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Rafael Noboa y Rivera
Writer, poet, musician, political activist, student
Writer, poet, musician, political activist, student

Rafael's posts

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We are well and truly doomed:

shakes head. By the way, fellow progressives, that middle figure is why it's so difficult to get Congressional Democrats to hold the line.

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Huh. Don't know how to feel about the fact that Bernard Henri-Levy is following me on the Twitters, especially given l'affaire DSK. On a related note, I'm happy that Tristane Banon is going after DSK, so there's that!

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A handy tip from +Louis Gray here.
If you are a Google Analytics nut or just a blogger who likes to watch your stats, it's possible to find out how much traffic Google+ is sending your way. You just have to look closely at the URL string.

All comments on Jonathan Weinberg's answer to 9/11: What did it feel like to be inside the World Trade Center at the time of the 9/11 attacks? - Quora

This story just took my breath away. 

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New Saturday G+ Tradition : Story Circle

As Saturdays are more casual, and there's a lot we don't know about each other, I propose we share a quick story or fun fact about ourselves each Saturday. Tag it as +StoryCircle (I trust search is coming). When complete, tag 3-5 people you want to share a story. I'll go first.


When working for a dot com back in 1999, I often wrote marketing collateral and made screenshots for our products, and had to make up fake names and companies to fill space. I noticed this trend of companies rebranding with a simple name that went like this: A, Consonant, Vowel, Consonant, A. Everywhere I looked, I'd see companies launch like Avaya, Altera, Asera, Altria, Ariba, Asigra and on and on. So I made up a company called "Asypta", and started using it everywhere.

My colleagues begged to know about this company and thought it was real. So I made it into an acronym: A Simple Yet Pointless Technical Acronym: ASYPTA. Get it? I swear in those heady times, my colleagues wanted in and wanted to buy shares. Alas, Asypta was not real. I later used Asypta as my login for YouTube, Flickr and other places, before using my real name everywhere.


To continue the +StoryCircle, go ahead and share. I'm tagging +Susan Beebe +Erica Joy +Jonathan Terleski +Brett Crosby and +Danny Sullivan today.

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It's great that the user experience of Google Plus is being so well received, and I'm happy about all the positive feedback that's been coming my way, but I'm worried that I'm getting too much credit for it, so this long-winded post is an attempt to set the record straight.

I am indeed the main individual behind the interaction design and implementation of the circle editor. I conceived, designed and implemented a compelling prototype for it almost single-handedly, and then wrote a fair percentage of the production javascript code with lots of help from my friends. I also worked on a couple of other parts of the product a little bit, but that's pretty much as far as it goes.

Steven Levy's excellent Wired article got the story right - I wrote the circle editor and then recently widened my focus to the overall Google Plus user experience. But subsequent stories jumped to the conclusion that I was responsible for the design of the entire product that we launched on Tuesday, which isn't true, but I guess it was just too good a story (about Apple design values infecting Google) for people to resist. And now some people are saying that I'm responsible for the broad visual refresh now rolling out across Google, which couldn't be further from the truth - in fact, I'm not even sure I like it.

One thing that I learned during the launch of the original Macintosh in 1984 was that the press usually oversimplifies everything, and it can't deal with the reality that there are many people playing critical roles on significant projects. A few people always get too much credit, while most people get too little, that's just the way it has always worked. But luckily, it's 2011 and I can use the service that I helped to create to clarify things.

+Shaun Modi is the awesome young designer most responsible for the visual design of the circle editor, especially the blooming circles, along with
+Jonathan Terleski, who helped refine it after Shaun departed. +Joseph Smarr also helped with the design quite a bit, and was especially valuable as someone I could rely on (along with Jonathan) to tell me when a particular aspect was good enough yet or not.

Google probably won't be thrilled about me mentioning the names of the superb developers who helped me with the circle editor code (hello recruiters) but I feel that I must mention my main collaborators here: +Owen Prater +Eric Cattell +Eric W. Barndollar and +Griff Hazen, along with Ariel Gertzenstein and Rich Conlan who helped in the early stages. And those are just the main front-end guys, there are plenty of others who worked on the shared infrastructure or the back-end that I won't mention.

And all of the above are just the people who helped with the circle editor and related UI. There are plenty of others who worked on the stream, profiles and photos, as well as the leadership, product managers and various specialists who also made invaluable contributions every day. Suffice it to say that Google Plus is the creation of large, talented team that I'm proud to be a part of, and anyway it's only the beginning, we're all excited about what it has a chance to become over the months and years ahead.

If the Google + app for iOS is anywhere near as nice as the Android app, it's going to be outstanding. Like I tweeted earlier: it's about time that Google started showing some design chops.

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Ah, just discovered a cool Google+ hack: Use Google+ as your own private bookmarking service and also to jot down quick ideas and notes. How? Create a new circle and name it say My Notes . Then create a new contact using one of your other email addresses, and then drop yourself into this circle. Then share the stuff you want to this circle - web links, notes/ideas, even pictures and videos. They will all show up in your own new private circle. Anytime you want to view it - just click on the My Notes stream. And you can access it from anywhere on the web or mobile phone - with the great new Google+ App on it.

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More useful-but-maybe-not-obvious features of Google+

* If you want to send a private message to someone, just create a normal post and share it only with them. Bam! Instant one-on-one conversation! If you want to make a post publicly visible but aim it specifically at someone, share it with them and also with Public (or also with your circles, etc).

* Speaking of sharing only with someone: If you type +<name> or @<name>, it shares the post directly with them, just like if you added their name in the sharing targets. You can also do this in a comment, to pull someone else into the conversation.

* Want to see who can see a post? Next to the dateline at the top of a post, you’ll see something like “Public” or “Limited.” “Limited” is a link -- click on it to see who has access.

* At the top right of each post, there’s a little circle-and-triangle menu. For your own posts, this menu lets you edit or delete the post, or disable commenting or resharing. For other people’s posts, it lets you link to the post, mute it, block the person completely, or report abuse.
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