Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Jury is Still Out

I like to think of myself as an early adopter of technology. My teenage daughters think I am a bit of a technology geek and I have to admit they may be right. So when Google launched the Google + Project I was one of the first in line to get in.

Perhaps I have not spent enough time there, or maybe I need to give it a few more months. I am struggling to make Google + a part of my online life. The reasons for me are simple and may just apply to you too.

I already have a social profile that is extensive, by my standards anyway. I use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Blogger. I have a Tumblr account that I have yet to use and I check in on FourSquare semi-regularly. I have tried many different tools to post content and I like things to be simple. Adding what has appeared so far to be a redundant social network has been far from simple for me.

Admittedly, my biggest challenge is my own, Google + has not yet become a habit for me. Facebook is easy to start using, it is simple and I connect with my family and friends here. LinkedIn is great as it allows me to connect with colleagues in a professional way and share business/professional content that person friends may not be that interested in. Twitter has a different role in that I follow people I have never met and learn from their content.

I get the feeling that Google has tried to bring the features and uses of these three networks together in Google +. I can group my connections in to “circles” that define how I know them and what content I want to share with them. The challenge I have is that I have no family members using Google + so that “circle” is empty. I have a large number of co-workers, a few friends and many twitter followees. All of the people in my circles are in a twitter list (or two).

Maybe with the first API release earlier this month to developers there will eventually be third party applications to push content and I will have more success embracing the new network. Until then I will continue to look for the value in Google + and hope that it does not turn out to be Google -.

In the mean time feel free to connect with me on any of the social networks I frequent, especially Google +. Let me know if you need an invite and I will be happy to send you one!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering an Infamous Anniversary

September 11, 2001.

Like most, I remember it very well. I remember where I was, what I was doing and who first shared the news.

For me 2001 was ten years and two careers ago. On September 11th I was an independent manufacturers’ agent in Atlantic Canada exhibiting at a trade show in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I was living an hour north of Halifax at the time in the small rural community of Lower Onslow. I lived a peaceful, insulated life. The thought of what was to happen on that day had never entered my mind.

By 9 am EDT news started to spread across the trade show floor that an airliner had hit one of the World Trade Center towers in New York. My first thoughts were immediately that this was a terrible accident. It wasn’t long until a second airliner hit the second tower and it was clear that this was not an accident.

My immediate reaction was to call my wife. Did she know what was happening in New York? I asked her to turn on the television and keep me updated.

The possibilities were unfathomable and the rumors were incredulous. Speculation that there were more planes hijacked, that even the bridges in Halifax were at risk. I remember working with a client who was also a member of the Canadian Military on leave. While with me he was called in for duty – all hands on deck.

As it turned out there were four planes, all US bound, that were hijacked. Three planes were used as missiles and slammed in to buildings, one plane crashed in a rural area of Pennsylvania due in large part to the courageous actions of its passengers. Canadian cities were not attacked.

Canada’s role was that of a good neighbor. Hundred’s of planes were diverted to Atlantic Canadian airports where they stayed on runway parking lots for days. The thousands of passengers from all over the world were taken in, fed and cared for by everyday people. It is this act of kindness and global community spirit that exemplifies what we as humans can do for each other.

While we remember the tragedy and loss we witnessed 10 years ago, lets also remember the kindness and caring for humanity that became prevalent here and abroad.

We have only one planet, we are one global family.

Feel free to add where you were and what you were doing in the comments.