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Shawn Drape
Works at Delta Hotels and Resorts
Attended Queen's University
Lives in Ajax, ON
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Shawn Drape

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I wish this post had been the original blog post. It seems that Bradley is speaking much more freely here.

The question (for me) now becomes: Without connections into other Google systems, is Google+ compelling enough to keep using? I can see the "interest based" angle they're going for, but I don't think I've really ever gotten that much out of things like communities. My interest is technology, and I can talk about that on just about any platform. So when the Google+ team's work is done, it's likely I will be too.
 
Everything in Its Right Place

It’s been a little more than a quarter since I took on leadership of a newly formed team, which we’ve christened SPS: Streams, Photos, and Sharing.

In that short time, I’ve had some time to reflect on the products we’ve built over the last few years, and also the opportunity to oversee the launch of our new Google Photos product. I’ve concluded that it’s time for a “pivot”... or more precisely time to talk more openly about a pivot that’s been underway for some time (and in fact is reflected in the name of the new team). We're going to continue focusing Google+ on helping users connect around the interest they love, and retire it as the mechanism by which people share and engage within other Google products.

Four years ago when we conceived of the “Google+ Project”, we made it clear that our goals were always two-fold: Google+ aspired to be both a “platform layer that unified Google’s sharing models”, and a product / stream / app in its own right.

This was a well-intentioned goal, but as realized it led to some product experiences that users sometimes found confusing. For instance, and perhaps most controversially, integration with YouTube implied that leaving a comment on YouTube (something users had obviously been doing successfully for years) suddenly and unexpectedly required “joining Google+.”

We decided it’s time to fix this, not only in YouTube, but across a user’s entire experience at Google. We want to formally retire the notion that a Google+ membership is required for anything at Google… other than using Google+ itself.  

Some of the consequences of this shift in thinking have already been deployed. Others we’re rolling out as fast as possible (e.g. the changes to YouTube we referenced today). And many more will roll out over the rest of the year.

What does this mean for Google+ the product? Relieved of the notion of integrating with every other product at Google, Google+ can now focus on doing what it’s already doing quite well: helping millions of users around the world connect around the interest they love. Aspects of the product that don’t serve this agenda have been, or will be, retired. But you’ll also see a slew of improvements that make this use case shine (like the recent launch of Collections - https://plus.google.com/collections/featured).

It’s been incredibly gratifying to see how this strategy has played out as realized in the recent Google Photos launch, a product which in many ways embodies and telegraphs the changes discussed above. Google Photos not only doesn’t require a Google+ account, but as much of the functionality as possible doesn’t even require an account at all. It was important to me that when we launched Google Photos, we stressed the product implements sharing by any means a user prefers… without compromise or agenda. This is the right thing for users and the feedback and usage has been extremely validating.

I’m excited to share this strategy with the world, excited about what it means for Google+, and most of all for all of Google’s users.
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Shawn Drape

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A nice little reminder that while there is a lot we can do as software developers, overall we're not having the universal impact we often think we are.
Faster-than-ever technological and economic change is a myth. In fact, productivity is slowing down — and that's the biggest problem we face.
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I think there is a paragraph in every fast-food employees manual that says, "the only reason we hired you is that you're still cheaper than a robot."
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Shawn Drape

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So the argument is that Uber is a competitor for the same customers, and those customers are making a choice?

How dare they?
 
Ontario taxi owner files $400-million class-action suit against Uber Canada: The suit by taxicab owner Dominik Konjevic alleges that Uber has diverted “millions of dollars of revenue” away from licensed taxis and limos
The suit by taxicab owner Dominik Konjevic alleges that Uber has diverted “millions of dollars of revenue” away from licensed taxis and limos
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+Hugh Gordon At least in Toronto.

Uber isn't without their faults, but I'll support them in a fight against taxi monopolies any day of the week.
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Shawn Drape

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Publisher butchers mobile web experience, then declares mobile web a butchered experience.

The misdirect in all this isn't that the ads are killing the experience, but that a better monetization strategy hasn't taken hold. The Apple/Facebook alternatives mentioned will have the same problem to deal with and there is an unwritten assumption that these platforms will do the exact same job better. I don't see how they can make those same calculations about which ads to show without the performance hit. Unless they are just not doing those calculations and are offering lower value ads to advertisers (at which point they could do the same thing on the web).

There is something to be said for the ease of letting a strict platform dictate how to present content. Performance isn't in your control and you can just worry about writing (or filming) great ideas. But I believe that if that stuff is worth doing, it's worth doing on your own terms.
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Well, I don't see how a journalist is going to be coming up with the solutions frankly.
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Shawn Drape

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It's a shame that media companies are feeding the public's concern over these automated vehicles. I saw a similarly vague headline on the elevator claiming that Google's car had been in its "first" accident.

The headline "Google self-driving car is rear ended" would have been a good deal more accurate and intellectually honest. Which makes me wonder: when did it become okay for media to mislead the public in order to give them what they seem to want?
 
Titled but who's at fault?

Seriously +Yahoo News​ that's a bullshit title...
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+Robert Cooper Socially accepted is not the same thing as "okay", in my books. But cynical point made. =P
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I was tempted to get one to have access to iOS games, but at $249 CAD for 16GB it's really hard to justify.
 
The iPods got a refresh today.
Apple hasn't given up on the iPod yet, announcing substantial upgrades to the iPod touch today alongside new color options for the iPod nano and iPod shuffle. The devices are being made available...
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I keep saying the same thing about the newer iPads. It is shocking to me how much they still cost.
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Shawn Drape

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So what happens then to all these features in other Google products that relied on Google+ telling them who I follow and who is important to me? We go back to seeing rando comments on YouTube instead of those from friends? How does this affect Google Play Games services now (or do they just kill it)?

I like the Google that knows who and what I care about. I'll miss it, greatly.
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This is heartbreaking. I'm tearing up at the thought of it.
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I normally feel pretty bad for companies that get hacked. For some reason though, my sympathy well for Ashley Madison is bone dry.
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I can not even see the mic that T.C. Sottek just dropped. The crater is too deep.

I agree with the piece completely. Reddit is trying to compromise with its community in an attempt to save it, and I think they're going to kill it in the process. Their aims in this compromise don't put them in a better business position and they're just taking on additional risk and cost to maintain a status quo that just isn't worth maintaining.

The underlining caveat under this is that Reddit may be right, and keeping these little monsters happy may be the only way to keep traffic up. They don't have the luxury of admitting that their business plan requires a certain degree of moral compromise and shutting the operation down. In that sense, I feel for them. Their only option to keep themselves alive may be to let the inmates run the asylum.
In 2005, Reddit was founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian: two college roommates who wanted to create a place to exchange links. It wasn't a "bastion of free speech," or anything even...
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The only thing a real leader could do is shut the site down.

Reddit's DNA contains substantial portions of the underbelly/Id of the internet (including large packs of refugees from sites such as 4chan) and plenty of teens who see the lack of registration as a license to socialize without consequence. Many of these folks might be decent if you met them in real life, but they are perfectly happy with living a double life as part of the Internet's equivalent of a masquerade ball.

They should either leave it the blood circus it is (largely as a warning to anyone else) or they should burn it to the ground.

There is lots of good stuff and good folks on Reddit, but civilized folks refuse to consider that the cream is actually the parasite living on the back of the traffic provided by the insatiable obsessions of the slightly (occasionally dangerously) damaged masses.

Everyone portrays the "icky" stuff as the exception here. But it is more truly the rule. If the trolls move on Reddit will decline into obscurity like Digg, metafilter, Kuro5hin and Slashdot before them.
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I have no issues with people picking larger videos to promote via ads. But I wish +YouTube made it easier to "save for later" and move on. If the user goes back to watch the ad, they could still get paid. People get to promote their work. All happy.
 
36 minute ad? Okay...
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+Jason Hsu Oh man, that's horrible lol
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A Christian web developer who focuses on social/cloud interaction re: corporate productivity.
Introduction
I'm a Toronto-based software developer working primarily on cloud-based intranet systems. I work primarily on a Java stack with GWT, Groovy/Grails, and/or Struts 2 although at this point I wish I could deny the last one.

I am also an on-again/off-again martial artist of 7 years, with a 1st dan black belt in Haidong Gumdo.

I am a passionate gamer and like many I can attribute the love of games, and video games in particular, with my desire to become a software developer. Somewhere near the third year of university I decided that video game development was never a strong enough passion for me, and so I turned to look at enterprise work as a short term goal. I also assumed I would just work for a few years and then head back to school for my masters; working a real job has a way of kicking you back to reality though. ;)

I'm currently working on projects which enable enterprise employees to communicate socially while not scaring the crap out of their bosses with security risks. I've entertained the idea of starting a startup as well, if for no other reason than to convince myself my ambitions aren't dead. Who can ever tell where life will lead them though?
Education
  • Queen's University
    Computer Science; Software Design Spec., 2004 - 2008
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  • Delta Hotels and Resorts
    Application Developer, 2009 - present
  • Shawn Drape Computing
    Sole Proprietor, 2009 - 2012
  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
    Intern
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Ajax, ON
Previously
Toronto, ON - Kingston, ON
My new favourite sushi place. Ordering off the iPad is so easy and they have a huge selection (including some Thai food) so we're always able to get something we like.
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Got the pad thai and the rare beef pho. Great quality. Plus they have shakes with tapioca!
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Great meal and friendly service. My new fav in the area for Thai food.
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I get my hair cut there all the time. I love the community and talk there.
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This place has, without exaggeration, the best fish and chips I've ever had.
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Quality: GoodFacilities: GoodService: Good
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