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Richard Hoefer
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Richard Hoefer

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Pretty smart move by #Twitter . Their Live Video product, #Periscope *, now offers widgets embeddable in any website or blog that toggle to *RED with the word "LIVE" to indicate when the named-person is broadcasting live at this moment. Does +Google+ do this with its #HangoutsOnAir product? If not, what a waste letting a newcomer steal your air. And if so, good :)

#HOA #LiveBroadcasts   #widgets #OnAir  
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Richard Hoefer

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Hi Keary, this is a livew event to test how this feature works so that a Help Page can be created for How to Start a Hangout on Air.
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Richard Hoefer. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Fri, September 18, 2015, 8:15 PM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

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Richard Hoefer

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I've wanted to be able to document the difference between creating an advanced scheduled HOA vs an advanced scheduled Video Call. So this is a test of the HOA system from the Google+ main menu
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Richard Hoefer. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
RH Test "Hangout On Air" Invite
Mon, September 14, 2015, 11:00 PM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

Rob Gordon's profile photoRichard Hoefer's profile photoJaana Nyström's profile photo
+Richard Hoefer Sorry that this clash happened on your post - it was a long time coming.
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Richard Hoefer

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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!)
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Maybe they will go back to supporting decent Google Phone calls instead of this mess that is Hangouts...
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Richard Hoefer

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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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Richard Hoefer

G+ Questions - Desktop  - 
Question for +John Skeats (or others) re "Your Circles", "Extended Circles" and #Notifications  . John I happened to come across a Gmail notification today leading to this thread ( ) where you gave the poster advice not to add specific circles to "Public" posts, except for specific conditions, which you listed. I haven't been active for long while, have forgotten the definitions of these terms, and would really appreciate  reminders please:

(1) "YOUR CIRCLES" - If I were to select this in the Distribution box for a new message I was going to post, to whom would this go — and who would get an email notification of the post?  (I'm asking email separate from a "Red Circle" notification, but that too)

(2) "EXTENDED CIRCLES" - If I were to select this distribution group only, who would see the post— and who would get an email notification?

I have intuitions of who these groups might be, but I'd like to know for certain. Also, I understand very well all the protocols as well as huge annoyances many people feel about unasked-for notifications on posts. So could you help me with your opinion on this use-case:

When I have posted it has probably 99% been "Public", with no other groups, circles etc specified — but yes, occasionally some individual +/mentions here and there in posts themselves. The one exception has been when I am stumped by an Android phone/software problem and I have already previously googled and read 5, 6, 7 different Android forums, still can't find my answer, and so I want to ask Android people on Google+.

Back in Year #1 I created an "Android Power User" circle and over the years have added to it, but it's no larger than 30-40 people max.  There have been times when I have simply posted "Public" my Android question and an entire 24-hour cycle goes by and I get no comment, not even a +1 to indicate enyone has even read it. This has to do both with my lack of everyday activity and cultivation & maintenance of a well-known Google+ user, as well as just the luck/and or bad luck of the draw in the time of day I have posted, or who knows what else is going on when i happen to post Public and my post's little brief moment of visibility comes and goes in the blink of an eye, or someone uses the restroom, or answers a call, or other thousands of things that happen all day long that can pretty much guarantee most people will miss that post unless they are asked to look at it.

And so, I experimented with posting public AND to my Android Power Users Circle. Quite honestly it's been a long time, well over 6 months since I last did that, so I don't have clean data to give you, but I believe YES, at least I would get some kind of answer from someone and it would be a useful exercise.

Now this rationale I'm about to use doesn't apply to every category of things... but in the case of things like Android tech knowledge, often this is something people actually like getting their brains tapped for. So, I am asking you what you personally think of my decision to POST TO THAT CIRCLE, thus notifying these 30-40 people?

Because I am of two minds. On the one hand I totally get the irritation of constant bombardments of unsolicited Notification emails. But on the other hand, I have at other times found it incredibly over the top when someone gets dressed down by another all because "I just got a goddamn email notification from you!!" ... IMPT:  In full truth I am not referring to you and the poster of this Youtube "add a song for peace" Google+ post — because I have no idea how I got onto that list, and the subject matter did not demand a notification. I guess that's all subjective though. But my overall question is:  Even though we should all aim for "Best Practices" re the formation and use of Opt-in Notification Circles, etc,  life does have a lot of variables that come our way and surely it must be OK, when there is good reason to do so, for someone to Post to a special interest Circle as well as Public when trying to problem solve something?

Or do you disagree?

Regardless of your answer, thank you for the time to read this full message.

#pluscircles   #plusmentions   #extendedcircles   #yourcircles  #bestpractices #distributionlist #notificationlist
Julie Wills's profile photomarcella Magee Magee Marcella.'s profile photoJohn Skeats's profile photoRichard Hoefer's profile photo
+marcella magee  What is it that you are saying "No!" to?
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Richard Hoefer

Questions?  - 
Paging +martin shervington and his top flight community :)  Hi Martin, yes, UK time the hamsters are just waking! My questions for the day are differentiating how one advance schedules a VIDEO CALL vs a HANGOUT ON AIR using Events Menu. I've been trying to sort out a bunch of INTERFACE details — because I've hired an Illustrator to present all of this in a bullet-proof way.

But in order to do that, I need to know all those details, and I don't. I'm confused:

Trying to clarify the 2 types of USE CASE SCENARIOS. 

== A ==   ON THE FLY    "VIDEO CALLS"   and   "HOA"s  
I can get to either by the Main Dropdown Menu > Hangouts > then click on the tab for the product I want.

For a HOA, I can select NOW or LATER > which presents a Schedule Tool


See Screenshot:  If I go to the EVENTS menu on G+, and at Events Page I select HANGOUT event, I don't see where it tells you if you are setting up an invite for a VIDEO CALL (old Hangout) or a HANGOUT ON AIR ?  Someone then said to me "it's both", but I fail to see that.

Where is the user told, in so many words , "I am inviting you to a private Video Call" or "I am inviting you to a live Broadcast event (HOA) which is viewable by public" ?  (A user should know that, right, if he or she is going to choose whether to participate in one of those 9 open slots in the video call ?)

And where does it notify the user in advance "This will be a Recorded Public HOA"  or "This will be a recorded Private HOA" ?

And I am still pretty unclear about the Private HOA.  Does this mean that it goes out LIVE to the Public, but the recording of it can be made PRIVATE?

Thanks for any and all help!  Future users will thank you too !
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Will do, +Ronnie Bincer , thank you. I don't think anyone really believed i was going to ever follow through on a guide for new users website, but i actually have been working on it, little by little, i know this sounds crazy, but for 3 years... scary, has cost me my entire savings... but it is something i have needed to do as a major portfolio piece for my professional marketing, so it has its own unique purpose. Some time in late October I will have a first prototype.
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Richard Hoefer

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Gplusers! Looking for help on the specific differences between
(1) Creating an advance-scheduled event for a VIDEO CALL vs a scheduled event for a HANGOUT ON AIR.
(2) If I use the G+ Main Menu, go to EVENTS, it seems you can only schedule a VIDEO CALL (vs HOA). Is this right? 
(3) Using the G+ Main Menu, going to Hangouts Page, then selecting "Hangouts on Air" > Create > Now | Later, I can schedule HOA. But can I also schedule a Video Call using the G+ Main Menu > Hangouts?

Appreciate the Help. It's been long time since I've used these. Also, I seem to recall from way back +Ronnie Bincer explaining that there were 2 different ways to schedule a Hangout on Air, and it's impt to differentiate because the 2 ways provide two different feature sets (perhaps with RSVPs ?)
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Thank you sooo much +Jaana Nyström !
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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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Richard Hoefer

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I love this!
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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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