Google+ the first days


For the last few days I have been trying out Google+ and I have to say I am pleased with what I am seeing. That is not entirely fair as I have always been a great supporter of Google. Not that really matters to anyone but I would like to have it said anyway.

Google+ v Facebook?

I see that there is a lot of speculation going on about whether Google+ is going to be the new Facebook. I will not look at this from a business perspective but all I can say is that so far I can imagine both having their own charm. At the same time, looking at all the other tools that Google already has, I could imagine a that in the future this can all be brought together to have yourself you own social portal. A place to share, read, work, be in contact with your friends, follow the news and all the other things that Google has made available.

At the same time, I like Facebook as well and over time it has proven to be one of my sites of choice both from a social and business perspective (although admittedly these two are harder and harder to separate lately). However with the Google+ to Facebook app, I can follow and update everything that’s going on Facebook. The immediate convert can go for even more drastic measures and export his or her photos from Facebook to Picasa for sharing on Google+

Google+ Features

Personally I have not seen anything on Google+ that can not also be done on Facebook, with a little more or less work. Facebook has lists, Google has Circles. Sure enough I am pretty simple when it comes to matters like privacy or being overblown with comments etc, it’s all fine.

Profile

The Google plus profile page is nice and clean, with not to many distractions. I am curious to see how that’ll pan out after the official launch and when the advertisements are incorporated. So far all good.

Circles

Circles is what the lists are in Facebook, a way of organizing your friends business network, family and whatever you may come up with. It is handy and at the same time I can already see how it is very easy to get over the to with. I could imagine some good use for it, but at the same time nothing too new under the sun here.

Stream

Stream shows you what everyone in your network is posting and sharing. I am particularly happy with the ability to filter out according to specific streams and like facebook those that overdo it and crowd your stream too much can be blocked or hidden.

Further Features

Further features include the possibility to share photos, videos, post status updates and more. There is a buzz option which shows you stream from twitter, wordpress blogs etc works great and a +1 button which I do not quite get yet but seems to be similar to a like button.

For the immediate convert there is already a number of facebook related apps available such as the option to see and update your facebook home page, an option to export to your facebook photo albums to (picasa) google+, an app to export your facebook friends to your google+ account.

Looking Back

Looking back on the first experiences I am pretty happy with it and so far Google+ is seems to be the one with the least amount of deep sighs in trying to get things to work the way I want it. Whatever the experts say I could see this proving to be serious competition.

Looking Forward

Given all the other things Google I already use: email, calender, search, specialist search, docs, picasa (as a backup for flickr), google earth, google reader, notofications, google sites, you tube, google talk and translate I could imagine a merge of all these functionality and see myself having one big social portal with everything in there.  For the time being, Google+ has won my heart.

Want an invite? leave your email address as a comment.

(John)Key Notes 25 February 2011


 

25 February 2011
Click here

to watch my latest video journal on YouTube 

Watch this video on YouTube

 

STANDING ALONGSIDE CANTABRIANS

My thoughts and sympathies are with everyone who’s been affected by Tuesday’s earthquake, especially those who have lost loved ones. Watch or read my speech here

I’ve been down to Christchurch a few times since the earthquake. When I walked through the central city, it felt surreal. It was eerily quiet but as you looked around you knew that a real catastrophe had taken place.

It’s a disaster that has affected all New Zealanders in some way.

I’ve been heartbroken by stories of great loss and pain, and shocked by the extent of the damage. But I’ve also been encouraged by the survivor spirit of Cantabrians. It’s that spirit that I believe will get you through.

In Lyttleton, I saw a community that was devastated but rallying together in its time of greatest need. I met a woman who was cooking almost enough food to feed an army. Locals were bringing food from their freezers to her, she was cooking it, and they were sharing it with all who needed something to eat.

I met international tourists in Hagley Park who had fled from where they were at the time of the earthquake, leaving behind all their possessions including passports. They told me they were amazed by how well Cantabrians had looked after them and helped them.

That extraordinary spirit makes me proud to be a New Zealander.

This earthquake marks the beginning of a long and challenging journey for Christchurch. But New Zealanders stand shoulder to shoulder with you as you face this journey, and the Government is behind you 100 per cent of the way.

I want to acknowledge the huge amount of work being put in by so many people, particularly the hundreds of search and rescue workers, emergency personnel, and medical professionals.

Though lost lives will never be replaced, and though Christchurch will never look the same, we will help Cantabrians rebuild their lives.

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE SO FAR

Our immediate focus is on search and rescue. Here’s some of what the government has done so far:

For the latest information on the Government’s response, click here.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

I’d like to thank the thousands of New Zealanders, and people around the world, who are donating money and offering to help Christchurch.

If you would like to help, you could contact the Red Cross (www.redcross.org.nz), the Salvation Army (www.salvationarmy.org.nz) or the Rotary New Zealand World Community Service (www.rnzwcs.org). Many banks are also offering ways to help, so contact your bank to find out more.

All other offers of help from the public should be directed to earthquakehelp@msd.govt.nz.

Best wishes,

John Key
Prime Minister

Click here to view photos on Flickr of my visits to Canterbury this week.

 

Comment

Thanks John for these notes, you presence here in Christchurch is, I am sure greatly appreciated. For the first time in a long time they felt for real again.

The Google Art Project


Here you are trying to view a major work of art like a Van Gogh, a Picasso or a Dali to find yourself surrounded by so many others that the experience is hardly possible. All those around you want exactly the same that

The Google Art Project offers an alternative way to view some of the world’s most famous artworks, in greater detail and with a better view than you very likely would often achieve when viewing these works in real life.

Some believe Google’s Art Project will allow thousands more people to view and appreciate works that they may never get the chance to see in person. Others believe that no matter how impressive, technology can never replace the experience of viewing a work in the flesh and some commentators wonder what sort of implications this kind of project will have on people’s need to visit galleries or museums in future.

More about it in the video below

I think this is pretty cool and at the same time it will never be able to replace the real life face to face thingy. I so well remember, that after having looked at (detailed photos of) Starry Nights by Van Gogh, coming face to face with this painting was as emotional as reuniting with an old friend. No computer experience can in my view compete with seeing a Dali in larger than live size. It is in that experience that you get a real appreciation for his sense of detail.

At the same time I could imagine that the Google project is adding extra dimensions  because of its level of detail. Whatever the pros and cons, I think it is a great idea.

The links below feature some interesting views on the project:

  1. The Work of Art in the Age of Google
  2. Behind The Scenes At The Google Art Project
  3. The Problem With Google’s Art Project
  4. Google Art Project: the 7 billion pixel masterpieces (slideshow)

I from my side a curious what your thoughts are on this project and on watching art online. I’d be keen to hear what your thoughts are.

Impossible Guitar


Maybe it’s because I go through a more clean period, enjoying the acoustic guitars more than before but it seems like I stumble more often on amazing acoustic guitar performances on Youtube. This is definitely one of these sit back and be amazed videos. Guitarist Dominic Frasca playing 10 and 6 string.