Friday, October 7, 2011

Primordial Soup in a New Age Cyber Sea

Google+ users form circles of contacts appropriate to their own social activity, adding living layers to their otherwise static connections in the Cyber Sea we know as the internet. In some Gestalt manner, these circles are somewhat more than the sum of their parts. More than that, circles are beginning to interact, combine and split to form new and unique layers of interaction.

Millions of years ago, a similar process was active in the primordial soup of oceans that covered the face of the Earth. Little strands of simple molecular units developed, interacted, combined and split in that dawn of life on Earth. All of the life we see today existed in potential within those clusters of nucleic acids. Similarly, cyber-life is being spawned in Google's social environment.

Recently, Google rolled a G+ feature that allows users to share circles. This is like allowing users to insert a limited image of the users' personalities into the social environment, with the expectation that those personalities will meet, greet and combine to spawn newer more refined images of collective personalities. This activity is a form of Cyber Life. Cyber DNA.

This is a seminal moment in Earth History. If this process continues in a naturally selective manner, the most enduring social circles will contain the potential of a singular life form totally different than anything the Earth has ever seen.

The internet and the tools that make this possible were conceived by top shelf intellectuals, who presented those tools to a small group of students and clever individuals. That was a infancy and the prepubescent era, which was followed by the adolescent social era ( myspace, facebook, orkut, etc. ). Google+ may very well be the adult trans human life form, capable of reproduction and evolution in a Cyber Sea. The procreative era.

At this stage, the procreative life form resembles cilia, a very simple form of life that extends from human, host bodies. Like a fungus. Which begs the question; what is the social analogy of a spore?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Prime Time for Leadership

How long before a leader emerges from the Occupation Mob assembled in New York? With only a minimal sense of common purpose ( they abhor corruption and greed ) and what appears to be an acceptance of nearly any special interest, they grow in numbers. Somewhere on this course of human events, someone will present themselves, and be recognized.

A leader focuses the energies of divergent interests towards a purpose, with an agenda. Mobs thrash about at the whim of provocateurs. If the Occupy Wall Street events have any lasting effect, those involved will soon need to form themselves behind such a person.

Perhaps someone who by nature stands head and shoulders above the crowd will begin to assert themselves. Maybe a celebrity will point a candidate out, and present that person as worthy, and able. More likely, some clever individual will see where the mob is moving, step to the front and assume a leadership role ( if only temporarily ).

Celebrities are gathering, and the press is gaining interest. Major Cities across the Nation are seeing similar crowds gather. It is a prime time for leadership across a Nation that feels disconnected, and exploited.

Monday, August 22, 2011

+1 Button

I found this +1 button at Google Webmasters. It will display a custom button on your web page that allows visitors to register their approval.

<!-- Place this tag where you want the +1 button to render -->

<!-- Place this render call where appropriate -->
<script type="text/javascript">
  (function() {
    var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true;
    po.src = '';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s);

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Learning to Help, the Google Method

Several million early adopters were invited to a pre-alpha project, and are currently pushing all it's features as far as the fledgling system will allow, and sometimes beyond. The Google+ project was launched with a feed-back feature that allows users to report problems, make suggestions and perhaps even gripe if they disagree with the way the system works. How many people will Google need to guide new users when they join Google+ ?

Dealing with all that feed-back requires a lot of people. Those people have to know a lot about the system, so where do those Google helpers learn their craft?

Before the invitations went out to those who joined the project, Google employees were using Google+ in-house, and gaining valuable experience that can be applied to the help/feed-back process. Many early adopters were pleasantly surprised to see so many Google employees ready and willing to be followed. How many of those Google employees that have been using Google+ are actually in training to help the new users when the project reaches it next goal, and is rolled out to the general public?

That's several questions, to paraphrase;

  • How many people will Google need to analyze feedback?
  • How are they being trained?
  • Are Google employees learning from this pre-alpha project?

A major issue has developed among the early adopters, and is pushing the feedback/help process to it's limits. Individuals are required to use their own names, or at least a name that they have been known by on-line. A related issue is on hold, while Google works out a solution for Business accounts, and how those entities are treated on Google+. While businesses are quietly waiting for new developments, the early adopters who use aliases are not happy, and are not at all quiet on the issue.

Some users believe that an automatic flagging system puts their accounts into a temporary suspension, while Google employees review their account. Given the nearly 20 million individuals involved in the project, even a small percentage would yield 10s of thousands of temporary suspensions to be analyzed.

There are indications that Google employees are more directly involved, and actively monitoring activity in what can be called Feedback circles. Rob Gordon was given a friendly warning from Joseph Robertson ( identity not verified ) that nudity was not acceptable at Google+. Joseph's words would indicate that Google employees are using the Google+ system to monitor multiple accounts. 

Google's projects ( Documents, Images, Chat, etc ) have experienced people assigned to help it's users on those particular projects, but Google+ is brand new, and looks to be larger than anything Google has attempted to roll out so far. If Google used some of those experienced helpers on Google+, they would still need to learn about Google+, the problems and of course the nature of those users. ( Early adopters aren't really the same as the average user. )

As it stands, those users with questionable names are being suspended, reviewed and many are being reinstated. Some others have launched new profiles, with their proper names. One way or another, the project is moving forward and folks are learning. Users and Googlers alike.

The next hurdle for Google Feedback? Business accounts, which are possibly the major target of Google's social efforts and a wide open field for revenue.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Over the Bridge

I love Illinois, but we have some terrible ideas concerning taxes here. Why in the world would this State levy taxes on stuff that people will travel out of State to get? It doesn't make any sense.

Gasoline and tobacco are taxed far less across the Mississippi River, in the State of Missouri. All the money we spend on these items should be spent here, in this State to support our local economy. I wouldn't be making this trip if Illinois had a rational tax plan. I'd be spending about $100 here, and that could generate taxes for this State, and help our small businesses as well. Instead, we travel across the bridge and support their economy and their State budget. They really must think we're foolish over there.

Us for putting up with it, and our leaders for making it so.