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Zoey Sherry
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Zoey Sherry

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FREE GIVEAWAY: The last one for today is the best one we will offer all month! We have teamed up with Gamnesia to give away a Wii U with a copy of The Wind Waker HD!

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Zoey Sherry

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I already have a few suggestions for my new Google overlords (may death come swiftly to their enemies): I think that when I upload a profile picture, as I'm cropping it I should be able to see how it will look in the different sizes it will show up as, if not be able to specify different cropping for the smaller version (which would be excellent). It's always bothered me about Facebook that I can't tell when I'm uploading my image how it will look next to my wall posts. If I could crop it specifically the way I want for that, or at least see what size I need to crop it to to make it look right on my wall, that would be another step toward getting me away from Facebook.

My recommendation would be either adding a series of outlined boxes overlayed over the image, or better yet, set a little sidebar with visual representations of each size and set of dimensions my image will be appearing in which I can either roll over to see a transparent box indicating what will be cropped, or which I can click to dynamically switch my image to different views of how it will appear on your social network.

Also, it would be great if we could crop images we've previously uploaded again. After cropping my profile picture the first time, I had to do it like 5 more times to get it right, and because I couldn't crop the one I'd already uploaded, I had to upload it 5 more times. I know you have a lot of server space, but do you really want to spend it by having your users do that?
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Zoey Sherry

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A few other observations about Facebook that could help Google+ succeed:

1) I can't really explain why (other than poor boundary setting?), but I have people in my Facebook friends list who I can barely tolerate. I added some of them because of apps we both used, met a few of them online, and met the rest of them in real life, but it stresses me out to see their posts. While I understand that I could just remove them from my wall feed and be done with it, there are some cases where I don't feel like completely removing them from my feed or my friends list (for example, if we both play the same game, but their personality irritates me). I think that this is an aspect of social communication, having members of your social life who you don't really like for one reason or another (in laws, maybe?) and still needing to interact with them at some level. It would be nice if Google+ allowed for a less black and white approach to keeping these people further out in our "circles". Maybe we could set up where people actually appear in a visual diagram of our social friendship network, and then adjust interaction settings for those different levels of interest, or something?

2) While I understand the idea behind only allowing a "+1" or a "like" to dissuade people from seeking attention through negative behavior, there are times when I do want to continue a discussion I'm having with someone on Facebook in a comments thread without continually trying to figure out if they replied to me or not by manually reading through the comments. It would be nice if in whatever the "comments" feature here will end up being, we could click "reply" on someone's post, be sent down to the comment field, and then have them receive a notification when I post my comment in reply to them which would take them directly to my comment. It would be extra nice if, when using that feature, The person's name could be included as a link in the top of that post with some kind of @username kind of thing that when clicked would scroll the user directly up to the comment I was replying to. This would allow a sort of "meta commenting" to occur without blending conversations in a comment thread into chaos.

3) On Facebook when I comment in a comment thread and then someone "likes" my comment, I receive a notification that someone "liked" my comment. When I click that notification, it takes me to the top of that thread and then if I want to see if anyone who liked my comment replied to it or what kind of people are liking my comment, I have to either pick through the entire list (usually hundreds) of comments to find my comment, or expand all of the comments click by click and then use my browser's search feature to find my comment again, by which point more people have liked my comment and posted, and I sometimes have to start all over again. This way of doing things feels particularly ridiculous when I know that the notification that people liked my comment could (and probably should) take me directly to my comment. Better still would be to be able to immediately see a list of replies to my comment and read them as a discussion.

4) Sometimes no one "likes" my comment, but I'm still curious about who replied to my comment. To find out if anyone liked my comment, I have to manually find that comment thread again, hit expand a bunch of times, use "find" to find my comment by my name, and then read down through potentially hundreds of comments to see if anyone was trying to reply to me. I could search by name, but they may have misspelled my name or even chosen to reply to me without using my name (or deliberately parodied, or used a nickname they have for me). In one particularly egregious case, a comedian I follow had posted a personal family problem he was having, and 5,000 people commented on it. I posted a personal experience of mine and some supportive messages. When I went back to see if anyone had identified with my personal experiences, or felt that they were helpful I had to spend a half hour hitting "previous comments" trying to find my comment in a list of 5,000 comments only to get all the way to the beginning and accidentally click the post link, contracting all of the comments again. That is just not good usability.
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Zoey Sherry

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I read a review by someone who was trying Google+ who said that the design was too intrusive and will get between the user and their friends. I'm confused by what they meant by that. So far, the design and usability of Google+ seems a bit less intrusive to me than Facebook's is. It could be that things load faster here, or that the design is pretty minimalist for what it's doing, or just because right now my stream isn't filled with junk and spam from my friends prompting me to do things Facebook wants me to do, but this feels like a thinner layer of abstraction, not a thicker one.

On that note, I hope that Google+ will allow us more tools than Facebook does to filter stuff out of our walls that we don't want to see. I'm suddenly kind of amazed at how much less hectic it is to look at my Stream here, and I think it's because 90% of the stuff I'm seeing isn't a waste of my time. I don't know if Google+ will try to go the gaming and app route (although I think they will probably attract more users that way), but I hope that they can find a way to profit from it and keep the games active without forcing them on everybody who uses Google+. That would make a huge difference in getting me off of Facebook.
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I have lived here for for about 8 1/2 months now, and am very happy with it. My apartment is beautiful, the office staff is always nice, and the maintenance staff has completed every request I've made in less than a day. I can't think of any complaints with my apartment. I love the layout, and it gets a lot of light. The top floor units have very high ceilings in some of the rooms, and the kitchens have nice fixtures. The common areas are very well kept. On days when it has snowed, I have noticed that walks were cleared very early in the morning. However, the parking lot can get kind of icy in the winter. Parking can be a little annoying if you don't pay for a space. You can hear your neighbors next door if they're noisy, but I think that's typical if you have shared walls. I only hear mine enough to notice a few times a month. The units on the east end border a Home Depot, and I often hear equipment moving around over there. I don't find it that hard to tune that out. On the bright side, having a Home Depot next door is very convenient when I need things for projects or indoor gardening. There have been a lot of times when I found it very nice to have a hardware store next door. There's also a grocery store within easy walking distance. Sometimes, it actually takes me less time to walk to the grocery store than to drive there. The grocery store is open 24 hours a day, so even during a midnight blizzard, I could get groceries if I needed to. Rent, utilities, trash fees, and water bills are all handled online. I find the system pretty easy to use. You can also make maintenance requests online. I have, on a few occasions, found that requests I made late in the evening were finished before I got home from work the next day. The office staff does nice things for residents like holiday decorating contests, clubhouse breakfasts, and a gift wrapping station. It seems like a lot of people don't participate in those things, though. Overall, I really enjoy living here. Like any community, there are a few things that aren't perfect, but there are a lot of things to like.
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