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Mike Elgan
Lives in Petaluma, California
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Mike Elgan

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Like Soylent Green, Google+ is still made out of people!
But They're Stripping Out People!

I keep hearing this from people accustomed to the old G+ who are struggling with the new one. It's one of those statements that sounds so seemingly logical it goes as an assumption... but like many assumptions, it is itself rooted in false assumptions.

[Puts On Psychology Hat]

Now, I get it, you have formed some amazing connections on Google+. Maybe you've developed an ongoing dialogue with people you like; maybe you've HIRL'd; maybe you've become fast friends outside and beyond the web. Hey, I have! Why do you think I stuck around when all my IRL friends stayed on the Book of Face?

But you and I, however different we may be, I can almost safely assume share one trait in common: we are willing to enter an online forum, with little structure beyond privacy settings subject to our human fallibility (if we even bother with those pesky things) and engage total strangers. We were also willing to put in at least some minimal effort in forming these online connections that goes beyond simply Friending everyone you've ever met in real life, their friends, their friends of friends, and on down the line.

This is a unique quality and precious, in that way a beautiful flower is precious: because that beauty is so easily destroyed. The Interwebz, if you hadn't noticed, can be dangerous and frightening places, all the more so the less structure and moderation a forum provides, or provides but makes difficult to use. Humans easily develop a fear of strangers if they weren't raised with one, and for most people it doesn't take many bad interactions to turn them off. Nor will they wait long for some magical 'connection' to form spontaneously that keeps them on a social network.

Google+ was supposed to have an ace up its sleeve: Circles. But unless you're one of the aforementioned types who reaches out to form online connections with strangers in a poorly structured online meeting place, Circles depended on the thing that never happened: everyone jumping ship from Facebook. OK, maybe it wouldn't have taken everyone, but a lot more people than eventually did start using the network.

Worse, since Google had no idea who you knew already (compared with Facebook), if someone you did know joined after you had already joined and stopped using it, you might never even know. Everyone you know could have signed up at different times, and each might still think they were the only one.

The perfect world of Circling people as Coworkers, Friends, Chicks I Might Get It On with Later (which you would actively maintain, moving Girl C perhaps from that Later Circle to a Now Circle as appropriate) never happened. It became more of a power user tool, and its prominence an active hindrance to new users... Circle whom, for what? Even if I found 500 tech people and Circled them, I'm not guaranteed a concentrated Stream of tech: those same people have thoughts about politics, the debt, the latest comic book movie, the smell of baby poop, etc...

That was the other failed part of Circles: we were all going to share only the right stuff to only the right Circles. In my experience, most people didn't even have anyone to share with, and the default privacy settings most people stuck with were private and to all Circles, thus negating the right sharing idea. There is a more basic failure: beyond a small handful of contacts most people simply can't maintain that kind of rigorous sharing, and thus not only did it fail as a privacy tool because there was no one for most people to even share privately to, but it failed as a power tool because I have to maintain perfectly curated Circles even as they approach huge numbers, always remember the right ones to share to, AND not be seeking anyone beyond that private sphere (i.e. it worked against their chances of competing with Twitter).

One suspects a vision was operating somewhere but that it depended on a massive and sustained growth that never materialized. They proved they could move heaven and earth to get hundreds of millions signed on, by some counts billions of accounts, but far fewer stayed and shared.

But, hey, in real life, we do meet and engage with strangers. So how do we do that? Well, sometimes we meet them through Friends and Family... but, oh yeah, Facebook has that sewn up. How else do we meet them? Work? Well, yeah... but our coworkers are on Facebook too and we know how to find them there.

But almost none of us can stand one group of friends, the same friends, whom we met through other friends or family, forever. We want to meet new people. So we don't just go to some room full of people and various tools, and start meeting new people: we go to structured forums. Places where a common activity or interest draws strangers together despite any reservations, but where there is at least a sense that someone will step in to moderate at least the worst offenders should anyone seriously misbehave. Clubs. Bars. Churches. Book clubs. Concerts. Midnight costume party releases of geeky British books for school kids with a surprisingly large adult fan base. We may even seek out places, at times, for common types of expression: discussion groups, activist campaigns, poetry readings.

These structured forms of expression and interaction, are not dissimilar from the Collections/Communities Duality of Google+. I feel safer following your Tech Collection at first than you (as an example); you might advocate the extermination of other races somewhere on your profile, and my even following you might be seen by some as guilt by association... but if your Collection is only about tech, and I like tech, and we only talk about tech... then that is a safe start. If I find no credence to the idea that you are in some way repugnant or offensive to me thereafter, because your tech Posts made me more curious about the man or woman behind them, then I already have a good start towards a real connection: I know you and I can discuss a common interest and, if necessary, keep it separate from other things until we know each other better than that. Maybe we never will, and we'll just be two tech geeks who talk tech for years to come... if we both enjoy it, what is wrong with that?

A Community, meanwhile, provides a similar focus to Collections but lets a community of users add to the discussion, like a 'Collection' made by many. Well moderated, they can be excellent places to take those first steps that ease strangers into their interactions.

So far from 'getting rid of people', Collections and Communities help save people, by not requiring us all to be either one-dimensional sharers on only one topic, hyper curated sharers with mastery of privacy tools, or people trying to balance presenting multiple aspects of ourselves with not wanting to force everyone who follows us to hear every single thing we have to say or none of it. If you hate my sense of humor but love my tech or vice versa, I don't want to force you to choose! And the coolest thing about Collections: the more of them I use or you use, well considered, the more we can find the common ground! We may never be best buddies, but that is OK, as long as neither of us feels we have to be!

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Mike Elgan

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Finally: bacon-scented underwear!

This fine, cured-pork themed undergarment costs $20 a pair. Available for both men and women.

From J&Ds:
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Is this the first time Zuck has taken real time off since he was in college?
Facebook Inc (FB.O) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday he will take two months of paternity leave after his daughter's birth, a strong statement from one of the busiest and most powerful U.S. executives on the importance of family time.
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I wonder if they'd hire a psychologist? ;-)
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Mike Elgan Radio 12: Guns and Butter

Listen to this episode:

Subscribe on iTunes:

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You guys love your good food LOL. Is it just me or does every podcast somehow move on to the subject of food ?
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This strange COLOR footage of Berliners starting to recover from WWII will destroy you.

No words.
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+Richi Jennings cool info man, ty!
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Worst iPhone accessory ever: The Spycup.

This dumb Kickstarter project is a fake coffee travel cup designed to hide an iPhone so you can secretly record people.

Did I mention how dumb this is?

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Coming soon, hopefully
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How to thrive on the new Google+.

(Read my column: )

Over the past year, Google has completely transformed what Google+ is, who it's for and how it works. With the redesign, they have affected the best tactics for leveraging the social network for professional networking and personal development.

For the first four years of its existence, Google+ tried to be an all-purpose social network, content discovery engine, communications tool, photo management and editing site, and much more.

Now Google has completely changed what Google+ is all about. And the transformation opens up a new opportunity because Google+ is a new social network, again.

What does this mean? First, let's review how Google transformed Google+ into the opposite of what it used to be. Then, I'll tell you how to leverage the new Google+ for building professional knowledge, contacts and fans:

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de jó!

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Wow: Google gets 25 takedown requests every second, on average.
Google is facing a never-ending flood of takedown requests from copyright holders, breaking record after record. The company currently processes a record breaking 1,500 links to "pirate" pages from its search results every minute, which is a 100% increase compared to last year.
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Thanks Mike. I see you found a better link thank the one I read originally, at Search Engine Land. 
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Google+ gets the pivot of the year.

(Read my column: )

When Google launched its Google+ social network just over four years ago, it was an ambitious project. Google+ was an attempt to re-invent how people use the Internet. As one columnist eloquently put it, Google+ wasn't Google's version of Facebook (as everyone assumed); it was Google's version of Google.

The vision was to integrate most Google services into Google+. Google+ was supposed to be an identity platform, a photo and video platform, a news discovery site, a hotel and restaurant guide and the mother of all messaging and video-chat platforms. Oh, and it was a social network, too.

Then, the pivot.

In the past year, the company has been "dis-integrating" Google+. The requirement to have a Google+ account for other Google services has been relaxed. Photos and Hangouts have been spun out as separate products. The Real Names policy has been canceled.

Last week, the new vision for Google+ was revealed.

This is what you need to know about the new Google+:

(Photo not necessarily related.)

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Every home should have one of these.

The Polycade plays every classic arcade game ever. Best of all, it's made by the children of Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari.


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Ready Player One?
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Here's the first photo of the new Wonder Woman.

I'm not impressed. What do you think?
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ایکاش فارسی ترجمه میشد 
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Mike's Collections
Have him in circles
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Petaluma, California
New York, USA - Florence, Italy - Madrid, Spain - Marrakesh, Morocco - Sparta, Greece - Kusadasi, Turkey - Istanbul, Turkey - Nairobi, Kenya - Barcelona, Spain - Valencia, Spain
The world's only lovable technology journalist.
Who the $#@! is Mike Elgan? 

I write and talk and interview on the subjects technology and innovation. I anchor TWiT's daily Tech News Today netcast ( 

My opinion columns appear all over the place, most frequently Computerworld, PC World, InfoWorld, MacWorld, CIO Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, eWeek, Baseline and elsewhere. 

I don't do "access journalism." I am not in the industry, I'm not an investor or entrepreneur, but instead an independent, disinterested observer with strong opinions. (I have nothing against access journalism, it's just not what I do.)

My Thoughts on Google+:

After 10 years of blogging with conventional blogging sites and services, I abandoned that approach a year ago and started blogging on Google+. Why? Because Google+ is by far the best blogging platform. As Tim O'Reily said, it's like Tumblr 2.0, but more social. 

I also cancelled my account with a leading photo-sharing and management site, and now use Google+ for that exclusively. 

I've replaced more than half my email communication with Google+ communication.

I use Google+ to write first drafts of my stories, to crowdsource, to take polls, to get feedback and to drive traffic to the articles I write. It has dramatically improved my work as a writer. 

I even use Google+ for social networking!

Although I'm most active on Google+, you can also follow me here: 

And you can download my top 200 most popular posts as an eBook by clicking here.

I'm ranked #1 on the Google Plus Score list, which is based on user engagement.

I'm the #7 Most Recommended Person to Follow on Google+ (as voted by users). 

I'm one of Mashable's top nine Google+ Power Users.

I'm also a "Curator" on the Google Currents app!! (Please install the free app and "Add" me!)

I've also created and moderate these Google+ communities.

Here's how I do Google+: 

In the meantime, please CIRCLE ME! I'd love to interact with you here on Google+. 
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I'm a digital nomad. I live everywhere.
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Luma Fitness cost us $232 per class. Here's why. My wife and I signed up for a year at Luma fitness at the beginning of last year. Luma Fitness limits the number of students per class. You have to sign up. If the class is full, you can't take that class. And the classes are usually full. You can see this for yourself. For example, when I wrote this review on Saturday morning, you can see from my screenshot that every Sunday class that takes place at the gym is already full. (The only available classes are a trail running class -- we already trail run every day and don't need to pay a gym for that -- and a second class that's way above our fitness level.) We work during the day, and want to work out after work. Those classes are the most unavailable, especially the ones at our fitness level. We're very busy, and often had a hard time making time for the gym. But when we did find the time, we found that Luma Fitness classes were already full. Because of that, we were able to attend only 10 classes for the year. We paid them $2,148 and used their gym 10 times. The nightmare continued. Our membership ended at the end of January. You have to give 30 days notice in writing to terminate the membership, which we did on January 6. Yet they're charging us for the full month of February. We called and argued with them about it, but they were horrible and nasty and insisted that we pay the full month, rather than honor their own contract of 30 days notice. They KNOW we won't be using their gym for the month of February. They KNOW we paid them thousands of dollars without using their service much. But they are just taking our $179 for the month anyway. I guess the $2,148 we paid for 10 classes wasn't enough, so they took more. So now our grand total is $2,327 for 10 classes. Instead of going to Luma Fitness, just flush $20 bills down the toilet twice a week. You'll save money, and you'll get more exercise.
• • •
Public - 10 months ago
reviewed 10 months ago
Shirley rules!
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Everything we tried at this restaurant was incredible. What a gem.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Awesome location and great coffee completely ruined by freezing room temperature and mind-bogglingly slow Internet connect (it took me three minutes to load this page before I could write a review).
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
31 reviews
This is a really good restaurant. The food is very flavorful without being fatty and heavy. Great service.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Awesome. Simply awesome.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
OK, I'm going to say something VERY controversial here. But it's my opinion that Pizzateca has the world's best pizza. As the author of the book _American Pie_ says, the world's best pizza is usually the one you grew up with. However, I have eaten at Bianco's Pizzeria in Phoenix, all the highest rated pizza places in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere, and this is the best I've had. Most of the best places in America nail the toppings but fail on crust. They tend to use yeast-based leavening, which can only get you so far. Pizzateca, on the other hand, is doing something magical with the crust that involves 3 days of fermentation, according to the owner. Specifically, Pizzateca's muchroom and garlic pizza is truly mind-blowing. Please, do NOT fail to eat at this tiny joint if you're anywhere near Madrid, Spain.
• • •
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago