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Rick Bender
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My Internet connection is completely protected by VPN Unlimited.

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We had a water main leak at the building where I work.  While things didn't go as smoothly as everyone had hoped, I couldn't have been more impressed with the attitude, work ethic, and level of customer sensitivity and service we received.

Dan, our main technician was dedicated and hard at it the whole time he was on site.  Even at times when many a person would get very frustrated and agitated because things weren't going well - he just calming kept at it.  When he exhausted one way to complete the repair, he would take another path and try something else until it worked.

Things happen, things break and need to be fixed.  When you have someone who is truly working to get it fixed and making every effort while carrying it through to completion, that's the best you can ask to have.  Dan and the rest of the ARS crew that were on site during our repair were all just that way.  Always sensitive to the people in the building without water, always extremely respectful, and ALWAYS working while they were there.

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Good post.  I learned some things myself and certainly want to help add value.  Like most, I get a lot of posts, sorting to get the valuable ones can be quite the task - or a lot just don't rise to the pay attention pile.
The art of Google+ comments

For awhile, Google+ was a beautiful swimming pool filled with enchanting people making substantial, supportive and serene comments. Then hell broke loose on Sept. 21, 2011 when Google+ opened for anyone to join. Overnight, posts were inundated with clueless, crass or callous comments.

On Sept. 22 I felt like I woke up feeling discouraged. The situation reminded me of Caddyshack when a kid throws a Baby Ruth bar into the pool, and widespread panic ensues. The geeks at Google are hard at work to discourage malicious "Baby Ruth" producers, but this still leaves a large group of people who need help with comments. As Google+ has grown, more quality people have joined the platform but there are still some growing pains occurring.

This post is not meant for spammers or sociopaths—nothing will alter their behavior. My goal is to help “the rest of us.” But first, you may wonder why anyone should care about crappy comments—after all, Google+ is a public forum, and readers can ignore the crap. Think of Google+ posts as a restaurant, and the comments are the public sidewalk in front of it.

Sure, you could ask the police to stop the litterers and hope that the police can enforce an effective solution. However, no matter how vigilant the police is, you still have to clean the detritus off the sidewalk because poor comments on your post affect your image just like a dirty sidewalk in front of your restaurant.

Before we get to the art of full-fledged comments that are at least a phrase long, there are other ways to provide feedback to the authors of posts. These actions require less effort and may be enough for what you want to communicate.


You can share a post. This means that you like it so much that you’re willing to bet your reputation on it by providing it to your readers too. This is probably the most powerful comment people can make. If I had a choice between someone leaving a comment and sharing my post, I would pick the latter because a share increases the exposure of the post whereas a comment does not.


A +1 is a like tip for the valet or bellman. Any single +1 is not a big deal, but like tips, they can add up to significant compensation. You should throw +1s around generously when you like a post. On the flip side, when you see a post with more than five to 10 +1s, it’s a good indication that IS interesting, amusing or useful. For Facebook users, a +1 is the equivalent of a Facebook “Like” and should be given and judged in the same way.

One-word comments

Many people leave one-word comments such as “cool,” “wow,’ “LOL,” and “hah!” On Twitter—this type of comment is okay because comments flow on a river of other tweets. Also, there is no Twitter equivalent to the +1, so you have little choice but to leave one-word "atta-boys." Google+ is different because posts and their comments are linked so that all the comments remain with the post—“floating in the pool”—and there is an alternative to one-word atta-boys.

Many people make one-word comments with good intention. Others do it to “join the party”out of sheer enthusiasm for the post. Unfortunately, a few people do it because they want attention and to just see their comments appear somewhere. You can see this when there are comments such as “cool” and “LOL” that don’t make sense for the post.

Although this is more complex than I’d like, I have three recommendations. First, try to make a comment that is longer than one word: “Cool, I’m glad that you posted this,” “Cool, I’ll have to try this too,” or “Cool, please keep this kind of post coming.” The goal is to differentiate yourself from the mindless spammers.

Second, use the +1 feature instead of making a one-word comment. Doing so provides the same positive feedback to the author, and +1s are automatically tallied so they communicate the quality of the post more clearly than a bunch of one-word comments.

Third, if the poster has fewer than 1,000 followers, it’s unlikely that his posts will be swamped with one-word comments. Then it’s okay—and even nice—to leave a comment of any length. Any feedback is likely to make them happy. However, if the poster has thousands of followers, a string of one-word comments is irksome.

Shares, +1s and one-word comments are not mutually exclusive, so you can do any combination of the three. In a perfect world, people would share the post with their followers, +1 it, and write a comment. If you really like a post, don’t hesitate to show your feelings in multiple ways.

Long-form comments

Now let’s address the art of long-form comments that are at least a phrase. The quality, breadth and depth of Google+ comments compared to Twitter and Facebook blows me away. This level of interaction separates Google+ from those services, and it’s the reason that Robert Scoble and I and thousands of other early adopters love Google+.

A good model for comments is that you should behave as if you are a guest in someone’s home. Google Plus isn’t like Twitter where your comments float away in a river in less than in a minute. On Google+, your comments remain with a specific posting, so they are in your host’s pool, and they remain until your host scoops them out.

Here are my recommendations for long-than-one-word Google-Plus comments

Create value

Good comments provide information, analysis, assistance, entertainment or feedback. They make the post even better. This doesn’t mean that people should only say positive things—negative feedback is as valuable as positive feedback—but the spirit of the comment is what’s important. Is the commenter seeking to create value, or to simply attack the author and other commenters? Is the comment thoughtful and substantial, or simply inflammatory?

Stay on topic

Comments should be relevant to the post. You can supplement information and even add color and drama, but you shouldn’t go nuts. For example, if I make a post about hockey, God bless you if you want to talk about other sports or even about your non-sports passions. But don’t post a comment about how you think HP should not have discontinued its tablet or why Sarah Palin should be president. Certainly a link about your SEO consultancy or a site to meet singles is in poor and stupid form.

Show some class

People who want to swim in the Google+ pool—or at least my Google+ pool—should take a shower first. This means they should refrain from profanity and the big three isms: racism, sexism and ageism. The rest of the world might not know that you have no class, so why remove all doubt?

Limit arguments to three rounds

The best and worst interactions often occur between commenters—not between commenters and authors. It’s enchanting to watch strangers develop relationships and take posts in deeper and serendipitous (albeit related) directions. That’s the good news. The bad news is that commenters sometimes behave in ways they would never do in person and attack each other like boxers. But think about this: Does the outcome of an argument in comments really matter? Is anyone going to change their mind? HP will have the same CEO for 10 years before this happens.

My suggestion is to embrace the rules of amateur boxing and go for only three rounds. Here’s how this would work: the author says something—this is the opening bell. Round 1: Person A posts a comment. Round 2: Person B responds to your comment. Round 3: Person A responds to the response. End of fight—even if Person B responds again. If Person A and B want to go more rounds, they can start their own thread and fight someplace else. Frankly, by the end of three rounds, no one else is following the sequence of blows, and everyone couldn’t give a shiitake about the little urinating match.

“Reply to” the author

Type in “+” and then the author’s name until you see it her pop-up in a list of people with similar names—this is Google working its magic and finding the person for you. Then select her name, and it will turn blue and link to her profile. This is called a “+ mention” as opposed to simply mentioning her with plain, non-linked text. An easier way to create a + mention is to install a Chrome browser extension called “Replies and More for Google+.” This product makes it easy to “reply to” the author and commenters by adding a link to click on to select them. It’s the most valuable Google Plus extension in the world.

The reason that + mentions is important is that the people you mention receive notification. This is a huge advantage of Google Plus over Twitter and Facebook because people that you reply to or mention on Twitter and Facebook are much less likely to know you did so. These mentions also work for other commenters and not only posters—you want them to know the you’ve responded to their comments. Fortunately, Replies and More for Google+ works with other commenters too.

Another favorite Chrome extension for managing Google+ is Nuke Comments. This gives you the ability to delete a comment and report the spammer in one click.

These are my recommendations for the art of commenting in Google+. Having said all this, an author’s post—like her pool, restaurant or house—is a person’s post. Authors are free to enforce rules and tolerate behaviors according to their own liking within the terms of service of Google. Some people on Google Plus are more tolerant of turds in their pool, but this how I’m running my little tub. If you want to follow me on Google Plus, go here.

*This post was excerpted from What the Plus! Google+ for the rest of us and originally posted on Open Forum.

Photo credit Fabrizio Van Marciano/Flickr.

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It's sure worth a works with so many other things!

Thank you for the invite!

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Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

~Terry Pratchett~

(image by SeraphZero)

.....<end transmission>.....

My stomach hurt by the time I was through these....

These are from a book called 'Disorder in the American Courts', and are things people actually stated in Court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place: 
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning? 
WITNESS:       He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?' 
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?  
WITNESS:       My name is Susan! 
ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact? 
WITNESS:       Gucci sweats and Reeboks. 
ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?  
WITNESS:       No, I just lie there. 
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?  
WITNESS:       July 18th. 
ATTORNEY: What year? 
WITNESS:       Every year. 
ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you? 
WITNESS:       Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.  
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you? 
WITNESS:       Forty-five years. 
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all? 
WITNESS:       Yes. 
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory? 
WITNESS:       I forget ... 
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot? 
ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning? 
WITNESS:       Did you actually pass the bar exam? 
ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he? 
WITNESS:       He's 20, much like your IQ. 
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your  picture was taken? 
WITNESS:       Are you shi**ing me? 
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th? 
WITNESS:       Yes. 
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time? 
WITNESS:       Getting laid. 

ATTORNEY: She had three children, right? 
WITNESS:       Yes. 
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?  
WITNESS:       None. 
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?  
WITNESS:       Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney? 
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated? 
WITNESS:       By death ... 
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated? 
WITNESS:       Take a guess. 

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual? 
WITNESS:       He was about medium height and had a beard 
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?  
WITNESS:       Unless the circus was in town I'm going with male.  
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney? 
WITNESS:       No, this is how I dress when I go to work. 
ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people? 
WITNESS:       All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.  
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to? 
WITNESS:       Oral... 
ATTORNEY:  Do you recall the time that you examined the body? 
WITNESS:       The autopsy started around 8:30 PM 
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time? 
WITNESS:       If not, he was by the time I finished. 
ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample? 
WITNESS:       Are you qualified to ask that question? 
And last: 
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? 
WITNESS:       No. 
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure? 
WITNESS:       No. 
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?  
WITNESS:       No.. 
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?  
WITNESS:       No. 
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor? 
WITNESS:       Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.  
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless? 
WITNESS:       Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.  

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I can't even imagine....sure hope this helps.....
My daughter is 13, Jennifer Garcia Quintana, has been missing for six days. It may be that if everyone passes this message, someone will recognize it. Found people with this method. Internet circulates throughout the world ... Please pass this message to all your contacts. Thank you all I can find my girl.
I ask you all, I beg you all, please pass this to everyone possible. There is still time please help me. If you have information, contact:,

Mí hija tiene 13 años, Jennifer Garcia Quintana, está desaparecida desde hace seis dias. Puede ocurrir que si todos pasan este mensaje, alguna persona la reconocerá. Se han encontrado personas con este método. Internet circula por todo el mundo… Por favor, pasa este mensaje a todos tus contactos. Gracias a todos ustedes podré encontrar a mi niña.
Les pido a todos, les suplico a todos, por favor pasa esta imagen a todas las personas posibles. Todavía no es tarde POR FAVOR, AYÚDAME. Sí tienes información, contacta con:,

Please help her to share to our friends tgis missing child. Thank you.
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