Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Gang of Twelve…

As you know, unless you’ve been moonlighting as a cave-dweller. With the passage of the recent Debt-ceiling bill, Congress has been instructed to create a “United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction” This committee will include 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans, 3 from each house of Congress. They’ve finally been named:

House Republicans: (3)
Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas (Co-Committee Chair)
Dave Camp, R-Michigan
Fred Upton, R-Michigan


House Democrats: (3)
James E. Clyburn, D-South Carolina
Xavier Becerra, D-California
Chris Van Hollen D-Maryland


Senate Republicans: (3)
Jon Kyl, R-Arizona
Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania
Rob Portman R-Ohio


Senate Democrats: (3)
Patty Murray, D-Wash (Co-Committee Chair)
John Kerry, D-Mass
Max Baucus, D-Mont

Since I know I have friends at all sides of the political spectrum (I sit on both sides of the “aisle”) I offer this without political dialogue. Due to the importance of the work being charged to this committee I just feel this it is important to know who the committee is and why they’ve been assembled.

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(Dis)Engaging Google+

…or not.

I’ve been pretty vocal about my dislike of Google+ – I haven’t really found much use for it in its infancy. Something I have been doing, though, is setting up circles of people, mostly by how I know them. I don’t have a really good explanation for it, but for some reason, random people “sharing” with me unnerves me a little bit. I’m not going to delve into why it seems different from Twitter, except to say, it might boil right on down to word usage.
Quizas sea por que no me entiendes...
(Used under creative commons, Thank you Siitaps!)

On LinkedIn: You Connect – And you accept or deny.
On Facebook: You Friend – And you accept or deny.
On Twitter: You Follow – And you accept or deny.
On Google+: You Share / They Share – It’s an auto-accept.

I think that’s been my real issue with it. People are “sharing” with me that I have no connection with whatsoever. On Twitter (Which seems to be the biggest comparison for some) people follow me and I hardly notice unless they engage me. (That may not be entirely true since I actively watch my followers list.) When someone “joins” me on Google+, they’re suddenly “sharing” with me. Like they’re pushing things at me. It’s a little creepy. I don’t know why.
Over the fence
(Used under creative commons, thank you Arriba!)

So I created a circle, on g+, called: “People I Don’t Know.” and it’s one of my most populated circles. Now I wanted to experiment with that for a moment. I engage people on Twitter & Facebook that I don’t already know, so why not on Google Plus, too?

So I began an experiment. Three days ago I posted the following directly to my “I don’t know you” circle:

Hi. If you’re seeing this, it’s because you’ve decided to share with me and I don’t think I know you. So – I want to change that. Hi. What’s going on?

To date: I’ve received two responses. One stating: “It’s awfully slow in here,” and the other, “Everyone in my circles are from twitter pretty much and I hardly know everyone by real name.” ..And it wasn’t someone I know.

Google plus still seems somewhat unnecessary to me. Maybe that will change over time, maybe not.

Update. Interestingly enough, one of the people quoted above is a connection through Twitter. I just didn’t know his real name. Maybe that’s part of the problem?

To Be Purposed To Death.

I’ve noticed a trend lately. Meetups & Tweetups are being turned into “Purposed” Meetings, CauseUps etc. I know everyone wants to feel like they’re doing some good, but I can’t help but wonder, are these just the new “Grip & Grin?”

Maybe my purpose for going to tweetups is different than everyone else. I go for the social aspect of it. I go to get to know these online people better offline. I don’t have an agenda when I attend.

My endorsement of a project, a cause, or anything else, comes from my research of the item, not because I like the person attached to it. Maybe I’m a little shallow that way. Sure, having a relationship with the person helps me become interested in it, but it’s not going to be my primary decider of why I’m involved.

When you’re a small business owner, I get it, you have to capitalize, monetize, evaluate where your dollars are going. But why take an event, which is social in nature and structure it to death? Peering into my crystal ball; if you take away the loose-fitting social nature of these events, you’ll lose the social nature of the people and you’ll end up with only people who are trying to make a buck off the attendees, or you’ll piss someone off because you, the organizer, had to choose one group over the next. If you want that kind of headache, go ahead. But PLEASE, warn me ahead of time that I’m going to get the soft/hard sell… I may swing for the fences, but I’m going to let that “pitch” sail right on past. Everytime.

I’ve been to those events, No thanks.

Silence

I’ve grown up in the age of computers. I’ve grown up in the 24-hour-gotta-have-it-now generation.

That said, I love information. I live in a highly connected world, 24 hour news, 60,000 tweets, Facebook conversations. I’m all in.

Recently, I’ve disconnected a little bit. I found that I was sitting at a computer, watching TV, or had by head buried in my smart phone for hours and hours at a time. Don’t get me wrong. I love information, I like being in-the-know.

Recently, I subscribed to a newspaper and found out how much I missed sitting down and reading the paper, cover to cover. The news may be old, but I really enjoyed it. So I instituted a new rule in my home and since it’s just me in the home, it was pretty easy to swing the votes.

Newspaper
(Used under creative commons. Thank you GiantsFanatic!)

The new rule? When I make dinner, I sit down, in my dining room, and eat dinner, reading the paper. I turn off the TV, I shut down the computer, I leave the phone in the other room and just decompress.

Never underestimate the power of a good meal and something to read. 🙂

It’s nice to have a moment of quiet, even for a few minutes.

silence
(Used under creative commons. Thank you Luv Life!)