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Richard Hoefer
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Richard Hoefer

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Hi #Plusers  ! Does anyone use #Events   #PartyMode  ?  
I'm writing up a small piece on the various "hidden" (neglected) features of +Google+  and, when doing a hashtag search, not much showed up.  Would love your feedback +Carmelyne Thompson+matthew rappaport and anyone who uses the Event Planning tools. thx!
Has your life been influenced by Google+?

June 28, 2014, G+ is on its 3rd year. G+ Party Mode!
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Melina M's profile photoRichard Hoefer's profile photo
Thanks, +Melina M. Ok well interesting re EVENTS tool. That's what I'd thought: That EVENTS was a full events planning tool for "in real life" events too, not just video hangouts. I haven't been active on Google+ the past 9 months or so, so i was relying upon a colleague who's stayed very active — who now I can see got that info wrong. I'm going to check it out for myself now.  And re Party Mode, she had said it was gone from DESKTOP, but that maybe it still existed on Mobile G+ app. Your info's been very helpful, thx!
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Hi Google+ Power Users!  I haven't been on the site regularly for long time, but I still follow the Google Ecosystem. Looks like in addition to #GooglePhotos being pulled apart from G+, #GoogleAccounts  is now severed from Google+ as the "Accounts Edit" page. What's the discussion on this?

Personally I think these retro moves are long overdue corrections from Google finally getting the message that placing "join Google+" gateposts everywhere throughout their entire product system just annoyed people who had never been prior sold on the value of joining a "social network".  Yet they love photos, and they love Google products in general, and see the value of Google Sign-on as ways to log into huge arrays of websites.

I would argue that had (1) Google not been no obnoxiously heavy handed in forcing Google+ accounts onto people, there would have been greater interest in discovering features within Google+, and (2) Had Google done a much better job of presenting to people, at all the correct gateposts, what exactly the value was from the products they were offering for free, there would have been much higher user conversion.

Be that as it may, it's great to hear +Bradley Horowitz and others assure us that Google+ is still very much a strong product-suite within Google's focus (even though I know what he's always meant by his early evangelism of G+ as Google's "social-layer" to their products).

Curious what else people are noticing? A few days ago I noticed that in Gmail, my name, to the left of my gmail thumbnail picture, no longer had the + before it, as in +Name — and that it was no longer a link, either, to jump to Google+.  That's a drag, having gotten used to it.  From a User Experience point of view, it's now more clicks:  click on the "phone dialpad icon", then click on Google+ product to go there.

I'm happy about the Photos change. But I'm also curious about when, if ever, will they address their redundant and duplicative video upload, embed, and playback systems — Youtube, and Google+ Video. I expected that would have been merged by Year 3 ... Still 2 sep systems which seems strange for a high-end engineering company.

What else is changing?

+martin shervington +Mark Traphagen +Ronnie Bincer +Jaana Nyström +Yifat Cohen +Rob Gordon +Edward Morbius +Max Huijgen +steph wanamaker +Rob Gordon +Christine DeGraff +Stephan Hovnanian +Amanda Blain +John Kellden +Peter G McDermott 

(Sorry if i didn't list you as a Power User. I haven't been active in long while. Thanks for any feedback)  #UX #UI #Usability #Productchanges
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+shogun x , how does #ElonMusk and +Tesla Motors 's new solar power battery "Powerwalls" impact your work in remote-territory installations of internet service? #solarpower
Tesla Motors' announcement highlights new home batteries that can store solar power for later use.
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In the planning stages of expanding an existing install and a new island install. No real ETA set yet. Hopefully this summer. That said, if you have a) a viable install target in mind that b) can be paid for by the the recipients or a charitable group, I'm game. If you want to tag along (would have to be at your own expense) the next time I build a network, you are more than welcome.
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DRONES bringing web to remote places. +shogun x, Are you following this? (I haven't read it yet) Facebook and are building drones to bring the Web to remote places  How are your remote installations going?
The more we connect, the better it gets.
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Had not heard about this. They want to expensively compete in a market full of choices already. I do not see how this brings down the cost of access, which is the major hurdle in developing nations. Why use a million dollar drone when you can use a $500 vsat uplink station? The drone still needs to have an upstream connection. That is likely the same satellite.
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Exciting times.
Many things went right with Spacex landing attempt and gamechanging reusability seems likely in months
Rand Simberg describes the many things that went right with the Spacex attempted first stage landing. Spacex understands that the key to reducing launch costs is to minimize the degree to which hardware is thrown way. The first stage, with its nine engines,...
Rand Simberg describes the many things that went right with the Spacex attempted first stage landing. Spacex understands that the key to reducing launch costs is to minimize the degree to which hardware is thrown way. The fir...
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Richard Hoefer

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A bunch of bull#### if you ask me... meaning, +The Hollywood Reporter's modest headline about the duo below. I started out liking what Michael Keaton was saying — but then it descended into artifice.  my thoughts below.

#Hollywood #GoldenGlobes #MichaelKeaton   #precious  
Sorry to be unenthused on this one. I was really excited for Michael Keaton's win, and I chalked up his early stumbling over his real first and last name — a disclosure which I was touched by — as just nervousness... And his words continued and he seemed to be expressing something truly authentic —— until he came to those lines.  I'm sorry, I know that families go through a lot together, and those close bonds get you through a lot, but this overemphasis on his son being his best friend, this was an example of what's known in literary circles as being just a bit too "precious". Too on the nose. Too aiming for a poignant moment, with an elaborate setup. 

It instantly snapped me out of what had been a connection of sincerity and deep revealing humanity I felt Keaton was revealing — and exposed just an elaborate performance, beautifully delivered. And yes, I am certain he was sincere, and yes, truly choked up. But the night was not about his son, the award was not about his son. The award was about Michael's performance.... So... I find your article title absurdly ironic:

"on Writing for Madonna & Downplaying His Family Ties"

Yeah, exactly... There was no parlaying of Michael's award and moment of glory, and tying Michael's son and his name into that moment. No, not at all. It was all modesty and organic. Thanks for getting this one on the nose  !
Sean Douglas, Michael Keaton's Son, on Writing for Madonna & Downplaying His Family Ties
"My best friend is kind, intelligent, funny, talented, considerate, thoughtful… Did I say kind?" Michael Keaton asked during his Golden Globes speech on Sunday night (Jan.
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Fascinating — How Google+ is further shrinking as the tie-together of Google's Products. PREDICTION: VIDEO CALLS & BROADCAST VIDEO CALLS ( #HOA ) will split off from Google+ before end of year, and will be rebranded as accessible from Gmail.  Just as Photos are within Drive. ....Remember when Google killed all "Product Forums" about 2 years ago — and they went into Archive Mode? They're Baaaaack! ... And that means the experiment of using #GoogleCommunities  was a failure.  

That wasn't hard to predict— "Communities" started as brand new software from the ground up, reinventing "forum" software with 1/10th its features and power. 

That was another huge mistake that falls under hubris... And now it's clear that some very smart Product Managers at Google have brought control back to Product Forums (itself a part of Google Groups), "Google Accounts" vs Google+ Account as the Core of one's Google Account, and of course Google Photos, pryed away from Google+ .

For all the sweet talk about how "No, of course Google+ is remaining strong, and we've got more surprises to come!", I will predict now that Google VIDEO CALLS and LIVE BROADCAST CONFERENCES will peel off from Google+ within the year.  The "Hangouts" branding has always been a catastrophe, especially after they "rebranded" and made what was first a "Video Call" now ALL forms of real-time synchronous communication.

It seems clear that Business Managers have gotten back in the game at Google after 4 years of Google+ having been given the chance to parlay Google Products into more useful tools with the social layer. But we've seen #GMAIL 's interface changing, upgrading over and over these past 2 years, pulling in all of these real time communications tools, such that there are no longer any reasons for one to need a Google+ Account to take advantage of what WAS Google+'s absolute KILLER APP:  Video Calls/ Hangouts.

It's time the world got to know about these fantastic tools vs buried within the terrible UX and interface system of Google+.

Google is making a huge Product Comeback — shedding Google+ at almost every turn.


(P.S.  My last post I +mentioned whole bunch of people I've known on Google+ since June/July 2011. Almost noone even read my post. My value as a thinker/contributor has flatlined!)
Brian Holt Hawthorne's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photoStan Kain's profile photoRichard Hoefer's profile photo
Maybe they will go back to supporting decent Google Phone calls instead of this mess that is Hangouts...
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I love this!
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Funny. Google has some really top-class #VisualDesigners  as seen by the visual clarity of the icons below . And yet they launch another feature, #Collections, and throw the icon assignment to an engineer's nephew studying science at CalTech :). Why? Like "Pages", which to my mind best resembles a birthday present tied with a bow, these icons could be bought off a cheap website and used on stationery for someone's Financial Services company or 100 other purposes. Who assigns these tasks? It has to be the Product Manager. But you wonder why things like "Local" get removed from the menu and Google will tell you "not enough people clicked on it." What if you had named it "Local Reviews" or "Local Recommendations"? Mainstream users don't always "get" what power users and millenials connect upon first-sight.  Design is supposed to help make those connections more clear.
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Hey #Europe, does anyone have an opinion about whether this is valid, or do you think it is an exaggerated observation? Thx
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Richard Hoefer

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Hi, am new to Evernote on Android. How do I create a homescreen shortcut that directly opens a new note in Speech to Text mode?

Note:  I have tried the widgets and don't like them because they take up too much space. I want a 1x1 icon, thus a shortcut. How do I do this?
Jim Frey's profile photoDawnetta Charmaine's profile photoShirley Rekers's profile photoRichard Hoefer's profile photo
Paying it forward, I made a graphic to show this non-obvious scrollable interface. (I'm on a still-pretty-current phone, the Galaxy S5):   Thanks again! I have exactly what I wanted.
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I have some specific commentary on one of the reasons I think #Helpouts is folding: More of the same of Google overall Bad UX Thinking. If a big beautiful IKEA Store were placed out in the wilderness with no highway and offramp, who would know it exists? MORE

I'm really surprised by this closure. But in my view, this is a result of Overall Bad UX Design for the entire Google+ and derivative products (Helpouts) that this whole Google+ product line suffers from. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

Yes, I know Helpouts is not part of Google+, but Helpouts would never have been launched without Google+ having defined the marketplace and delivery-of-services mechanism.

But think about it:  Where does one run across the Google Product Line gateway where they are exposed to "Helpouts"? How do people even know it exists? 

But I can say the exact same thing about this thing called live video conferences on air — known to Google+ veteran as HOA. But think of new or inexperienced users "upgrading" (to use Google's word) their Gmail account into a Google+ account — then you come into Google+ ....

Where, for heavens sake, are you told about them,  and where do you look for them?

This is what I mean by an overarching problem of bad Information Design. So, back to Helpouts. A really well designed website in and of itself. The idea is absolutely right on. But as several commenters have said, "just a horrible (lack of) marketing" or "If Apple were marketing this, it would be thriving"

I'm just taking it a step further. We all know Apple does great marketing, but could you imagine coming to and not even SEEING the way to "Helpouts"?

This is the greater sin. Google, when they do produce marketing videos, whatever agency they use— they do a fantastic job! They pull your heartstrings just beautifully! But if a person decides to act on that a day later, and comes to Google, or Google+ ( since Google smothers you with Google+ promotion at every product gateway), where is it?

Sorry for the long post. But I have analyzed this in detail months ago. A number of people counter this and say: Dude, don't you know how to use Google by now? It's all about SEARCH!  Enter Helpouts and SEARCH, boom!

But no. SEARCH is not the only modality of thought people live in. That's why when you go into a brick and mortar store, I don't know, let's say an Office Depot, sometimes you do know exactly what you want, and SEARCH MODE takes you to aisle 3, and you grab some pens. But other times you browse thinking, while i'm here, let me see what else i might be interested in.

So I encircle this whole mess and say, sure, many factors behind its closing. But if you had a big giant IKEA store in the wilderness and no highway access leading right to its door, who knows it's even there?

#UX  #UXdesign #InformationDesign #Applemarketing
#Google has announced that it's shutting down its #Helpouts service in April, and it's already pulled the #Android and #iOS apps. Have you ever used Google Helpouts?
In 2013, Google launched its Helpouts service in an effort to let users share their knowledge with others through live video and messages. The service never really seemed to gain much traction, though, and now Google says that Hangouts is going away for good.
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The Writing Biz's profile photoMelina M's profile photoDavid Kutcher's profile photoRichard Hoefer's profile photo
You can also experience a Helpout with me as well, as I'm still doing them: ;)
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Help please. +Gmail *Search Question:* +Gmail Help +Gmail Help Contact 
Could someone tell me the format for searching in Gmail for a phone number that ends in a particular set of numbers: Such as:  searching to see if I have any phone numbers that end in digits 35 ? How do I set the parameter to seek a format of xxx-xxx-xxxx ? 
Richard Hoefer's profile photoMaTT Hader's profile photo
<h><b> yeah I was writing html  and js for fun in 95</b></h>
But that was html ver 1/1.1 and js was new on the scene, then css and asp came about. but now its all html5, php5, ajax, perl, etc. now css means something else entirely (used to be  cross site scripting) right now im actually writing a rainmeter plugin to customize one of my desktops. I'll show you when im done (more configuring than anything really). I was just in SF about a year ago then moved to somewhere more affordable... Dont feel bad though a lot of pro's cant even tell these days  due to the  amount of shitty  engineers/programmers produced for profit daily...<i> I saw a pic not to long ago ill have to post for  ya...</i> <a href=""> The image i was talking about </a>
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User Experience Design & Analysis | Information Architecture | Marketing Messaging . Making websites operate more clearly and intuitively for users.
San Francisco, CA
user experience design & analysis | content structure

I also shoot video essays, still photography, periodically create very different kinds of political TV ads (see links at bottom)
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Welcome new viewers!

Sections Below:
  •  Helpful G+ Users I Recommend!
                               •  My Profile: Some things I've done 
                                  over the years
                              • Other Resources I Recommend
                               •  My analysis:  Positive Cultural Differences 
                                 between Google+ & Facebook: 
                                "Different By Design" 
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 •  Helpful G+ Users  I Recommend !
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For new users to Google+, these people provide tips on how to use Google+ in ways that benefit you. "Circle" these people — meaning: "Follow them"  (Many others not listed due to space! )

Jaana Nyström - has written & compiled one of the largest collections of Help Topics on practically every single feature of G+... and she's helpful if you're stuck. Join her Help Community to ask questions

Ronnie Bincer - very clearly illustrated "How To" posts about "Hangouts" (10-person video-chats), live broadcasts, how G+ connects with YouTube, video monetization and SEO

Martin Shervington - how to use Google+ features to help your business online.
Mark Traphagen - content expert and analyst on marketing and SEO using Google+
Denis Labelle - compiles & organizes Google's vast resources — many of which you likely have not even heard of — into short, extremely valuable, Daily Posts including Links to Intro Videos and Help Articles, such as: G+ Help & Support Resources. Constantly monitors G+ to bring you the latest.

(More Recommended Resources further below)
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• My Profile, con'd:
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Some things I've done over the years:


• UX design work for Idealab (eToys)
• UI Design Director for (98-99) when NationsBank merged with old Bank of America. Complicated branding issues where 3 different brands were co-existing based on which state you lived in. Very interesting puzzles to solve.

Directed & edited several unconventional "grassroot" TV ads for Howard Dean's Presidential campaign of 2004 (pre-YouTube)

After Dean was out, I created this unconventional TV ad for the purpose of having Americans vote against George W. Bush's re-election:
Long story about it. I'm very proud of it.

Shot a lot of documentary footage of preparing for, and after the Iowa Caucuses Jan. 2004


Worked the film biz in L.A. over a decade ago.
Lead a Screenwriters' Workshop with AFI Alumni
Then Marketing Design at several large agencies.

Developing "the Devvys" -- the "Grammys" for touchscreen apps & developers -- the newest Form of Content that has become permanent fixture of our lives. These are the peer-to-peer awards nominated by and voted on by app-devs for each of the 5 (now 4) touchscreen operating systems. . Seeking corporate sponsor with no conflict of interest.


Really love backpacker-style travel to less developed places like Cambodia; great pristine beauty, people, stories.

Killed a bear with my bare hands.
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Other Resources I Recommend:
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Visit this page below — It's one of Google's most fascinating Data Visualization Projects! Its map interface and information design are state of the art !  Global display of which countries buy weapon systems from other countries. 
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My Analogy & Analysis:  Google+ & Facebook: Two Different Cultures, By Design  
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Neither is better! Depends upon what you want:

When people ask or talk about what is different about Google+ from Facebook, I explain with a drawing of Facebook’s “wall” and Google+ ’s “stream”. What flows through each is fundamentally different due to the core-composition of each’s User base. Consider these visuals:

I see Facebook as large connecting banquet rooms in a big hotel, the kind you see at a conference. And inside Banquet Room A are the people you interact with most - usually your friends and family. And you need to show an ID to get in. You have to be invited; you can’t just  show up and tap into a group of people’s network of friends and family. Inside the adjoiningBanquet Room B are the friends and family of *your* friends and family members, and through them, your network multiplies. The wall between Room A and Room B is open and people freely interact with each other. And there’s Banquet Room C, and so on. It's a very large mix of people, with connecting strings to friends and family. I find, generally, Facebook users don’t venture much deeper than friends of friends and family. 

But the common denominator of all is: each started with an invitation to join as someone’s friend. 

Picture Google+ like the International Terminal of a big city’s airport. There are vendors around with shops and gifts, but also in some of these terminals there is art on display, maybe someone playing piano inside one of the restaurants or bars. Maybe you sit down to get a coffee at Starbucks or other brand, and you’re facing outward to the huge flow of people briskly coming and going to and from destinations around the world. Maybe you are even traveling with a friend and you are both there together. Some passengers crossing the hub of this huge international gateway, stop to grab a coffee just like you do, and sit at the next table to you for 10-15 minutes before leaving to board a flight. 

Maybe they speak in French to someone on a cell phone, and... you know some French, and the person is relaxed, not rushing off to a flight. So maybe you say hello, and ask the person “Excuse me; where are you going? It sounded familiar.” And the person sees your travel guidebook to Costa Rica and says he just came from there and it was wonderful… You strike up a rapport, and even exchange emails. And maybe you both share travel blog stories after that... 

This in many ways is like the connections people make on Google Plus. There aren't invitations. It's not based on friends and family (though that works well to). You bump into people, because the world is coming to you. And if something or someone grabs your attention or interest, you follow her or him or it. ... No permission or request needed. But you are always protected with full privacy controls, so, if the guy who just got back from Costa Rica turns out to be bugging you, or sending you something you do not want, 1-click is all it takes to BLOCK someone. It is instant, and that person cannot even see your postings; and you don't see his.

Neither the Facebook model nor Google+ model is better. But they are different.  Once you know that, it can be quite refreshing, meeting musicians, photographers, food fans, or science geeks doing video chats with people all over the world. It’s way more discovery-oriented... Some people prefer to stay in close contact with just friends and family. And others like to mix and stroll and explore. And the parade of people just comes to them. That’s Google+ . And I, for one, love it for exactly that. Hopefully you will too :)  
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Bragging rights
In 2003 shamed Apple Inc to replace power supplies worldwide in all Power Mac G4 MDD “Leaf-Blowers” by organizing 25 countries through site Instead of legal threats, we smacked em with “Apple Fan” videos from their high-end pro-Audio, pro-Video Mac customers who simply couldn’t get their work done. This was a massive brand shaming effort executed long before a true social network existed. Google: G4 noise Richard Hoefer
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