My favorite one is ” Great minds share the same news articles” haha.
With Google announcing a pretty big overhaul of Google+ at I/O 2013, there has been some increased visibility for the social network lately. And the same critics who have barely used it have come out again to complain about having no one to talk to on there. Simply put, they are wrong.
Google+ is not the same thing as Facebook or Twitter and shouldn’t be used the same way in a lot of cases. It’s not a place to get baby pictures from your family or read one liner jokes and quick sports updates. In general, Google+ is a place to share content and have meaningful discussions about it.
If you want to dive into Google+, here are some steps to avoid the “ghost town” that people seem to think it is.
Search for you interests, and then follow people posting about those things. Add them to, or create, circles based on those subjects. When they post, comment on them. A lot of people on Google+ will follow you back if your comments are insightful and your own posts are good as well.
Join some communities. This is the best way to interact with new people. Communities are Google+’s version of message boards. You can find them for almost anything. Some of mine are centered around comic books, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and Firefly. Post and comment in those and you will discover other people with similar interests to add to your regular circles.
Do not treat it like Facebook and Twitter. If you want to share pictures of your dog or baby, circles enable you to only share it with the people who actually care, and you won’t be flooding other people with unwanted posts. It’s also not great to treat it as a mind dump like twitter; posts with good content and that can generate discussion usually do well.
Between Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, I am involved with quite a few networks and have about the same amount of activity on each. But by doing what I just outlined, and treating each one differently with minimal overlap, I easily get way more interactions on Google+ than any of the other networks. So this “ghost town” that critics talk about is nonexistent to me.
I gave up all social media for a month, and I’m glad I did. I didn’t delete them or anything because I knew that I would come back, at least in some capacity… eventually. And I still checked the comic book sections of reddit and Google+ (because yes I’m a nerd, and none of my real life friends share this particular geeky passion). It was nice to not feel the compulsion to dig my phone out of my pocket every 5 to 10 minutes and refresh all my feeds. Of course there were downsides as well. Minor annoyances were things like missing out on events that only got posted to Facebook, or missing out on a new music recommendation, but I also almost missed out on a friend’s life changing event. So giving up completely is obviously unavoidable.
In the absence of constantly checking feeds, I added a few more sites to my RSS reader that I normally catch on social media. In the absence of randomly posting whatever came to mind, I bought a journal and would write in there. That was interesting. I hardly used it until about midway through the month because I kind of forced myself. It also lead to the rediscovery that most of what I post is pointless; I didn’t write down even half of what I normally would be posting because I didn’t think it was worthy enough to waste ink and paper on. Most of what I would normally post to Twitter or Facebook just looked silly once it’s visibly displayed on paper. Actually writing things down also lead to more self editing and produced better “content” (duh).
I have now been back on the networks for about 5 days. My plan was to keep using the journal and then posting it somewhere else if I thought it was worth it. And while I haven’t completely stuck to that, when I have posted something that was previously written down and edited, it has gotten a better response.
However, posting wasn’t the real reason I wanted to take a break, it was constantly consuming all of the networks. Once I logged back in I fell right back into that compulsion, then knew I needed to modify something. As of now, I believe that I have come up with a good compromise using the Flipboard app. On each network, I created a list of people that I wanted to see every update and assigned a section in Flipboard for each one. This way, I don’t miss out on anything important. Then, I use the Flipboard “Cover Stories” section for everything else. This section takes certain articles from everywhere using a magic algorithm to determine what gets displayed, so it gives me a sampling of all the less important stuff. I have only just set this up so we will see if it works out, but it seems like a happy medium. I’m looking forward to not wasting so much time.
Okay, back to reddit…
Header image courtesy of socialmediagroup.com
It can be cumbersome sharing a photo to Twitter and @mentioning someone whose Twitter username is different from their Instagram username. Today, we’ve rolled out a change that will make sharing to Twitter more seamless.
For photos shared to Twitter, Instagram now translates @mentions for users…
Seems funny that this got implemented with twitter first. Where you at Facebook? Why can’t we tag people automatically too?
Facebook changed their News Feed algorithm (again) so that now it seems like my News Feed is all pictures from someecards and lame internet memes that friends have “Liked”. After searching around Google (with no luck) I decided to dig around and think I have found the solution.
1. Click on a FRIENDS list in the left hand column.
2. In the top left, right under your name, click the “Manage List” button. Then select ”Choose Update Types…”
3. Click the “Manage List” button again (the dropdown should be updated) and un-check all the stuff you don’t want to see from them. In my case it’s “Games” and “Comments and Likes”.
4. Repeat this for each FRIENDS list that you have.
Now your News Feed is back to normal. You can thank me later.
This has been a huge week for LGBT issues; both good (Tom Gabel coming out as transgender, California banning sexual orientation conversion therapy, and Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage), and bad (N. Carolina’s Amendment One). The good outweighs the bad right now and hopefully this trend continues.
The thing that I most enjoy about all this news though, is the fact that homophobes and bigots have to hear about it all. With Facebook and social media, they can no longer just stay in their little bubbles and avoid things that don’t fit in with their close-minded worldview. With every article that shows up on their news feed, they have to re-affirm their hate-filled beliefs, and continue to feel uncomfortable. Good. Keep squirming. And hopefully someday that squirming will cause the resolve to break and they will realize that hate is a shitty way to live.
This will be my new series of “Stupid comments on Facebook that I want to call out but don’t want to offend so I’ll passive aggressively post them on Tumblr.”
We’ll see how long before said facebookers come over here, or I accidentally press the enter button haha.