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Alan Cox
18,335 followers -
Hacker, model maker and very bad harpist
Hacker, model maker and very bad harpist

18,335 followers
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The latest tthing is now apparently... vegan electricity. No it's not enough to not eat animals any more. I guess anything you can do to charge people money works 8)

https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/our-green-energy/vegan-energy-supply

Mmnm bacon - Fuzix may be part solar powered but it's most definitely built with bacon 8)

Vegan energy supply
Vegan energy supply
ecotricity.co.uk
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Only you can stop PCD! (Premature Christmas Decorating)

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Do not use standard survey texts for your hospital satisfaction survey. Yes their robot phoned me up and asked 'on a scale of 1-5 would you recommend our accident and emergency service to your friends'.

Doh..

#fail
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The Plexodus is a Month Old

Google announced its intent to shut down Google+ on October 8, and we hit the one-month threshold this past Thursday. I thought I'd note some of the things that have and haven't happened in the past four weeks. Truth to tell the action wasn't entirely unexpected, and some of us have been wondering what took Google so long, but the announcement itself came without warning, out of the blue, and by all appearances, without any significant advance planning at Google itself.

What was originally 10 months to sunset is now 9.



Progress

From a dead start, there's been some fairly impressive progress on numerous fronts. Among those:


The Google+ Mass Migration community

We've crossed 3,000 members since 8 October, all current and active. The group was John Lewis's effort, several others started at roughly the same time, including one I'd launched still hovering under 100 people, though with good discussion.

Despite its size, G+MM has been well behaved and productive. We're wrestling with Google's half-built, bolted-on, and under-capability communities feature, but for now it is mostly working. Thanks to John Lewis for setting this up and my co-moderators for dealing with the very few issues that have come up.


G+ Alternatives Spreadsheet

Trey Harris provided the structure, Peter Maranchi has been keeping the editing in line. This is a hugely useful resource.

<https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1itbLtjWx2Cx88k2pqqwjY2j9vknLhoXpPXU52sTYbrI/edit?usp=sharing>


Pluspora

Di Cleverly and Dave Thiery's DIY home for Google+ refugees hosting over 7,000 users, virtually all added since 8 October. Whether a permanent or interim home, this is hugely useful both as a resource and as a learning tool for costs, considerations, and technical details in self-hosted option.

<https://pluspora.com>

(Note: Pluspora is only one of many Diaspora pods (https://podupti.me/), and you may join others or start your own. There are also other compatible Federated platforms including Frendica, Hubzilla, and more. Exploring options is useful.)


PlexodusWiki

There's a growing information resource for planning, processes, directories, and more. I'd suggested it would be nice to have a Wiki, Christian Buggedei set it up, and it's been rolling since.

<https://social.antefriguserat.de/>


Other Alternatives

There is a list of 250 "social media" applications (https://socialmedialist.org/social-media-apps.html), applying a generous definition, and several more structured lists at Wikipedia including:

∙ Social networking websites (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites)
∙ Microblogging services (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_microblogging_services)
∙ Virtual communities with more than 100 million active users (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_virtual_communities_with_more_than_100_million_active_users)
∙ List of Internet Forums (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Internet_forums)
∙ Comparison of Wiki hosting services (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wiki_hosting_services)
∙ Comparison of software and protocols for distributed social networking (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_software_and_protocols_for_distributed_social_networking)

Dividing these options into specific types, identifying use-cases, and making a determination of value and prospects is likely to be most useful to future decisionmaking. That classification is something that's been bothering me for the past several weeks and to which I'm planning on focusing on more intently.

As a general classification, and incomplete list, with some examples:

∙ Format / medium
∙ Tiny / short / medium / long
∙ Async / Sync
∙ Organisation: topic, group, social, organisational, ...
∙ Media type(s)
∙ Open / closed
∙ Public / private
∙ Simple (text) vs. complex (full HTML, multimedia, etc.)
∙ Proprietary
∙ Large/Established: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, ...
∙ New/Smaller: MeWe, Minds, Cake.co, SmugMug/Flickr, Tildes.
∙ Open and Federated systems
∙ The Fediverse/Federation: Disaspora, Friendica, Hubzilla, ...
∙ Solid
∙ Old school: Mailing lists, Usenet/groups (Google/Yahoo), IRC.
∙ Specialised focus: photos, video, chat, ...
∙ Specialised audience: interests, business, academic, ...
∙ Moderation policies & controls / ideological focus / tolerance
∙ Discovery, search,

Coming up with a clear presentation of these alternatives and their strengths and weaknesses is a key goal of mine for the next month.



Lots of People Making Plans

Individually and as groups, people are exploring, talking about, and making choices among temporary and permanent locations. MeWe and Reddit seem to be popular among communities, several have chosen Facebook.

Google Groups and Yahoo Groups, as well as old-fashioned mailing lists are another option, and are probably among the most flexible and useful options for groups on an interim basis.

Email can be somewhat messy, but it is very nearly universally available.



An Opportunity

I've also had several very interesting discussions with people who, as I do, see this as a tremendous opportunity to change the online landscape. These come along once a decade or so, and it's essential to be ready to act. Despite starting from a standstill there are exciting options available. My general suggestion has been prepare for at least an interim move by April 2019, which also means that that interim target should be ready to roll right now. Some of the exciting opportunities are not yet ready for prime time, and I am hesitant to recommend them now. They may still prove worthwhile ultimate goals.

Above all, thinking through you and your group's strategy matters, and recognising that there will be early, middle, and late movers may play into that thinking. My view is that the early movers are flexible and can re-home if their first choice proves unsatisfactory or premature, the late movers lack resources or initiative to make moves, and that middle movers are both deliberate and reluctant to subsequant change. I may be wrong, but I think the middle-crowd will be definitive.



No migration / sunset information out of Google

I'd really hoped that Google would say something regarding plans or support for migrating off Google+. There's been nothing for nearly a month, with the most recent G+ post being October 12, 2018 (https://plus.google.com/+googleplus/posts/gxoJEZfRjPd), largely reiterating the initial October 8 announcement.

David Thacker and Ben Smith are the names associated with these two announcements. Neither appear to have a G+ presence, active or otherwise.

There's another Google Cloud blog from October 11, 2018, by David Conway, "New enterprise-grade features in Google+ help businesses drive collaboration" (https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/g-suite/new-enterprise-grade-features-in-googleplus-help-businesses-drive-collaboration), and a mention of G+ in this [G Suite article](https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/g-suite/work-hacks-g-suite-onboard-new-employees-boss), but nothing on the sunset.

I have reached out through multiple channels, including Google's Press contacts, through Googlers I know, and to a list of known Google+ product and project personnel and managers, without any response, or even acknowledgement.

My view on the migration is that if Google have no response within the first month, there's likely to be little if any assistance possible, and if there's none within the first two months of the Sunset announcement, you should plan on NO ASSISTANCE WHATSOEVER. I've been strongly encouraging Google to make their intentions clear even where they are unsure of what they'll be able to provide.

The lack of any substantive comment from Google bodes exceedingly poorly, and I am deeply disappointed. You should be planning to proceed WITH NO FURTHER ASSISTANCE FROM GOOGLE AT THIS POINT. This does not mean that there won't be any assistance, but likelihood is falling, and it's far better to be safe than sorry.

I can think of numerous reasons why Google would be reluctant to comment. I don't believe this excuses their reluctance:

* Google have no final plan: Then tell us that. Collaborating with key communities may help shape priorities.
* Google want to avoid the loud protests/complaints on announcements: First, that's all but inevitable, second, if necessary that can be dealt with.
* Google don't signal decisions in advance: this is a long-standing policy. It has been a prime cause of much trust erosion with the company.
* Google wish to avoid confusion: There is more confusion with a lack of information. Defining parameters of what might or might not be produced helps reduce confusion.

In the absence of volunatary guidance from Google, I'm going to strongly recommend that people start putting requests through legal channels: to your regional and national legislators, to state or regional consumer advocates (generally Attornies General in the US), national regulators (the FTC in the US), California government officials (overseeing Google's HQ), the EU's Commissioner for Competition, etc.




What can you do?

There's a tremendous amount of work and activity. Some of it productive, some not so much. General thoughts:

The Google+ platform itself is resistant to promotion and advocacy. This kept it refreshingly marketing-free for the most part whilst active, but it makes it very difficult to get significant messages out. The G+MM community has grown to over 3,000 members in a month, but little more. How much of the active G+ user base this represents is not known, though there are some signs of larger activity: the 6,000 Pluspora members, "tens of thousands" of new MeWe accounts reported by MeWe, and 30,000 signatures on the Change.org petition to not shut down G+. It's been difficult to try to reach out within G+ itself to affected users. (Given the limited capabilities of Google+ Communities, this may be a blessing in disguise...)

This has been particularly painful for AMAs, where I don't feel we're getting sufficient interest and participation.

Your assistance in spreading the word on the G+MM community and other efforts is needed. Much of this task is simply outreach and awareness. The fact that there is power in numbers also matters: many of us being present and active increase the odds of getting support from Google or third-party sites.

Promoting informational resources is within scope, I am not asking others to promote specific platforms, and in my role as a moderator of this community, I won't be doing that. (Yes, I have my own feelings, and yes, I may recommend against options which strike me as particularly unwise.) Retaining the role of this space as an informative but not strongly-biased information hub is my primary goal.



Current action items

Do recommend this community to your contacts.

Do recommend this community to Communities you belong to or moderate.

Do post your forwarding contacts to your Google+ "About" page, and pin a post to your Google+ Profile.

Do talk with your friends, circles, communities, and other G+ contacts, users, vendors, customers, etc., about their needs, plans, goals, and interests.

Do think through where you want to be by or well before August 2019.

Do make a Google Data Takeout to familiarise yourself with the process. It's not particularly straightforward. Request JSON rather than HTML formats for Google+ items.

Do explore the possible platform spaces and think through what each does and does not satisify for your personal or group needs. Keep in mind that some platforms may offer additional features, others have been resistant to change for years or more.

Do keep posting your experiences, positive and otherwise, with platforms. I and others are learning much from this, and we're compiling this information.

Do set up at least an interim tool for keeping your community, formal or otherwise, intact. A Google Groups, Yahoo Groups, or Mailing List is probably your best bet, as this provides visibility to who is active and is based on durable email addresses. If you stay together, you can regroup elsewhere later. If you don't, it will be far harder to do so. Groups are surprisingly resilient.

Do NOT wait until the last minute.

Our suggested schedule (https://social.antefriguserat.de/index.php/Exodus_Planning_and_Scheduling) is:

Oct 2018 - Dec 2018: Coordination, planning, and exploring alternatives.
Jan 2019 - Apr 2019: Execution.
May 2019 - Jul 2019: Re-establishing community.
Aug 2019 - ∞: Assessment of migration, rebuilding and expanding.

Specifically: For October - November you should consider adding and assessing alternatives, for December eliminating those which clearly don't fit your needs, with a final determination to be made in January-February.


Let's get a move on.
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I actually managed to get something free out of Disneyland Paris .. food poisoning

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Topical consultation. Carefully arranged to run the minimal time allowed and end at Christmas. Shows how serious the government is about such stuff really
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Meh.. 213nT and I'm somewhere brightly lit with no north facing view to look for aurorae.
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Gosh it's not just Google+ that's got security problems. Looks like Google Home has issues too... wonder if Google will just sunset that ;-)
‪#Google Home devices have a few open doors ;)‬

‪“I was surprised to see so many ports open so I started to do some research and found that these devices have an undocumented (and amazingly unsecured) API”‬

https://jerrygamblin.com/2018/10/29/google-home-insecurity/
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