Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook to federal agents: No, you don’t get to create fake profiles to ensnare suspects

“THE ZUCK STOPS HERE!”

– what he should have said.

Facebook is serious about real people using real names on its service. After initially cracking down on drag queens, the social network is going after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for using fake profiles.

IMO: Awesomeness…

Mark is doing the right thing. By allowing authorities to do crap like this is absolutely the worst way to create much worse problems than they are trying to prevent.

These people are employed by the citizens (through taxation), to act in our best interest, but in reality, are more concerned with the war on drugs, than the war on hate.

This makes them no better than pedophiles luring in young children, scammers luring in identity theft victims, and it only slows down our ability to Fix the BIGGER picture:

The “War on Boundaries,” meaning that we, as citizens of this planet, should be able to communicate amongst ourselves and to any other society, without government intervention. What led to the “Arab Spring,” is now trying to be disrupted, right here in “The Land of the Free.”

Don’t get me started on the war on drugs, which turns people who, at worst, were messing up their own personal lives, and turns them into actual criminals. Of course, cannabis is still considered “Schedule One” (meaning it has absolutely zero possible medical benefits), so it has been illegal for researchers to discover that it is the one plant with more potential medical uses than anything.

The Average Ratio of Chemicals Found in Cannabis:
IMG_5148.JPGTHC, is the tiny light blue sliver… The stuff that is strictly pleasure, although, in healthy usage, even that has medical benefits to help with everything else…

The man responsible for turning it into a Schedule One drug back in 1970, has already openly confessed his mistake, the evidence confiscated that exposed how the drug companies already discovered this, and made it a primary effort to spread misinformation about it, out of the very possible fear that it will cure cancer.

Yes, the wave of decriminalized regulations is sweeping the country, but why the hell was every leader in our country on TV the next day demanding immediate, emergency actions to fully allow testing to be done nationwide.

I’m not talking about letting people do it, although that’s happening already, I’m saying that when the guy who made it officially unhealthy admits he was lied to, completely screwed up, and produces a film proving this, if any leader in this country had the lives of their people as a top priority, things would have changed immediately.

“WEED” is about 6 people, forced to illegally acquire alternative medication, and their desperate attempt to cure of themselves of diseases that doctors said were uncurable, untreatable, and there is no longer any reason to keep trying….

All of them: Alive. 100% healthy. 2 of them were little children…

IMG_5171.JPGThese are not my opinions (though I agree 100%), but rather the man, once misled by these people. He goes on to say about how we’ve been lied to as people for 70 years, and that he will devote the rest of his life trying to undue him indirectly preventing countless deaths.

I’d be slightly more understanding, if they were entrapping pedophiles or an identity thief – people who are actively ruining other people’s lives. What we need to realize is that, as much as it saddens me to say this, they’re worse than those people, because they do it in a guise of trying to help us out and keep us safe.

They keep us from curing, so they can profit off the horrendously excruciating drug cocktails that let us live a tiny bit longer.

They care about $$$… and not completely out of fear that they will be put out of business, because even if cannabis end up having 1 million medical uses, those pharmaceutical companies could adjust the way they do things to create those products. However, it is not out of fear that they will be put out of business.

We have to face the truth, as much as it hurts, in order to ever solve this:

They make more money by NOT curing or preventing diseases, then using desperation to sell hope. Hope in the form of 30 year old medical science. That’s how long it’s been since we’ve made any noticeable advancements on chemotherapy.

Medical Science 3 decades old… sounds a lot to me like the pyramid scheme of snake oilers. The only ones who can change this is all of us. THAT is why they use privacy scares to keep us down, just like in horrific countries.

Are YOU going to let this happen?

Click here to read the actual article.

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Google sincerely thinks that Google+ is the future of Google

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A Google and Google+ Future

While I believe this is a definite possibility (and admittedly being a Google+ fan myself), there is much more to ruling the future of the internet than scooping up new, ignorant users. Google+ needs to up its game in terms of features, user-friendliness, intuitiveness, learning curve, and really just a whole makeover. I’ve been patient with Google+, but it has been too long now without any significant updates or improvements.

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A Facebook Future

Facebook (I hate to say it) now dominates Google+ in features, and they are slowly learning that people would rather connect with like-minded strangers than the people they shared a high school with (that no longer share any interests with them).

Google+ can be the future of Google (and the Internet), but it needs a little push…

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Making Google+ the Best Social Network (Part 2) – DESTROY FACEBOOK

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[Takes off Gloves…]

I disagree with most other power users / old schoolers in having so many ways a user can customize the way their stream comes in (i.e. volume controls).

Although I do think there should be different types of streams available, I don’t think that a user should have to go through the work of setting it up and customizing it. Power-users don’t mind doing the grunt work, but honestly it’s a cop out and a massive turn off to any new users.

The fact that we have to manage the stream by organizing circles and setting volumes is weak. Google has the capacity to carry out the same goal without users having to micromanage their circles and set volumes.

They have our data and usage statistics. They know exactly how we use the site, what type of content we like, who we interact with and how. This data should be used to make multiple algorithms (equations that figure the flow of the stream) available for a user to select from.

For Example, There Could Be:

  1. a “What’s Hot” stream based on popularity.
  2. a “Recommended Content” stream based on shared interests and shared social graph.
  3. a “Interests” stream not taking social into consideration.
  4. a “Social Stream” not taking interests into consideration.

It Just Works

They can cook this up behind the scenes, and user just automatically is immersed in the full experience of Google Plus. Managing Circles is strictly for organizing who you want to post to, but is not required. This is what I go into depth in my post titled “Making Google+ the Best Social Network” under the hashtag #MakingGooglePlusTheBest (Search for that hashtag on Google+).

Honestly, its user base is the best, and a lot of what it has to offer is the best, but it really could rival and beat Facebook for all types of users, not just power users. If it was my first day on Google+, and I wasn’t such a geek, I would GTFO ASAP, because it takes so much work just to get it to work.

Ask Yourself That Same Question:

If this was your first day, as a new user, on Google+, and you weren’t already a Google fanboi, would you come back the next day?

If the answer is anything short of “HELL YES!,” then the network has failed.

Google+ Should “Just Work” on Day One: Automatically, Intuitively, and Quickly

I have suggestions of how they can accomplish it on the post I referred to earlier, with a combination of changing / adding different algorithms for streams, setting up an “interests” tab on a user’s profile (one column for “what I want to see” and one column for “what I post about”).

A user sets this up day one, and Google+ is suddenly immersing the user in a full user-friendly experience unlike anything else out there. Plus ones would be used to further refine this interest graph, but the primary cause would be the “interests” tab set up by a new user on day 1.

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If you need an example of what I’m talking about, refer to StumbleUpon as an example. When a user sets up their initial profile, they select from a huge list of generic interest topics (it’s about 200 topics). Google could use this data to instantly give users with the types of content they want to see. Setting up a second column for “Things I post about” would allow Google to know about that user’s posts, helping deliver it to the right people (since somebody might love reading about science, but only post funny pictures).

Give the user the opportunity to set that up DAY 1, and Google+ automatically is serving up relevant content to the user (before they even circle one person). Then, as time goes on, they see certain users they like, or interact with them in comments, and add them to the circle.

  • Delivering relevant content is Priority 1.
  • Meeting other users is Priority 2 (caused by Priority 1).

Flip it Over

Right now, you have to meet people first, and hope that what they post about is what you want to read about, you have to go back and adjust your circles when you put someone in a circle with too high of a volume or they don’t end up posting anything you like.

I’m sorry, but that’s not the future of communication, it’s actually kinda BS if you think about it. Google+ should work for the user, not the other way around.

Currently the User is Doing ALL The Work

That’s why it will never beat Facebook in its current condition. It needs a prime differentiating factor, and that differentiating factor needs to take precedence over everything else. Facebook provides content from people you’re connected with. Google+ should allow you to connect with people you share interests with.

DESTROY FACEBOOK

Some people say, “well Google+ doesn’t have to be as big as Facebook to be successful,” and to those people I say “bullshit.” Meeting new people based on shared interests is the future of communication,and it is a stronger working model than what Facebook is built on.

If Google capitalizes and realizes this, it actually will “take over” and still have all the benefits that power-users love today. If it’s absolutely needed, further personal customization could be an OPTIONAL feature that power users can take advantage of, but which is not NEEDED in order for the site to be enjoyable.

Google+ will never beat Facebook, until it becomes a DAY ONE FULL USER EXPERIENCE. Until that point, users will sign up, fiddle around for a bit, and then chunk a deuce, because there’s now too much work for a user to do to make the site even enjoyable. It needs to be improved to the extent that the site is enjoyable for a brand new user on day one, and in a different way than what’s already available to them on Facebook.

Heavily Weighting Interests is the Key to Google’s Future Growth and Success

It’s what gives it the potential to be the best, hands down. I know I’m being harsh, but it’s only because, while I love Google+, I see it as a failure in living up to its potential (I don’t use Facebook or Twitter).

Google+ should be THE BEST, and anything short of that is unacceptable in my opinion. Google is the greatest company in the world, with the smartest people working on their products. Anything other than the best is not acceptable. Anything that is just us “Google Plus Been Here Forever Nerds” enjoying the site is unacceptable.

Google+ Suggested Main Stream Algorithm

User Experience

They learned this lesson with Android vs Apple… the product has to just automatically work for anybody day one. They were still able to support the ability to customize it, but they changed it up enough to be more intuitive and user-friendly.

This is what I’m saying they need to do with Google+, so don’t worry power-users. I’m not trying to take anything away, I’m trying to improve upon what it has, recognize what it lacks, and make improvements that keep the great stuff and get rid of the not so great stuff.

Ultimate Goal:

Make Google+ fully working on day one to the point that you could randomly take a stranger off the street, sit them down in front of a computer, and within a couple of hours they already love Google+.

That is the standard I am calling for / demanding. I know I was a bit harsh, but keep in mind that I am probably as big as a Google+ fan there is. When I write this post, I’m not bashing Google+ or bitching about its flaws, I’m mentally acting as the CEO, calling a meeting of the people who work so hard on this site:

Keep up the good work, but get better. It’s time to step up our game. It’s time to stop settling for being a niche network. It’s time to DESTROY FACEBOOK!

“Living Well is a Healthy Disregard for the Impossible.”

– Larry Page

I’m sorry, but I don’t see that motto being applied to Google+. I love you like a brother, Larry. We are soul mates, separated at birth, whom both see the world in the same way. At the same time, I love Google+ enough to call you out on its shortcomings. It’s what I would want you to do to me, if we were in reverse roles.

Facebook sucks, and Google+ is squandering its potential to be the number one social network in the world, forever changing the way society interacts. Go big or Go home.

Keep Customization, but Hide it

Make it optional. Keep it in the backstage, where power users can still get to it. We won’t get any more power users, if user-controlled customization is necessary to make the site work.

On the surface, it runs automatically using secret sauce. Off to the side, there are options for users who want to do super geeky customizations.

The same thing that had to happen with Android. Google learned that it needed a more intuitive experience, and they made significant changes that would appeal to consumers in the same way that iOS did to Apple users. They still kept the customizable, geeky stuff available, but it was no longer required or predominantly featured.

How Google+ Should Be Like

When you open it up, it just works. When you spend more time on the site, you find ways you can make tweaks to it. So, the geeks and tweakers stay happy, but the average joe can enjoy the site just as much. Right now, it’s a geeks only site. Some people like that aspect, but from a business standpoint, that is a failure.

  • EVERYONE uses Google Search.
  • EVERYONE should be using Google+.

Time or Minor Updates to the Site Will Not Solve This Problem

Google+ needs to first define it’s purpose:

  • Delivering awesome content and allowing you to meet cool people from around the world while interacting on that content.
  • Second, it needs to build the site to maximize on its differentiation.
  • Third, it needs to market the shit out of what’s so cool about Google Plus and why it’s so different.

Circles was their original plan for differentiation, but not only did Facebook immediately join these same abilities into its site, I don’t think it’s that great of a system.

Yes, keep circles. There are reasons for them, but don’t make THAT the primary focus. Don’t make circles required for the site to work. Circles comes after you meet the cool people. You meet the cool people as you discover the amazing content, not by searching through hundreds of profiles or blindly adding shared circles.

 

Making Google+ The Best Social Network Ever

I have a few recommendations of how to make Google+ a much richer experience and completely dominate the future of the web. These recommendations are based on both my own personal experience using the network and observation of others using it.

google-plus

Personal Google+ Trends Analysis

These are trends that have occurred more often in recent months, but have developed since after the first six months of the social network’s opening. I expect some of it, since it is no longer the “hot, new, social network,” but I also have some possible explanations and suggestions that could improve the quality of Google+.

  • More Circle Adds

I get a lot more people adding me to their circles, lately. I assume this to be because the more circles you are in, the more likely you are to be suggested to be added to a circle.

  • Less Post Engagement

I receive much less engagement on my posts than from the “early days” of Google+, and it has been on the decline in the past few months. I attribute this to a number of things:

The Dynamic of Google+ Has Changed:

change_for_a_dollar

There is less discussion going on in the comments (an aspect that made me fall in love with Google+ in the first place), and there has been a shift to quick posts with GIFs, Memes, and Links posted. I notice that when I post more original content, and not just a simple re-share of something I’ve found somewhere else on the net, I’m more likely to get engagement on it.

I look at it like: why discuss something that is just a simple picture, meme, or re-shared article?

Original Content Versus Generic Content

I also notice that people have more interest in my original content, because it is discussing topics not over-filling the rest of the web. When I stick to focusing on and talking about what I know best (futurism, psychology, creativity, giftedness, and personality types), I am much more likely to get engagement than when I post about more generic topics (tech news, gadgets, memes, business news, etc.),

Although a well-timed funny picture will still acquire a few Plus1’s.

Moving Forward: Making Google+ the Best it Can Be – The Best Social Network

adapt_or_die1

I believe that the prime differentiating factor of Google+ is in discovering content that you want to see. I see this as a backdoor to adding people to circles… after you see content from someone who you enjoy, or you have a pleasant interaction with them in the comments, THEN you add them to circles. Therefore I believe that the main stream of Google+ should show content from people not in your circles, as well.

I provided a suggested algorithm a few posts ago under the hash-tag #GooglePlusFeatureRequest  (I’ll post the picture on this at the bottom of the article).

While I do think “social connection” should be taken in consideration when displaying new posts, I believe that “suggested content based on shared interests and similar plus 1’s” to take a priority to this.

I also believe that there should be an “interests” tab on a users profile, which allows them to select from a long list of topics of posts that they are interested in seeing in the stream. There could also be a second column for “things I post about” to further refine and make the interest graph more accurate.

For example: A person might love seeing posts about science, but they only post memes. Having a two column system would allow for a column for “things I want to see” and “things I actually post.” Plus 1’s are a way that Google develops the interest graph, but I think that having this “interests” tab would be a way to jumpstart and more accurately define the content users want to see.

New User Learning Curve

One of the main lacking features of Google+ is the learning curve for new users. A lot of us have been here since day 1, so we don’t see this as an issue. However, take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of a user who is just signing up for Google+ for the first time. They have to search out users, which they may not even know how to do, to get any content in their feed. With an “interests” tab set up in place, it would allow new users to immediately become immersed in all that Google+ potentially has to offer.

Summary

Social And Interest Graphs

Content that a user wants to see = Top Priority

Connecting with like-minded users = Second Priority that happens organically by engaging on the content you like with other users. You meet the other users in a natural “real-life” way, by “clicking” in the discussions of topics that you both enjoy.

I know that some power users are against the idea of Google using so much “secret sauce” in order for the product to work, and viewing the stream in this way could be “opt-out.”

Simply put, I want a stream that is not “What’s Hot” (based on popularity), but a stream for “What’s Hot for You” (based on personalizing the interest tabs, shared plus 1’s, and social connection — in that order).

This will do more to open global communication by keeping users on the site longer providing a better overall experience. When users are on the site longer, they will be more likely to come in contact with users that they get along with, and they can THEN add them to their circles.

Google+ Suggested Main Stream Algorithm

 

An Incredible Idea for a Social Network

  • There is only one real user.
  • The rest of the users are “bots.”
  • The “bots” are pre-programmed with different reactions to various situations.
  • The bots would feed input into the user by using different backgrounds, appearance, belief systems.
  • We would see where the user gravitated towards, and adjust algorithms to fit this.
  • The “user” would also be teaching the “bots” to become more intelligent, because of the quantified self data collected from the user.

As time went on, the “bots” may develop artificial intelligence of their own, by using the usage patterns (both on and offline) of the user to create a true quantified self.

From Social Network to Extension or App

We have social graph, we have open graph, and we have interest graph, but what we lack is a “personality graph.” It could even be played around with to see how recommending users based on personality.

An advanced / updated form of MBTI to form the foundations of these bots (to begin with) to develop their core algorithms. It would follow the patterns of MBTI / Socionics, but the distribution of cognitive functions would not be a template, we’d throw in some randomness to make it more real world applicable.  After all, you and I may both be ENTPs, but that doesn’t mean that our cognitive functions are distributed evenly.A new test would need to be formulated, because the online tests are not based on true Jungian Theory, but a bastardized version of it.

Eventual Benefit to Society and Technology

Part of developing this app / extension / overlay would be created by a much more correct form of testing. This could work as an extension overlay to the existing API or as a separate app. It would also need to pull from interests and social connections, (like every other form of app out there) to get a big picture of what this data really means.

For example, it may be discovered that all members of a certain type have a particular taste in music, movies, hobbies… We already “know” that they do, but this would put real results to support it.

The data collected by this application would be priceless, and could be used to develop products for years to come.

The Moment of Truth

We’re divided, for the most part, in two main groups.:

1. The Old-Schoolers

These are the people brought up in a different world. They’re afraid or disinterested in radical changes.

They think the next generation is way too obsessed with social media, technology, and pleasure.

They think we are uncommitted to picking one occupation and mastering it.

They think we are lazy, with a short attention span.

The old-schoolers are the ones in power. They are our leaders of government and massive corporations.

2. The New-Schoolers

They embrace new technology and do love social media.

They like to mix business and pleasure, personal and professional.

They like to write about their opinions on the public net, unafraid of who sees it.

Due to social media, and innovations such as Google Search and Wikipedia, don’t like traditional education.

They may not get the depth of knowledge from reading an expert’s book or scholarly articles, but have a breadth of knowledge about many different topics.

They become curious about a topic, google it, and learn about it on their own.

They are a generation of polymaths, with diverse sets of skills and knowledge.

They don’t want their entire life or career mapped out ahead of time, don’t mind flexibility, and believe in collaboration.

They are frustrated with the way the world, business, and society runs.

They despise the old-school way of thinking, but feel powerless to change it, since the old-schoolers have all the power and control.

Partial Truth and Not Seeing the Big Picture

Both sides have valid points. It’s simply the way society has evolved. At the same time, both sides are blind to something the world constantly forgets: Even though big changes are difficult and seem impossible, they always happen.

People look at the current state of affairs and base their personal view of the world on this alone. Best case scenario, they notice the most recent changes from the last 5 years. This is an inaccurate way to see things.

A New Perspective

Go back 20 years into the past, and compare that world to the world of today:

Radically different.

Now, take that same measurement of change and apply it to 20 years in the future:

Wow.

If you really do this, you’ll realize how dramatically things do change in every aspect of life. This cycle has happened a countless number of times throughout history.

It’s just like if you see a person everyday, they seem to be the exact same; unchanging.

Run into someone from back in school from many years ago that you haven’t seen. You hardly believe it’s the same person.

Taking Advantage of This New Perspective

The key to making big changes is to stop looking at things in such a day-to-day, year-to-year manner.

Force yourself to actually look back 20 years ago.

Look at today, and see what has changed.

Force yourself to imagine how much will inevitably be different 20 years from now.

Take into account the right-around-the-corner changes we already know about.

Use these vantage points to form an educated prediction of the future.

Use this prediction of the future to dream up all the problems and opportunities that will occur.

Determine the best way that you as a person, group, or company can make an impact to this predicted future.

Invest at least a portion of your current profits into begin developing the innovation.

Look past next quarter’s earnings, and devote a portion of your operations to these ideas, even though there won’t be a return on investment for quite a while.

Your company will profit a bit less right now, because of this.

Keep calm and stay committed to the long-term vision.

The Disruption

Even before the “future” arrives, you will, out-of-nowhere, pop up with an innovation that blows everyone away.

It will appear as magic to the mass population, because they’ve still been living in the present / immediate future this whole time.

This “magic” will create a massive following. It will inspire future generations, and restore faith to those who had given up hope. It will disrupt everything.

The best part is that you weren’t any more talented than your competitors. You may have even been a smaller player in the industry. You may have had less resources, cash flow, and reputation than everyone else.

Suddenly, and without warning, you are now the big player — you hold the power. Consequently, you can use your new prestige to keep the mindset going.

All of your success is derived from forcing yourselves to see ahead and then staying committed to the big vision.

One Individual vs The World

It’s easy to see how an already successful business can do this, simply by changing their perspective a little bit.

It’s harder to see how a single person can innovate on such a massive scale.

That’s where some of the “right now” technology at our disposal changes everything: Tools that allow easier collaboration and sharing of knowledge.

These tools are available right now, but do we use them? A perfect example is Google+.

It’s 100% possible for like-minded individuals to come together and form companies of their own, combining their strengths and shared vision.

At first, it may mean forming small companies / collaboration teams, and then presenting this information to larger companies (better yet, people that will invest directly in you and allow you the resources to actually create the innovation on your own, i.e. Facebook).

The key here is collaborating and getting things started. Create the products, concepts, and ideas that you truly believe can make a big impact.

If you start to make it happen, it may actually happen. If you sit on your ass bitching about the way things are, it won’t.

The Future is Inevitable. Still Open to Suggestions

The future is going to change dramatically, like it or not. However, it may not be the one we wanted or needed.

If you don’t jump in soon, you won’t be a part of what made it happen. Plus, that one crazy idea you had could have potentially had the biggest impact.

Missing out on one person’s insight or dream, could mean the difference between SkyNet and a utopian global awakening.

It’s easy to point out flaws in the system. Actually having a solution planned out is what makes you an innovator instead of a critic.

Google+ Communities: A Step Towards The Future of Networking

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Can You Meet Me Halfway?

Since it’s introduction, Google+ has created an entirely new means of communicating. It’s now possible for newbies to interact with leaders in the field.

It created the opportunity for an individual to “get their name out there” and actually contribute to topics that interest them. Personally, I’ve gone from a “nobody” to someone that actually knows what they’re talking about, simply by posting my thoughts and engaging in the comments of other people’s posts.

Who you know is becoming less important, and what you know is becoming more relevant. This trend will continue to open more opportunities to people that may otherwise be lost out in the world somewhere.

It still hasn’t fully evolved to the point that it will soon, but we’re making progress. Eventually, this organic networking will replace traditional methods of sourcing and recruiting.

Communities

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From The Verge:

“Today Google+ is announcing its first major new product, Communities, which lets users create groups, organize, and communicate around their interests. It’s a clear effort to define Google+ against competitors like Facebook and Twitter.

It’s not about organizing around friends and family or following your interests in real-time. It’s an online hub where people, both friends and strangers, can congregate around topics of interest, post their own thoughts, and chat in real time with Google+ Hangouts.”

Google’s Promotional Video for Communities

The Effect

With the introduction of Communities, there will be an even greater shift in the direction to a more open, collaborative web. This also means a ripple effect out into the real world.

There will now be consistent homes for certain topics, providing a chance for anyone to make an impact, to learn, to have support, and to be noticed.

Reinventing the Wheel

Of course, all of these functions have been available for years, in one form or another. Communities is really nothing more than a forum. What makes this so relevant, is its tight integration to the social network.

Facebook and LinkedIn have had Groups for some time now, which is essentially the same concept. The nature of Google+ vs these other networks, however, means that it will have a much larger impact on society.

Facebook is all about sharing with the people you already know, such as close friends and family. LinkedIn is about professional networking and job searching.

Google+, however, is about being who you are, following and discussing passions and interests, and meeting people who share those interests with you. The interest or passion might be a favorite TV show, a topic, or a profession.

Evolving Society

Google+ is about everything that matters to you and then being able to teach, learn, and share that with similar people from around the world.

It is the future of society, where lines start vanishing between the things that they now separate:

  • Personal and Professional
  • Education and Fun
  • Local and Global
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Consuming and Sharing

I’m looking forward to the complete roll-out and all the possibilities created by it. I already have a growing list of ways I’d like to use it…