Getting used to G+

Google Plus mobile page

I’ve been on Google Plus since whenever Alan sent me an invite and we were looking for Social Media networks to replace the ailing FriendFeed we had been using with students. I always think it is worth bagging a username, and I know that Alan usually needs someone to talk to on any new social media network 😉 and to be honest, I love to play with suff.

It has taken me a very, very, long time to get used to G+. The main problems I have had with it have been the ones that are obvious with any new Social Media:

  • no audience that is unique to G+ or doing something different there that they are not already doing on Facebook/ twitter
  • initially, no notification system that attracted my attention, also not helped by not having any ‘stuff’ to be notified about. Email notification drove me mad and I don’t use a desktop browser enough these days to pick up the black google bar notification.
  • lack of a decent mobile interface.

I’ve kept dipping in and out, especially as the undergraduates that I used to mentor on Social Media projects with Alan moved from FriendFeed to Google+. I could see the point, and the benefits (no character limit, richer discussions, in-post video/ rich links out), but the mobile interface, notification and audience didn’t change, so it just didn’t have stickiness for me.

Finally, over this last month I have made a concerted effort to re-engage after finding the iPhone app. The interface isn’t perfect (no rich or embedded links when posting) but they have sorted out two major issues, notification and resharing/ +1. I’ve started to change the people I follow and made several revelatory discoveries, like being able to flip between the streams from each circle to filter out noise when I come to catch up at the end of the school day. I’m starting to discover different information from different people than those on my twitter network. It is starting to click. Alan is usually right in the end.

Jo Badge - Google+


forget the milk?

The Milk Bottle Elephant
The Milk Bottle Elephant

I have been using one of the spare iPod Touches which is not currently involved in our HEAT 3 project.

I really like using it. I didn’t go the whole hog to synchronise the iPT with my entire life when I first started using one at the beginning of the project, back in October, but having seen my husband’s glee at using his iPhone since Christmas, I went mad and just hit that sync button. I have been a .mac subscriber since the time it used to be free iTools back in 2000 (yes, I should I know better but it’s a habit I can’t kick and the autorenew is so cunning), so over the air syncing of calendar and mail is seemless, painless and rather wonderful.

However, I need a task list manager. I love a good list and like ticking things off a list even more, so naturally I need something on the iPT that can satisfy this need. The task list on iCal has never done it for me, and it doesn’t show up on the touch anyway.  I need something in the cloud that will follow me round when I  need it.

I have been trying to use Remember the Milk this week, but it’s only Wednesday and I’m struggling. I just don’t grok it, maybe it’s the interface, may it’s because I am too cheap (or too skint after paying for the .mac account) to pay for the iphone version, but it’s just not doing it for me. I set up the twitter syncing, and I can send tasks by twitter, but can’t get the daily download working and it’s annoying me.

Perhaps I work across too many systems? Gmail and iCal at home, outlook email and calendar at work. Perhaps I just don’t want to tag my lists. Perhaps my list writing ability has deserted me. If anyone else is using RTM successfully, will you let me know why it works for you?

Creating social QR

vCard QR code on iTouch and iMac
vCard QR code on iTouch and iMac

Following our QR workshop today, I wanted to create some QR codes to use during the project. Encoding difficult to remember URLs or Vcard information to display as a QR on my iTouch screen for others to capture seemed like a perfect use for this technology.

So I used snappr to create two social links: ‘follow jobadge on twitter’, and a link to this WP blog and I also made my vCard to add to my iTouch.

follow twitter/jobadge
follow twitter/jobadge
follow DrBadgr blog
follow DrBadgr blog
vCard for Jo Badge
vCard for Jo Badge

The vCard I made using QRstuff which only offered a print to paper option, but created a PDF in the process, so this image is a screen capture, but it still works on screen via the iPhone. I was amazed at that! So no need for paper business cards, or giving people my twitter or blog details now. It can all come with me on the iTouch. Reminds me of the old infra red system palm used to beam information from one device to another. I wonder if this will catch on better than that?

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About a month ago, I bought a white 4GB 700 eeePC. I wanted something to use while away from the office with conference season upon us, I didn’t want to wait for apple to announce nothing much at WWDC. Good job I didn’t wait, as I would have been disappointed (that is not to say that the iPhone PAYG is not looking very attractive to me – will have to see what the pricing is like).

So far, I’ve really liked using it. It is small, cute, easy to use and the keyboard, although small, is a better solution for longer sessions of note taking than a PDA or iTouch would have been. My main grips so far are, of course, battery life, and that the little thing has trouble with our WPA connection to the BT home hub at home. Sometimes it works, sometimes it just won’t connect. I’d also like to be able to post straight to seesmic but that doesn’t seem to work.

Next task is getting to grips with the real desktop, and enabling full desktop mode.