Google Buzz Day 3

I was already an avid Gmail fan and Gmail user so I didn’t have to do anything to join Google Buzz except click a large blue button when I logged into my email account after a very long day updating Apple iPod Touch devices.
The ease with which one can join Google Buzz has meant that in just 3 days lots of the people I follow on Twitter are already on Buzz, which if it were a human baby would still be struggling to breastfeed and may not have even had it’s first ever bath. Instead Buzz has grown up very quickly and become more like a grumpy teenager who looks to be developing into a far more promising adult than anyone would think on first appearances.
What am I talking about? Well I have to be honest. When I first saw Buzz and tried to interact with it I wasn’t exactly blown off my feet. It was great that Buzz is just one link below the inbox in my Gmail account but in aesthetic term sit looked more like an early 2000’s internet chat client full of text and blue underlined links than something new and fancy. Yes I could share links, photos and comments, but I can do that with all the other social networking sites I already use and they all look much prettier.
However, and this is the big but, I have grown quite fond of little Buzz in just a few days. It still needs more people to join the network for it to rival twitter as the first place I post a link or comment, but I am starting to see things about it that make me think I may have to reconsider my lack of enthusiasm on day 1.
For starters you can type more than 140 words. That may lead to long, meaningless diatribes plastered all over my Gmail page but I can always “Mute this post” if something looks unappealing. It is important to be concise, especially in these time poor times (excuse the lack of skilled prose on my part), but sometimes I have something to say or post that is just a tiny bit longer than 140 words. This is often the case when one tweet turns into a conversation and that is where Buzz gets interesting.
Twitter lets you reply to tweets and displays them on the Twitterstream but trawling through all the tweets clogging up my Twitstream looking to see if anyone did reply to a comment I made is not the most user friendly or instant experience. With Buzz the comments are posted below each Buzz post so you can get a conversation going about a link, comment, photo or whatever you buzz about, and it is easy to follow and join in. This functionality of Buzz is what I think will promote more involved social networking, where little posts can spark a long and enriching debate. I have always wanted the web to be about sharing useful knowledge and debating ideas and thoughts, and I still think it is one of the best ways to share ideas and develop one’s opinions on many subjects. A conversation full of links to articles, pictures, blogs or sites that reference the topics being discussed is a godsend for the less intellectually enlightened members of society, such as myself, who need to be directed to some evidence or references to know what we are talking about.
I also like the ability to post a picture directly onto a Buzz post, and not into another photo sharing site like Tweetpic or somewhere else on the web that distracts me from the post I was originally looking at.
Google was also quick to sort out the supposed privacy issues about other people seeing who you follow and chat to on your profile, which was a good sign from them.
Anyway If anyone else is starting to warm to Google Buzz and has any more hints about how to get more from it then please leave a comment! The more ideas we share the better.

I was already an avid Gmail fan and Gmail user so I didn’t have to do anything to join Google Buzz except click a large blue button when I logged into my email account after a very long day updating Apple iPod Touch devices.
The ease with which one can join Google Buzz has meant that in just 3 days lots of the people I follow on Twitter are already on Buzz, which if it were a human baby would still be struggling to breastfeed and may not have even had it’s first ever bath. Instead Buzz has grown up very quickly and become more like a grumpy teenager who looks to be developing into a far more promising adult than anyone would think on first appearances.

What am I talking about? Well I have to be honest. When I first saw Buzz and tried to interact with it I wasn’t exactly blown off my feet. It was great that Buzz is just one link below the inbox in my Gmail account but in aesthetic term sit looked more like an early 2000’s internet chat client full of text and blue underlined links than something new and fancy. Yes I could share links, photos and comments, but I can do that with all the other social networking sites I already use and they all look much prettier.

However, and this is the big but, I have grown quite fond of little Buzz in just a few days. It still needs more people to join the network for it to rival twitter as the first place I post a link or comment, but I am starting to see things about it that make me think I may have to reconsider my lack of enthusiasm on day 1.

For starters you can type more than 140 words. That may lead to long, meaningless diatribes plastered all over my Gmail page but I can always “Mute this post” if something looks unappealing. It is important to be concise, especially in these time poor times (excuse the lack of skilled prose on my part), but sometimes I have something to say or post that is just a tiny bit longer than 140 words. This is often the case when one tweet turns into a conversation and that is where Buzz gets interesting.

Twitter lets you reply to tweets and displays them on the Twitterstream but trawling through all the tweets clogging up my Twitstream looking to see if anyone did reply to a comment I made is not the most user friendly or instant experience. With Buzz the comments are posted below each Buzz post so you can get a conversation going about a link, comment, photo or whatever you buzz about, and it is easy to follow and join in. This functionality of Buzz is what I think will promote more involved social networking, where little posts can spark a long and enriching debate.

I have always wanted the web to be about sharing useful knowledge and debating ideas and thoughts, and I still think it is one of the best ways to share ideas and develop one’s opinions on many subjects. A conversation full of links to articles, pictures, blogs or sites that reference the topics being discussed is a godsend for the less intellectually enlightened members of society, such as myself, who need to be directed to some evidence or references to know what we are talking about.

I also like the ability to post a picture directly onto a Buzz post, and not into another photo sharing site like Tweetpic or somewhere else on the web that distracts me from the post I was originally looking at.

Google was also quick to sort out the supposed privacy issues about other people seeing who you follow and chat to on your profile, which was a good sign from them.

And finally, Buzz doesn’t seem to have any of those pointless and irritating time wasting games that clog up Facebook and make me want to get up and slap my friends who are grazing virtual sheep on pixelated binary grass. The less irrelevant apps on Buzz the better.

Anyway If anyone else is starting to warm to Google Buzz and has any more hints about how to get more from it then please leave a comment! The more ideas we share the better.

Advertisements

Children’s Book Review 1

Otto's Trip to the Moon: Seriously Cute - a Pull-tab Book Otto’s Trip to the Moon: Seriously Cute – a Pull-tab Book by Katherine Lodge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My 2 year old daughter picked this book out of many choices in a local children’s bookshop. Since then she has become obsessed with it, even though there is not much in terms of story and her enthusiasm has more to do with her love of the moon and rockets. It is well presented and very cute though! She loves it so who am I to argue?

View all my reviews >>

XX Alone

I am sitting here in my dusty, claustrophobic study with web design books, magazines and course material strewn chaotically all around me imitating the disorganised mess that is my current existence. The dreamy, haunting sounds of English indie rock band XX are floating out of my tinny monitor speakers via the add filled yet free and therefore viable music service Spotify. I say viable as I am currently broke, in the financial as well as psychological state.

One could look back at my life and report that I am usually broke. It depends on how you define broke. However you choose to define it (in terms of more debt than savings or higher expenses than income or high income and high expenditure, take your pick) no one can deny the financial challenge that should be staring me in the face from a multi coloured array of spreadsheet cells in my Family budget file. As it is I am taking a leaf out of my wife’s book and resorting to denial. I should be downloading our bank account and credit card balances to these complex self made spreadsheets but as I know they will only paint an even scarier picture than the one they painted last Saturday, I choose to ignore our impending financial doom and instead surf the net joining various social networking sites such as Plurk and Moolta with my Second life avatar as I am feeling particularly lonely tonight.

The psychological breaking down and current loneliness has much to do with coming back from an insightful yet intensive therapy session to an empty, eerily silent house. The children’s toys are there, littered across the well worn lounge floor, but there are no children playing with them. The wok and saucepans are piled up on top of our ancient electric hobs and various utensils and ingredients are lying about but no one is cooking. The only sound in the whole 3 bed suburban semi is of my stress out pent up mind, swelling with conflicts, anxiety and confusion, overheating and getting ready to blow a gasket. I feel like a faulty Toyota in desperate need of repair just waiting to be recalled before my broken accelerator pedal drives me into a self destructive brick wall.

The loneliness can be attributed to my wife and daughter staying with my mother-in-law to comfort and support her, in deepest rural Woking. My father-in-law is still in hospital and still in a bad state following his major stroke last October. The air of empty silence and haunting alienation of this house is much better than the thick fog of depression permanently hanging over my in laws home as life gets harder and more emotionally and psychically challenging day by day. The financial costs of supporting a stroke victim are not low.

The financial burdens of a South west London suburban family with a mortgage, growing child, constant 70 mile round trips to Milford Hospital in an age of ever rising petrol prices are also becoming less and less compatible with my continuing unemployment. I got a job that would have plugged the outflow of cash for a little while, giving us breathing space, only to have the job offer callously ripped from me due to miscommunication between HR departments and the business managers who desperately needed me.

The spiral of increasing problems and stress has resulted in a sudden relapse of my Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I need to get some acid to pump through our lime scale ridden blocked up toilet discharge pipes before they overflow again (don’t try and visualise it, not a pretty sight, i can promise you.) My bouts of sudden inexplicable fatigue are also increasing. I am back to job hunting, but in this market it is even more depressing than it usually would be. I can’t tell my wife how broke we are. She doesn’t have the time, energy or motivation to read this blog so she will never know, unless the bailiffs arrive early. She will probably be in the hospital anyway so I will find a way to blag it.

It would be nice to hug her after a long, dreary day of depressing chores and job hunting and to snuggle up to a movie or Episode 1, Series 4 of Northern Exposure. As it is I am left to find some friendly conversation online with random geeks who like to create digital art and funny freakish animals in Photoshop and play Star Trek online. That would be one way of escaping my enforced isolation but unfortunately it seems that tonight even the geeks aren’t talking to me. So I have resorted to talking to myself by throwing a few thoughts onto electronic ink and composing this blog.

4 Diet Pepsi’s and many happy pills on from my fatigue relapse this afternoon and I feel myself drifting off into a surreal computer generated world where no one has cancer or strokes and being unemployed and geeky is a virtue not a mark of failure and anxiety.

On a lighter note, at least all my web surfing in the name of my web design course has lead me to discover this great website dedicated to the early 1990’s TV Comedy Drama Northern Exposure:

http://www.moosechick.com/

Second Life Home

Even Virtual Worlds have loneliness

Quote on Religion

Just heard a great quote about religion in an interview with Theatre Director Peter Brook on BBC2’s The Culture Show.

“All the world’s great Religions start with a prophet and end with a policeman.”

Peter Brook is directing a play called 11 and 12 about the violence between 2 groups of people who share the same religion but differ on one doctrinal point, should a prayer be said 11 time or 12. From this little insignificant point they split into different sects, with the ensuing violence tearing communities and families apart. Sounds fascinating.

As soon as our diverse ideas and thoughts on the unknown and our random irrational faith is turned into strict rules of dogma and doctrine Religion becomes what it really is, Institutionalised Faith and as Peter Brook notes it becomes a very dangerous thing.

Here is a link to The Culture Show website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cultureshow/

Super Fast

Google is introducing Real Time data in search results, such as Twitter updates.

See the BBC Tech article.http://tinyurl.com/yj4jh7v

It sounds great but makes me shiver at the notion of things in the world moving even faster and faster. I struggle to keep up with the pace of the modern world as it is. With Google changing every second it may just be too much information overload and I may never leave my PC desk! Maybe I need a few weeks away from technology in the middle of a forest where I can appreciate the serene beauty of nature unadulterated by techno gadgetery.

Or I could just go to the local park instead, even if it does sit next to a couple of huge Gas Storage tanks. At least it has a Lido.

Re Education Continued

I was wrong (rare, but not the first time). The course advisor from Home Learning College is not here. It was some random estate agent. I thought they were all hiding after the property crash. I suppsoe you can’t keep a good sales person down. Anyway the HLC Advisor got sent to Ashstead which is no where near where I live by his Sat Nav. Technology is great when it works but utterly frustrating when it does not. A case in point is my unsolvable problem with my iPhoen refusing to sync with or be recognised by iTunes on my PC at home. I have phoned Apple support, gone to the Apple store, read all the help guides, restarted and re installed everything possible and found the drivers on my pc. I think it is a problem with the wrong drivers assigned to the iPhone but I have no idea how to change them in Windows Vista which is becoming increasingly the bain of my already chaotic life (see my references to funerals, hospitalisation of relatives, ill health, dwindling finances, failed job hunting and career change, and living in permanent chaos in previous posts.)

Anyway I just got interrupted by the gym instructor who will be inducting me into the Malden Centre gym as part of my renewed effort to rebuild myself. Apparently i still have to pay for the induction sessions even though I paid for registering at the gym! Money is just flowing out form all corners. Need some to come in. Hopefully Web Design is the way forward, if I can afford the courses!

At least I finally got round to building the home page for the resurrected version of my old website, razaweb.com. It was hand coded in HTML and is very basic but hopefully my web developing skills will rise exponentially over the next few months.

Re education

In 10 minutes time the course advisor from Home Learning College will arrive at my house. His aim is to sell me his courses, my aim is to re train as a Web Desinger plus refresh my rusty Bookkeeping skills. The modern world and it’s ever amazing technology mean that I don’t have to leave the chaotic mad house that is my home to gain new skills that will hopefully help me get a job and start earning again.

Job hunting in this adverse economic environment, with all the ever increasing obstacles in my way, has not been easy. At least it has got easier to blog, with the amazing WordPress 2.0 iPhone iBlogging app. As my life is is a state of permanent chaos, being able to blog on the move using my iPhone is very useful. iBlogging is the way forward, just like iTwittering and the Google Chrome web browser with its spell checking facility that ensures my pots are readable.

With regards to my failure to find gainful employment, I sincerely hope the number of obstacles to job hunting will reduce as I keep trying to be resourceful and develop my skill set whilst staying positive in very depressing times. It has been anything but easy.

Last week my wife’s uncle died and I went to his funeral. My father in law is still in hospital recovering slowly from his major stroke. We were living in 2 houses trying to help my mother in law. That only added to the chaos. My daughter is ill with a viral infection, my IBS and CFS have returned with a vengeance. Money is running out!

Anyway I better go as the man is here!