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Tom Rolfson
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Lives in SE Wisconsin
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Internet Pioneer, Developer, Domain Investor & Broker
    The guy pulling levers and ropes behind the curtain, 1991 - present
  • ProLink
    Social Network Development, 1991 - 2011
Basic Information
July 25
Other names
Major Instigator, Master Of The Internet (
Expect Success! *Then continue to take the action to make it happen.
Tom Rolfson is a serial entrepreneur, an investor, a producer, and marketer.  Well, so are a lot of people.  The difference with Tom is, he’s the one who has the vision, he’s the one who does it first.

Tom is an innovator.  He pioneered taking the first bulletin board technology and putting it into commercial use.  He taught the United States Secret Service about the very first online credit card fraud committed on his Bulletin Board System (ProLink) in 1991.  Also that year, he launched his first social network and co-founded the world’s first privately-held global social network.  Three years later he had his first dot com (which predates, Yahoo, Amazon, and MSN).  And he was even the first person to sell concert tickets online in 1994.  Yes, even before Ticketmaster.  Tom sold his first dot com business in 1995.  That’s before there ever was a Google.  He has assisted local, state and federal authorities apprehend those who commit identity theft.  He has also helped to catch sexual predators, and pedophiles.  
Born and raised in Wisconsin, it’s no surprise his blood runs green and gold for the Packers.  His urge to create was honed early on and by the age of 16 he had created and developed his very first corporation.  He can not only create a business, but can build a house, a hot rod, or a classic show car such as his beloved blue ’65 Impala.

Red is his favorite color of late, the red of Google Plus (Google+). Since Google+ went live in June 2011, Tom Rolfson has been a leading visionary regarding the group video chat hangout technology.  He invested in the very first Daria Musk concert which took place July 23, 2011.  That landmark event brought Tom’s know-how to the right place at the right time.

Starting in September of 2011, Tom has assisted companies as large as Dell and as small as an independent pottery maker on how to use Google+ hangouts for tech support and marketing.

He was a driving force behind the hangout in October of 2011 where environmentalists from all over the globe hung out to discuss conservation issues, including one panelist joining from his vehicle on the plains of Africa.   Halloween of 2011 had Tom organizing the Google+ Halloween Hangout costume party and worldwide concert event.  His direction and investment made prizes available to the participants.
Tom sees the Google+ Hangout technology as a game-changer and took it to Las Vegas in December of 2011.  There, he streamed a hangout from a hospitality suite overlooking the strip so professional touring musicians could be showcased for booking agents attending the International Fairs and Expos Conference.

Tom helped raise thousands of dollars for cancer-related charities (including Locks of Love) in May 2012 with the Global Hangout-A-Thon in which two people shaved their heads and one running a marathon.
Boardwatch Magazine said he was one of the first 100 people to make a living online.  He was just one of a handful of those who saw the potential of combining business to social media and cutting edge technology.   And it all started when his father taught him how to connect with mainframe computers in 1973 (at the age of 12).  Boardwatch was right then.  And they’re still right.  

Tom Rolfson continues to make a very successful living online in business and people.  He knows how to bring them all together and make them work seamlessly.    He is very involved with Google + as cited in recent articles in Forbes,  Inc, NBC, and WebProNews.
Bragging rights
I started marketing online and registered my first domain name in July '94. (Before there were AOL, Yahoo, MSN, eBay or Amazon .coms)
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
SE Wisconsin
Wisconsin - Florida
Contact Information


Tom Rolfson

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Just a quick note of thanks and apologies as I haven't been able to reply to everyone for all the well-wishes.

The surgery went well, I've got a pretty zipper that runs the entire length of my neck and will need to wear a brace for 3 months. So... while you won't see me in any Hangouts - know that I'll be watching many of you expecting to see lots of great programs.

Thanks again for all the awesome and genuine wishes/offers to help and be well!
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Tom Rolfson

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Do you have an establishment that offers live entertainment?

Please consider adding this to your customer receipts. 
Best bar/ restaurant bill design ever? YES
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Hi stephen Dickson you add me
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Tom Rolfson

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Dear U.S. Veterans,

Thank you. 

#Veterans   #VeteransDay  
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Your welcome
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They call it "The Windy City" - here's a cross-wind landing from yesterday you've got to see. 

#Chicago   #CrossWind   #Plane   #Landing  
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+Auburn Lock That's a good one, funny.
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Trick or MEAT  go get your free #Bacon !
Halloween is traditionally a day for children to summon the creatures from the depths of their imagination and become the characters of their dreams. For an adult, although the magic may still be ...
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Hahahah that picture is the creepiest! 
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More great (and some amusing) features for Hangouts!
Hangouts: now smarter, faster, and a lot more fun

If you’re like me, you want to stay connected with friends and family without technology getting in the way. Hangouts lets you focus on the people you love talking to, so your conversations feel as in-the-moment and natural as they do in real life.

Today we’re updating the Hangouts app for Android to make it easier to express yourself, and have more fun along the way:
    - Like the saying goes, a sticker is worth a thousand words. From penguins to pirates, koalas to cats, 16 new sticker packs (and more to come!) have tons of ways to say what’s on your mind.
    - Give your video calls some extra flair with video filters including sepia, vignette, black & white, and more. Just swipe during a video call to try these new styles. 

We’re also making it easier to start conversations with friends and family:
    - Confirm your phone number so your friends who already have your digits can more easily find and message you in Hangouts.
    - Know when your friends are ready to chat right now with “last seen” timestamps, so you never have to type, “You there?”

Hangouts is also introducing the start of something new -- smart suggestions right in your conversations:
    - When you’re trying to meet up with friends in real life and someone asks, “Where are you?”, Hangouts can now understand what you need and offer to help.  You’ll see a one-tap option to share your location right in the conversation, without you needing to hunt around in a map, drop a pin and send your position. 

Try all the new features by updating the Hangouts app on your Android device  ( - rolling out to the Play Store over the next few hours). Note that “last seen” timestamps will roll out in waves over the next few weeks, so you may not see this feature for all your contacts right away. Today’s updates will also be available on the Hangouts iOS app soon. 

P.S. We’ve added a few other surprises to this Hangouts update, but we’ll let you find them on your own. Woot!
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Tom Rolfson

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Dear Santa...
The internet had something of a temper tantrum last week when word came that Daniel Craig will drive—gasp!—a Fiat 500 in the upcoming James Bond film Spectre. Well, the internet can return to discussing more important matters—namely, that lightsaber—now that we have official confirmation that 007 will spend at least some time driving an Aston…
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New to Inbox ?  Take a moment to read +Shawn Willden's excellent review and tips for more power and efficiency.

#Inbox   #Tips  
Google Inbox

Here's my take on Inbox, after living with it for a while... and getting it configured correctly.

My first impression was that it was really clean, and I liked the consistency between web and mobile views, but I found it difficult to manage the large volume of e-mail I get on my work account (my personal account is a Google Apps domain, and Inbox isn't yet available for Apps accounts). It was taking me far too long to get through my e-mail, so, reluctantly, I went back to the regular Gmail interface which felt complicated and cluttered in contrast, but had the singular virtue that I mostly managed to keep up with my hundreds of daily e-mails.

Then I ran across some tips for how to use Inbox, spent some time thinking about it and setting it up and now I have to say I think it's awesome. It's so awesome that my inbox is often completely empty. I've always liked the idea of keeping a clean inbox, conceptually, but never really been able to do it.

Here's what makes the difference:

1. Snooze. The lack of snooze was the single biggest reason I haven't been able to keep a clean inbox in the past. I didn't know "snooze" was the missing killer feature, but it was.

The reason is that there are always some e-mails in my inbox which I need to respond to, but can't address right now, either because I don't have the necessary information, or because they require work but I have other priorities right now, or whatever. So I had to leave them in my inbox as reminders until I could get to them. With Inbox, I snooze them to an appropriate time, so they're gone but will come back later when (hopefully) I can address them.

This "gone but not forgotten" state can be overused by procrastinators (like me), but, frankly, if I'm going to procrastinate I'll do it regardless. This way having a bunch of procrastinated stuff in my inbox doesn't cause me to fail to notice other stuff I really need to get to because it's hidden in the clutter. That happened to me, and not infrequently. With snooze I can make a specific decision about when I'm going to address something, and it gets out of the way until then.

2. Bundles. In particular deferred bundles (my name for them). You create a filter (which Inbox makes super easy, more on that below) that applies a label to some set of messages, then have Inbox "bundle" messages with that label together. That's nice, because it lets me deal with related messages all at once. Since I know the context (e.g. from the OpenSSL mailing list), it's easy to quickly scan the subject headings to see if I care about any of them.

I could do this with the old UI, of course, but it requires deciding when creating the filter whether I want the messages to show up in my inbox or not. If I don't have the filter "archive (skip the inbox)", then they all show up as individual messages in the inbox. If I do have the filter archive, then they don't clutter the inbox, but I have to click on the label to see them.

This always meant that I ended up not paying attention to non-inbox messages because I had to go look for them, so labels that might contain fairly important stuff had to stay in the inbox. Priority Inbox helped with that by picking out the stuff I was most likely to be interested in. But sometimes it missed important things, and they got ignored.

With bundles those messages show up in the inbox as a single entry, so I get reminded to look at them, but they don't clutter my inbox. Even better, I can tell Inbox not to show me a bundle every time a new message arrives. Without that option, bundles which receive many messages per day keep reappearing throughout my work day, meaning I can't just deal with them in large batches. With it, I set those bundles to only appear once per day. So my inbox silently accumulates them and then shows the bundle at 7 AM. Each morning I look at everything that has accumulated since the prior day, pin the messages I care about and bulk-archive the rest with a single click (or tap). Then I can address the pinned messages.

This method is so efficient that I've moved all of my low-priority mailing lists, the ones I used to just automatically label and archive to glance at once in a blue moon, into daily bundles. I read and respond to more of my e-mail, but spend less time doing it. In fact it's so much more efficient that although Inbox does support automatic prioritization (by moving stuff into a "low priority" bundle), I haven't even bothered to figure out how that works yet.

With the old UI, I leaned heavily on automatic prioritization, and that sometimes screwed me. Not often, because it's pretty darned good, but sometimes. I accepted that as the cost of doing business because without prioritization my e-mail load was unmanageable. With Inbox, my e-mail is manageable even without it, just by bundling related messages and letting me handle them en masse -- but I'm actually looking at all of it, at least the subjects, which I didn't really do before.

Deferred e-mail bundles are the bomb. Seriously.

3. Simple filter construction. One of the things that most annoyed me about Inbox when I first looked at it was that I couldn't figure out how to build filters. I'm sure they'll add that to the menus eventually, but I found it really annoying to have to jump back to the old UI... and then I discovered that Inbox not only provides a method for creating filters, it's dramatically easier and much faster. So much that filter creation has gone from being a chore (and, for many less-technical people, a black art) to so breezily easy that I do it without thinking about it.

How do you do it in Inbox? You just move a message to a label. Then Inbox asks if you always want to do that, and you click "Yes". Done.

Of course, this method doesn't have the power of Gmail filters, but nine times out of ten I don't need that much power, and Inbox is really quite good at building the filter that I would have built. For the cases where it isn't, no problem, just go to the old UI and edit the filter. I haven't yet had to do that, though.

4. Mobile/web consistency. I'm actually surprised at how much impact this has, but it really does, at least for me. I do most of my e-mail in a web browser on a 24" monitor, rotated 90 degrees so I have more vertical space. When you have a lot of e-mail to deal with, the screen real estate is valuable. With the Gmail web and Android UIs, though, I found I never really used the mobile e-mail client much. It just didn't fit my normal e-mail workflow. Having nearly identical interfaces on all devices, however, means that I can and do manage a lot of my e-mail from my phone or tablet now. It just feels natural and seamless to move back and forth.

This, of course, is the fundamental point of Material Design. Interfaces should be consistent across different devices and screen sizes, and MD is carefully designed to make that work seamlessly. It works.

The bottom line: I'm a fan of Inbox. I get more done, faster, and I feel like I'm in better control of my e-mail than I have been for quite a while. My work e-mail, at least. We'll see how it works for my personal e-mail when Apps domains can start using it. I think it will be just as good there.

BTW, I have invites available. If you want one, give me your e-mail address.
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Tom Rolfson

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Who still needs a +Inbox by Gmail invite? 

If you're already using it- what do you like least or most? 
Inbox by Gmail is a new app from the Gmail team. Inbox is an organized place to get things done and get back to what matters. Bundles keep emails organized. See the Highlights without opening emails. Plan or procrastinate with Snooze, and get things done with Reminders.
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Hi u add me
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A moment of cuteness because it's Friday - a hamster in a sweater.

Source:@BarrettAll on Twitter
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is that real?
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Tom Rolfson

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Check-out +Ronnie Bincer's review of how the Interstellar movie's Hangout On Air was run.

It's a great example and great insight on the production of HOAs. 
Interstellar Movie Release Hangout on Air - nice production
It appears that Google setup and ran this promotional Hangout on Air (HOA) broadcast using various aspects of what HOAs can offer.

They must have used some high end cameras and video switching equipment for the main cast, and also allowed some standard use of the HOA Filmstrip to bring in some additional video guests during the show.

They also had the Showcase, Applause & Q&A apps running at the same time. To me the most valuable for the production was the Showcase app since viewers can use the links shown to get more info, purchase tickets and more.

In addition, they used the YouTube Video Editor to trim off a bit of the start (the countdown timer they had added at the very beginning of the broadcast) such that the initially shared and promoted HOA Video URL would not need to be changed.

This is a great demonstration of how the special tools offered to us can work for very large audiences... which is my guess why Google is pushing these extra tools (Showcase, Q&A and Applause) on us so forcefully, but for most of us we do not have such a large audience when we run our HOA shows.

The good news is if you know what to do you can disable the extra tools and still run a great show that involves live viewer's comments making for a very engaging Live Interactive experience.

Many people in the Hangout Mastery membership are asking for a training session on how this event was run, so we'll provide some tips on how the filmstrip was incorporated into the broadcast and address other questions as well. Join us in the membership area to learn how you too can run HOA shows efficiently and with all the extra effects. Visit for details.
=== ===
#HOAtips   #HangoutsOnAir   #EventTips  
h/t: +B.L. Ochman for the alert
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+Ronnie Bincer it's way too early in the season to be dealing with these temps. Currently 26f here - I feel like I'm IN Interstellar dealing with deep space temps. 
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I've got mine, did you get yours... yet?  

Less than $1,000 to go to make +Paul Roustan's Kickstarter happen, let's do it!
Rock and Roll!
Astounding bodypainter Paul Roustan is running a kickstarter to publish a book of his unbelievable work. The 290-page book is printed and ready to go.
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Ordered pizza online at 5:46pm, delivery promised 75 minutes later (4.5miles/11minute drive per Google). First call to check 7:15pm told 2 drivers were out and one had 7 pizzas to deliver (was that relevant to my order?) told: "Give it another 10 minutes and if you don't have it call me back." called back 10 minutes later and was told "I can offer you a discount if you pick it up, and can give you a coupon for your next visit" (If I wasn't dealing with a debilitating neck injury I would have gone there to begin with!) Told them to cancel order, make sure charge does not appear on credit card and have vowed to NEVER order Pizza Hut again. Seriously, if a company this large and well-established can't get a single pizza made and delivered in an hour and half they have proven incompetent.
• • •
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
I often eat at Culver's throughout SE WI but recently ate at this location only to have the worst burger and dining experience encountered at any fast food establishment. It began by finding food and grease on the table and having to wipe it off the table and seating ourselves. This was followed by a longer than usual wait for food to be brought to the table, it was 7:15p on a Saturday and the crowd was thinning- not a rush hour. When the food arrived one of the two drinks was not delivered - the server was quick and apologetic bringing the missing drink out quickly. One of the sandwiches was the featured "Peppercorn Burger". The burger was dry, there was an excess of sauce dripping from it and it was barely warm. By the end it was unappealing and nearly inedible leaving part of it to be thrown away. Summation: Spending $20 for 2 sandwiches, 2 fries and 2 drinks... to get this quality of food and service was nowhere near a decent value. The next time I'll remember I'm a few hundred yards from Applebee's, spend a couple dollars more and go there for full-service and ultimately better food.
• • •
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I can always find fun hats and shirts here! I recommend the store to all visitors and residents of Racine. Be sure to ask Mary (the proprietor) for the inside scoop on what fun and events are happening in the Racine area.
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
The cafe sucks for having no outlets. When I contacted corporate they said they didn't want cords all over. As a result the Starbucks and Caribou nearby are always full and preferred. Not to mention missing ceiling tiles, cracked walls and leaking roof.
Quality: GoodAppeal: Poor - FairService: Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
12 reviews
Ordered online, pizza was delivered on time. (Arrived in 50 minutes while promise was 60). Good thin crust pizza, excellent sauce but toppings a little on the thin/light side. Driver was professional and courteous. Will order from Rosati's again.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Thinking about going to the Barnes & Noble cafe across the street? Don't. You'll find much more comfortable seating, better WiFi, plenty out outlets and great service. The staff is always quick, friendly and eager to share samples of new coffees. The only drawback is the size, seating can be limited during peak times.
Food: Very GoodDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
"Georgie" and family continue to improve an already great 20+ year tradition of excellent food and service.
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago