Aug 2, 2012

Like, Love and Don't Like

This week, I like Google+. I know, I know. I bashed Google+ in a previous post but now I’m really warming up to it. Google has smartly begun to include Google+ pages for business in your search results. For example, if your company is found in the result of a Google search, your company now has a Google+ page, whether you created it or not. I’ve had to familiarize myself more with Google+ because of my job and they’ve made a lot of improvements since I first expressed my feelings. The Google+ web version looks great but the iPhone app looks even better. Google+ profiles (for individuals) and pages (for businesses) are growing in numbers very quickly. We’ve read recently about Facebook stock underperforming and allegations of bots driving up ad clicks. Combine that with the fact that everyone has a Gmail account, uses YouTube and Google+ Hangouts are all the rage and I see Google+ growing even bigger, possibly overtaking Facebook.

This week, I love what I have. I’ve gotten a lot of reminders over the past couple of weeks about how I should worry less about what I don’t have and show more appreciation for what I do have. Reports about the large contracts of celebrities and athletes are great fuel for the envy fire. I’ve also been recently struggling with the concept of “Wealth Inequality”, which pertains to the fact that an extremely small percentage of Americans control a large portion of the nation’s wealth. But I have two powerful tools that help me realize that I am far better off than anyone that I perceive to be of superior wealth. One is named Julie and the other is named Graham.

This week, I don’t like keyboard courage. The false confidence that comes from the anonymity of internet chat rooms and website comment sections is as old as the internet itself. A perfect example of keyboard courage can be seen on the vile and hate-filled attacks launched on the Facebook pages of Oreo and Chick-Fil-A. It’s sad that we have to get cultural guidance from food and even sadder that keyboard courage allows our emotions get out of control. I really think that the majority of cruel online comments would not be made if the user knew that a robotic fist could emerge from their screen with great velocity in reaction to such comments. But there is good news! Some popular websites are implementing measures to cut back on keyboard courage. YouTube (err, Google) is taking the first steps to require users to identify themselves with their real name and a photo. USA Today (notorious for keyboard courageous commenters) switched to Facebook’s commenting system, which requires commenters to log in with their Facebook profile in order to comment (tip: it’s getting more difficult to create phony Facebook profiles).

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