please +Darcee McCutcheon +Annelies Jansen +Rachel Ferris +Margaret Tompkins +Jan Vermeulen___

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2014-11-13 15:18:04 (17 comments, 0 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

Some Autumn #leavesonthursday   +Leaves On Thursday curated by +Mehdia Ridder

This is an in-camera multiple exposure using 5 images combined with ICM.

and I really should share (even though it isn't Saturday (sorry folks :) ) for  #unsharpsaturday   with +Alex Lapidus  +Julianne Bockius  +Jetski Jones +Patrice Christian +Nadia Pewinski ( +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 )

Some Autumn #leavesonthursday   +Leaves On Thursday curated by +Mehdia Ridder

This is an in-camera multiple exposure using 5 images combined with ICM.

and I really should share (even though it isn't Saturday (sorry folks :) ) for  #unsharpsaturday   with +Alex Lapidus  +Julianne Bockius  +Jetski Jones +Patrice Christian +Nadia Pewinski ( +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 )___

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2014-11-11 14:36:55 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

Repose

For my final entry in the #5daysofnaturephotoschallenge  I'm including this image of a sleepy sea lion taken at the docks in Newport OR where they haul out and entertain the tourists :)

Thank you +Giselle Savoie for inviting me to play :)

Repose

For my final entry in the #5daysofnaturephotoschallenge  I'm including this image of a sleepy sea lion taken at the docks in Newport OR where they haul out and entertain the tourists :)

Thank you +Giselle Savoie for inviting me to play :)___

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2014-11-11 13:50:47 (21 comments, 4 reshares, 173 +1s)Open 

Sunrise over Sandy River valley

Day 5 of the #splittonefivedaychallenge  that I was nominated for by +Giselle Savoie. I was up early (gag!) to try and get shots of the sun rising behind Mt. Hood in Oregon but the clouds didn't cooperate as I would have liked. Nevertheless the sun streaming through the mist over the river valley made for some interesting shots.

Sunrise over Sandy River valley

Day 5 of the #splittonefivedaychallenge  that I was nominated for by +Giselle Savoie. I was up early (gag!) to try and get shots of the sun rising behind Mt. Hood in Oregon but the clouds didn't cooperate as I would have liked. Nevertheless the sun streaming through the mist over the river valley made for some interesting shots.___

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2014-11-10 16:22:13 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

Day 4 of the #splittonefivedaychallenge

Invited by +Giselle Savoie to experiment I picked a gold tone (HSB= 47 100 100) for the highlights and a brown (HSB= 24 90 73) for the shadows.

If YOU haven't played yet go ahead and jump in and say I forced you :)

Day 4 of the #splittonefivedaychallenge

Invited by +Giselle Savoie to experiment I picked a gold tone (HSB= 47 100 100) for the highlights and a brown (HSB= 24 90 73) for the shadows.

If YOU haven't played yet go ahead and jump in and say I forced you :)___

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2014-11-10 13:50:59 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

Day 4 of the  #5daysofnaturephotochallenge .

+Giselle Savoie challenged me to post a picture a day of a Nature scene and today I offer this image of a jellyfish. As you look, take a moment to relax as you think of the slow pulsing of the bell as it glides through the water. This moment of peace is courtesy of the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport OR :)

Day 4 of the  #5daysofnaturephotochallenge .

+Giselle Savoie challenged me to post a picture a day of a Nature scene and today I offer this image of a jellyfish. As you look, take a moment to relax as you think of the slow pulsing of the bell as it glides through the water. This moment of peace is courtesy of the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport OR :)___

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2014-11-09 15:31:34 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

Today is day 3 of contributions to the  #5daysofnaturephotochallenge  and #splittonefivedaychallenge  in response to the invitation from +Giselle Savoie.

The Nature image is of the little purple flowers which were a spot of colour in the very limited palette of the October Nevada desert. I used a pink/purple highlight tone for the split-toned image of the seagull and I thought the two images contrasted and complemented each other.

Today is day 3 of contributions to the  #5daysofnaturephotochallenge  and #splittonefivedaychallenge  in response to the invitation from +Giselle Savoie.

The Nature image is of the little purple flowers which were a spot of colour in the very limited palette of the October Nevada desert. I used a pink/purple highlight tone for the split-toned image of the seagull and I thought the two images contrasted and complemented each other.___

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2014-11-08 22:13:19 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

+Giselle Savoie also asked me to join in on the #splittonefivedaychallenge  so here is day 2 for this challenge. I'm not tagging any particular individuals for this challenge but if you'd like to join in I'd be happy to be your sponsor :)

+Giselle Savoie also asked me to join in on the #splittonefivedaychallenge  so here is day 2 for this challenge. I'm not tagging any particular individuals for this challenge but if you'd like to join in I'd be happy to be your sponsor :)___

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2014-11-08 21:40:02 (10 comments, 1 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

A little wave action for #unsharpsaturday with +Alex Lapidus  +Julianne Bockius  +Jetski Jones +Patrice Christian +Nadia Pewinski ( +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 )

A little wave action for #unsharpsaturday with +Alex Lapidus  +Julianne Bockius  +Jetski Jones +Patrice Christian +Nadia Pewinski ( +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 )___

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2014-11-08 12:01:47 (10 comments, 0 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Day 2 of #5daysofnaturephotochallenge  after the invitation by +Giselle Savoie 

The Grand Canyon (here at the North Rim at Point Imperial) is definitely not just another hole in the ground :)
I'll also share this one with #landscapephotography +Landscape Photography +Landscape Photography Show +Margaret Tompkins +Jim Warthman +Kevin Rowe +Johan Peijnenburg +David Heath Williams +Tom Hierl +Carolyn Lim +Howard L. Smith +Kai Kosonen +Sheila B. DuBois +Toshi Nakamura +David Pilasky +Bill Wood +Tony Phillips +Jeff Beddow   
+Kevin O'Connell +Tom Lussier
+david Liu

Day 2 of #5daysofnaturephotochallenge  after the invitation by +Giselle Savoie 

The Grand Canyon (here at the North Rim at Point Imperial) is definitely not just another hole in the ground :)
I'll also share this one with #landscapephotography +Landscape Photography +Landscape Photography Show +Margaret Tompkins +Jim Warthman +Kevin Rowe +Johan Peijnenburg +David Heath Williams +Tom Hierl +Carolyn Lim +Howard L. Smith +Kai Kosonen +Sheila B. DuBois +Toshi Nakamura +David Pilasky +Bill Wood +Tony Phillips +Jeff Beddow   
+Kevin O'Connell +Tom Lussier
+david Liu___

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