2013 was (auto) awesome!

Google Plus has been auto-awesoming photos for a while, meaning that they’ve stitched together images with similar composition into animated gifs. See my cover photo with Banksy, for example. 

Well I was excited to see that they also auto-awesomed some photos from my 2013 to create this cute little video. Log-in to your Google Plus to see your version of 2013, auto-awesomed. 

Featured in this video are (in order of appearance): Me, Sara Higgins, Tara Fournier, Tim Jones, Drew Higgins, Jim Higgins, Lorie Higgins, My fourth grade class at Langtree Elementary School, Aidan Dunfey, Sarah Greer-Pennington, Greg Rogers, Alicia Samfilippo, Audra Fournier, Dennis Duffy (Dean Winters), Simona Rodano, Luigi Rosa, Mike Citarella, Angie Melvin, Sarah Roddis-Martin, Jacqué Citarella, Giammario Piumatti, Francesco Piumatti, Lauren Citarella, Steve Farjam, Sue Fleming Citarella, Jeff Arcara, Agnetta Citarella, Allie Citarella, Jules Feiffer, Frank DeGrazia, Katie Bacus, Thompson, and Ian Warner. 

era404.com Reboot

era404 screenshot

I always say that the cobbler’s kids have the oldest shoes. The last relaunch of era404.com had been in 2005, before the widespread use of iOS devices (which don’t support Adobe Flash) and the release of browsers capable of supporting HTML5, CSS3 and JQuery.

For the last few years, as all designers seem to do, I kept saying “God, I really need to update our site.” As my brother Chris always says, “the second worst problem in the world is having too much work, but it’s far better than the alternative.” era404 has been fortunate in that we’ve never found ourselves with too much idle time on our hands. That said, we’ve been seriously lacking in the capacity to explore new business development and professional upkeep and maintenance on our public image. Until now. Read more

Google Plus Contacts Flooding Google Talk

It took me a little while to find this, so I thought it might be helpful to post it on [d]online in case others are having the same issue.

After signing up for Google Plus, I noticed that my Pidgin contact list was getting flooded with contacts. Many of those contacts had a Google Plus email address rather than a normal one. I’d recognized a few names but not all of them. So I went to Google Plus and realized that these were all contacts that were in my Circles – friends of friends, subscription lists, companies under profiles of users, etc.

If I clicked “Block Friend,” “Remove Friend,” and/or “Hide Friend” from Pidgin, Google Talk (on my Android) or Google Talk on my Gmail sidebar, the users either remained in the list or disappeared until the next time I logged in. As you can probably imagine, it’s frustrating to see a wealth of users flooding a buddy list when they’re not, indeed, buddies.

After poking around online, I found a number of other users were dealing with the same issues. I tried a few recommendations and hacks, recommended by some of the more proficient users, but none of them seemed to work. Finally, I landed on a post in a Google Plus Help forum that seemed to do the trick. If you’re experiencing the same issues, try the following: Read more

Google+ and +1

Plus One

The +1 thing has been a part of the internet for as long as I can remember. Stemming back from my early days on shockfusion.com, the best way for someone to give propz where propz were due, with a system that didn’t allow for it, was to simply post a reply with “+1” in it. QBN.com (formerly NewsToday.com) added that mechanism to their home page for visitors to promote admin- and user-added content. And now Google has wholly embraced he meme with their version of Facebook’s erroneously-named “Like” button. So what’s the main difference between Facebook’s “Like” button and Google’s “+1” button? The answer is simple: Google has a search, Facebook does not. +1ing, though not guaranteed, will help improve your pages’ rank and elevate its placement among Google search results. It’s pretty much the Digg.com model, but for all teH InterWebz, not just news.

You may also notice the shiny, new +1 button on [d]online’s header, by the search bar. G’head and click it if the spirit moves you.

Google+

Now, Google has taken their war against Facebook domination to the next level. How? They’ve launched their own Facebook with Google+. According to them, they did it because “People Hate Facebook.” And within days of the launch, all my friends, coworkers and family members seem to be scrambling into their “circles” (Google’s version of Facebook’s “lists”) and posting up a storm. Facebook says that they knew about circles last year and beat Google to market by launching their rehashed version of Facebook Groups (though, I believe, they’re are as pointless as Google Groups – which I still use and manage). But Google is really banking on Google+’s success. And they need to, as well. According to Silicon Alley Insider’s Chart-of-the-Day, people spend a lot more time on Facebook than Google. And in an online world driven by ad revenue, time translates into dollars:

What does this all mean?

It means that people that left Facebook because it was too addictive now have two different sites to avoid. And people who are tired of receiving dozens of email responses to Facebook group conversations that someone else added them to, will now have dozens more. We have twice as many privacy issues as before and potentially double the: online stalkers, farmville invitations, pointless events, embarrassing photos, etc. I don’t think we really need a world with two Facebooks so I’m hoping that the battle royale between Facebook and Google will produce a clear, definitive winner so I can go back to being monogamously addicted to one.