Wednesday, April 18, 2012

G Plus? F Minus is More Like It.

It's another rainy day in Pamplona.  That whole "the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain" thing?  Not true.  It should go, "the rain in Spain stays mainly in Galica, followed by the rest of the northern part of the peninsula."

I know, I know, that doesn't rhyme, and it's kind of too long, so I guess we'll just have to stick with the far catchier original version.  Even though it's not true.

But what is true is that the rain in Spain is a big pain.  At least it is when you get so much of it. Just when I was about to put away the gloves, scarves and hats, it suddenly looks like winter all over again.  And I'm kind of sick of it.

But the rain and cold also means I'm spending more time indoors, and when that happens I get more time to play on the internet.

I guess every cloud has a silver lining if you look hard enough.

One cloud I haven't really found the silver lining to yet, is Google+.  I'm just not feeling it.  And today I have yet another reason not to like it.

When Google's new social network came out, I was curious to give it a try, and to see how it would hold up against Facebook.  And I love trying out new stuff.  So, I created my profile, and the truth is, I haven't used it much since.  It's too much trouble to stay on top of both Facebook and G+.  And since everyone is already on Facebook, why bother with G+?

There's not really much of an advantage to G+, as far as I can see.  And I don't really like the interface either, so I haven't been very motivated to explore it's possiblities more thoroughly.  You can't just write on people's walls, although you can comment on their posts, but seems somehow limited.  And maybe it's just because not too many people I know are on it yet, but it seems kind of, well, empty.  At least empty of the kind of real-time, more mundane sort of interaction that goes on on Facebook.  Or maybe that's just gossiping.  Well, whatever.  Facebook is somehow much more entertaining, and despite all the complaining about the new timeline, easier to use.

The whole circle thing just doesn't do it for me either.  Friends and lists seem somehow more comfortable.  I have friends in real life, and I make lists in real life, but I haven't put people into circles since I played dodgeball back in grade school.  And, as I've said before, I don't like ball games.  Sorry, G+, for all that social interaction stuff I look for on the internet, Facebook runs circles around you.  (See what I did there?  I put G+ in a circle) So, my G+ profile just sits there, languishing aimlessly in G-space.

But when I saw the possibility of linking Blogger blogs to G+ profiles, I thought it might be interesting to link my blog to it.  At least then it would be good for something.  My blog posts would automatically show up on my profle, and some people even say that linking to G+ has helped their blogs to move up in search engine ranking, at least on Google, and that's always a good thing.

So, I looked into it.

But the first thing that I noticed was that I wouldn't be able to keep my Blogger profile, and that all my posts would be signed with my real name.  And there's no option to sign with a different name...period.  That's a big negative in my book.  It's not that I'm trying to remain anonymous or anything, despite the fact that I use a pseudonym, but Mother Theresa is kind of a persona I created just for this blog.  It's just more fun to be Mother Theresa when I blog.  I've never tried to hide who I really am, I broadcast my posts on Facebook, and I've even had one of the teachers at my kids' school come up to me and say they'd found my blog.  If you Google my real name, most of the results are of my blog.  That's about as public as you can get.  So, using my real name is not an issue for me, but I like to sign as Mother Theresa, and Google won't let me do that if I link my blog to my G+ profile.

They also won't let me change my G+ name to Mother Theresa, which on the one hand I understand, although I think this whole "you have to use your real name" thing is kind of idiotic.  Who are they trying to kid?  It's not hard at all to have several different e-mail accounts and have a different G+ profile for each one, as long as the names don't sound fake.  Same goes for Facebook, even with all the controls they've put in to weed out fake accounts.  People still have multiple accounts, and that isn't going to stop anytime soon.  So, the whole real name thing is kind of pointless.

There is a even Madre Theresa on G+.  One who looks suspiciously like me.  What's the deal with that?  If I didn't think Big Brother Google was watching, I might even say she's me, but I'm pretty sure he is, so I deny having any connection with this Madre Theresa person whatsoever.  But I may just invite her to write on this blog one of these fact, she may end up taking the whole thing over entirely.  And my posts might just end up being signed by Madre Theresa.

So Mother Theresa is unacceptable, but the same name in Spanish is not?  That just proves my point that Google's whole name policy is just plain stupid.

But Google does allow you to have a nickname.

You would think there'd be a little more leeway for using unusual names for a nickname.   I decided to try it.  Nope, no dice.  They won't even let me use Mother Theresa as a nickname.  I mean come on, Google, no one is going to think I'm the real Mother Teresa.  First off, because she's dead.  Secondly, she's one miracle away from becoming a saint...and I am most definitely not.  And finally, she's Teresa without an "h".

So, Google, what harm could possibly come from you letting me go around as Theresa Osinga (Mother Theresa)?  I might even put in a good word with the big guy upstairs if you if you do...

...but I don't know if it would help, because even He's on Facebook.


  1. Pues yo abrí mi cuenta de google+ con mi nick pero luego me obligó a ponerle un apellido y eso no me gustó, porque como yo lo uso más que nada para poner links o cosas más públicas tampoco quería usar mi nombre real.
    Ahora Facebook ha cambiado y te da más privacidad, y como dices tu, tengo la mayoría de contactos por ahí, es más divertido porque más gente postea. Sigo teniendo el google plus, porque está ahí y por moverme un poco en los medios, y también está el tema twitter que ahí casi ni entro porque tengo la cuenta de FB vinculada y todo lo que publico en mi página va automáticamente a twitter. Uff me hago líos con tantas cosas.

    1. A estas alturas, me da igual poner mi apellido o no, pero para el blog me gusta usar mi nick, es mi personaje, y quiero mantenerlo así. Pero aunque me dejasen usar el nombre que quisiera, el G+ no me gusta mucho. No sé, igual es porque no lo he usado lo suficiente. Twitter si que lo uso mas que el G+, pero menos que FB, por la limitación de palabras. Lo veo mas para promocionarse que otra cosa. Al final son muchas cosas, demasiadas, y no se puede estar en todo.

  2. I think that Google+'s interface might actually be superior to Facebook's, but it's a matter of users. Either everyone switches or no one switches, and Google is just too late to the game. I'm still glad that Google+ exists, because it provides competition of ideas for Facebook. What I hate most about Google+ is how Google has angled all of its services, many of which I love, towards forcing people into Google+, which is a big mistake. I've already stopped using Google as my primary search engine because of it.

  3. Brilliant title, by the way. I can't believe none of the G+ naysayer articles I've read have used that gag.

    1. Thanks, it just seemed perfect. :)

      You might be right about the interface being superior, but Facebook just seems easier to me, but I haven't really played around with G+ much at all. And I agree that it's kind of too late for Google on the social network thing, because everyone is on Facebook by now, and it doesn't seem likely that they'll switch...unless Google offers some crazy new game or other time-sucking app that catches their attention. So far, Blogger doesn't force you to link to your G+ profile, but I'm guessing it's a matter of time. And I also don't like how Google personalizes my searches when I'm logged into my G+ account, it's annoying. I'm sure there must be a way to turn it off, but I'm not sure how.

  4. Fun post! And I too prefer Facebook to Google plus.

    1. Thanks! Maybe you could write a limerick about it. ;)

    2. Excellent! It is so true that it's distracting. And the biggest problem is that there are more and more things to keep on top of in social networking everyday. It's all just too much!

  5. El Google Plus la verdad es que no me dice nada, y si encima da tantos problemas ni de broma me hago una cuenta.

    1. No es que G+ sea tan malo, pero a mi no me gusta lo de no poder seguir usando mi apodo para el blog si decido unirlos. Quieren controlarnos demasiado. En Facebook pasa lo mismo con los nombres, pero como allí puedes vincular el blog con una aplicación, no me afecta. Ademas, a estas alturas de la vida todo el mundo está en el Face, y eso le quita mucho sentido al G+.