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You need to see AND click on the doodle of the (late) great Frankie Manning on www.google.com today!

Why? Because there are many good articles you can and should read about this amazing, inspirational guy. He was absolutely one of the most joyful, generous, inspiring people I've ever met, and I'm thankful I had the opportunity to take classes and chat with him.

In one of his classes, I accidentally rock-stepped right onto his foot (!). I was mortified, but thankfully he wasn't hurt and he had a good sense of humor about it.

A day later, he accidentally spilled a spot of white wine on me when we were both hanging out in the bar at www.herrang.com. When he saw that there was no harm done, he playfully poked me, smiled broadly and chuckled, "Payback! heh heh heh!" :D

I have many other memories of Frankie... typically with him ever so patiently helping dancers feel the music, feel the essence of partner dancing.

He wasn't all about the moves, but rather dancing to him was all about connecting with others and having a damn good time. Just as it should be.

"Gentlemen, you've gotta always remember... who is that beautiful lady in front of you? She's your Queen!" Indeed!

And couldn't we use a bit more respect, connection and undivided attention in our lives? :-) Yes, yes we could!
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Women in ads... as strong and successful doers, movers, thinkers
We could ask what took so long, but we likely already know the reason (read the article to find out). The better question is... how can we (men and women) accelerate the trend of advertising that respects and inspires?!

P.S. - With all that said, I'm a bit disappointed that the image chosen for this article (shown below) is... a scantily clad and especially attractive woman, which kind of goes against the key points in the article. Hmm... two steps forward, one step back...
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Love this!  Sometimes, shame is the answer.

(and for those who are expecting an important call or text... they should put their phone on vibrate and then leave the theatre if they get pinged)
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Let's work together to make online communities safe and respectful.
I was really happy to read this post by +Yonatan Zunger, remarking on Google's hiring of Christopher Poole ("moot"), the founder of the (in)famous site 4chan. https://plus.google.com/+YonatanZunger/posts/TLPw23eiYrM

4chan has long been in the news as a site that -- among other things -- has hosted some rather despicable speech... mean-spirited & even hateful.

At the same time, I have a lot of respect for and trust in Yonatan; I've seen his longstanding public and internal-to-Google engagement on the topic of robust and safe communities online.  

And also, I've learned that -- in addition to its abhorrent contributions -- 4chan has provided the internet with fascinating and sometimes hilarious ideas and conversations.  It has been, essentially, in many ways like a slice of "real life."

*  *  *

I genuinely believe that Google is concerned about and interested in improving the quality and safety of online communities.
But with that said, I hope all good souls will firmly and respectfully let Google -- and other companies hosting communities online -- know when our efforts fall short.  

At a minimum, I personally believe that community members should have powerful and reliable tools to effectively report and block harassment.  Ideally, we should all be able to enjoy communities that are structured and maintained in a way that prevents jerks from ever getting a foothold in the first place.

Community design and management is massively difficult; even gobs of money and impressive technologies aren't sufficient.  But where there's a will... where there are high expectations... where there are thoughtful, kind, and passionate souls... we can make valuable progress :).

Important:  please don't fight hate with hate.
1) That never works.
2) It makes it harder to tell who the good folks are.
3) The most awful people online often get their kicks specifically from stirring up hatred, so you're just adding fuel to their fire.

Lastly, please know that I'm writing this as a long-time (albeit lapsed) community manager, not as a Googler
...and certainly not as a Googler in an official capacity.  I no longer do any community management at Google, much less speak for any of the teams/people/departments responsible for community development or management.  These are my personal opinions, formed from my experience being online for decades and even launching my own email and web communities back in the 90s :-).
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After a rather surreal experience in a hot tub with a friend the other night, I decided to full-on rant against people acting cluelessly and rudely in public spaces.

Definitely interested in hearing your thoughts... as replies on the Medium post or here in G+ :)
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Okay, I finally tried +Medium as a writer...
...after hearing so many awesome things about the site.
http://j.mp/hwskilb

- It DID seem pretty straightforward and nice to write in.
- Though not all that much easier than my WordPress install.
- And even though this post was just a rewrite (albeit a significant one) of a post I'd written years earlier... wow, I'd forgotten HOW MUCH TIME it takes to write even a small something!

It's been forever since I've blogged, and this has renewed my appreciation for writers of all kinds.  And also helped me understand why people like Medium.  I'm now considering writing more there, but... er... best of intentions... we'll see how things go ;).
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What are the most congenial & respectful online communities you know of?
And what do you think has made & kept them this way?
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Robots, academia, $$$, and the future of society
Who will do foundational research, and who will pay them?  Why can't robots grab a cup of coffee?  Military robotics: More killing, more lives saved, or both?  Raiding university research teams for talent, ethical or unethical?

The NYT really doesn't delve deeply into these questions, but it's quite interesting nonetheless and sure makes you think about these and other weighty issues ;).
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Public transit in most of America makes me cry
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