Saturday, November 23, 2013

Trying This Google+ Thing

Okay, so what happened is a couple/few months ago (don't remember exactly how long) I came across this add-on for Chrome that'd let you use the old Compose box with Gmail. I really hate the new one, and a lot of people seemed to like this add-on, so I added it on. It had a quirk or two (like adding space between the lines in your in-box right after you'd used Compose) but I could live with that to have the old Compose box back. And all was well for a while.

Then like a month ago, I suddenly couldn't get into Gmail on Chrome. First it was just my desktop system, but a few days later it broke on my laptop too. I had no idea what the problem was. I could get into that Gmail account just fine on Firefox, or even [shudder] Internet Explorer, but when I tried to bring it up in Chrome, it just kept cycling and cycling forever, as though it were processing the page but couldn't get anything to resolve. I logged out and logged back in -- nothing. I logged out, restarted the computer, then logged back in -- nothing. I tried approaching Gmail from different angles -- nothing.

Now all this time, Chrome had been bugging me to "complete" my Google+ profile for my AngieBenedetti mail address and, like, get with their system. I wasn't interested in another social network thing, so I ignored it. But eventually, after trying everything I could think of, I though, Maybe Google's messing with me because it wants me to do this Google+ thing? It wouldn't be the first squirrely thing some huge company had done to try to get folks to use one of their products, and Google's been closing its eyes on its "Don't be evil" thing now and again over the last few years, so I figured I might as well try. So I set up my profile on the angiebenedetti mail account.



I moved on, and eventually figured out that it was the add-on that let me have the old Compose box. :( I turned that off and poof! I could see my in-box in Chrome again. I figured the most recent Chrome upgrade had hosed the add-on. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Google did it deliberately, either, because they have major issues about forcing everyone to do things exactly their way. But anyhow.

So I had this Google+ profile floating around out there, with basically nothing but my name on it. Then someone added me to a circle. And someone else added me. So I guess I'm sort of there whether I planned to be or not?

I decided to give in and at least try it. I filled out my profile a bit more, and added a couple of people to circles, but most of the folks it suggested to me to add weren't people I know terribly well. If you're active on Google+, even if only a little, and would like to add me or have me add you or whatever, let me know. I'm still woefully ignorant about how this system works -- I'm not even sure if you'd look for me there as "Angie Benedetti" or "AngieBenedetti" or "Angela Benedetti" -- so however you want to ping me about it, do that. :)

We'll see how this goes. If it turns into a huge timesink, I'll probably walk away. But for now, it might be fun. Anyone else playing?


[ETA: Closing comments because of a ridiculous amount of comment spam. :/ ]


G. B. Miller said...

I am very annoyed with Google adding me to Google+. For months the system kept bugging me to change my name on my YouTube account so that it would match my blogger profile.

I finally did, and the next thing I know, I got added to Google+.

Since I didn't what to pursue the option of withdrawing from Google+ and possible wipe out 5 1/2 years of blogging, I unchecked everything possible for Google+ and made it known on both FB and my blog that adding me to any circles on Google+ would quite possible have a detrimental effect on our FB and blogging friendship.

Angie said...

GB -- I know exactly what you mean about the nag box on YouTube. :/ I've been ignoring that one, and will keep ignoring it, although it ticks me off whenever I see it. I wish Google would figure out that not everyone wants to have every part of their online life linked into one big wad. [mutter]


Suzan Harden said...

Especially those of us with multiple secret lives. BWAHAHA!

Angie said...

Suzan -- exactly! :/ This was hashed over more thoroughly when Google first started displaying "real" names, and demanding that every Google account have something that look (in their so-learned opinion) like a "real" name on it, and writers with multiple pseuds (especially if one wrote erotica, or anything at all sexy or violent) came up among all the other legit reasons not to want to have your legal name on every chunk of the internet Google touches. [still muttering]


Charles Gramlich said...

I'm getting those bugging emails too and am considering dropping chrome. I like it but this kind of thing really irritates me.

Angie said...

Charles -- yeah, there are a couple of things that bug me about Chrome, and only one of them is the nags. Another is that I really hate tabs. In Firefox, you can set a default so that when you open a new window, it defaults to a new window. In Chrome, it'll always open a tab unless you specifically open a new window and then navigate to wherever you want to go. Annoying.

The e-mail compose box is with Gmail, so that's not a Chrome issue.

There are things I like about Chrome, though, and I need two browsers. One's Firefox (the one I use the most, actually) and the other is...? What, if not Chrome? :/


Stuart Conover said...

I won't lie.. I drank the kool-aid. (Probably helpful that I network with Google people for their City Experts program..)

Honestly I think G+ is probably the best put together social network out there right now. The problem is that most of the people I talk to online don't use it or I'd be nearly fully switching to it. Ah well ;)

In Chrome if you hold down shift and click a link it'll open that link into a new window instead of a tab. There is however an extension that will allow you to have new tabs be opened into a new window automatically -


Angie said...

Stuart -- I gather this thing is modeled on Facebook/MySpace/whatever, that sort of thing? I've never had accounts with any similar service, so I can't make a direct comparison.

Right now, none of the people I hang out with, whose blogs I read or whom I write back and forth with in e-mail are active on the service, so I'm sort of, okay, whatever. I suppose if I were more active myself I'd make new friends and start following more people and more people would follow me and we'd have something going, but that sounds like a timesink to me. :/

Don't know, still checking it out.

Thanks for the new window help. :)


Stuart Conover said...

It's a bit of a mash-up between Facebook with an interface similar to that of Pinterest. If you aren't big on social media and friend's don't use it.. it can be a time sink to find people you know or have similar interests in.

Social media isn't for everyone.. and happy to help with the window!

Angie said...

Stuart -- So far I haven't used it much. I think I've remembered to share a link on it once or twice, and so far that's about it. We'll see how it goes.

Pinterest is a whole 'nother annoyance. A bunch of writers I know casually through a mailing list were talking about it, and it sounded like it could be fun, so I thought I'd try it. Turns out you can't (and I mean CAN NOT) sign up for a Pinterest account unless you already have a Facebook or Twitter account to link it to. WTF?? I wrote to their customer service address and explained my problem, and the best fix they could give me was to sign up for either F or T, use that account to sign up for Pinterest, then never use the F or T account. Umm, yeah, thanks, no.

Seriously, what were they thinking...? o_O

I guess this is my Crotchety Old Broad streak coming out, but I really don't understand why they can't just code their own membership database and then provide the linking thing as an option. Is that really so weird...? [eyeroll]