Syncing in a Torrent

I’m ditching Dropbox… Cancelling my Google Drive subscription… I’m syncing with torrents, now…

When I bought my first laptop it seemed a little daring to be buying a machine with no floppy disk drive (this was twelve years ago…) But it had a CD burner, so I’d be alright… Then USB drives became the defacto way to shift files around.

Now it’s Dropbox, and the many similar services that let you throw your files up into the cloud and access them from any of your devices, or any web browser…

But… there have always been a couple of niggles… safety and security. Can you trust the service you use not to let your files leak into the wild… and can you be sure that your files will be there tomorrow? Continue reading “Syncing in a Torrent”

A change of Google+ posting strategy

I posted this on Google+ to earlier today, and +Simon Wood (@MrSimonWood) suggested I owed it to the twitter community I used to be so active in, to explain where I’d been, and what and why I’d decided to change my Google+ posting strategy that might mean that links to some of my Google+ posts appeared more regularly on twitter. So here’s what I wrote earlier today to the Circles that I post to on Google+. I hope it makes sense. I also hope you don’t mind me hi-jacking “Thought grazing …” for the purpose – again it just seemed the best place to put it.

We ought to have another meet-up at Costa Coffee soon … shouldn’t we?


A change in Google+ direction today for me, so please excuse this post which explains what I’m doing, and why.

My main use of Google+ since it started has been as a platform for targeted postings to Circles – I have many which align with my interests and relationships. Some intersect, some are discreet. When you have quite a few circles (as I have) they’re difficult to maintain and even more difficult to select from, for a targeted post. My strategy has been successful however, I feel, and a few of my circle members are now active users of Google+.

Using such an approach has seen my use of twitter decrease significantly – there’s only so much social interaction you can engage in – but I’m very aware that whilst I’ve enjoyed being part of the new Google+ ecosystem, I shouldn’t have turned my back on twitter as much as I had with Facebook, for which I make no apology for my desertion.

So from today, whilst not changing the way I use Circles and Communities – which really works and provides “safe” places for conversations, I intend to do more Public posting to Google+ all of which will be picked-up by ManageFlitter and tweeted. Hopefully, this will also encourage more of my friends, contacts and acquaintances to become active in Google+ as well. I will have a purpose to look-in on twitter more often as well.

For this to work, I’ll have to make sure the first 100 characters or so of my Google+ post concisely explains the content. A link to the Google+ post will be provided in the tweet, which will lead the reader into Google+.

So to you my Google+ readers … your feed from me may become a little “noisier”. Either turn the volume from me down, or just ignore posts that you’re not interested in. I’ll see how it goes – I’ll be interested in your feedback.

Does Social Media Imply Twitter and Facebook?

I thought I was splitting hairs yesterday. I was trying to make the point that admitting to not using Twitter and Facebook was the not the same as admitting to not using social media. Social media does, after all, take other forms. I did think this was a somewhat pedantic point to make, but then I was arguing with a self-proclaimed pedant whose Twitter bio gives their location as “My High Horse” so I wasn’t going to let that hold me back.

It seemed for a while that anyone making serious use of social media would likely be on Twitter. It has been such a fabulous tool for networking, conversing, sharing links and such like and it has long had a critical mass that makes it seem like given almost any interest you could connect with like-minded people and discover valuable information. I can entirely see why my interlocutor felt Twitter and Facebook are indicators. Continue reading “Does Social Media Imply Twitter and Facebook?”

This is why I just love Google+

Just the other day I re-shared a post from Tim O’Reilly. The post itself has (to date) had 283 comments and been +1’d 1482 times and been re-shared 728 times. If, like me, the person re-sharing the post has made a comment which indicates their slant on the original post that means the ecosystem of engagement and the range of views expressed is immense – I’m not skilled enough to garner those posts and analyse them but I do know they’re all recorded in one place, so you could search them out.

What I do know is that this level of engagement and the depth of comment that can be engendered on Google+ would not have happened on twitter – where the best one might have hoped to have achieved would have been a reference to a blog post you’d written with the comments (if any) stored on a myriad of blogs all over the place; and would not have happened at all on Facebook – where I’ve never observed any serious commentary occurring.

There’s really quality engagement and conversation taking place on Google+. I commend it to you!

Review of Google+ posts

Thought it about time I got together a few links relating to Google+

I like reading O’Reilly Radar – posts here have a modicum of authority. They’re written well and don’t suffer from tech media hyperbole. So the post “Google+ is the social backbone” is worth reading; it highlights the fact that the Google+ will not be a walled garden, it trumpets the need for Google to champion “openness” more than it already does and declares the need for the G+ API (now being rolled-out). It clearly states that facebook does not have the platform, infrastructure or desire to provide a social backbone.

Mashable and Pete Cashmore is always a good resource for Tech Media stories. It tends to be more reasonable in its approach to technology developments and is never scared to go back and review its posts. Their 40 Essential Google+ Resources is an early list to take a look at. I’m waiting awhile before I start changing the ‘vanilla’ G+ extension (as I’ve written in a G+ post) but with the API now launched I look forward to increasingly better (and safer) ways of integrating my social networks.

I encountered Luis Suarez during my encounter with IBM software, he’s a refreshing antedote to the Lotus Notes fraternity I always felt. He’s a passionate advocate for social software and the use of collaboration tools. So when he says that Google+ could be a threat to email – I’m all ears. This is what I immediately thought, and nothing has happened since to change my views. It’s not only a threat but actually facilitates the transition to social software by allowing easy out-posting from the social software environment to email – it’s sort of a transition by stealth. There’s more to this post than just this however, you should read it all to see a strategic framework for social software emerging. It complements the O’Reily Radar post very nicely.

You’re interested in Privacy and Information Control of course, here is the guide that takes you through how to post, how to construct Circles and what to watch out for. It also covers the features to prevent re-sharing of posts thus preventing leakage outside the Circle you posted to as well as a few tips as to how you should set your Profile page up.

Two posts that challenge the new orthodoxy of using real names on Google+ and Facebook comes from Danah Boyd and Alexis Madrigal. These are both interesting points and I have a lot of time for the idea that, for some people, there are strong reasons for protecting your real identity online. I’m neutral on this one. I’m happy using my real identity but of course I haven’t got a “Thought grazing” identity on Google+. In one sense this doesn’t matter as I can use Circles appropriately and if necessary, and in any case the context of the post in G+ is much easier to explain when you don’t have a 140 character limit to restrict you. I just love the work @amcunningham has done on Privacy and Identity in the Medical Profession and the whole area of context, professionalism and identity is one that’s very close to my heart. However, perhaps being close to Higher Education is a privilidged position to be in. There is a need for whistle blowers and of course activists who would otherwise be persecuted, so a Real Names Policy does need to be tempered by a dose of reality and public interest as well.

The next one is a post from Tom Anderson (founder of MySpace). He writes “How Google+ will succeed and why you’ll use it whether you want to or not“. There’s so much in this post but the one I’ll concentrate on is that he reminds us that Google own Search, they have arguably the best email platform in the cloud, they own a decent (though not the best) blogging platform – blogger, and then of course there’s YouTube and Picasa Web. With so much integration possible, with the much heralded integration with Google Apps (and Google+ for the Enterprise) to come, this platform is going to succeed. You just know it is, even though you were puzzled about Wave and Buzz.

Finally, and now in G+ I find a platform that allows me to read his work and comment upon it occasionally as I have with Paul Allen as well, I come to Robert Scoble. He’s always been on my Google Reader Feeds, but did I get round to reading what he wrote? Unfortunately not. Now I find someone who’s actively and entusiastically moving, shaping and forming a community of users and it’s just great to read what he writes as well as the comments that follow. He’s said that he never got so much worthwhile inter-action with his traditional blogging, or with twitter, and I can agree with that. You use G+ to work up ideas and then do the blog post, or whatever. In “Help, I’ve fallen into a pit of steaming Google+ (what that means for tech blogging)” he describes (eclectically) why he’s in love with Google+. I must say I share a lot of his feelings. Google+ is definitely the best thing that’s happened to social networking yet!

[However he’s not totally blind to the issues relating to content being held by Google – a very recent post (after I’d completed and published this by about 10mins) is interesting in that it foresees the need for legislation to control Google at some time in the future.]

For the future, I wait for diaspora and see what that will bring. I’m promised an invitation in October … I’ll give you my thoughts on it as soon as I can! [UPDATE: Thanks @m1ke_ellis – will be investigating later but like the open source credentials.]