As I mentioned in a blog post just now, I've been out of circulation for about a month working hard on a project... but I was prodded to come back to life online when I got a Google+ invite from someone at UnCollege... and boy, i sure was curious to see what it's like. So far I really like it. Facebook never worked for me because of the way that it encouraged, even forced people to blur their different online identities into one place - personal, professional, etc. Since I really don't do personal stuff online, and I wear some different professional hats (my Latin life online is pretty different from my pedagogy life), Facebook didn't fit for me... but the premise of Google+Circles is that you create these 'circles' which organize both the incoming and outgoing stream of activity at Google+. For example, I already have a circle with former students in it, separate from the circle with fellow Latinists, separate from the circle of education technology folks. That sure works for me! Plus you can do things that are 100% public - you can see my public stream here: Laura at Google+

So, some questions for the Firesiders:

  • Does anybody want an invite to Google+? Let me know what email address you want me to use for the invite and I'll be glad to do that.
  • Can we find a good use for this in combination with Fireside? I know Connie has been making good use of Facebook in tandem with Fireside, so maybe there are some ways to have a Fireside presence at Google+ too. I'm just learning now about how Google+ works, so if anybody has more experience with that or has seen some good examples of a Ning/Google+ combo, please share here!
  • What kinds of things are you looking for in a social networking environment that are not already well served by Ning or Facebook or Twitter or Chatter or Yammer or Tumblr or just wherever it is you are hanging out online...? For me, I really like the way that Google+ has some Twitter-y aspects, without the crazy character limit of Twitter.

I'm still going to be pretty much focused on this crazy Latin project for the rest of July, but Google+ has definitely got my attention too. I'm curious what others here might think about it and/or be hoping for.

 

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Blogger gives the owner of the blog site complete freedom to edit the underlying template, which is mostly javacode.  Blogs tend to be highly personalized.

 

Knol is considered to be a compendium of articles of general interest, so the project does not allow arbitrary javacode to avoid security exploits by otherwise anonymous authors of bogus articles.

Oh yes, I understand the reasons - and at Knol it even makes sense, but if a GoogleSite "belongs" to me (as it does), it really is a shame that they do not let us use javascript there, too. I would gladly give up my PBWorks wiki in order to switch to Google Sites, but without the javascript, there's just no way I can manage. I need to randomize! :-)
Depending on what you are trying to do on Google Sites, you may be able to use Google Gadgets with Javascript.
Yes, but it is such a royal pain - I "gadgetized" some of my javascripts some years ago, it must be like 5 years ago now, and, amazingly, some people are actually using them as Gadgets (Hindu God of the Week became very popular!), but it was just way way WAY too much trouble. :-)

I hear you.  Javascript is no cakewalk to begin with.

 

The problem with Cloud Computing is that it's often a Thor Thubject.  That is, with great power comes great responsibility.  

 

And the truth of the matter is that you cannot trust the average person not to code thunderbolts into the weather.

Laura,

I would say: experiment, experiment, experiment. Go ahead and try things.

I haven't spend much time on Google+, only enough time to really get myself in trouble. Now that I've sorted out the issues my iPad had with the site, I might be there more often. And whew--does it feel good to be out of the endless loops generated from an advanced system trying to jam itself into an un-updated machine's programs. It was mind-boggling to see how messed up things can get.

Have to say that even when the iPad's functioning well, I still much prefer being on my regular computer for Google+. Do you find that to be true, as well?

I've got a lot going on right now with daytime Farm Camp and evening studying. I'm keeping the connections going and ideas blooming with Facebook connections for Fireside. My latest is that I hope to recruit some people in to discuss Teaching 2030. Also, Future of Learning is coming up, so I'll be taking people on tours of the site as an example of the power of the Extended Learning Community for growth and lifelong learning.

So exciting to hear about your projects. You are such an amazing person. Keep us fully informed about your progress and creations. We are so lucky to have you as an important leader on this site; Fireside's existence owes so much to you. And regarding Google+, follow your instincts about what to try. You are a master of promoting thinking and sharing through technology.

I found yesterday that it's pretty easy to recover your password for a Google account, provided that you don't forget it twice in the same day as I did.

I reset my password yesterday, got a phone call, rebooted some servers, went to a meeting.....and returned to my desk and I couldn't quite remember the password. So I went through the recovery process and had to answer a security question and was invited to create a new password. easy.

Many hours later, I tried to log-in at home and had forgotten the new password. I went learned that the security question option was only valid once in a 24-hour period. The form let me choose whether I wanted to have a new password sent to my alternative address....which was for a company that I no longer work for.

The only option left was to fill out a form that asked questions like EXACT date that I opened my Google account (which was a few weeks after G-mail premiered...I don't even remember the EXACT year...). They also asked me the last password that I remember that worked. The downside of auto sign-in functionality is that I rarely actually type in a password, so I don't think I got that question right, either.

I think my account may be history, I don't know for sure. I don't have a lot of stuff in the Google world right now, and nothing is critical, but I know that some folks do, so I wanted to report my trials to those of you that have never gone through the password-recovery process. As they used to say in "Hill Stree Blues" be careful out there.




 

I know just what you mean, Scott - my students use Google accounts for my class (they publish with GoogleSites), so I get them to set up their alternate email address and/or instant messaging address so that they can recover the password if they get into trouble!

 

Connie, when I do the round-ups for Fireside, I will share that with folks at Google+ too and see if it attracts any interest! :-)

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